New MacBook Air: Light, But Core 2 Duo, NVIDIA Graphics

Image Courtesy of Apple. Any time Apple unveils a new product, someone is likely wondering if it’s a viable choice for music. The answer on the new MacBook Air is probably yes – though for music production, even at a $999 price, you may want to sacrifice a little bit of weight for the specs on the non-Air MacBook line. Here’s a quick look: Core 2 Duo architecture. While running at slower clock speeds, this is a more efficient CPU choice for audio. (Don’t let the clock fool you, in other words – there’s a fair bit of power here.) …

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Max for Live Solutions: Full Control Surface Support, Mac Trackpad as Controller

There’s not much to say about this news: if it’s the kind of thing you’ve been anxiously awaiting, you’ll know you’re in luck just from the screenshots. First, for anyone with a recent MacBook and a copy of Max for Live, Juan Pablo Carrascal has come up with a lovely solution for on-the-go production. Using the trackpad’s multitouch input support, his Max patch transforms your laptop into a MIDI control device, for those times when you don’t have a controller handy. (See also a great, open source Mac touchpad tool.) I don’t have a compatible Mac on which to test …

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Apple Refreshes MacBook Pro; About Those New GPUs, Visualist Advice

As you probably know, Apple refreshed their MacBook Pro line, upgrading the 13″, 15″, and 17″ models to new NVIDIA GPUs and the 15″ and 17″ units to Core i5 and i7 CPUs. It’s a nice refresh for Mac fans, though a relatively modest one. Anyone hoping for a big leap in multi-core processing or top-of-range GPUs, that’s still largely the domain of the PC market. (In fairness, that also means you can buy PC laptops that sap batteries quickly and heat up to waffle-making temperatures.) And if you wanted a significant price break or value-for-price change, you’ll be disappointed …

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Apple Refreshes MacBook Pro Line; Models Compared

Apple today refreshed its MacBook Pro line in a long-awaited update, moving the Apple laptops in line with recent advancements in Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. There are some caveats when you pull apart the line, however – the 13″ models miss out on the new CPUs in this lineup, at least – and you’ll pay to get some of the better improvements. Of course, a Mac is a Mac; for many readers, it’s the reliability of the combination with the Mac OS that is likely to be the deciding factor. The best news is, the 15″ and 17″ models …

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VJ Video Review: Uncompressed HD Mixing with Matrox MXO2 Mini and Laptops

Matrox MXO2-Mini review for VJs. Uncompressed HD mixing laptop to laptop. from vade on Vimeo. Enough of low-resolution hardware mixing. Our friend Anton aka vade has dreamed for some time of doing full, uncompressed HD mixing of two laptops. And he means laptops — not luggable towers or anything like that. It’s a common enough scenario. These days, most visualists practice their art on computers. To collaborate, that means mixing those visuals together. But by the time you plug in an Edirol V-4 or even our beloved Vixid – love that hardware as we do – you lose a significant …

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Apogee ONE: USB Interface with Internal Mic, Guitar, Mic In, $249

What do most musicians really need out of an audio interface? The answer to that question can vary wildly, but for a whole lot of people, it’s as simple as wanting to get an instrument and/or vocals in, and a basic, high-quality stereo mix out. That’s it. That’s part of why Apogee’s new compact ONE audio interface could be a huge hit on the Mac. Let’s reduce its specs to the basics: It lets you plug in a mic, with a preamp and phantom power It lets you plug in an instrument (high impedance — so think your guitar or …

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Bug Squash: AlexP on MacBook Vista Audio Problems, Other Wifi Adapters and DPCs?

I love the sound bugs make when you squish them under a solution. AlexP, whose blog is also a great source for multitouch and the Sony PS3 Eye Camera and Windows drivers we used in the recent hackday, has been diagnosing his MacBook under Windows Vista. Hardware problems are often the source of sound blips on computers. I’ve talked previously about using the DPC Latency Checker to find this issue. The good news: Alexander has found the problem (the Broadcom Wireless Adapter in some Apple MacBooks) and a solution (switching off Windows’ automatic wireless network search when you don’t need …

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Apple MacBooks: Reappearing FireWire, Disappearing ExpressCard

As you no doubt heard, Apple today refreshed their MacBook lineup with across-the-board adjustments to pricing. I’ll let other sites comment on the news more generally, as this is a music site, not a notebook site. But the big news for audio in terms of I/O, just so you don’t miss that: FireWire on more models: Finally, you can again get a 13” MacBook (now called MacBook Pro) with onboard FireWire – a FW800 connector. That’ll restore the use of audio interfaces and certain high-speed storage, and means the MacBook is again a good choice as an audio machine at …

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Apple Restores FireWire, Lowers Prices; ExpressCard Now Only on 17”

Apple giveth and Apple taketh – again. FireWire, back on the whole line. First, off, the good news coming out of Apple’s hardware refresh today: FireWire is again on the 13” MacBook, which is now confusingly called the MacBook Pro. It’s a FW800 port, too, which can be nice for fast storage. That means you can get a US$1199 machine with FireWire, a new SD card slot, and a decent if not dazzling NVIDIA 9400M. It seems that Apple heard the loud chorus of people frustrated with the lack of FireWire. My Canon HV20 HDV camera thanks you, Apple. Good …

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