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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Visualist Party in Manheim, Germany: The Scene at the B Seite Visual Arts Festival

Photo: Joe Lambert / Shakinda, capturing that special Manheim atmosphere. How do you put on a great festival for visualists? Ask the crew behind B Seite (that’s B Side, for the native language of us current and former British Empire subjects). Visualist and Quartz Composer guru Shakinda (as seen previously in free tutorials here) was there, and reports back: Last weekend I was over performing and giving a quartz composer workshop and the most excellent B Seite festvial, Pixelschubser and his team had put a fantastic amount of effort into a very inspiring program…. It was shot on a movie …

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MSA QT: More than HD Fullscreen Video – Way More than HD (4096+ pixels, anyone?)

1080 whatever. Memo (Mehmet) Akten, musician, visualist, creative developer, and self-described “mad scientist” wanted to play a 4800 x 600 pixel QuickTime video file across two outputs. Well, not just two outputs, even – two outputs feeding three triple-head outputs feeding six projectors. There’s just one problem: most video apps choke on a file that big. They use textures on the graphics card to display video, but the maximum size of a texture is usually 4096 pixels. QuickTime Pro can handle the job, but not across multiple outputs. Solution? Build a new app: “Mega Super Awesome & mega super basic” …

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Behind the Scenes with Justice in Rio

Here’s a unique chance to step onstage with electronic duo Justice – well, through photos, at least – on tour in Brazil. Behind a stack of Marshall Amps and other gear that looks ready to push back an invading horde of Barbarians with a battering ram, these two have some very lovely goodies for live laptop performance. No plain-vanilla DJ sets here. Our friend Fabio “FZero” writes: I came across some pictures of the gear Justice used to play in Rio. They were taken by a guy which works on Circo Voador (the place were they played) and uploaded to …

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Oddities: a MacBook Pro Has a Visual Conversation with a ZX Spectrum

Matthew Applegate sends this our way — it’s like two computers having a conversation, across epochs of computer history. The MacBook Pro is running a computer vision algorithm and "singing" notes based on colors it sees on the Spectrum’s screen. Maybe this will get your brain thinking of something new — file this under "really odd inspirations."

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Laptop Music with AlphaTrack: Yes, I AM Checking My Email

Laptop musicians, had enough of people saying you look like you might be checking your email? Try actually checking your email. That’ll show ’em. David Battino (who also runs O’Reilly’s Digital Media site) did an “advertorial” for Electronic Musician on Frontier Design’s AlphaTrack. He goes into lots of details as far as assignments, but as a quick “because it’s there” gimmick, assigns a function key to an AppleScript for checking email. This being CDM, I’d want to go further, like assigning the contents of your email server to a wild visualization in Processing or something. But David does have some …

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Recording on Planes and in Bubbles; Battery-Powered In-Flight Recording

Jamiroquai sound engineer Rick Pope joins the mile-high recording club. Funny, when I try to set up this way on a plane, my neighbors get annoyed. When you hear the repeated stories about how traditional recording studios are dead, I suspect your first thought is not, “Finally! The dream of in-flight recording has its day!” or “Ah-hah! Now all the bands will move into inflatable plastic bubbles as a marketing stunt!” Yet, such things have come to pass. One involves a band you may care about and actually yields some practical tips. The other involves a band I’m almost sure …

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Burning Man: Musical Mac Laptops in Home-Built Bio-Hazard Boxes

Laptops as bio-hazard? Dust problems in the desert? Just stick them in a miniature “clean room” environment. Chris Martinez of effect69 writes us with details: Worried about dust and dirt? PowerBook got an alien plague? This should help. Burning Man 2006: Hope & Fear the Future When we were asked to play on the playa, I immediately thought of all of the stories of â€Å“That dust gets everywhereâ€Â? and did I really want all of my precious gear getting destroyed? Would you? No! So I went to work on a plan that would help keep most of the dust and …

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Mac OS X 10.5: 64-Bit Features, Automatic Backup, Bundled Software, Virtual Desktops, Animation, More

Live from the WWDC keynote with CDM’s own Lee Sherman, Apple has the latest on their new operating system release: OS X is 64-bit, top to bottom: Here’s a real demonstration of the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Windows XP x64 has been a mess; virtually no one has adopted it (despite some advocacy on the part of music developer Cakewalk), and a lot of software isn’t compatible (like, notably, any music software that relies on PACE, as well as many drivers). Now Apple will make OS X 10.5 entirely 64-bit, with seamless compatibility for 32-bit apps. Hopefully that includes …

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Free Max Stuff: Manic Autechre Sound Creations, Downloadable for Max/MSP and Reaktor

The modular sound and multimedia environment Max/MSP has had plenty of “celebrity” users; among the better-known is the duo Autechre. Some of their newer creations have been featured in Sound on Sound, as pictured below. But via the excellent Spanish-language audiovisual blog mediateletipos, I see that a selection of creations have been reverse-engineered by some passionate fans and are available for download. One has even been ported to Reaktor: Reverse-engineering Autechre I’m not really trying to be Autechre, so I’m happy just to poke around in these patches and screenshots and get some inspiration for my own patching efforts. Good …

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