Reviewed: Peak Pro, Audio Editor and Sound Bundle for the Mac

All you really need to know, sound design lovers: cross-synthesis. “Peak” is a long-standing name in audio editing on the Mac. I recently got to review its latest iteration, Peak Pro 6, for Macworld and Macworld.com. Macworld Review: Peak Pro 6 Sample editor and audio suite tweaked for pros, sound designers, and podcasters I still believe audio editors are valuable tools, especially for anyone who spends a significant amount of their time on sound design – whether that’s sound effects or building the perfect drum kit. Peak is an unusual tool, in a way, in that it remains a stereo …

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Can Laptops Be Expressive? Jamming on MacBooks at Stanford’s Laptop Orchestra

We routinely talk about how the interface paradigm of a computer — screen, QWERTY, trackpad – isn’t optimal for music. But how many of you have, in a pinch, done a live laptop set with just your computer, and found some way to make it work? The Stanford University Laptop Orchestra, set to play this year’s Macworld, natch, is making the most of what it has: “We tilt the notebook and use its built-in accelerometer to expressively control sound. We use the trackpad as a kind of violin bow,” explains Ge Wang, SLOrk’s founder. ”You can make some wild, diverse …

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My Logic Studio Review for Macworld: Big Overhaul Pays Off

My review of Apple’s Logic Studio (including Logic Pro 8) is now live at Macworld.com (it’ll also be in the January 2008 print issue). Summary: Pros: Single-window view speeds editing and setup; MainStage program ideal for playing instruments and effects live; powerful, easy-to-access editing and take management tools; bundles Soundtrack Pro but halves the price; no more dongle; can sync with others via .Mac or Bonjour. Cons: Some MIDI features are still obscure; MainStage doesn’t integrate with Logic or ReWire. Or, to put it more simply: take away a dongle, slash the price, and make Logic easier to use, and …

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Soundtrack Pro 2: My Macworld Review

Soundtrack Pro 2 from Apple offers some major new improvements over the first release of the “Pro” audio editor from Apple. Multichannel editing now works properly, with the ability to nudge by frames and move clip envelopes together with clips, and there are some brilliant new features for conforming audio projects to video and a “Lift and Stamp” tool for applying audio attributes from one clip (including matching EQ and copying effects) to another. Macworld.com has just published my complete review of the software: Pros: Vastly improved multichannel editing and file import and export; Conform feature makes Final Cut integration …

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Macworld on MacBook Pro Update; Why Santa Rosa Matters

Macworld, naturally, spends a lot of time focused intently on Apple hardware while I get distracted by beatboxing parrots and modular synthesizers built out of yarn and rubber bands. They have an excellent write-up of the significance of the MacBook Pro Santa Rosa upgrades, with comments on their benchmarks of the equivalent refreshed MacBooks: MacBook Pro knows the way to Santa Rosa One thing I was a little unclear on in my previous story is what matters in Santa Rosa, Intel’s latest architecture platform. (They didn’t call it Core 3 Duo, but then, consistent branding and Intel don’t generally go …

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Macworld: E-MU Ships Beta Mac Drivers; Proteus for Mac Coming

E-MU was once a beloved moniker in the music gear business. Now owned by Creative Labs, they’ve made a new name for themselves with software versions of their sound modules and value-priced keyboards and interfaces — but Mac users haven’t been invited to the party. So I was surprised when I heard Mac users coming back excited about E-MU gear on the Macworld floor. It seems E-MU is releasing Universal Mac driver support for their full keyboard line and external USB audio interfaces, both of which were previously Windows-only and lacked cross-platform class-compliant compatibility. (PCMCIA and PCI interfaces are evidently …

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Macworld: Will Apple Keep its iPhone Closed? Multi-Touch Patents?

After the Macworld keynote glow wears off, the question is, will the iPhone be another closed box, shut off to brilliant third-party developers? It’s not as if we won’t have choices. Gizmodo points out the open-source OpenMoko alternative. But there’s still some hope Apple might let developers in — and even Flash would be fantastic. Apple’s iPhone prototype is a beautiful culmination of user interface design and industrial/product design. But the core of the product really is its multi-touch interface, which should gratify readers of this site. Almost from the moment this site was founded, you’ve advocated the possibilities of …

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Macworld: Axiotron ModBook Mac Tablet Hands-on

For the record, this is not my hand. If it were my hand, you’d see me tweaking Max/MSP or something. To whomever may own this hand: sorry I didn’t have you sign a release on the tablet. -PK Tablets have always held a special, niche appeal for musicians. For notation, they’re invaluable: you can prop a tablet up on a music stand and use computer notation software in place of manuscript paper. But they’re quite nice for live music, too: tap synth parameters directly, and control performances onstage. Until now, though, there has been no easy way to get a …

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Macworld: Up Close with Belkin TuneStudio, iPod Mixer/Recorder

Take out those earbuds and start recording mixes. Or, okay, just keep dancing around with your fellow, sexy silhouettes. It was easy to go into iPod accessory overload at this year’s Macworld Expo, which ballooned back into two halls of the Moscone Center more because of iPod products than Mac products. (Some wondered if the show should be called “Appleworld.”) But while it’s been bashed by Gizmodo, Belkin’s new TuneStudio shows a lot of promise as an iPod accessory that just might change how you use your music player. I got a chance to talk to Belkin at the show, …

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Macworld: Becoming a Mac Visualist – Live Visual Resources

Once, digital image editing was a fringe medium. Now, almost everyone who uses a computer does basic image editing. So, I’m pleased to get to talk today at Macworld Expo about live visuals and reactive/interactive animation. I chose some relatively simple examples since time was short, just to cover the basics. I think some of these might be useful to people at the show and away from it, so I’ll share them here. Visualism 101 DJs and computer musicians have turned electronic and electrical music into live, improvisatory forms. Likewise, motion graphics, video, and animation are evolving from being exclusively …

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