New tech makes it easier to connect audio on Windows, Mac

If you think computers aren’t advancing for audio, you haven’t been paying attention to connectivity. The latest generation of OSes, computer architectures, and audio interfaces can combine to give you lower latency and easier connectivity. They can even connect over long distances and networks. MOTU and RME this month unveiled cross-platform Thunderbolt support that works on Windows – and MOTU have been focused on connectivity in a series of updates.


MOTU’s MicroBook mobile audio interface now works on iPad, Linux

The iPad has matured into a serious musical instrument and production tool. So it only makes sense to give it a serious audio interface. Now you can add to the list of candidates MOTU’s MicroBook IIc. MOTU announced this week their mobile interface is class-compliant, which means you can use it with the iPad. Since powering an audio interface would drain the iPad’s battery, you’ll instead connect this device via USB and the anachronistically-named Camera Connection Kit adapter, then use the AC power adapter in the box for juice. (It’s bus-powered on other devices.)


DP9: Looks Great, Does More, Does Scores

This is the way DP – Digital Performer – looks in version 9. The tried-and-true Mac DAW now has Retina Display support on that platform, and looks like a viable option on Windows, too. DP9 may not get the amount of attention on the forums and such as some rival DAWs (Logic, Cubase, Ableton), but it has a hugely loyal user base and dominates in film and TV production. The DP9 release seems mainly about giving that loyal user base the stuff they want. The big features: Retina UI on the Mac, lots of workflow improvements (including score export), and …


Inside The Glitch Mob’s Crazy Rockstar Live Electronic Rig

Press play? More like bang drums hit stuff finger warp touchpad go crazy. The Glitch Mob are one of America’s leading festival electronic acts. (And members like EdiT have IDM, not just EDM, credits to their name – so they were “glitching” before it was cool, in other words.) But while that circuit is in a frenzy of one-upmanship when it comes to spectacle, there’s some real playing behind this act. And that distances them from artists that put on a big show visually but have shied away from anything risky in the set – like actually playing the parts, …


How OSCiLLOT is the Smartest Way to Put a Modular in Ableton

Racks and knob-encrusted modules and wires tangling together to make sound – this is a perfectly lovely thing. But the computer sitting in front of you, the one you probably turn to when it comes time to record and produce, is also capable of vast sonic powers. Why force a choice between the two, when that machine can let you explore the frontiers of sound, too? The recent announcement of OSCiLLOT brought open-ended patching to Ableton Live users. But it’s only getting started. Today, we get to see it evolve, learn to use it to make the sounds we imagine, …


This is What High-End Audio Can Do Now: New Trio of Thunderbolt Boxes from MOTU

You’d be forgiven for missing it in the blur of press releases and trade show hand-outs – and, let’s face it, most musicians are too focused on music to pay much mind. But slowly, steadily, audio interfaces have been getting a lot better. Talk to the people who make them, and they can tell you what’s happened even in terms of individual components. Next, they’re about to get smarter and more networked. And so that means it is worth paying attention today as industry heavyweight MOTU unveils a trio of new audio interfaces, compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 and …

Looks familiar, but that's a good thing. Pics courtesy MOTU.

MOTU 828x: A Favorite Audio Interface Gets Thunderbolt Treatment

The MOTU 828 series has been a workhorse if ever there was one. Since the very first model, its more-then-ample I/O, mixing, clocking, and design have made it a favorite in a market crowded with lots of fairly-similar audio interfaces. It’s just more versatile and has easier access to controls and metering than some of its rivals. That means the arrival of an 828 with Thunderbolt matters. The 828x still has USB 2.0, so you aren’t limited to Thunderbolt connections, and it supports both OS X and Windows. But when connected to Thunderbolt, you get some distinct advantages. The bus …


Modulation in All Things: New LFOs for Ableton Live, iOS, Software, and Analog Gear

The LFO – Low Frequency Oscillator – is one of the most fundamental of electronic music elements. Creating a signal that modulates the sound of something else, the LFO has a history that’s roughly as old as sound-making electronic circuits themselves. And yet, there’s still more that can be done with them. Two new LFOs blur the lines between analog and digital, hardware and software, and pack clever features into their interface and function. A Handheld LFO for Analog Gear Justus Kandzi’s Brute LFO puts hardware modulation in the palm of your hand. Brute LFO runs on any iPhone, iPad, …


iPad DAW Control App To Beat? V-Control Pro Offers Direct Window on Desktop, More [Gallery]

Various third-party apps have turned your iPad (or, occasionally, Android) into a control surface for DAWs. Many simply emulate the features of Mackie Control, a popular inter-app control protocol. Steinberg offered its own tool with the awkwardly-named but powerful Cubase iC Pro. Killer features: keyboard shortcuts, visual arrangement overview for navigation. Then, came Apple with the wide-reaching Logic Control. While strikingly similar to Steinberg’s offering, Apple earns points for adding instrumental control, interactive help, and something called Smart Control. What Apple didn’t do was provide touch interfaces for all its instruments and effects. And as I said in the review, …


What To Know About Mountain Lion, So Far

Actually, okay, just backup before you install and maybe wait a couple of point releases and everything will be fine. Photo (CC-BY) Ingrid Taylar. OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is out this week. And it’s a great time to point out that Lion, 10.7, is a terrific upgrade for anyone with a recentĀ Apple machine and 8 GB of RAM (which is what I’d recommend anyway). No, that’s not a misprint – sometimes, it seems, Apple upgrades are just about perfect and fully compatible with all your stuff round about the time the next new thing is out. Here’s the deal: …