(CC-BY) Flavio Ensiki.

Stems for DJs and More: Here’s How A New Format Will Work

The most important thing to know about Stems, a new multitrack specification for audio, is that it’s simple by design. That simplicity means that it could really take off as a way of sharing music with multiple tracks, for DJing or live-remix applications. Stems won’t solve every problem of file exchange and sharing. It’s not a multichannel spatialization format. It’s not a sophisticated project format for storing metadata. I say that, because after we covered Stems at the beginning of this week, I found my inbox flooded with every use case for every file format imaginable, and complaints that Stems …


The Live Mixer, Reimagined, in a Futuristic Touchscreen Device from Line 6

Photo: Marsha Vdovin, snapped for CDM in the mood lighting of the Line 6 press room at the NAMM show. Few things are as essential to music making as the experience of a live show. So it’s about time someone took some risks to see if there’s a better way to run live sound. Line 6’s new StageScape M20d is important because it does just that – it finally says the mixer as you know it doesn’t have to be sacred, and tries to build a better one. Traditionalists might be skeptical – and with good reason, as we see …


energyXT2: Low-Cost Plug-in, Sequencer, DAW, for Windows and Now Linux

The $75 app energyXT2 starts out sounding similar to other music apps — but after a long list of twists, seems anything but. It’s a DAW. It’s a sequencer. It’s an audio multitracker. (Okay, not so interesting so far …) It’s a synth. It’s a sampler. It’s a drum machine. It’s a looper. It runs as a host. It runs in a plug-in. Now it runs on Linux — making it perhaps the first significant music creation app to do a commercial, out-of-box release for the penguin. It’s got a modular engine underneath. And now there’s a big release coming …


REAPER App from Winamp Creator Now Less Fugly, Coming to Mac

Cockos’ REAPER, the lightweight audio and MIDI multitrack editor from the creator of Winamp, is coming to (Intel/PPC) Mac, too. There’s a full discussion of the update on the REAPER forum. It’s an “alpha” build, but comes as a surprise: REAPER may have a lot more appeal as the “standard” lightweight host as a cross-platform app. Finished version is due “Q4” of this year. REAPER has been getting endless updates of other kinds, as well, including this new “Stealth” color scheme which looks suspiciously like SONAR to me. (Sorry to be harsh, but it was fugly before. If it’s SONAR-y …