Try a Fully-Loaded, Pre-Tuned Linux Workstation on Your Laptop, Netbook: Sale

Renoise + Linux is a delicious combination. Ah, there’s nothing like bleeding-edge laptop performance. And to really convey to your audience that you’re indeed playing live, there’s nothing like glitches, dropouts, and crashing in the middle of a live set. It brings that homespun, digital authenticity to your performance, as you… Okay, who am I kidding? You may be longing for a more stable, predictable, controllable mobile music rig. One way to get there is with the Linux operating system. The problem, however, is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, that setup can wind up being less stable, …

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An Orchestra of Linux Laptops, and How to Make Your Own Laptop Instrument

For a generation of musicians of nearly every genre, the laptop has become an instrument. It’s easy to take for granted, but the rise of the computer for music has been remarkable. Less than twenty years ago, real-time digital synthesis and audio processing was the domain of expensive, specialized workstations. Now, $700 per seat can buy you a full-blown musical rig, with the computer hardware, gestural input courtesy the Nintendo Wii controller, and even a DIY speaker made from IKEA salad bowls. The next challenge is to make this setup as flexible and reliable as possible. Enter Linux. According with …

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In-Depth Windows 7 Preview, and Better In-Box Codec Support

Windows 7 running on a MacBook. Photo by Esparta Palma . Windows 7’s buzz has been overwhelmingly positive, in stark contrast to the rough ride upgrading to Windows Vista. The scene is of particular interest to visualists. The Windows OS, for better or for worse, is still the best OS out there as far as supporting a full range of the latest-and-greatest video cards. The Mac is restricted in its choices, and proprietary Linux graphics drivers – sadly – are still often plagued with issues. While it’s on Create Digital Music, and while the subject of the discussion is Noel …

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Obsessive Windows 7 Under-the-Hood Guide for Music; Can You Finally Dump XP?

Windows 7 running on a laptop, as photographed by / (CC) Luke Roberts. Windows 7 makes far subtler changes than Vista did, which gives it an opportunity to refine features by the ship date. And it’s been tested unusually widely, by testers like Luke. Windows matters. It’s what roughly half of CDM readers use, and – for all the attention Apple gets – it’s a big part of the computer music world. Windows today also faces many of the same under-the-hood challenges that other operating systems do, so even if you’re a die-hard Linux or Mac user, you may want …

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Simple Snow Leopard Advice: Wait, and Claim Disk Space with Monolingual

We return to our normal, non-Snow Leopard-specific coverage next week. You can continue to follow http://cdm.link/snowleopard for updates. In the meantime, I offer this editorial. I’m going to make this as straightforward as possible: I recommend running the current Mac OS X 10.5 over other versions of the operating system, including 10.6 launched today. The experience of an operating system is the sum total of performance, compatibility, and reliability. The best way for Mac users to guarantee that is to stick with Mac OS X 10.5. Snow Leopard looks like a promising upgrade for Mac users. Most importantly for music …

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Snow Leopard: MOTU Confirms 10.6 Drivers; Working on 64-bit Support?

MOTU did not respond to CDM’s inquiry regarding Mac OS X 10.6 – but they have just posted the most interesting update I’ve seen yet. They have drivers ready for their hardware today, and (nearly) full compatibility for their entire product line. They also suggest that 64-bit support is in the works for their applications, which would make MOTU the first audio software developer I’ve heard even breathe a word of discussion of 64-bit. I couldn’t even get a solid commitment to 64-bit from Apple’s Pro Apps folks (though Apple tends not to talk about things until they’re done). The …

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Snow Leopard Watch: Ableton, Propellerhead Respond

Okay, that’s technically not a snow leopard, but I came pretty close, right? Photo (CC) Mark Kenny. For the latest on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), be sure to check out our full round-up. It’ll be regularly updated through the coming days. We have updates from Propellerhead and Ableton. Basically, the message is what we’re hearing across the board – developers have been testing their software, but you should be cautious about updating and ensure all the hardware, software, and plug-ins you want to use work. More details on the state of development from these favorites to follow… notably, …

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Snow Leopard Watch: Changes, Compatibility, Caution, Native Instruments, Plogue

Rawr! A real snow leopard at age eight weeks at the Eichberg Zoo. Now, should you let the (operating system) snow leopard mature a little before you try to play with it? Photo (CC) Tamby Tamboko. Updated: See http://cdm.link/snowleopard for a running report. Apple’s “Snow Leopard” 10.6 ships Friday, which means it’s time to start compiling information about the new OS flavor. Just don’t upgrade too fast, as always. Want to push an operating system to the breaking point? Ask a musician. Between the demands of real-time performance and the complex ecosystem of mix-and-match hardware, software, and plug-ins, odds are …

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Snow Leopard Watch: Upgrade with Caution

"Okay, I’m totally awesome, now just be careful upgrading, okay?" Photo (CC) Shawn Kinkade. Snow Leopard is coming, but try to keep your cool. I’ve just finished the first of a series of previews for audio users considering the Mac OS Snow Leopard upgrade, due this Friday. This quote from Plogue, I think, is classic: “Any musician foolish enough to jump on new OSes without a hint of caution, inevitably makes me wish for a new kind of Darwin Award prize.” Naturally, the same advice holds true for would-be Snow Leopard visualist upgraders. Snow Leopard includes lots of improvements, but …

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64-bit Memory Still Not Present in Final Cut Studio

There’s been some chatter today about Final Cut Studio and “64-bit.” Now first, simply saying 64-bit is fairly meaningless. 64-bit applications can refer to 64-bit processing (as in computation) and 64-bit memory space. In audio, it’s even more confusing, as we routinely refer to 64-bit audio signal – which is something that can actually be computed on a 32-bit application running on a 32-bit processor. One notable example: Apple Releases New Final Cut Studio, All Apps Still Only 32-Bit [Daring Fireball] I suspect that what people want when they say they want “64-bit Final Cut” is access to more RAM. …

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