Convertible PCs Could Transform Windows Music Software, But Many Models Won’t Stick

What if your computer could do what tablets do – without having to kludge together multiple devices? That question probably doesn’t keep ordinary people up at night. But with music makers unusually ravenous users of touch software, they might just be at the vanguard of new convergences of creative computing. Picture this scenario. Your computer behaves the way it always has – with the usual complement of software and the same comfortable form factor and editing tools. You have the precision of the keyboard and pointer. Then, when you need it, that computer can also be a tablet. You pick …

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As Touch and Laptops Converge, Finally Potential for Music Making? [Prelude]

“Where are my touch laptops?” It’s becoming the “where are my flying cars?” of the laptop music age. And so it is that I’m here in Taipei, Taiwan, having spent today hanging out with Acer as they talk about what they’re doing with touch on their computers (laptops and tablets). The touch laptops are here in force – not a couple of netbooks or tablet PC oddities, but with the full-blown force of the PC industry behind them. The question now is whether we actually want them. 2012 was a little early to ask that question for the music audience; …

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Android Users Get Some Love: FL Studio Mobile Now on Android, Too (And PC)

FL Studio on iOS is one of the nicer, more full-featured production suites out there. And iOS users now get Universal support (so yo don’t have to buy iPhone and iPad apps separately), iPhone 5 display support, Audiobus input and output, multitrack recording, Dropbox import and export and enhanced zipped-up exports of whole projects, and waveform editing – wow. FL Studio Mobile But a bigger surprise is Android support. There’s not complete feature parity support yet, but that’s coming (and most of the functionality is there.) Generally, Image Line claims you can run on any 2.3 or later device. http://www.image-line.com/documents/android.html …

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lion

Finger-Drumming Video EP: Three Tracks, Played Live on MPD24, Zynewave Podium

We live in an age of finger drumming virtuosos, where drum pads are instruments. And so, while much of production is anything but real-time, here it makes perfect sense for three tracks to have accompanying live videos. The songs are each performances, something to be seen as well as heard. Peppered with samples from Bollywood, the EP Sacred Sounds is due out December 23 from Detroit-based producer/rapper JUST Muziq aka Lion. The artist says it’s a “controllerism-inspired” EP release, with music videos for each track showing off the connection of fingers to composition. Lion’s work is notable here, too, in …

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You know, Windows 8 ... on a desktop. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Filip Skakun.

Windows 8 for Desktop Music Making: Faster, No Reason *Not* to Upgrade

“Windows 8,” in Microsoft brand vaguery, can refer to all sorts of technologies, from infamous new sets of colored tiles that mostly confuse users to touch-enabled ultrabooks to tablets to Surface to Surface Pro, from computers that run Intel chips that run traditional Windows software to ones with ARM chips that don’t. In the near future, some of this could be cool. Imagine a conventional laptop, for instance, you can convert into a tablet for touch-enabled live performance — no iPad required. But yes, “Windows 8” is also the version of Windows that follows “Windows 7.” While we await more …

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With New vvvv Beta, Texture Sharing on Windows; Syphon Envy, No More?

You’ve got something on the screen from one program – an animation, 3D generative eye candy, video whatever. You want to have that texture working somewhere else, so you could, say, mix it with some video clips in your VJ app. Intuitively, you want to just be able to “pipe” the texture from one place to the other, on the graphics card, without performance overhead. Macs, thanks to the brilliant open source Syphon framework, can do this, via the OpenGL graphics framework. It’s something we talk about on this site a lot. But Windows machines, using a mix of OpenGL …

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usb3hd

USB 3.0: Backwards Compatible in Theory, But Some Audio Drivers Aren’t Cooperating

One of the handful of USB 3.0 devices currently available: the new “SuperSpeed” port on a Verbatim hard drive. Photo (CC-BY-NC-ND) auxo.co.kr. “SuperSpeed USB” or USB 3.0 offers major forward advancement for hardware ins and outs, with faster throughput (yielding up to ten-fold speed gains over USB2), improved overall performance, and lower power consumption. That should be good news for music and motion users, who make heavy use of bandwidth for audio, storage, video, and other media applications. Real-world usage, though, has been scarce. The specification is nearly four years old, but extensive experimentation using USB 3.0 in the field …

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Free as in Freedom to Break S***: Blender Makes Things Shatter Real Pretty [Video]

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately that run something like this: free and open source tools shouldn’t just be shown for the sake of it. They should be better – demonstrably so. Here’s the funny thing: free software advocates are often the people nodding in agreement. And in some cases, they can blow your socks off. Witness what happens with 3D modeling tool Blender as it breaks things, gorgeously. I’ll leave this to the YouTube description:

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Designing the Sound of a Real Car: An Audi, from Silence to Noise [Video]

Hear the idea of creating a car sound, and you might imagine a sound designer working on a video game or film. Imagining that person producing a sound for an actual car could sound like a joke. But as today’s vehicles go silent – whisper-quiet electric cars to human-powered bicycles – the problem of imagining noises for them to make becomes deadly serious. Our brains are wired to respond quickly to sound, so when cars suddenly don’t make any noise, alerting us to their presence is a serious issue. Audi’s engineers are working on that problem in the video here …

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Mapping AV to Architecture, a Touchscreen Project Puts Participants in Control in Chicago [Video]

Mapping projections to architecture, and connecting music to visual metaphors are nothing new. But many of these projects leave the control to performers; audience members simply stand back and watch. In a project for HP promoting their TouchSmart PCs, interactive artists ceded that control to participants. Instead of the computers being in the hands of the performers, they’re touchable by anyone, for an open, collaborative experience of the work. The project makes use of a number of ingredients. The HP TouchSmart PC provides a big, touchable display, much larger (though less mobile) than a tablet like the iPad. On the …

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