DIY Tool Max 7 Arrives; Here Are The Best New Features

Being “software about nothing” isn’t easy. Max has for years been a favored choice of musicians and artists wanting to make their own tools for their work. But it’s been on a journey over more recent years to make that environment ever more accessible to a wider audience of people. The aim: for beginners and advanced users alike, work faster, producing tools that work better. Okay, those are easy goals to set – a bit like all of us declaring we’re going to “get in better shape” in a few weeks from now on New Year’s Eve. But Max 7 …


SONAR X3 Makes Control of Sound More Fluid with Deep Celemony Integration, More

SONAR, Cakewalk’s flagship Windows DAW, receives a significant update this month as SONAR X3. There are a number of improvements, but what may be the most significant is a deep integration of Celemony’s toolset for manipulating pitch and time. DAW tastes will be forever personal, so you can be forgiven if you simply don’t like or have never used SONAR. But it’s worth noting that some things the software has accomplished have led the way for other tools. Cakewalk was the first, for instance, to embrace 64-bit audio processing and computation, and continues to (fairly) boast of its 64-bit “double …


Melodyne Isn’t AutoTune: New Video Shows Drum Loop Dynamic Manipulation [Tutorial]

Apple, Steinberg, Cakewalk, and others have begun adding audio manipulation tools to their DAW, and some of those tools are decent enough in a pinch. But there still isn’t any one application – as a plug-in or built into a DAW – that offers the amount of audio tweaking powers as Celemony’s Melodyne products. The folks who have pushed their “Direct Note Access” really have achieved an unprecedented amount of note-by-note control over sound. These edits are commonly associated with pitch correction, and indeed, it’s clear a big part of the market for this software is being able to tune …


Vio for iOS: Transform, Tune, Harmonize Vocals in a Cloud of Particles [Preview]

Vocal modification is a natural app for iOS, yet a lot of the offerings out there are complicated to use. (At least one that springs to mind has options for add-on purchases that can muddle the user experience.) Audiofile Engineering (via a new brand, Square B) has just released an app that looks like loads of fun. Turning the interface into a swirling vortex of particles might not seem to be a step forward for ease of use, but here, the reduction in interface clutter lets you focus on singing. I’m retreating into the studio in a quiet moment to …


Cubase 7 Brings Mixing, Harmonic Chord-by-Chord Features to Steinberg’s DAW [Preview]

It must be the season of the DAW. After a bit of a quiet spell, we have DP8 (and moving in on Windows turf), SONAR X2 (announced at about the same time), and Live 9 all coming into relief. And now, it’s Steinberg’s Cubase 7. The surprise: these audio tools that seem to do everything keep finding more things to do. Generally speaking, you have to twist yourself into a pretzel to describe all those “it does this new stuff” features. That’s okay – developers and users alike built a list of stuff they want, and getting it, under-the-Christmas-style in …


Novation MiniNova: Little Keyboard, Vocal Effects, $500 – From a Synth Design Great [First Look]

Being popular as a person may be a complex formula. But for keyboard synths, “a fun, cute, cheap date” just about covers it. And — sorry, any snobs out there, but no complaints about that. So it is that Novation has a 37-keyboard that combines lots of sound and effects from the company’s UltraNova into a compact body, bringing the price at dealers to about $500 bucks US. (Actually, to quote Novation’s press release, personally I endeavor to be “compact” and “affordable,” myself, though I don’t think I qualify as “amazingly powerful.”) It’s impossible to look at this and not …


Time and Tune, More Fluid: Melodyne Editor 2.0 Brings New Tools, ReWire

The Melodyne editor, which promises to make working with audio as fluid as working with MIDI, has long had some impressive technology under the hood. But it’s as the tool gradually matures in terms of workflow and usability that I think it could win some additional converts. Melodyne 2.0 is a major update to the editor all around, with additional timing and tuning options and better usability, and the addition of ReWire (atop plug-in compatibility) is a big plus for some. It’s easiest to just see the videos, but the overview of what’s new in this release: Attack Speed tool …


1st DAW with Melodyne Pitch Editing: Hi, PreSonus Studio One v2, You’ve Got Our Attention

If you want to be promptly ignored, the best way to do it is to try to release a new DAW. Aside from the fact that even most musicians don’t know what the word “DAW” is (hint: it’s a big program that puts all your computer production, mixing, and recording stuff in one place), you’re up against the likes of Cubase, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, DP, SONA… sorry, I get tired even just doing the list. Here’s how to get some attention: be the first DAW to add Celemony’s crowd-awe-ing direct pitch modification, which lets you change the pitch of …


Vocalize: Vocoder for iOS, Open Source Pitch Correction for Android, Plug-ins

VirSyn have announced one of the nicest effects I’ve seen yet on a mobile platform in the form of iVoxel, a vocoder for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. On the handhelds, it looks like something you could easily hold up to your mouth and rest atop a synth; on iPad, you get a nicely-sized touchable keyboard for control. And they’re clearly hinting at more work to come. iVoxel isn’t available yet, but it is coming. So, how does this compare to your laptop? You can get VirSyn’s full-blown MATRIX 2 vocoder for EUR119 on sale now, run it on a …


VisualVox Polyphonic Tone Manipulation: The Indie, EUR25 Celemony?

Sonic scientist Peter Neubäcker of Melodyne has been wowing Internet audiences for some time with the automagical powers of the company’s Direct Note Access (DNA). The vision: manipulate individual pitches as easily as MIDI notes, even in polyphonic passages of a single instrument. At NAMM last month, the company showed the first product, Melodyne editor, due to ship in the spring for US/EUR 349. There’s just one little catch: a solo developer has beaten them to the punch, at least prior to them shipping their DNA flagship editor tool. And if you want it right now, it’s yours for 25 …