Ableton Operator Details

Ableton Live didn't get a significant update as expected yesterday (4.1 proves to be a bug fix release only), but the company did introduce its first sold-separately product, the Operator synth. First, the good news (plenty more info over on Ableton's site, but these are the things that get me excited): FM synthesis is made unusually easy with an interface that could only have come from Ableton Built-in looping envelopes and unique Time and Tone controls Full clip envelope integration Integrated learning: interactive lessons included (much nicer than flipping back to a PDF manual, as I've been doing with Logic!) …

READ MORE →

Mackie Tracktion 2: Audio Workstation Revealed

Mackie's Tracktion is a newcomer to the Audio/MIDI multitrack DAW scene, but its one-window interface and powerful features have earned it a lot of respect — especially when it comes free with some interfaces and cost well under $100. Tracktion 2 is here now and sweetens the deal without sacrificing the elegance of the interface: 64-bit mix engine Lots of bundled effects and instruments (mda, Acuma, Raw Materials, IK Multimedia, etc.) Bundled loops and samples More powerful MIDI editor Eight aux sends and returns More comprehensive keyboard control and MIDI control of filters Improved external sync support Full integration with …

READ MORE →

Logic Pro 7.01, not 7.1

Apple has updated Logic Pro to version 7.01; the update is currently only available via Software Update and doesn't appear on apple.com/support. There are numerous bug fixes in there (some resolving serious issues), though no significant feature changes. This would appear to quash reports that a 7.1 update to Logic would introduce some new features — yes, Apple is suing rumor sites but, no, they still don't always have their facts straight. (Otherwise they wouldn't be rumors, huh?) I'm still plenty busy falling into the rabbit hole that is the Sculpture physical modeling synth, so no complaints here.

READ MORE →

DriveGenius: Drive Optimization for OS X

Defragmentation is still critical for peak disk performance for digital audio, even under new versions of OS X — even the Apple Logic documentation suggests it. Only problem is: there's not much on the Mac that's any good. Some utilities even require you to boot into OS 9. Which is why today's announcement of Drive Genius from Prosoft is such good news: Full drive optimization / defragmentation Directory analysis, repair, and rebuilding On-the-fly partitioning (no reboot needed) Testing capabilities, media surface scanning, data integrity Department-of-Defense File Deleting (for the audio mix you REALLY didn't like) This is the kind of …

READ MORE →

LAVA VJ Report: Dance Pad VJs and More

A report from the Los Angeles VJ party LAVA: VJ Fader introduced the video drum machine VDrum, as reported here earlier this week. (Windows now and OS X soon, free) Bizarre video screenings: Syncrosect and 4 Get Who U R Ableton Live (audio) and Isadora (video) controlled by a PlayStation 2 dance pad! Check out the report for more.

READ MORE →

NAMM: Calm Before the Storm

'Twas the nights before NAMM, and all through the house, not a press release was stirring . . . well, no, that's not true. In fact, I have a huge stack of new releases, but they're all embargoed (meaning I can't tell you about them) until Thursday or Monday. So get ready. Lee Sherman, our CDM correspondent in LA, is standing by for NAMM coverage. I'll be typing up what I can. And we expect a flurry of major announcements Thursday and Monday which we'll (naturally) have a hard time keeping up with and will probably continue to leak into …

READ MORE →

MetaSynth 4 Visual Audio Software: Very Close

Exclusive! Returning to our regular programming of geeky stories that appeal to a tiny fraction of the population (PowerBook G5 rumors? What was it, sweeps week?) and ill-conceived puns (see above), I bring you: MetaSynth 4. MetaSynth is a graphic sound design and music creation environment that lets you paint with sound, using color imagery for high-quality synthesis, filtering, and effects. Creator Eric Wenger is beloved by Mac fans for giving us the ground-breaking (excuse the pun) 3D landscape app Bryce. If you haven't heard of MetaSynth, it's probably because the program has been languishing in a Mac OS 9-only …

READ MORE →

GarageBand 2 Details, Interface MIA

As I await further comment from Apple, here's what I'm able to tell about GarageBand 2: Multitrack: If you have a multichannel audio interface, you can now record eight tracks at once, plus one virtual instrument track. Notation view: Display and edit your music as real-time notation; essentially a score view you can have on the screen at the same time as the traditional track view. This apparently does not print. (I'm getting more details on that.) Timing and pitch correction: Displayed as a simple fader for each, plus a 'constrain to key' for more sophisticated pitch correction, a la …

READ MORE →

More Links: Control MIDI with Graphics Tablet

OS X users intrigued by the possibility of controlling sound with a Wacom graphics tablet, here are more resources for you, helpfully offered by a guest comment: Music Unfolding's µMIDI Controller, US$15 shareware (which also works with your mouse, if you prefer) works with the Wacom tablet, though looks like it hasn't been updated since 2002. Max/MSP Wacom support external for OS X, free SuperCollider audio synthesis language for OS 9/X, free; includes Wacom support Let me know how it goes, if you've got a Wacom handy! (I'll worry about getting one for myself cheap.)

READ MORE →

Free Effects Round-Up (Mac, Win)

This week brings a number of new free effects for both Mac and Windows: Mac OS X / Now in VST (previously AU-only): Expert Sleepers has a Multitap Delay with filter and saturation, Phaser, Ping-Pong delay, and a delay called Meringue that runs both forwards and backwards. Simple, straightforward controls, but handy tools and you'll find other free and shareware OS X goodies at the same site. Windows VST gets a brand-new four-pole analog modeled Auto Filter by Kjaerhus Audio. This one looks near-perfect with full automation and syncable LFO, and clean, vintage-style controls.

READ MORE →