Macworld Rumors: GarageBand 2, Orchestral Jam Pack

Times have changed: some of the Macworld Expo rumor mill's hottest buzz is all about audio. Think Secret reports that the Mac shindig this month will be host to a new version of Apple GarageBand as well as a new orchestral loop and instrument library, Jam Pack 4. (What will orchestral loops sound like, though, I wonder?) Believability on this one is pretty high: iLife is due for an update and Apple is nearly certain to introduce an audio interface given that it's going after Web sites over that rumor. Are you going to Macworld Expo? If you are, join …

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MOTU DP 4.51: Multi Bounce, Dynamic CPU

Normally, I don't like to cover 'point-one' releases, but MOTU's Digital Performer 4.51 is a major upgrade for users of this popular Mac-only digital audio workstation: Dynamic CPU Management frees up the CPU when plugins are idle. All MOTU plugins have been updated; third party MAS and AU plugins have to be updated by the developer. Saved Bounce and Multi Bounce lets you instantly bounce and batch process audio. User plugins are better organized into subfolders and a user folder, a boon to those of us loaded with plugins. Enhanced DirectMIDI support means more MIDI communication with RTAS plugins. Marker …

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Gestural Music

Sometimes the best interface for music is no interface at all. The international S.S.S. trio (Sensors Sonics Sights) has adopted three different gestural interfaces for their work: ultrasound, traditional Theremin, and EMG electrical 'bio-signals' that measure muscle contractions. None of these are unique in themselves, but seeing the visual artist, Theremin virtuoso, and electronic music inventor making arm motions together onstage is entertaining. It's incredible to consider: the Theremin was invented in 1919, but in 2004, with all the technology we have, there's still novelty to someone magically waving their arms and producing sound. (First seen on networked_performance)

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Rosegarden Hits 1.0 PR (Linux)

Rosegarden, the flagship digital audio workstation for Linux (see an interview with the developers), has hit 1.0 PR1, making this the first release on the road to the final 1.0 release. This version is mostly bugfixes, but there's a significant addition: latency compensation for plugins, a feature Apple's Logic still lacks. Rosegarden is the most full-featured audio program for Linux currently, and it's free to boot. (Things may really get interesting if this hits OS X. Stay tuned.)

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Steinberg Ships New Nuendo 3 (Mac/Win)

The highly-anticipated Nuendo 3 upgrade, Steinberg's would-be "Pro Tools killer", is now shipping worldwide. What's Nuendo? It's the high-end sibling to Cubase, and Steinberg's ultra-high-end media production software. This new release is big news for post production in particular, with AAF support, X-Send integration, Media Management tools, an a new Warp to Picture features, plus lots of beefed-up surround capabilities. Interestingly, unlike Digidesign's Pro Tools this is really a software product, priced at US$2,499.99; $299.99 buys the upgrade if you're already on Nuendo 2. I know our readers are diverse, so if you're a Nuendo user, drop us a line …

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Cubase SX 3.01 Adds RoomWorks Reverb (Mac/Win)

Steinberg says they have a "Christmas gift for all of our Cubase SX3 customers": the free 3.01 update announced today includes a new RoomWorks reverb. It's surround-capable, "studio-class," includes 60+ presets, and scales CPU usage to your machine and project usage. Many minor updates, too, some that will make a big difference — the MIDI device panels system now controls effects and not just instruments and a 'ping' can be used to measure processing delay of any external effect for automatic delay compensation. That's external as in hardware effects, adding to existing delay compensation features. (Apple's Logic, by comparison, still …

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Rosegarden Developers Talk Linux Music App

O'Reilly LinuxDevCenter.com today has an extensive interview and featurette on the development of the flagship power app for Linux music, Rosegarden. Easily the most full-featured free application for music, Rosegarden features MIDI and audio sequencing, effects, soft synths, and even notation. I might take issue with the developers' claim that it matches most functionality of commercial applications — there's still no mixer automation, for instance — and it's Linux-only for now, meaning you have Linux audio drivers to deal with. But for a free application just nearing its 1.0 release, this is impressive work. It's also fascinating to hear the …

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[Updated] Bargain-Basement Reason

Many are disappointed by the announcement of Reason 3.0; it's an evolutionary release that still lacks key features like audio recording in an otherwise fantastic program. But on the upside, Propellerhead is pricing Reason and upgrade low enough that it's a great time to pick up the program or upgrade. According to Propellerhead's 3.0 FAQ, Reason 2.5's price has been reduced by the upgrade price difference — making it US$129 / EUR 99 cheaper. Not excited by what's new in 3.0? Pick up 2.5 at a lower price and pocket the difference. Further evidence of the value of this app …

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[UPDATED] Warped Speak & Spell Sounds: Now in PC, Mac Software Form!

Have fond memories of Speak & Spells? Wish you could completely warp them, then turn them into a musical instrument? Too circuitry-challenged to circuit bend your own, and already got too many weird gadgets in your mobile music bag? (I know you've been buying everything mentioned on this site, so I understand.) Now you can download a Mac, Windows, or Flash version of the Speak & Roil, and play with original Speak & Spell sounds — or their horribly violated warped versions — from the comfort of your iBook. What? You think software is for poseurs? Roil Noise has plenty …

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Reason 3 Announced: Full Details

Enough of the speculation: Propellerhead today has formally announced Reason 3 and posted full details. Here's what's new, boiled down: Combinator will let you build combination patches of multiple Reason instruments, as I and others had predicted. MClass mastering suite includes EQ, stereo imaging, compressor, and maximizer.  'Performance' features: better control surface support including motorized faders, new browser, new soundbank with Combinator patches and "more sampled instruments" instead of just loops.  6:2 Line Mixer / submixer. Improved automation Improved sample quality, dramatically shorter load times

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