MOTU Traveler Mk3: More I/O, Features Hit Mobile FireWire Audio Interface

Let’s start with the important bit: the Traveler really is a mobile interface. It weighs under four pounds and fits into a backpack; it’s actually a little lighter and more compact than a typical 15” laptop. Now, if your input and output needs are limited (a mic in, headphone out, and stereo out do suit a lot of folks just fine), your options are obviously many. But the Traveler manages to be this small and pack an absurd amount of I/O and functionality into that small space. Audio interfaces tend not to get a whole lot of updates, but MOTU …

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V Squared goes Big and Round: Cylindrical Visuals for Rok Vegas Club

Vello Virkhaus’ V Squared Labs takes on some of the biggest jobs around, and has put together 12,000 pixel wide, surround visuals for the Rok Vegas club in Las Vegas. It’s super-gaudy stuff, but I’m guessing the word “subtle” didn’t feature in the brief from this client. Rok Land Rok Red Purple Pipes Plug Aesthetics aside, those demo videos are a great way of showing off surround content. If you’d like your 360 to be a little less commercial, how about this video for Cut Chemist’s “1st Big Break”: Cut Chemist – 1st Big Break from eyestorm on Vimeo. They’re …

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Projection Inspiration: BBC Researches Projecting in Surround

The picture says it all. BBC Research & Innovation is considering presenting video in surround. Just as audio surround assumes a still-central source, enhanced by additional material in the 360-degree audio field, the idea here is to capture ambient visuals using a fish-eye lens and then project that beyond the screen. Of course, whatever the (uh, dubious, potentially) practical applications of such technology, there are plenty of compelling directions this could lead VJs. In general, the ability to control more of the environment and break out of the rectangular frame helps live visuals and installations. And there are other consumer, …

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Zoom H2 Mobile Recorder Collaborative Review, Resources on O’Reilly

Our friend David Battino writes from O’Reilly Digital Media site to share the massive reader response they got to the Zoom H2 recorder. (The H2 is a smaller version of the H4, which made a guest appearance of sorts on Morning Edition this week.) Mark Nelson didn’t manage to make this his fifth portable flash recorder review in Hawaii, but he made up for it in depth. His review of the Zoom H2 is almost 5,000 words and contains surround-sound links galore as well as some nifty audio examples. What’s especially cool was that it became a collaborative review after …

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Wii Sound Spatialization, Aided by Pizza; Music for Skateboards

Kirsty Komuso is documenting a class project to use Wii gaming controllers to manipulate sound. The secret: feed the students pizza. (Hey, low blood sugar is most definitely not helpful when working with interactive projects.) It is amazing what you can achieve with a class of advanced interaction design students, fuelled [sic] by 12 pizzas and a couple of toys (Wii Bluetooth remote controllers). In our class, students are designing spatial interaction projects that can take the form of art installation, informative sonification/visualisation or augmented hyper-instrument design (gesture performance interface) Wii spatial sound control [Sonic Yoshi] I like their approach: …

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Soundtrack Pro 2 Gets Post, Surround; Glimpse of Logic 8?

Shown above: Soundtrack Pro. But could we finally be seeing a glimpse of what’s coming in the next Logic? Contained in the Apple Final Cut Studio 2 announcement is a new version of Apple’s video-savvy sound editor, Soundtrack Pro. Unfortunately, Apple still hasn’t restored the a la carte, Soundtrack-only purchase option — you have to get Final Cut Studio to get Soundtrack Pro 2. But the new release does build on some of the unique interface ideas of the first version, while adding the key capabilities the first version lacked — namely, usefulness for actually creating soundtracks. And look closely …

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Mac Pro Watch: Apogee Syphony Drivers with 2ms Latency; 64-Channel Surround Installation

We don’t have to wait for press releases around here; an enthusiastic Apogee employee (not from the sales and marketing end, he says) writes in to brag about Apogee’s support for the new Apple Mac Pro. Not only are drivers available today for using the Apogee Symphony PCI-Express audio card, but Apogee says the combination of Apple and Apogee hardware acheives an unheard-of 2ms latency. From Apogee’s official statement: Apogee’s new Universal PCI-Express driver, in combination with the powerful Intel processors in the Mac Pro, lowers the latency of the Symphony PCI-Express card by over 50% into the 2ms range. …

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Free Multi-channel Audio Environment (Pd, Max/MSP)

DIYers, ready to dive into multichannel and streaming audio? nSLAM is an open-source suite for creating your own streaming, multichannel audio applications. Sample apps (like the one shown below) and online help are included to get you started, and the “jimmies” low-level DSP objects have been broadly updated in this release for the geekiest audio gurus. It’s free, and it runs on Mac OS X and Linux. (Some of the underlying objects have been compiled for Windows, too, but apparently not the full release. Presumably you can compile for Windows if you need to; not sure there.) The latest version …

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Hemispherical Loudspeaker: Ultimate Performance Speaker?

If you frequent experimental music concerts and performance art events, you might have seen them: mysterious, spherical and polyhedronalish speaker arrays, looking a bit like an unmanned space probe or an alien soccer ball. Now you can have one of your very own: Electrotap has announced they’re shipping the Hemisphere speaker array. And forget the odd looks of other speakers for a second: this sounds downright practical. It weighs just 17 lbs., but contains six Polk Audio db525 fullrange drivers. It sits on a surface. Sound fills the space, but it actually comes from the location where you’re playing. And …

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Xbox 360 Launch: A New Digital Music Platform is Born

Xbox 360 is here — and with it has brought major hype, major shortages, and armed robbery of new systems. We’re going to assume that must mean it’s a big deal. Resident gaming expert W. Brent Latta looks at what the Xbox 360 might mean for digital music with a roundup of past coverage. But in short: game systems are a major new platform for music. And that could mean new ways of listening (for better or worse), and greater acceptance of high-definition, surround-sound digital media. Take it away, Brent . . . -PK

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