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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Splash: Stunning 3D Visuals React to Sound, In New, Free Tool Built with Unity

Splash alpha test from XY01 on Vimeo. Splash alpha test from XY01 on Vimeo. “Visual synths” go in a slightly different direction from general-purpose tools. They produce visuals generatively in a way that seems more like an instrument. Splash is one new effort to do that, and thanks to the Unity game engine, it boasts some spectacular, bubbling, sparkling 3D graphics. The tool is free, supported only by donations, and currently in alpha. Melbourne-based developer Brad Hammond explains how he sees the tool: This is a program that anyone should be able to pick up, scribble a few lines, twist …

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Reason and Record Patching and Guitar, New Propellerhead Testing?

52 Reason and Record Tips Week 4 – Unlocking the Secrets of CV and Gate. from James Bernard on Vimeo. Reason and Record may lack plug-in support, but what they do have – open-ended patching between the available modules, in the tradition of analog synthesizers – opens up plenty of creative possibilities. The only sad news is that many Reason uses don’t take full advantage of that depth. Here are three tutorials to get you started, if you’re not familiar with how to do this (or if you need a video to send your friends to get them patching). At …

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SmoothCam in FCS2: Editblog Tests, Comparison

Editblog does more tests of SmoothCam, plus comparison tests. Editblog has responded to Anton’s SmoothCam tests with some tests of their own: SmoothCam is smooth, but slow [Scottsimmons.tv] Scott’s tests run even slower than Anton’s, regardless of codec. I asked Anton about this, and his take was that the technology was really intended for short takes, not long chunks of footage, and that you’ll want to make big use of subclips. (Hope I’m getting that right, Anton, but I’ll say I certainly agree with that statement.) Nonetheless, Scott did an even more interesting comparison with other systems. I think it’s …

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Vista Journal: Vista for Visualists – Not Ready for Primetime Yet

Vista for visualists is a problematic proposition. Typically, musicians have the toughest upgrade curve with any OS, but there’s a major incentive for musicians with Vista, as reported on CDM: the promise of significantly improved audio performance and stability. Right now, there isn’t enough software or hardware support for most musicians, though I expect that picture will start to change even within the next few weeks. For visualists, though, we have two problems: 1. The only really major improvement (beyond what’s in Vista itself) is the new 3D platform, DirectX 10. That could be huge for advanced visualists willing to …

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Vista Journal: Recommendation – Don’t Upgrade Yet

At the risk of stating the obvious: now is not yet a good time to upgrade to Vista. That much is generally expected with a new operating system. What’s unexpected is that it’s some of the biggest partners who aren’t ready. Microsoft’s own developer tools for Vista are still in beta. Basic hardware drivers are missing. NVIDIA and ATI are missing drivers for major, current-generation video hardware. And worse, marketing materials from Microsoft and some of their larger partners are distorting the reality of the situation. Unless you have drivers in hand for your computer, your graphics drivers, your sound …

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