Bitwig Studio 1.1 Adds Lots of Details; Can It Escape Ableton’s Shadow?

Bitwig Studio has been quietly plugging along in development, adding loads of engineering improvements under the hood. Version 1.1 is the largest update yet. Here’s the summary of the update: Minus the marketing speak, the exhaustive changelog (here, for Mac): It’s an impressively long list of enhancements in quantity, though most of the changes are fixes and enhanced hardware and plug-in compatibility. For instance, you can side-chain VSTs, and there are new options for routing multiband effects and multi-channel plug-ins. The big enhancements: More routing for audio and MIDI VST multi-out sidechain support and multi-channel effect hosts Updated …


Tracktion, Elegant, Modern $60 DAW, Now Does Linux, Too

Properly configured, a Linux system can breathe life into old hardware or finely-tune performance on new gear. The problem has often been not the OS, but having a comfortable tool for production when you load it. And so that means Linux fans – or would-be fans – will likely be pleased to see the image above. It’s Tracktion, the lovely but oft-overlooked, bargain-priced DAW, running on Linux. (I highly recommend the just-released Ubuntu Studio. The update includes loads of fixes that solve the kinds of audio configuration problems that have kept many people from Linux, and the compatibility of that …


Move Over, Kinect? Asus Xtion PRO Claims to Be PC-Friendly Developer Solution for Windows, Linux

Before Microsoft made Kinect’s 3D-sensing, skeletal-tracking “natural interaction” a console tech, it got its start via maker PrimeSense on the PC. Ironically, efforts by hackers to do amazing things with Kinect may be part of what has given Kinect traction – certainly, launch titles were extremely limited. Now, the same natural interaction looks to come full circle to the PC, and make the transition from hacks to official development. We’ve already seen the OpenNI group, of which Microsoft and PrimeSense are members, promise open, standard development across devices. Now, we’re beginning to see devices, plural, in place of just Microsoft’s …


Combining Gloves with Kinect, Gestural 3D Modeling Shows Promise

We live in three-dimensional worlds, and physically we can move easily through 3D space. But mapping our intuitive sense of space, movement, and position to the computer is a massive challenge. Our interfaces are primarily two-dimensional, and even the three-dimensional interfaces may lack the kind of sense of space that comes naturally to a child. Sebastian Pirch writes with a new project combining an array of open source tools to enable gestural modeling in 3D space. The heady brew of tools: a simple mesh modeller that uses KINECTs depth perception and homemade data gloves for a more real world oriented …


Score an Operating System: Music, Sound, and Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase on SoundCloud

Natty Narwhal is the next release of Ubuntu. Now you could give it a soundtrack. Photo (CC-BY-ND) Ricardo Bernardo of, admittedly, vintage Ubuntu. Your OS is there, in front of you, daily – some of us for many, many hours a day. it often makes sounds at you, very rarely welcome sounds. Here’s an opportunity to change that. Computers are extraordinary creative canvases for our work, but corporate branding can’t really respect that. Because Ubuntu is a free operating system, it can provide content that is free to be reused, remixed, and re-imagined. An OS’ soundscape could be provided by …


How to Install ReBirth in Linux, Get a Free Rack of Beat Machines

I just picked up a $280 Asus netbook and installed Ubuntu on it. ReBirth seemed a perfect addition; its compact-sized UI, lightweight processing and memory requirements, and simple functions are the ideal companion to a netbook. And, thanks to Propellerhead, it also happens to be free. If you stick with Windows, just download and go. On Linux, though, you have to give the installer some help to see the install disc. (Why install Linux? I’m finding Ubuntu is just fine for battery life, and I wanted to take advantage of the OS’ optimizations for netbooks and its flexibility for the …


The Most From Free Software: Book Review, Getting Things Made, Un-Procrastination

Is it time to get a round tuit? Photo (CC-BY-ND) Denise Mattox. For this book review, we welcome guest writer Andy Farnell, who himself has a terrific book on interactive sound design and free modular patching environment Pure Data, entitled Designing Sound. It began as a review of a book on using free software – but it could be, more than that, a chance to fight procrastination. And while this runs the gamut, including graphics and design and not just sound, that could be even more relevant to those of us who need to delve into those other areas for …


Filter The Vuvuzela Horn Out of the World Cup; Learn JACK Routing on Linux

Yep. That sound. Now, if you happen to like the vuvuzela, if you’re feeling the South African Gees (spirit), maybe you can follow these instructions to make the horns even louder. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Axel B├╝hrmann. Are you a World Cup fan annoyed by the constant sound of the South African vuvuzela horn? Wish you could remove that sound from your World Cup viewing experience? Do you want to learn a little bit about powerful modular effects routing can be on Linux? Either? Both? Call it “football”? “Soccer”? Any way round, we’ve got you covered. (Disclaimer: I have nothing in particular …


OpenShot Video Editor Hits 1.0: More Free and Open Source Editing

I’m sorry this is just a home movie of a dog and not something cooler. Yes, I’ll be making some screenshots, too, an with the less-silly-looking GNOME/GTK theme. Open source video editing, after a long, slow start, is starting to mature far more quickly. OpenShot Video Editor , free software for Linux, has just hit 1.0. It’s a bit like the open source answer to iMovie and Windows Movie Maker; it’s a basic, accessible video editor, and even has some retro-Apple Mac Aqua-styled graphics theme. (Happily, you can switch that off and get a more grown-up GNOME look instead.) But …