DAW Day – SONAR 8.5 Production Tastiness, and the Smooth 64-bit Transition

SONAR’s AudioSnap now has cleaner markers, and an understandable interface – and does quite a few things Logic 9’s new Flex Time does not. SONAR 8.5, I’m sure at some point, was to be SONAR 9. There’s an enormous amount of functionality in this release. But I think the surprise is some of the stuff that won’t necessarily appeal to the widest audio production audience. Here’s a DAW that’s adding unusual new features for arranging tracks, putting an integrated arpeggiator on every track, beefing up its step sequencer (really), and dumping a bunch of class LinnDrum samples into the package. …

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FL Studio 9 Arrives: Better Performance, More Toys, More Editing

Click through for FL’s infamous Giant Screenshot of FL 9. See, it’ll look perfect on your 40″ flat screen. Update: Despite discussion in comments, Image-Line assures us this is an image of FL9. We’ll have more shots once we try out the software, of course! “Fruity Loops” has long proven that not all music making apps have to look the same way. FL is quirky and different. Its editing interface is built as much around step sequencers and pattern sequencing as the conventional, mixer and audio-tape-derived views. But perhaps some of its real draw is that it packs, in its …

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Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone

Here’s a switcher story of a different color: from the Mac, to Linux. It’s one thing to talk about operating systems and free software in theory, or to hear from died-in-the-wool advocates of their platform of choice. In this case, we turn to Kim Cascone, an experienced and gifted musician and composer with an impressive resume of releases and a rich sens of sound. This isn’t someone advocating any platform over another: it’s an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, real-world example of how Kim made this set of tools work in his music, in the studio and on tour. A particular thanks, as …

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VLC 1.0: Now One-Stop Video Conversion on Mac, Windows, Linux

If you work with video at all, you’re likely already best friends with VideoLAN’s VLC Media Player, the lightweight, fool-proof Mac/Windows/Linux player that somehow manages to play any video file on any OS without intervention. So, it was big news last week as VLC hit the 1.0 milestone, a major, polished, stable release of this open source package. (And yes, it’s a video player that can sometimes put even Apple’s QuickTime Player on Mac to shame.) But the real news in the 1.0 release is actually that VLC becomes an easy one-stop shop for video conversion. There are plenty of …

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Logging MPC Projects (Or Other Drum Machines) on Paper

It’s the little things that keep you happy sometimes. The Sunday Soundtrack blog has an interesting idea for tracking work on the MPC — write it down. (I have to say, I miss having paper notes as I did when I was making hard-copy patch diagrams of my Moog and Buchla modular creations in college.) This fellow has a printable template you can use yourself if so inclined – and, of course, it’d work with any 4×4 grid, not just the MPC. Post: Music Production on the MPC Full-sized image for use as a template Keep anything on paper in …

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Renoise 2.1, Now with Mac-PC ReWire, Plus JACK on Linux, Live Performance Tools

Renoise has already earned a passionate following among lovers of trackers. The once-forgotten alternative to conventional sequencers, these music editors were beloved for their quick workflow and vertical, atomic approach to assembling beats and patterns. But Renoise is increasingly poised to appeal to other kinds of music makers, too, not just tracker purists. 2.1 you can sum up pretty easily: now you can integrate Renoise with other stuff easily. There’s ReWire support (appropriately enough for a tool beginning with “Re” in the title). And if you’re on Linux, you can pipe control and audio through the ultra-elegant, ultra-powerful JACK. (If …

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Propellerhead Record: Oft-Requested Reason Feature Will Be an Entirely New Tool

Photo (CC) Brian Gurrola …and yes, we expect the bit on the right to come into greater focus soon. The name gives it away: Record is a product based on a feature Reason users have long requested — audio recording. The surprise is, that need has led to an entirely new tool. Instead of just adding a requested feature, the company has revealed that they built a new application, re-examining in the process what recording really means. Internet rumors have been predicting something along these lines. The problem is, rumors can sometimes create distorted expectations. In this case, I think …

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TaggedFrog: Free/Donationware Windows File Utility Adds Audio Support

Mac users luck out when it comes to managing audio files, with exceptional choices like Snapper from AudioEase and the all-powerful AudioFinder, not to mention – if your needs are light – features like Leopard’s QuickLook. Windows users, by contrast, have been mostly left out. But good news: we’ve got a lovely solution for you. TaggedFrog is a free/donationware utility for Windows XP and Vista that brings some powerful file management facilities. And what’s great here is that it looks dead-simple to use. Lunar Frog TaggedFrog [Publisher Site, Free Download] As the name implies, the tool is built around tagging …

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Christopher Willits on XLR8R with Live Jitter, Ableton Live Visual Setup

Musician Christopher Willits has an ongoing series for XLR8R Magazine in which he talks his own technical workflow. In the latest episode, he adds live visuals to his Ableton Live set using Max/MSP/Jitter. What’s nice about this is you see how some clever mapping can make visuals integrate neatly with music. I’m somewhat insane, so my own setup often involves simultaneously running visuals separately with no communication with my music software. That allows me to set up less-direct relationships between visuals and sound. But, while the techniques could be combined to a variety of setups, this also serves as a …

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GDC: Nintendo’s Iwata on Iterative Prototypes, Teaching Programmers Rhythm

A real highlight for me at the Game Developer Conference was getting to hear Satoru Iwata deliver the keynote. Aside from being CEO of Nintendo as they have launched their most successful console ever, Iwata-san has left a sizable development legacy as a veteran of HAL Laboratory (Balloon Fight, Kirby). In the game community, I think the reception to his keynote was mixed – mostly, it introduced long-overdue storage solutions for Wiiware titles, along with some relatively minor game titles. But as a person interested in design and development – and what innovative interfaces could do for music and not …

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