NI Maschine: Fully Integrated Hardware-Software-Plug-In Drum Machine, Controller

If you could have an ideal drum machine and sample-slicing workstation, taking the physical control of hardware but the flexibility of software, what would it look like? We talk a lot about hardware control of software, but hardware usually comes second – software gets designed first, and then either you have to figure out how to map hardware to it, or someone else comes along and designs gear. That means there’s usually a disconnect in the design and workflow of the two, and most of the time, you have to reach for the mouse to make up the difference. Maschine …

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Exclusive: Renoise 2.0 Launch 1/15; What’s New, How to Connect to Your Workflow

Ever feel music creation apps are too similar? Imagine an alternative universe in which music making software evolved along different lines. In this universe, the “tracker” isn’t some arcane novelty, but the detailed, bottom-up music editing approach that becomes the basis of music construction tools for any genre. Now imagine a breakthrough software release in that alternate universe. Maybe it’s the Large Hadron Collider, but the release of Renoise 2 means that this is actually our universe: we have a cheap, community driven, unique app that runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. And it’s getting a big update Thursday – …

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Akai MPC5000: Beyond Reviews, Dave Dri Reflects on MPCs Past and Present

What do you say when it’s all been said? We felt it was time for a fresh perspective on the MPC phenomenon — one a normal review couldn’t provide. So we got the opinion of our friend, samplist/producer and Segue member Dave Dri. And the verdict: there’s still something about an MPC — even if it suggests why there’s also something about software, too. But it involves dust. Here’s his op-ed: Recently I had the task of reviewing an MPC5000 for a local street press magazine. The MPC part of it was fine — the word limit was trickier. Over …

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Pro Tools 8 Announced: New UI, More MIDI, Elastic Pitch, Bundled Instruments and Effects, Integrated Sibelius Notation

Pro Tools 8 is up on Digidesign’s website. Rather than copy and paste their features, I’ll let you read. This may not shake you from your music making tool of choice, but it looks like it could be, at long last, the substantial refresh for Pro Tools users of that platform have been waiting for. I can quickly sum up the strategy (“strategies” and “tactics” being on the American political mind lately): Get all the instruments and effects in the box: Apple’s Logic Studio set the bar for this by first bundling lots of soundmakers,then cutting the price. Digidesign has …

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FL Studio Rants and Raves: All in One, One for Not Quite All

Not everyone agrees with all my raves about FL Studio 8 — including some loyal FL users. Whereas Ableton Live has taken some flak in recent upgrades for catering to requests for more conventional functionality, even some FL lovers are frustrated with the program’s quirkier bits. Evan X. Merz writes a rant on FL Studio and version 8: FruityLoop’s approach is so unique that it negates the value pricing. If you want to use FruityLoops, you basically have to commit to another DAW. So while you will save money by getting everything you get with FruityLoops, you will still find …

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Apple: We'll Build Our Own Cheaper, Faster 8-Core Mac Pro

Now grating cheese faster than ever before. Okay, I spoke too soon. Just one day after a ZDNet blogger announced he could build a cheaper version of Apple’s high-end Mac Pro, Apple themselves have announced they can make their Mac Pro significantly faster and cheaper. I think the ZDNet machine still works out to be cheaper, but not by nearly as large a margin. Some of you wrote in to say you still want, you know, a cool case design, system-wide warranties, the Mac OS, and not having to, um, build your own system. Whatever. That sounds boring. It might …

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Apple: We’ll Build Our Own Cheaper, Faster 8-Core Mac Pro

Now grating cheese faster than ever before. Okay, I spoke too soon. Just one day after a ZDNet blogger announced he could build a cheaper version of Apple’s high-end Mac Pro, Apple themselves have announced they can make their Mac Pro significantly faster and cheaper. I think the ZDNet machine still works out to be cheaper, but not by nearly as large a margin. Some of you wrote in to say you still want, you know, a cool case design, system-wide warranties, the Mac OS, and not having to, um, build your own system. Whatever. That sounds boring. It might …

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HD4NDs’ Mike on Building Your Own HD Workstation

Mike of HD for Indies fame has an article on DV.com on building a workstation (Mac or PC) for HD editing and post/correction. Getting the right gear involves lots of decisions. I often spend an hour or two reviewing filmmakers’ or producers’ needs before we arrive at a system recommendation. Every shop and every project has its own peculiarities, so don’t take this list as gospel. It might be worth (ahem) consulting with someone whose advice you trust to fine-tune your needs, budgets, expectations, technical comfort level, and other factors. Myriad little extras and doodads make the system complete, but those …

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