Rax, the clever audio effect and instrument host for Mac, got a major update last year with performance rigs, custom visualizer support, and a slick UI designed by plasq. It’s an ideal tool for loading up some instruments and effects and playing on your Mac, especially if you want software that gets out of your way while you play another instrument or sing and don’t need a full app like Logic or Live onstage. But it never caught on with Mac users, even after I wrote a glowing review in Macworld. And it has certainly been overshadowed by more popular plasq products for the general Mac market, like Comic Life and the upcoming Skitch. So it was clear this unknown gem needed a new home.

Happily, Rax has now changed hands to another of our favorite small developers, Audiofile Engineering. Their Wave Editor has won over CDM’s game composer / contributor Brent, so we’ll be curious to see how they handle Rax. They’ll be supporting existing customers (few of them as there are out there, I expect there’s a good chance they’re reading this). Their 2.1.0 update is a minor release to bring Rax into the AE fold:

  • New Preferences window
  • Integrated Help Desk
  • Updated About Box
  • New licensing system
  • Removed PYMIDI framework, replaced with Audiofile MIDI framework

Interestingly, in their press release the developers at AE note that Rax, with its pure-Cocoa implementation and unique design, was an inspiration for their tools. (Also inspired by Rax: fluqe OnStage, a Logic Pro set management tool used by the Arctic Monkeys, among others, that I hope got some notice from the folks at Apple for the next Logic!) And Rax will continue to grow based on its existing features:

  • 16-channel mixer, with 25 effects racks
  • Setup of sets and songs for live gigs, with notepads / lyrics for each and preset management for your AU plug-ins
  • MIDI file playback
  • Live audio inputs
  • One-click recording
  • Live visualizer support (via Quartz Composer)
  • Slick UI redesigns of the included, free Apple plug-ins
  • OnStage view that you can see easily while you play an instrument

For more information:

About Audiofile Engineering
New AE Rax Product Page
Rax announcement at plasq