Didier Dambrin, FL Studio’s original creator, has a new synth entitled Harmor that looks like one to watch. There’s a beautiful crop of new synthesizers this season that could have you yearning for a winter spent with long nights somewhere deep in the Northern Hemisphere, producing new music – see also, to name just one, Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ 2. (Both Harmor and Z3TA+ 2 are Windows-only, so time to boot up the PC or, Mac users, update that Boot Camp partition.) VSTi and native FL Studio support; US$149 but on sale this month for $99.

For some reason, releasing any synth right now involves demonstrating that the kids can make their wobble bass and dubstep with it, but I trust synthesists out there to do other things, too.

Introducing Harmor

Okay, I kind of buried the lead, but I wanted to give the synth its due.

Don’t want to boot into Boot Camp to run FL Studio?

This beta might interest you:
FL Studio for Mac Beta-Testers Wanted [Image Line forum]

Yes, you see that right: it’s FL Studio, aka Fruity Loops, running on the Mac platform. Synthtopia wonders if Hell froze over, but not so fast. Image-Line said they’d never build a Mac version of FL Studio. And they haven’t. The magic here is possible through Codeweavers Crossover, a commercial proprietary technology built on the open source tool WINE. Codeweavers already offers a standalone product that lets you run a variety of Windows (and Linux) software on the Mac, based on the same tech that lets you run Windows software on Linux. Here, Image-Line reports that there’s some additional customization and testing and tweaking that lets this run without further intervention on your part. (WINE can work beautifully, but there are various compatibility wrinkles with specific software – Image-Line and Crossovers have evidently worked specifically on making FL Studio function properly.)

WINE, the underlying technology, is an emulator but not in the sense of a virtual machine, which is how most Windows compatibility tools are implemented. It’s actually a re-implementation of Windows APIs. See WINE myths for more. That means that, once fully tested, FL Studio can run as well on the Mac as on Windows. What you won’t get is Mac-native APIs, meaning the resulting software won’t behave terribly like a typical Mac program. But FL Studio, like much music software, tends to behave in its own way, anyway, so I don’t actually believe that’s a huge deal. Updated: I realize I should say that compatibility issues or unpredictable behavior can be a big deal; I’ll be interested to see if the Mac experience can replicate the Windows experience or you’ll want to still reboot.

If you want to give this a try – and help ensure the quality of the release – beta testers are wanted. See the forum link above.