NAMM: SONAR Updates (4 for the Home, 4.03 for the Pro)

One of the best things about the Mac is Logic, true — and one of the best things about Windows is Cakewalk SONAR. This powerful workstation is gaining some serious tracktion in the pro recording market. Home versions had been lagging behind, though, which is why these announcements make good news from Boston. (Not good […]

NAMM: Akoustik Piano – 3 Grands and an Upright

Ah, the plight of the Manhattanite: there is no room here for a grand piano. So I’m eager to try Native Instruments’ new introduction to the pile, Akoustik Piano. The pianos: Three grands (Steinway D, Bechstein D and Boesendorfer Imperial) and one vintage upright (Steingraeber 130) Did they finally get layering right? I’ve heard some […]

NAMM: Ableton Live 5 Shipping + Party + Ableton nerdbag

Live 5 is here, and it’s a major upgrade to everyone’s favorite digital audio workstation-you-can-perform with. And we’ve got a bevy of other updates from Download the upgrade and take advantage of a special deal on Live + Operator, watch behind-the-scenes and tutorial movies, download the demo version of 5 (which has only a […]

Visualizations: Learning Quartz Composer (Free, Mac)

My adventures with Quartz Composer, the free development tool that ships with Mac OS X Tiger, continue. What it does: QC is another visual development tool with a patching interface so you can create without coding. It’s a perfect visualization/VJ tool for musicians, thanks to handy audio and MIDI inputs: it’s easy to link the […]

Visualizations: Visual Music at the Smithsonian

Before VJing, before even TV, turn-of-the-century painters were exploring the connection between music and visuals. The Smithsonian Institute’s Hirsshorn Museum constructs an “alternative” look at the history of modern abstract art through its connections to music in a new show, Visual Music. Sure, some of the work is a little, how shall we say, under […]

Visualizations: London Optronica Show Marries Music and IMAX

When I perform with visuals, it usually involves a dinky projector and a basement club. Not at Optronica, a show running through the weekend in London. Think IMAX: Optronica is a hybrid of film festival and music festival featuring live audiovisual performances, cinema screenings, installations and talks. Headlining at the bfi London IMAX Cinema we […]

Rock Gods of Rock: Cartoon of the Week

What do you mean, we’ve never had a cartoon of the week before and probably never will again? And what do you mean, Music Thing has covered it already? (So, my informant Adrian Anders has a tendency to submit tips to multiple blogs and I was traveling this weekend . . . what do you […]

Make Sense of Electronic Music Genres with Ishkur

Can’t tell your gloomcore from your EBM from your synthtron? Don’t worry. Neither can I. Fortunately, Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic Music (now at version 2.5) makes sense of the tangle of electronic music microgenres in a Flash-enabled multimedia interface the whole family will enjoy. There’s even a tutorial for the tutorial, in case you get […]

Open Sound World: Another Free DIY Sound Environment

Okay, so it’s another free graphical audio and interactive development environment, with a patching interface (again), and synthesis, MIDI, and real-time processing features (again). But Open Sound World deserves at least a brief look: it has some programmer-friendly features, it’s easy to add features (including via C++), and runs on every platform (Mac/Windows/Linux, even SGI). […]

Moogerfooger MF-104Z “Luxury” Analog Delay

Moog Music has officially announced the return of their beloved analog delay, in the form of the new MF-104Z delay unit. This is definitely a “luxury” model, though: US$729 buys you one second of delay. It’s a classic, but it comes at a price. Nothing on the Moog site yet, but if you’re at NAMM […]