iUke: Digital USB Ukulele at Macworld

[Updated: More Details on iUke] I’ve had to delay my arrival at Macworld Expo until Thursday. Look what I’ve missed: a USB-enabled ukulele. iGuitar custom-built the instrument for Mac personality and notorious uke player Andy Ihnakto. (Thanks, TUAW!) I’m guessing the USB carries only audio, not control — the company’s iGuitar.USB uses USB for audio […]

Reason 3.03: Better Performance, More Hardware Support

Reason 3.03 is a maintenance update to Propellerhead Reason, but there’s reason (excuse the pun) to pay attention: Better performance: One of the things we like about Reason is that its code is rock-solid. Reason 3 added various performance enhancements; 3.03 adds more. TranzPort and Ozonic Support; SDK for Remote: Reason 3 has the kind […]

Edirol: New MIDI, Audio Gear; Portable USB Speakers

Edirol, the audio/video gear folks that are part of Roland Group, have a trio of announcements about new hardware. Let’s deal with them all at once, because Roland model numbers make my head hurt: New MIDI: Yes, new MIDI interface hardware. (MIDI will never die, folks.) What’s groovy about them? The US$89 UM-3EX has a […]

Digital Performer 4.6: Lots of Goodies in Free Update

Digital Performer (Mac-only) gets a whole bunch of features in today’s free 4.6 update. Read more for the full dirt, but since I tend to rattle on too long about everything, here’s the Short Attention Span Summary: Pitch automation is revolutionary. Think AutoTune, but integrated right into the sequencer. No one else has this. There’s […]

Comparing DAWs: Current Score!

Well, with the release of DP 4.6, it’s time to check in with how our DAWs are doing. These insanely-cool pitch features certainly mean it’s still in the ring. First, see my previous reviews: Digital Performer 4.5 (review for Keyboard) Giant Cubase 3 vs. DP 4.5 vs. Logic 7 Blowout (review for Macworld) Live 4 […]

Computer DJing Summit in Tampa; Microsoft Meets with Grandmaster Flash?

October 3-5 Tampa will play host to a massive Computer DJing Summit, complete with training for DJs, VJs, and KJs. (KJ = karaoke; thanks, jachee. Too bad; I hoped it meant spinning Kraft Mac-and-Cheese.) There’s even certified credit for would-be computer DJs. This isn’t an entirely new event; a Summit was held in my hometown […]

London: We’re With You

As I have friends and colleagues in London, I want to take a moment to say we’re with you. I remember how much better we all felt here in New York as we heard of the outpouring of support from England and Londoners (as well as elsewhere in the world). It’s the least we can […]

Music as Activism: Live 8

Remember Farm Aid and the many other “Aid” events of the 80s? It was a more innocent time, a time in which rockers thought they could influence events. Or is that spirit really dead, after all? Musicians hoping to change the direction of the G8 conference of world leaders have a new tool: the Web, […]

Rope and Sound: Tensegrity as Musical Instrument [Updated]

Rope and Sound is an installation that uses rope tension to control sound. Pull on a cord, and the change in tension triggers electronic thuds and mellow chimes. The trick is conductive fibers braided into the rope; as the tension changes, the conduction of the rope changes, as well. I got a chance to try […]

PSP Kick: Homebrew Drum Machine (What About DS?)

There’s plenty of homebrew music software for the Game Boy and GBA (check out LSDJ and Nanoloop), but what about next-gen portables? MusicThing gets the scoop on PSP Kick, a sampled drum machine for PSP. PSP Kick is very simple — it’s just a 12-slot drum sampler with AIFF output — but it sounds like […]