New Macs and Music: All About G5

I’m regularly asked what machines are best for music. On the Mac side, it’s pretty clear what you should get for your desktop: go G5. The Mac mini is great and will work fine if you’re on a bare-bones budget, but the performance gains for music are significant on the G5 systems. And now Apple’s […]

Reader Reports: OS X Tiger + Music, Cheapest Tiger Price?

Reader reports on Tiger continue to come in; I’ll continuously update the CDM Tiger Report as they do, so check early and often! So far, experiences with Tiger have been very positive. I haven’t heard any horror stories from CDM readers, though as usual, you’ll want to double-check your hardware compatible. Notably compatible: MOTU hardware, […]

Interactive Music Innovations: Reports from Cybersonica

Huggable musical orbs? A tabletop music game in which you throw around virtual MIDI balls? Digital windchimes? Installations of giant ears, spheres, and a washing machine you stick your head into? Playing with sound like this must mean you’re at Cybersonica, London’s massive interactive music + sound technology expo. And CDM was there to — […]

Tiger: Free Real-Time Interactive Eye Candy Maker — Quartz Composer

Joshua Ellis ( writes us with an insanely cool discovery on the Mac OS X 10.4 developer DVD. I’m still waiting on my Tiger shipment, but this will definitely be on my install. Josh writes: So I’m playing with the new Quartz Composer in OS X 10.4, which allows you to do weird sort of […]

Tiger: Audio Drivers Prevent Restart/Shutdown, etc.?

Compatibility reports are coming in for Mac OS X Tiger. There are underlying Core Audio changes in 10.4, so you can expect some audio hitches. I’d especially like to confirm the possibility that audio drivers might cause freezes or prevent restart/shutdown. MacFixIt reports one reader’s M-Audio Revolution drivers were causing startup/shutdown issues. As always, do […]

Electric Violins, IBM Mainframes, and Playboy

Pop quiz: what instrument by pioneering “father of digital audio” (or, if you’d rather, “great-grandfather of Techno”) Max Mathews was featured on the cover of Playboy Magazine? If you guessed the IBM 704 mainframe, the computer on which Mathews generated the first computer music the world ever heard, you’d be — wrong! Would that we […]

Bob Moog: Movie Star, “Tour”, Action Figure

May is Moog month. Not only do we have a DVD version of the Moog documentary to look forward to, releasing May 31 complete with tons of extras from deleted scenes to a demo of Arturia software for Mac and PC to a vintage beer ad, but now Bob’s . . . an action figure? […]

Hot Rodding for Mastering: Loudness Competition

As the rest of us lament brick-wall limiting and other techniques for flattening dynamic range and making music louder (see Music Thing’s recent discussion), WWAYM is sponsoring a no-holds-barred, Monster Truck Ralley of audio engineering. The contest: make it as loud as you possibly can. The competition, sent to us by reader Adrian Anders, “must […]

Electronic Music History: Birth of the Drum Machine

Tom Whitwell at MusicThing points to an incredible eBay find — an original Wurlitzer Sideman, the first commercially-available drum machine, just as I’m editing an electronic music history chapter that mentions it. Ironically, the most important contribution in the history of the Sideman was probably ANNOYING future Korg co-founder Tadashi Osanai. To tell the story […]

GURU: Perfect Software Drum Machine?

Based on the spec list for GURU, due at the end of May, it sounds like the folks at FXpansion may have heard our drum machine wish list: Integrated, advanced step sequencer Automatically (or manually) slice and map audio to extract kick, snare, hat, etc. out of audio Full audio (WAV/AIFF/REX) and MIDI loop import […]