Odd Uses of iPod Shuffle

As I get ready to try to wow the audience at South by Southwest with — something strange with iPods — the incredible Phil Torrone has a sizable head start. Phil says on his blog flashenabled he's working on "shuffle sunglasses, universal IR remote, solar-powered and charged, network storage and syncing." (see flickr photos) Of […]

Apple Logic: Missing Latency Compensation, Performance Issues

While somewhat overdue, I wanted to clarify the discussion of latency compensation missing in Logic 7 but promised for a future update. Latency compensation describes host software's ability to calculate the lag introduced by some effects and instruments, particularly those dependent on external DSP hardware. As Cris 'atariboy' has pointed out, Logic does have latency […]

Crazy iPod Tricks with Linux

I'm off to Austin, Texas in March to speak at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. In an ideal world, the presentation topic would be "Survey of Alien Music 101: First Contact", but instead it's an iPod panel. Fret not: we can make iPods cool. Needless to say, step one will be to install Linux. […]

Commodore 64 Synthesis, Revisited

The Commodore 64 computer is no longer legendary for, er, performance and power, but it is legendary for its built-in synthesizer chip, the SID. Lovers of this phat-sounding analog chip will go to great lengths to feed their nostalgia: Butcher an actual C64 and build your own MIDI-capable SID synthesizer (via hack-a-day) Add a real […]

Free Audio Hosts/Editors (Windows/Mac)

As part of CDM's ongoing construction of the "Completely Free Studio," I'm working on assembling good freeware hosts for Windows and Mac. (Linux, of course, being a no-brainer!) Here's what's on my recommend list at the moment: Audio editor: Audacity (open source), Win/Mac/Linux, with the addition of the VST Enabler / LADSPA bridge for Linux […]

Build Your Own Neuron Patches

Hartmann is making its MODELmaker software free to software Neuron VS users, so they can take their own samples and convert them to Hartmann's fascinating Neuron format. Huh? What? What did that just say? Erm? Imagine a synth package that uses new adaptive algorithms to create new sonic morphing possibiltiies, and you're beginning to scratch […]

Save NYC Music: Tonic, WKCR

It's a rough time here in NYC for people presenting live music. Tonic, the primary venue in the city for experimental live music (including, especially, out-there electronics) is in big trouble: rent that's doubled in 7 years, tripled insurance rates, a robbery, failing facilities, and a collapsed sewage line. (Plague of locusts? That may be […]

DP and Logic Both Win Key Buy (Keyboard)

To add further fodder to software choice discussion on this site: both major Mac-only DAWs have won Key Buy awards from Keyboard Magazine, Apple's Logic Pro and MOTU Digital Performer. DP won its Key Buy in my review of version 4.5, which came out in the February Keyboard; for excerpts see MOTU's site. Francis Preve […]

Cantor Virtual Singer Adds German, MIDI Lyrics

Virsyn's virtual singer software Cantor has now added voices and pronunciation for German (which Virsyn says works nicely for Latin pronunciation, too). Version 1.6 includes German support with 100,000 words, which handily beats my own 23-word vocabulary in German, most of which is related to food. There's also a new choral generator feature and the […]

MOTU Revises MX4, MachFive

We missed MOTU's NAMM announcements in my travels, though in the meantime they've had time to put details up on their site, so here you go: MOTU's MachFive sampler version 2 adds standalone operation, unlimited parts, a full-screen preset browser and expanded views of many other sampler components, a groove-slicing engine called LoopLab (related to […]