MetaSynth 4 Arrives (OS X)

At long last, one of the most beloved and unusual Mac sound creation applications has made it to OS X, with vastly expanded features. The brainchild of Bryce creator Eric Wenger, the first version of U&I Software's MetaSynth was popular with the likes of Aphex Twin for its far-out, one-of-a-kind sound production and the ability […]

Live from Connecticut College

Today I'm speaking to an audience at the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology of Connecticut College about finding a meeting place between visual expression and sound. For attendees (and you readers at home), here are some helpful links: Physical Modeling and Sound Creation: Apple's Logic (Mac-only) is deep as it is, but its Sculpture […]

Tube 5.1 Surround Headphones

Clearly, the future of headphones is surround sound, delivered by "acoustical alloy" tubing worn around the head. I have no qualms whatsoever about this device. I'm sure the surround effect is completely successful, and I think the claim of "mastering" as an application is an excellent idea — if you're mastering professional 5.1 surround mixes, […]

Build Windows VST Instruments; Free VST Links

If you're on Windows, you can build your own instruments and effects for $20 or even free, and you have an incredibly broad range of free plugins. (Mac users, don't despair: some of the instrument and effect links are Mac-VST or AU, too.) Check out SynthEdit, the US$20 shareware for building your own VST instruments […]

PowerBook G5: Keep On Waiting

News flash: Apple isn't releasing a PowerBook G5 anytime soon. A G5 laptop would be bulky, hot, and power-hungry. And ugly. Is it possible? Yes. But it's going to be a while. A long while, like probably 2006. Sound eerily familiar? Only because CDM has been saying just that over and over again, along with […]

PowerBook: The Theme Song

Down about no G5 PowerBooks? Want to jazz yourself up about how much you really do love the Mac? Take heart, and listen to: "A Laptop Like You", the song Johnathan Coulton wrote to his Mac! See, I didn't really want you to switch to Windows, cool Cakewalk software notwithstanding. And I certainly don't find […]

Space Invaders Invades Synth, Guitar

We were already stoked about ElectroKraft's Axe*Synth theremin/guitar invention and Space Box effects unit, but new gear from ElectroKraft now features the actual 70s sound chip used in vintage 80s arcade game cabinets. Tony writes us: "It produces those awesome sounds of the UFO and the approaching aliens as well as other synth sounds . […]

New PowerBooks: Laptop Musician Analysis

Apple updated its PowerBook line Monday, but as we expected this is a "speed bump" release: minor changes only. There is some good news for digital audio users: Faster processors at radically lower prices: US$1699 for a PowerBook means laptop musicians finally have an affordable option, and 1.5 – 1.67 GHz processors should be just […]

Build Your Own Audio Unit Plugins

PC users have had various simple ways of constructing custom VST plugins (including the popular SynthEdit), but now Mac users can get in on the action: SonicBirth is an environment for creating custom Audio Units for Mac OS X, via a modular 'patch cord'-style interface. The interface is very approachable for this kind of system, […]

Cakewalk: Why 64-Bit Matters

Okay, Windows advocates, here's a little break from all the Mac minis and PowerBooks: Cakewalk's VP of Engineering Ron Kuper explains to DMN Digital Producer why 64-bit is a boon to music: more RAM access and better CPU performance. If you're expecting revolutionary enhancements (64-bit is TWICE 32-bit!), think again: you'll only reap memory advantages […]