What’s New in Guitar Rig 1.2

Native Instruments, apparent coffee drinkers and update maniacs, are at it again with their Guitar Rig guitar effects and amp package. Here's what's new, among other things, in the free 1.2 update: Four new modules: Fuzz Ace (fuzz pedal based on Arbiter Fuzz Face), Big Fuzz (fuzz pedal based on Electro Harmonix Big Muff), Cat […]

FL Studio 5 Arrives (Win)

Integrated synthesis and sequencing software FL Studio 5 has received a major new upgrade. Unlike most competitive products, FL Studio has lifetime free upgrades, so this is free for existing users. Lots of new features, many of which are related to time stretching and beat slicing (for some, this could even make FL Studio competitive […]

[Updated] Ableton Live “ReFill” Sound Set (Mac, Win)

Those of you using Ableton Live 4 know how much fun the software's new Simpler and Impulse instruments are. Drag-and-drop sounds, and you've got an instant sampler or drum kit. Now if only Ableton had bothered to include a decent library of presets to get you started . . . If only . . . […]

Free Crystal Soft Synth: Now in Brushed Aluminum (Mac, PC)

The free soft synth Crystal has an incredible sound engine with deep control you'd expect out of a commercial product. As for looks, well, in that category it left a bit to be desired. Today, Green Oak delivered a new version of the software with a totally new look; watch out for brushed Aluminum, 3D […]

Fine Reading: Music Thing

This week's time-annihilating Web discovery has to be Music Thing, a super-twisted Gizmodo-style site for music that I fully expect to scoop CDM on instrumental oddities. What's not to like about a site that has talks about roll-up MIDI keyboards and mobile phone sequencers, celebrates Fairlight week, and has links to DIY projects like digital […]

Novation 49-key, 61-key Ship Dates

For my money, the Novation ReMote and X-Station are dream keyboards for digital music: fantastic synth-action keys, lots of knobs and faders, a touchpad and X-Y joystick for adjusting parameters, and optional built-in synthesis and audio I/O. But I've been waiting for 49-key and 61-key versions, and in the midst of an acquisition by London […]

[Updated] Nanoloop 2.0 Game Boy Instrument

Nanoloop, the synthesizer / sequencer for the Nintendo Game Boy, has reached version 2.0 today. Nanoloop ships as a Game Boy game cartridge, allowing you to sequence the game system's internal sounds. The biggest new feature is digital audio out capability — yes, you heard that right, using client software on your computer you can […]

Rephrase Phrase Slicer Instrument

Still looking for that killer app to cut up audio so you can play slices like an instrument? Leapfrog's Rephrase looks like a good candidate. Drop in any monophonic audio, and Rephrase automatically assigns MIDI notes so you can play away. There's other similar software out there, but what looks cool about Rephrase is a […]

Francis Preve on MacJams.com

Fellow Keyboard contributor Francis Preve talks GarageBand in a MacJams interview. Francis has a great take on professionals using GarageBand; he himself is a virtuoso with Apple Loops, and the Apple mania has spread as far as Ed from Barenaked Ladies. You can open up the GB instruments and your GB files in Logic Express […]

Dream Controller for Ableton Live, Traktor

Ableton Live, while brilliant for live performance and improvisation, bogs down when you're trying to control all your parameters with a mouse and QWERTY keyboard. Solutions like M-Audio's Evolution UC-33e are a big help, but many of us have dreamed of a controller designed specifically for Live. This could be it: the German-made FaderFox micromodul […]