Summer NAMM: New Gear, New Software Through the Weekend [updated]

Don’t touch that dial — NAMM Summer Session has begun, meaning lots of new hardware and software to drool over. (Site is down at press time, weirdly.) The National Association of Music Manufacturers meets twice a year; summer is in Indianapolis this year and is a big deal as it hits just before the major […]

NAMM: Roland SP-404 Portable Sampler + Patterns + FX

CDM’s 5 words: Super simple sampler to go. You’ve heard the online rumors; now this portable sampler is official. A sequel to Roland’s hit SP-303 sampler, the new model has more voices, more pads, more memory, and now runs on batteries. Basic specs: Simple recording: Built-in mic. CD-quality sound, or switch to “Low-Fi mode”, whatever […]

NAMM: Numark Launches iDJ Mixer for iPod at $399

Updated – Numark confirmed the story, and expects volume shipments to begin in September. See the updated story. -PK GearJunkies reports that Numark has released the rumored DJ mixer for the iPod. (Updated: Looks like the original link is on the Spanish site Abizu, linked on Engadget.) Some juicy details: Big controls for iPod scroll […]

Analysis — iDJ: The Pro iPod Dock?

So the iDJ is real and shipping by Christmas, eh? As regular readers know, this site was host to some seriously annoyed turntablists and hardcore DJs when we first carried word of an iPod DJ mixer. (Ironically, the original scoop was on a vinyl-centric site.) But now that the iDJ may actually be here, I […]

Windows Vista: The OS Formerly Known as Longhorn

On the PC side of things, we at least know what Windows’ next OS will be called. In a ultra-hyped video, you can watch the unveiling. (Were those onstage explosions?) The unveiling of the OS? Well, no. But the unveiling of the OS name, yes. I’ve heard privately from Windows audio developers that the upcoming […]

NAMM: SONAR Updates (4 for the Home, 4.03 for the Pro)

One of the best things about the Mac is Logic, true — and one of the best things about Windows is Cakewalk SONAR. This powerful workstation is gaining some serious tracktion in the pro recording market. Home versions had been lagging behind, though, which is why these announcements make good news from Boston. (Not good […]

NAMM: Akoustik Piano – 3 Grands and an Upright

Ah, the plight of the Manhattanite: there is no room here for a grand piano. So I’m eager to try Native Instruments’ new introduction to the pile, Akoustik Piano. The pianos: Three grands (Steinway D, Bechstein D and Boesendorfer Imperial) and one vintage upright (Steingraeber 130) Did they finally get layering right? I’ve heard some […]

NAMM: Ableton Live 5 Shipping + Party + Ableton nerdbag

Live 5 is here, and it’s a major upgrade to everyone’s favorite digital audio workstation-you-can-perform with. And we’ve got a bevy of other updates from Download the upgrade and take advantage of a special deal on Live + Operator, watch behind-the-scenes and tutorial movies, download the demo version of 5 (which has only a […]

Visualizations: Learning Quartz Composer (Free, Mac)

My adventures with Quartz Composer, the free development tool that ships with Mac OS X Tiger, continue. What it does: QC is another visual development tool with a patching interface so you can create without coding. It’s a perfect visualization/VJ tool for musicians, thanks to handy audio and MIDI inputs: it’s easy to link the […]

Visualizations: Visual Music at the Smithsonian

Before VJing, before even TV, turn-of-the-century painters were exploring the connection between music and visuals. The Smithsonian Institute’s Hirsshorn Museum constructs an “alternative” look at the history of modern abstract art through its connections to music in a new show, Visual Music. Sure, some of the work is a little, how shall we say, under […]