New Mac Pro Starts At $2999 – Is It Worth It For Musicians?

new-mac-proApple today announced pricing and availability for the new Mac Pro line.

The updated Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, with up to 12 cores, dual workstation-class GPUs, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

The new Mac Pro is priced starting at $2,999 (US) and will be available in December.

Check out the specs – and let us know if you think a $2,999 Mac Pro makes sense for musicians.  Continue reading

Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini Offer Twice The Performance

ipad-air

Apple today announced iPad Air, the latest generation of its iPad line. The iPad Air is significantly thinner and lighter than its predecessors, while offering faster performance, faster networking and more free apps.

In addition to the iPad Air, Apple introduced a new iPad mini with Retina display and the same performance improvements.

The iPad updates are, arguably, incremental. But for mobile musicians, the series of incremental updates to the iPad over the last few years are starting to deliver a paradigm shift. GarageBand, for example, is free with the new devices and can handle up to 32 tracks.

Is that desktop power? No – but it’s still pretty impressive for a device that weighs a pound and can run wirelessly for 10 hours.

Here are the details: Continue reading

Monome Intros Aleph Open Source Sound Computer

aleph-isometric

Ezra Buchla (son of Donald Buchla) and Brian Crabtree (monome) have introduced Aleph – a Linux-based open source sound computer.

It can be a synthesizer, sampler, looper or drum machine – or, because it’s open source, anything that you can develop for it.

Key Features:

  • soundcomputer - powerful audio processor, synthesizer, noise machine, rapidly modifiable instrument. a platform for experimental practice and organic discovery.
  • attachments - connect grid controllers, modular synths, midi keys, stomp boxes, gamepads, hand-made circuits. for more direct control and uncommon pairings.
  • topography - dynamically arrange control mappings with unprecedented flexibility. create software control sources such as modulators, logical operators, aleatoric processes, sequencers. all quickly storable and recallable.
  • open source - designed for community engagement, a benefit for musicians and developers alike. an exceptional educational tool. the library of uses and possibilities can only grow.

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Apple Updates iMac Line With New Quad-Core Processors, Better Graphic Performance & Faster Memory

D7_Pkg_YL_01Apple today updated its iMac line, with several performance upgrades. Of most interest to musicians will probably be the fourth-generation Intel quad-core processors, improved graphic system, next generation Wi-Fi and faster PCIe flash storage options.

  • The entry-level 21.5-inch iMac features a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and Iris Pro graphics.
  • The high-end 21.5-inch model and both 27-inch models feature quad-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 3.4 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce 700 series graphics with twice the video memory and up to 40 percent faster performance than the previous generation.

Here are the key features of the new versions: Continue reading

Microsoft Intros Surface 2, Surface Music Kit – Are They Enough For You To Consider A Windows Tablet?

microsoft-surface-2-pro-remix-music-project

Microsoft today announced that the second generation of its Microsoft Surface family of tablets. It also announced new accessories for the Surface tablet computers, including a pressure-sensitive DJ controller.

Two new Surface models, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available at Microsoft retail stores and retailers in 22 initial markets. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 benefit from improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution and to the Kickstand.

The first generation of Microsoft Surface devices failed to make a dent in the popularity of iPad and Android tablets. Will Microsoft have more success this time around? Check out the details and let us know what you think!

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Leap Motion Now Shipping, Captures Gestures With Accuracy To 1/100th Of A Millimeter

leap-motion-gestural-controllerThe Leap Motion ($80) – a USB peripheral that can sense the position of your hands, in 3D, with extreme accuracy, is now shipping. The Airspace app store for the Leap Motion is also open for business.

The Leap Motion is described as ‘the world’s most accurate 3D Motion Control technology, capable of tracking up to 10 fingers, with accuracy up to 1/100th of a millimeter.

Reader Jon Stubbs shared his experience with the Leap Motion and using it with music apps: Continue reading

New Mac Mini Compatibility with Pro Tools|HDX 11

expressbox-3tThis week, Avid announced that the new Mac Mini with Magma Express Box 3 (EB3T) is compatible with Pro Tools|HDX support and/or HD Native.

The Magma Express Box 3 (EB3T) provides an ‘outside-the-box’ solution for using PCIe cards with Thunderbolt-equipped computers. High-performance work flows are possible by connecting a Thunderbolt equipped computer to a Thunderbolt expansion chassis containing PCIe cards such as video capture, media transcoding, audio processing, and fast data storage.

Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools HD 11 are available in the online Avid Store and at Avid resellers worldwide, and are compatible with the new Mac Mini machines now.