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
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.
- 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.
Apple 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 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!
The 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
This 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.
Apple today offered a sneak preview of its next generation Mac Pro desktop computer – something pro Mac users have been looking for for years.
It’s fast and furious, promising up to 2.5 times the speed of the existing Mac Pro line, up to 12 cores, dual GPUs, Thunderbolt 2, faster memory and flash storage. So, it will be a screamer. But the form factor could be the most talked about aspect of the new Mac.
The redesigned Mac Pro dumps the traditional tower format of its predecessors, in favor of a small, futuristic and appliance-like form. The form factor may generate love/hate reactions, because – while Apple calls the new Mac Pro “our most expandable Mac yet”, much of that expansion is in the form of high-speed connectivity. According to Apple, the new Mac Pro supports up to 36 high-performance Thunderbolt-based peripherals.
Here’s what Apple has to say about the new Mac Pro: Continue reading
Reader Geert Bevin let us know about a new application his company Uwyn is working on, GestureControl for the Leap Motion Controller.
The Leap Motion is an extremely precise USB motion sensor that’s expected to be released in May, priced at $80.
GestureControl has been designed for live performance and it operates at extremely low latency, while requiring very little resources on your computer. It can thus perfectly run alongside any MIDI capable software.
In this demo, Bevin demonstrates some of the configuration capabilities while using Native Instrument’s Razor synth in Reaktor. Continue reading