Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.

Archives: June 2011

June 29, 2011

Shit Just Got Real...

by Chris Randall

TNR-i, the Tenori-On clone for iOS created by Yamaha (so it would stand to reason it's pretty close) is now available in the US app store finally, a week after it appeared in Japan and the UK. You can grab it here. Note that I haven't purchased this yet, and am in no way endorsing it. We get iTunes gift cards as a reward from one of our credit cards, and I'm waiting for this month's to arrive so I don't have to, like, pay real money for it. If you've purchased the app, please let us know the good, bad, and ugly. Does it work with CoreMidi, or is the only way to sync it with that stupid Game Center method they came up with? And does it work in Landscape mode? Those are my two main questions.

Slightly related, the Alesis IO Dock is now available for ordering, $199 at Amazon. I played with this a bit at NAMM, and assuming the shipping version is the same as the one I fucked with, it's a solid little piece of kit, and turns the iPad from a cute but slightly annoying device to an actually useful musician's tool in one fell blow.

Now, it is worth mentioning at this juncture that I have it on good authority that, unless you're in any particular hurry, it might be a good idea to wait a couple months to make a purchasing decision vis-a-vis the IO Dock. I can't say any more than that, but I think you can figure out what I'm getting at, without me beating you over the head with it.

June 24, 2011

The End Is Nigh...

by Chris Randall

The recent hubbub over Final Cut X (which you're no doubt familiar with, but if you aren't, Tom Ellard's highlights here and a funny but informative bit from Conan O'Brian here) is kind of silly. It's like standing on the train tracks, watching a train coming straight at you, and saying "there's no fucking way that train's gonna hit me." They showed it at NAB a couple months ago, and all the pros had a look at it. They knew what was coming, but they're all "there's no way they'd release that. It's just iMovie Pro!"

Newsflash: Apple don't care. Apple don't give a shit.

Ironically, for the kind of video stuff I do, which is of the "line up an audio track with a single video file, and shit it to YouTube" variety, Final Cut X is remarkably well kitted. I tried to use Final Cut Express for a couple months, and eventually pitched it for iMovie. Apple realizes that there are a lot more people out there like me (video-wise) than there are people that edit feature films. They'd like to make some money, please. Enter Final Cut X.

The thing to watch out for (and down the road when it happens, I'll reference this post as an I-Told-You-So) is this: Logic Pro is managed by the same group at Apple as Final Cut Pro; the Pro Applications group. This is the group of managerial types who most assuredly don't work in the media professions any more, and haven't for years. They're the group that thought making a "pro" version of iMovie and replacing the top-of-the-line video editing software with it was a good idea.

What do you think that bodes for Logic? Logic / Garageband has exactly the same pro:hobbyist footprint as Final Cut Pro / iMovie, and is managed by the same people. Pretty simple math there.

If you're a professional user, I'd strongly suggest taking a serious look at the other top-line DAWs: ProTools 9 and Cubase 6. I would, for obvious personal reasons, recommend the latter. It is a mostly lateral move from Logic Pro, features-wise. I'm not saying it's time to jump ship. I haven't heard anything more than you have. I am, however, deeply ingrained in the music software business, as you know, and have been for some time. You can smell these cycles.

Or don't bother, and when Logic X comes out and doesn't have a mixer, you can come back to this post, wherein I say I told you so.

June 22, 2011

Calling All Southwest Nerdcore...

by Chris Randall

I don't believe there are enough 'core types in the Pho-Sco / Tucson area to warrant a true AH-type meet-up, and also, I find that format to be somewhat stifling. "THOU SHALT HAVE PATCH CORDS!" But I thought it might be fun to have a Hard Core Gear Porn Get-Together type thing for the folks here on the surface of the sun in the Valley Of The Sun.

To that end, I'm attempting to gauge interest in same. If it's just, like, 6 people or whatever and nobody is bringing a GX-1 or a full stack Plexi we can just do it here at my house, as I have plenty of room. However, if it's more than that, some other plan would need to be come up with, and that plan would depend on the number of people attending, and what gear they would like to pimp.

So, if you'd like to attend a get-together tentatively scheduled for the 2nd Saturday in August (8/13/11) drop me a line and let me know what, if anything, you'd like to show off, and any what infrastructure you'd need for same. I'll attempt to make some sort of spreadsheet or some shit and determine whether an external locale would be needed.

Also too, if you just post something in the comments but don't write me, then you're not counted. Email me so I can take advantage of the wonderful filtering technology of today's advanced e-mail apps.

June 17, 2011

More Update News...

by Chris Randall

Okay, we've now put new installers for Replicant and Eos in the store, in addition to Panstation. If you were experiencing any problems whatsoever with getting 64-bit versions of our plugs to validate/instance/whatever, on all three platforms, these updates should sort you out.

Another thing that is worth mentioning, since it is contextual: I just got an email from the AU group at Apple informing me that Lion will be fucking up 32-bit AudioUnits. They mentioned Tattoo and Ricochet specifically, but I imagine that they didn't do a thorough test, and whatever problems those two have will be endemic to our entire product line. This makes the 5th time, if I'm counting correctly, that an OS X update has totally crapped all over the AU kit.

I also don't know what other manufacturers will be affected, but I can certainly guess and say "most of 'em." So if you rely on 32-bit AudioUnits, and are, say, in the middle of a mix or something, updating to Lion should be very, very low on your list of priorities, at least until Audio Damage and other manufacturers have had a chance to put things through the ringer and figure out what's fucking off where. This is, of course, good advice for any major OS update, but naturally most people will ignore it. So when you install on the first day, and find out that Lion fucked up your music shit, you can refer to this blog post as an official "I told you so."

June 15, 2011

Panstation Updated, Others To Follow...

by Chris Randall

If you follow me at all on Twitter (or even happen to occasionally glance at the sidebar of this site), you'll note that I occasionally mutter semi-disparaging comments about Logic. Turns out that at least some of the problems we were seeing were actually our fault.

(At this point I'm hanging my head, shuffling my feet, and sniffling a little bit.)

The code that comprises the majority of what we laughingly refer to as "copy protection" has a bit in it that was poorly written, and when compiled for 64-bit, it would produce different results on some machines. There was no rhyme nor reason to this whatsoever, and we'd see two identical computers with one having the issue and the other not.

As luck would have it, Adam bought a Mac Mini last week, and it, unlike every other Mac we have on site, had the issue. So he was able to diagnose, and ultimately fix, the problem.

So, long story short, we need to rebuild and update every one of our 64-bit releases to squish this bug once and for all. If you previously were able to instance the 32-bit but not the 64-bit version of one of our plugs in a 64-bit DAW, this was most likely the cause, and these updates will fix the problem. We'll be rolling them out one or two a day until all the 64-bit stuff is rebuilt.

In that light, Panstation is now at 1.0.1. There are also a couple minor bug fixes for shit you probably didn't notice, but may down the road, so re-installing with 1.0.1 is recommended for all users, whether or not you got bit by that 64-bit bullshit. Hit the AD store to get a shiny new bitstream.

As an aside, I've been working on this sound-alike music bed for an industrial for several days now, in the process re-learning to play guitar and learning to really and truly loath Coldplay and U2. But that's why I've been somewhat silent, if you were curious.

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