Laptop Studio — Music software reviews, news and info for computer music

Same Day Music

28 August 2005

MX4 2.0 review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 12:16 pm (no comments)

The MX4 2.0 soft synth by MOTU gets a top review in the August issue of Computer Music magazine. They give it special awards for Performance and for Innovation, and the review starts as it continues: “Quite simply, this is one of the most powerful synths we’ve ever used — in every single respect.” (more…)

27 August 2005

Ta Horng iSmart folding keyboard review — Sound on Sound

Filed under: Hardware at 3:58 pm (no comments)

Sound on Sound reviews the Ta Horng iSmart roll-up keyboard. Essentially, they say it works about as well as you would expect — what you see is what you get. “As a MIDI data-entry device, the iSmart works fine, triggering notes reliably when the keyboard is on a hard surface.” However, of course the keys offer no feedback, and it’s hard to play accurately when all keys — including the black keys — are on the same level. (more…)

Gemini iKey audio-to-USB converter

Filed under: Hardware at 12:33 pm (no comments)

The iKey is a press releease from Gemini with “artist’s impressions” of a new device and some excited hyperbole about what the device can do. Despite their liberal use of words like “revolutionary”, “incredible”, and “take the DJ industry by storm”, the iKey seems to be nothing more than a box that converts analog audio input (via stereo RCA jacks) to digital output (via a USB port). Useful? Perhaps. Incredible? No. And more importantly, it doesn’t seem to exist yet — information from the press releease is on various websites (such as Remix magazine) but not on Gemini’s own website. (more…)

26 August 2005

PhatSpace Bundle review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 3:38 pm (no comments)

PhatSpace Bundle. What a fantastic name for a music software package. What a fantastic name for anything. Computer Music magazine has reviewed this latest package from Camel Audio, which contains two plug-ins: the inscrutable CamelSpace, and the disturbingly-named CamelPhat 3. CamelPhat is meant simply to “phatten” your sound: “it gives you four different ways of adding grit, and because you can wind in all of them at once, the range of tones you can create is extensive. Of course, it’s always possible to push things way too far — something we frequently take great joy in doing.” That’s the spirit! (more…)

25 August 2005

Grooves magazine

Filed under: Books & magazines at 5:12 pm (no comments)

Grooves magazine is a small but excellent magazine for those interested in listening to or making electronic music. For the laptop studio enthusiast, there are reviews of music software and hardware, from the well-known (e.g. Ableton Live) to the more obscure. The reviews are slanted toward the production of electronic music of various forms, so the emphasis is on computer-based music rather than recording “real” instruments. But because of this focus, the reviews make good, in-depth reading. (more…)

Sony Acid Pro 5 review — PC Plus

Filed under: Music software at 12:49 pm (no comments)

PC Plus reviews Sony Acid Pro 5 and write: “This new version aims to keep the upgrade momentum going. But if that’s the theory, the reality doesn’t quite match it.” VST and ReWire support are welcome but overdue, they say, and they are disappointed with the new Groove Mapping feature: “In practice, this is something of a toy feature that has its uses – some of the funk grooves sound excellent on funk-style loops, but doesn’t live up to its full potential.” (more…)

Lexicon Omega Studio review — Mix

Filed under: Hardware at 12:35 pm (2 comments)

Mix reviews the Omega Studio Recording System from Lexicon. The Omega actually came out last year, but the Mix review only appeared recently. Besides, I like this product because it looks like R2-D2. Actually, the R2-D2-alike box is just part of the system. The Omega studio recording system consists of three pieces: the Omega USB audio interface, Steinberg’s Cubase LE DAW software, and Lexicon’s Pantheon VST reverb plugin. (more…)

24 August 2005

Cakewalk Project5 Version 2 review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 12:16 pm (no comments)

Computer Music reviews Cakewalk Project5 Version 2 in their May issue (old, but good). They gave it a very good review, rating it nine out of ten. They’re impressed by the many changes in this new version, and they think all of the changes have improved an already useful program. Actually, the only change they didn’t like about version 2 is that the box it comes in doesn’t look as nice! (more…)

TonePort USB audio interface

Filed under: Hardware at 11:57 am (no comments)

Line 6 (“believe”) have launched the TonePort range of USB audio interfaces. Well, there are two — does that make a range? Anyway, The TonePort is an interface between your guitar, bass and microphone on one hand, and your computer on the other. The included software works with the hardware to emulate a half-dozen different mic preamps, more than 20 guitar and bass preamps and more than 20 guitar and bass effects. Great for those who can actually play real instruments instead of just program computers. (more…)

Wave Editor

Filed under: Music software at 11:39 am (no comments)

Wave Editor is a new audio editor for Mac OS X. It’s the second product from Audiofile Engineering, makers of the Sample Manager batch audio processor. The main special feature seems to be its handling of fades — they are non-destructive and can be applied as various bezier curves rather than simple linear or sine curves. You can try it out for yourself — their website offers a free 15-day trial version. (more…)