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

Same Day Music

26 September 2005

E-Mu 1616M laptop audio interface

Filed under: Hardware at 5:50 pm (no comments)

E-Mu’s 1616M laptop audio interface system has received some attention recently. And with good reason, if E-Mu are to be believed — they call it “the most powerful and portable laptop audio system ever created,” with the same DSP effects, zero-latency monitoring and mastering-grade 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters as E-Mu’s high-end systems. The system consists of a PC card and a breakout box, and it also comes with E-Mu’s rather good production tools software bundle. (more…)

How to set up stereo speakers

Filed under: Making music at 11:19 am (no comments)

Listening to music is a very important part of making music, so it’s essential that your listening equipment is set up properly. Arve Bersvendsen has written an excellent tutorial on setting up your stereo system, including a downloadable Audio test CD. You can play back the test tones on your sound system to make sure that the placement of your loudspeakers within the room isn’t messing with your sound. (more…)

25 September 2005

Steinberg Virtual Bassist review — Computer Music

Filed under: Music software at 11:50 pm (no comments)

Steinberg’s Virtual Bassist VST instrument gets a review in Computer Music magazine, who give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. First impressions count for a lot, and they call the Virtual Bassist user interface well-designed and clearly laid out; “The controls all hang together well, and allow you to sculpt an impressively broad range of tones.” (more…)

Steinberg Cubase SE3

Filed under: Music software at 10:03 am (no comments)

Steinberg will soon release Cubase SE3, the new version of its entry-level music production and sequencing software. This upgrade brings in some of the features from the professional Cubase SX3 package, such as delay compensation. Steinberg’s view is that “Cubase SE3 is ideal for anyone working on a tight budget but who can’t do without professional technologies in their home recording, project or pre-production environment.” (more…)

24 September 2005

SampleRobot automatic sampler

Filed under: Music software at 10:53 am (no comments)

SampleRobot is an “automatic sampler” from German sound design people Skylife. It’s a quick way of getting all the sounds from your big clunky old synth modules into your shiny laptop studio — it actually plays your hardware snyth and records the results for playback through its software sampler. Skylife call it “the missing link between sound source and software sampler.” (more…)

Traktor DJ Studio 3

Filed under: Music software at 9:22 am (1 comment)

Traktor DJ Studio 3 will be the next version of Native Instruments’ software DJ mixing system when it arrives in November. This version features no fewer than four virtual decks — just try that with Technics 1200s. It also has several tempo-synced effects and an emulated 4-channel mixer to put it all together. If Ableton Live feels too much like a computer program to you, try Traktor for live performance to get that old-skool vibe going. (more…)

23 September 2005

Numark PT01 portable DJ turntable

Filed under: Hardware at 10:54 pm (no comments)

Numark’s PT01 is a DJ turntable with the usual features including pitch control. It also has some unusual features — it’s battery powered, and small enough to fit in a record crate. And it only weighs 2kg, or 4 pounds 8 ounces as some would have it. It also has a little built-in amp and speaker for that “all-in-one” vibe. Even if you’re not planning to take your scratching skillz on the road, you still need a turntable. A lot of great music is only available on vinyl, and you’ve got to get it onto your laptop somehow. (more…)

FuzzPlus 2 free fuzzbox plugin

Filed under: Music software at 7:25 pm (no comments)

FuzzPlus 2 is a fuzzbox plugin from Audio Damage, makers of the mighty dubonic DubStation plugin. FuzzPlus is a fuzzbox plugin with the same fun cartoon interface and very simple controls. The basis of this plugin is a transform model of “a famous vintage fuzz pedal,” though they don’t say which one. And importantly, it’s not just cheap — it’s free. (more…)

Ableton Live 5 review — Harmony Central

Filed under: Music software at 5:35 pm (no comments)

Harmony Central has a very, very long and episodic review of Ableton Live 5. It’s quite thorough — they even look at a very useful feature that doesn’t get enough attention — the tutorials. “Turns out they’re actually pretty useful and quite well done. The “Tour” loads an example file, then takes you through all the main operations: clips, scenes, mixing, and the like. If you’re new to Live, this would be extremely helpful. The Tour tutorial has 27 pages and includes a fair amount of material, but not so much as to be overwhelming.” (more…)

22 September 2005

n-Track Studio multitrack recorder

Filed under: Music software at 4:23 pm (no comments)

n-Track Studio 4 is the latest version of the audio & MIDI digital multitrack recording software from Italy’s FASoft. Starting from the initial idea of being a souped-up multitrack recorder, it’s added many features over the years and now supports plugins, ReWire, surround sound mixing and a whole lot of other goodies, as the website says: You can record, playback, overdub just like with a tape multitrack recorder, but you can exploit the flexibility and power of today’s PCs for applying effects, realtime input processing, automated aux channels sends and returns, destructive and non-destructive wave editing. The program supports 24bit-192 khz recording, multiple channels soundcards, live input processing, CD burning, MP3 encoding and much more. (more…)