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

Same Day Music

5 September 2006

Samson C03U USB Studio Microphone

Filed under: Hardware at 7:37 pm (1 comment)

Samson Audio has announced the C03U multi-pattern USB studio condenser microphone, following on from their C01U USB microphone last year. That was one of the first USB studio microphones, and the new C03U adds a few more bells and whistles. (But only if you’re actually recording bells and whistles, of course.) It’s essentially their standard C03 studio condenser mic with an A/D converter and USB output attached. (more…)

8 August 2006

SoundTech Lightsnake

Filed under: Hardware at 7:47 pm (2 comments)

The SoundTech Lightsnake is a cable that lets you record sound on your computer without needing to buy a separate audio interface — actually, the cable is the audio interface. This 3 metre cable has a 6.3mm stereo plug at one end and a USB2 plug at the other. Cunningly hidden somewhere in the cable is a 16 bit analog to digital converter sampling at 48 KHz. (more…)

27 October 2005

Digidesign Mbox 2 review — Future Music

Filed under: Hardware at 6:57 am (6 comments)

Future Music magazine reviews the Mbox 2 USB audio interface from Digidesign. They like this piece of equipment, though it’s the funky-looking handle that grabs the attention first up. They note that the handle can be removed for those who prefer their boxes sleek and streamlined, though I quite like it just as it is. They say that “overall the box is neat and solid,” though they worry that the all-plastic construction might not be robust enough for portable use. (more…)

13 October 2005

Tascam HD-P2 portable recorder

Filed under: Hardware at 12:05 am (4 comments)

Tascam’s HD-P2 portable recorder is a new high-resolution stereo recorder. It’s all digital — it records direct to CompactFlash cards, and also has a FireWire port for getting that performance into your laptop as fast as possible. It records in 24 bits at 192kHz to WAV files, and can also take a timecode input to allow you to synchronise your recordings with external video, for example. (more…)

12 October 2005

Guitar Rig 2

Filed under: Hardware andMusic software at 12:53 am (1 comment)

Native Instruments have unveiled Guitar Rig 2, the latest version of their package for guitar and bass production. It’s a hardware/software combination that includes a foot controller with two inputs and six switches, and an audio software package that simulates several different amps, speakers and microphones and includes 40 effects. There’s also a fascinating module called the Loop Machine for creating and playing back loops on the fly: “Layer different leads, riffs and rhythms on top of one another and gradually build up entire guitar sections. Tools such as the Crossover and Split offer unique potential while the Modifiers’ ability to modulate any of the parameters in real-time far exceed the realms of conventional set-ups.” I saw a fantastic bass player called Eberhard Weber do something like this last year at a Jan Garbarek gig. I don’t know what he was using but the effect was amazing. (more…)

10 October 2005

E-Mu 1616M audio interface review — Computer Music

Filed under: Hardware at 12:42 am (no comments)

Computer Music reviewed the E-Mu 1616M audio interface and thought it was fantastic. The sound quality is not just good — it’s “astounding”. Before you even plug it in though, you can see how flexible it is: the laptop card connects to the breakout box with an Ethernet cable, making it easy to use cheap Ethernet cables to place the box wherever you like. The inputs on the box are extensive too, with two phantom power inputs amongst many others — there’s even a RIAA turntable input so you can finally get all your old 78s into Ableton Live. (more…)

7 October 2005

MusicXPC M3 music laptop

Filed under: Hardware at 3:05 pm (1 comment)

The most important part of your laptop studio is, of course, your laptop. MusicXPC (“The world’s finest music production computers”) have released their latest laptop model, the Professional M3. Apart from the obvious things like a decent hard drive, it has a multitude of tweaks that make it good for music production. Not only is it engineered to be very quiet in operation, but the OS has been customised to ensure maximum processing power is devoted to music making. (more…)

5 October 2005

E-MU Xboard keyboard controller review — Keyboard

Filed under: Hardware at 10:35 am (no comments)

Keyboard magazine reviews the E-Mu Xboard 25- and 49-key USB/MIDI controllers. They praise the “impressive keyboard action”, which they say is “surprisingly solid and satisfying, especially given the lightness of the controllers.” They also say its editing software is easy to use. Unfortunately, they think the buttons aren’t so good — in fact the word they use it “cheesy”. (more…)

30 September 2005

Virus TI Totally Integrated Synthesizer

Filed under: Hardware at 3:54 pm (1 comment)

Access Music are about to release their very interesting new hardware/software combo, the Virus TI Totally Integrated Synthesizer. The Virus TI hardware is a synth, keyboard, control surface and audio interface all in one. Nothing revolutionary there. The interesting part happens when you install the VirusControl VST/Apple Audio Unit plug-in. This acts just like a regular plug-in, except behind the scenes it uses the hardware to generate sounds. This allows some neat features. For example, the connection is delay-compensated automatically, which normally can’t be done with a hardware synth. (more…)

E-Mu Xboard 49 review — Computer Music

Filed under: Hardware at 12:35 am (14 comments)

Computer Music reviews the Xboard 49 keyboard controller from E-MU. The most important part of any keyboard — in this case, the most important 49 parts — are the keys. The reviewers are impressed with the Xboard in this respect: “They offer a good compromise for those people who want some of the weight of a piano but the speed of a synth.” (more…)