Pro Tools Goes To 11!

Pro Tools, Protools, 11, Avid, DAW

Am I the first to make this horrid joke? I don’t know, but Pro Tools now goes to 11, which means of course it’s more better.

All joking aside, this update might be a very necessary move on Avid’s part to stay on top of the DAW game. While fears have been circulating about Avid’s financial trouble, Pro Tools still remains the industry standard for audio production, though it might be losing it’s foothold. Although I still think Pro Tools is the best for recording and editing live music, I must admit I’ve come to appreciate some of the benefits of Logic and Ableton Live over the years. If Apple’s Final Cut software displaced Avid from it’s video world throne, the apparent lack of development on Logic Pro might allow Pro Tools to reign supreme for a while longer. Pro Tools 11 has a few very important new features that bring it up to par with its competitors.

So, what’s new this time? Well, everything really. Pro Tools 11 has a totally redesigned audio engine, promising loads more processing power. And who doesn’t want that?  Users who need MOAR POWER will be happy to know that the revamped Avid Audio Engine is now built on 64-bit architecture. All of this simply means you can run more plug-ins and virtual instruments, making Pro Tools a comparable composing environment to its adversaries.

Another amazing new feature is OFFLINE BOUNCING. Why we had to wait this long for something common to other DAWS is beyond me, but it has been a major point of contention, so it’s a very welcome addition.

Other improvements are new metering options and the ability to  playback HD video. These may not seem like a big deal, but it’s the little things that make all the difference you know.

Pro Tools 11 will be available sometime later this year at these price points:

  • Pro Tools 11 software (full version) – $699 USD
  • Pro Tools 10 to 11 upgrade – $299 USD
  • Pro Tools 9 to 11 upgrade – $399 USD
  • Pro Tools Express to Pro Tools 11 cross grade – $499 USD
  • Pro Tools HD 10 to 11 upgrade – $599 USD
  • Pro Tools HD 9 to 11 upgrade – $999 USD

JACK Audio Connection Kit: FREE iOS Inter-App Audio MIDI & Sync

JACK Audio Connection Kit, Crudebyte, inter-app audio

Hot on the heels of Audiobus comes rival iOS inter-app audio solution JACK Audio Connection Kit, for iPhone & iPad.

JACK, created by Crudebyte, is a modular environment where you draw connections that can carry audio and MIDI between compatible apps. This is one benefit over Audiobus, which only delivers audio within a set framework. Another bonus is record/playback synchronization between DAWs and sequencer apps. Audio and MIDI data can also be routed from apps to compatible external devices.

JACK Audio Connection Kit, Crudebyte, inter-app audio

JACK is open source (like Audiobus is now), so developers can easily implement the SDK into their app. This is great news, since JACK lacks the 100+ community of apps Audiobus boasts. At this point, only 2 apps support JACK (CMP Grand Piano & MIDI Wrench, both also free and made by Crudebyte). Hopefully that will change soon. With any luck, the competition will drive iOS music to new heights at an even faster rate.

JACK is also available for Windows PC, Linux and Mac. Find out more on jackaudio.org.

Ableton Live 9 + Push Out Now!

Ableton, Live, Push

For more than a decade, Ableton Live has been the DAW de rigeur for loopers, DJ’s, live electronic performance artists, and anyone wanting to take a more improvisational approach to building sequences of sound. Live stands apart from other popular software, with its loop launching layout and eccentric family of controllers.

Today, Ableton released version 9 of Live, along with its very own hardware, Push.

Ableton, Live, Push

This 64-square control surface is slim, portable, stylish, and oh so lustworthy.

Push was created in conjunction with Akai, and bears some resemblance to the APC40‘s button matrix, mixed with the elegant minimalism of the Monome or Tenori-On. Like Native Instruments’ Maschine, Push promises the ability to make music without having to look at your screen, as all sequencing controls are onboard. Unlike Maschine, Push contains no sounds of its own.

Live 9, however, includes over 1,100 sounds (11GB) in its Standard edition, while the full Suite offers 3,000+ (54GB!).

See what’s new:

New in Ableton Live 9

Ableton Push

Order yours now:

https://www.ableton.com/en/shop/

If you’re interested in attending an Ableton meet-up with your fellow music geek (I might be at the LA event March 10th):

https://www.ableton.com/en/blog/ableton-live-9-and-push-premiere-events/

Steinberg Cubasis For iPad

Steinberg, Cubasis, multitrack DAW for iPadSteinberg has just released Cubasis, the iPad companion to their classic DAW Cubase.

This streamlined sequencer takes its predecessor to a new dimension of multi-touch, making mixing a pleasure for anyone who hates mousing around. If you do start missing the old mousaroo, you can import your Cubasis sessions back into Cubase (Cubase versions required for project import: Cubase 7/6.5, Cubase Artist 7/6.5, Cubase LE/AI/Elements 6) and finish the job old school computer style. Not sure whether the opposite is true though…

KEY FEATURES

  • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks (depending on the device used)
  • Over 70 virtual instrument sounds based on HALion Sonic
  • Mixer with over 10 effect processors (insert and send effects)
  • Over 300 MIDI and audio loops
  • Virtual keyboard and virtual drum pads
  • Sample Editor and Key Editor
  • Export to Cubase, Dropbox, SoundCloud, AudioCopy & email
  • Core Audio and Core MIDI compatible hardware supported
  • Sequence other Core MIDI apps (MIDI recording only) and run Cubasis simultaneously via background audio
  • Import audio from your iTunes music library or using iTunes filesharing, use AudioPaste or set up a Wi-Fi server in Cubasis

Steinberg Cubasis is a major competitor for WaveMachine Labs’ Auria. They are the same price ($49.99). Cubasis comes with virtual instruments, audio and MIDI loops, and has the ability to use Virtual MIDI with other music apps, while Auria has add-on third party VST capability. Where Auria tops out at simultaneous playback of 48 tracks, Cubasis can go up to 64 on newer iPad models (Cubasis polyphony is 48 voices on the iPad 2 & iPad Mini, or 64 on the iPad 3 or 4.)

The real question is who will win the race of  adding Audiobus support?

Buy Cubasis for iPad

Buy Auria for iPad

Buy Audiobus for iPad

***UPDATE 2.4.13***
Although Auria beat Cubasis to the punch, they are both now compatible with Audiobus! For Auria, however, an iPad 3 or higher is recommended for use with Audiobus, while I was told by Audiobus’ creators that Cubasis runs very smoothly with it on an iPad 2.