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Archive for October, 2010

Apple Announces OS X 10.7 Lion

Steve Jobs just announced the new OS X 10.7, Lion. Here’s a link to an item on Apple’s site about it. Here’s a ZDNet report about it. No need to hurry though, it’s not due out until the Summer of 2011.

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iPhone-Band-on-Subway Video: Is it Real?

I just read an interesting item in Macworld about a band called Atomic Tom, who had their instruments stolen and resorted to performing using iPhones as their sole gear. The band posted a video of themselves playing a song on a NYC subway train. It’s a pretty cool video, but I’m not sold on it’s complete authenticity. The mix sounds too good, the vocal mix is too good (especially since the only the lead singer is singing directly into his phone). The only way I could see this working is if the outputs of all the iPhones were run into a multitrack and mixed and sweetened later. It’s a cool idea, and the apps they’re using certainly seem authentic (although the guitar player is awfully good on the guitar sim app he’s using, it looks a little like Frontier Design iShred, but I don’t think you could strum that app and fret chords the way he’s doing).

The band claims ?All footage is performed 100% live and executed in one take.? If so, these guys are pretty darn slick technically. I invite someone from the band to comment and tell us about how they did it.

Check out the video below. What do you think? Is this performance 100% live as the band asserts?

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Keeping Your Recording Projects Organized

I’ve been working on several long-term, multi-song recording projects over the last year, a couple of which are my own and one of which is with a band I play in. I have multiple songs on my main recording drive from the various projects, and have been somewhat frustrated by my scattershot approach to trying to finish them up. Some of the songs are in the arranging stage, some in the tracking stage, and some in the mixing stage.

I finally realized that the problem is that I don’t have a simple way to check the status of the various songs at a glance. Until now, I’ve mainly relied on my memory to decide which song to work on and it hasn’t been a very efficient way to go. I did try making a master list of the songs in a notepad program, but it didn’t seem to help all that much. Since these are all long-term projects without fixed deadlines, I’ve been kind of chipping away haphazardly at the various projects, and haven’t felt like I’ve been using the limited time I have to spend in my studio very efficiently.

It occurred to me that a spreadsheet would be a good way to track the progress and status of the various projects and songs, and really keep on top of it, so I designed a simple one. Okay, this is definitely not rocket science, and I probably should have thought of this a long time ago (duh), but I can see already that it’s going to be enormously helpful.

screen-shot-2010-10-14-at-94237-am.pngUsing Excel, I set up columns for Project Name, Song Title, Last Opened, Status, Drive/File Name, Notes (I made that column really wide) and Backup. For my purposes, I think that should suffice. Of course, the great thing about a spreadsheet is it’s totally flexible, and you can easily change the format if you find that it’s not totally working for you.

Anyway, I thought I’d throw the idea of this status form out there, in case it’s useful to anybody. If anyone can think of other generic columns that might be useful, feel free to add a comment. If you click on this image, it will open up larger and you can see how I set up the sheet.

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New Version of The Recording Guitarist

Jon Chappell is a veteran music-technology journalist and guitar player, and Hal Leonard recently released an update of Jon’s book, The Recording Guitarist . It’s a step-by-step look at guitar recording, from choosing gear to miking to working with DAWs. One of the coolest parts is a guide to dialing in the sounds of a bunch of guitar icons including Eddie Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Morse, and Sonny Landreth.

I’ve worked with Jon extensively over the years and I can attest to his extensive knowledge and attention to detail. If you’re into recording guitar, especially if you’re looking to improve your skills in that area, I recommend you check out Jon’s book. Go here for more info.the_recording_guitarist_cover.jpg

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Remix Serj Tankian

This month’s EM coverstory features Serj Tankian, whose new solo album, Imperfect Harmonies, offers a mix of rock, electronic, and orchestral instrumentation. It’s an excellent and innovative album.

Serj’s people, along with Propellerhead Software are putting on a remix contest in which you can download stems from the song “Disowned Inc.” from the new album. There are some cool prizes, including the full Propellerhead Reason/Record suite, a signed album from Serj, and more. Go here for more info on the contest. Good luck!

serj-cover-low-res.png

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Pro Tool HD Native Arrives

Big news today out of Avid, with the introduction of Pro Tools HD Native. People have been waiting for a native version of Pro Tools for a while, and it’s finally come to fruition. It sounds like this PCIe-card-based system will provide comparable performance to conventional HD systems, will be able to interface with other Avid products such as Icon and C|24, and will support SYNC HD for post production. HD Native will suphd_native_for_blog.jpgport up to 64 channels of I/O.

Although you will have full HD functionality, HD Native will not support TDM plug-ins, only RTAS. However, according to Avid, transferring a project between systems will be seamless, and the TDM plug-in settings will be preserved in the file, even when it’s open and being written over in HD Native. So if you do end up bringing the project back to HD, everything will be there.

Another big deal about HD Native is that it’s a lot less expensive than Pro Tools HD. If you purchase the bundle Avid will be offering with HD Native and the HD Omni interface, you’re looking at a system for a shade under 6K, which is considerably less than a basic HD system. Still, it’s a lot more expensive than a comparable native system running Logic, or Sonar, or DP, Cubase, etc. Even if you were to get high-end interfaces for them. Nevertheless, Pro Tools is undoubtedly an extremely capable and well-rounded DAW, and it’s particularly hard to beat when it comes to audio editing. I have the feeling a lot people will be shelling out for HD Native when it becomes available in early November.

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About

The Bus, EM's editorial blog, features posts from all the EM editors on topics related to gear, recording techniques and much more. It's also home to posts from a selected group of guest bloggers.

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