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Accelerate Your Mac!
Bring in the Noise
by Thad Brown

AES Convention/Audio News


Well, we are up to issue three and Mike hasn't quit answering my email yet. I'll be putting together a page of shareware links soon and I am lining up some stuff to review, but I would really appreciate some reader input if there are any readers out there. I get the feeling that most people who come to xlr8yourmac are upgrade and video/Photoshop types. A lot of that is covered admirably by the big guy himself, so what can I do for you? Web audio, sound design, music production, digital recording techniques?


The AES (Audio Engineers Society) convention is in full swing, and without the usual glut of news and releases. Strangely, Mike "Maximum Impact" denied my request for xlr8yourmac funding to fly to Amsterdam for four days to cover the event. Normally the companies with news to report also issue press releases or post announcements on their web pages, but I've seen not much of that either. Well, everybody I know who has gone to Amsterdam for four days has stayed for three weeks and had diffuculty reconstrucing two of them after the fact. Guess you have to give the conventioneers some time to sleep off the Edamer, Trappist Ales and whatever they got in the coffee shops.

I'll keep a careful eye out for whatever shows up in the next fews days.


The one big piece of news I DID find is a big one for me. As Maximum Impact mentioned on the Sunday news, Steinberg announced that Cubase will be going to version 4.0 soon. It appears that it is an upgrade for the high end verison of Cubase that is designed to support external audio hardware like Digidesign Pro Tools and TDM systems and some other expensive cards. That version used to be called Cubase XT (presumably for external hardware, not extraterrestrial), and the new version is Cubase VST/24.

Whatever it is, it has every audio buzzword covered. You got your 24 bit 96khz audio, your channel inserts, eight assingable busses, support for more audio cards (including the Yamaha card that is causing much heavy breathing in personal studios accross this great land), and of course it has the real time DSP architecture that is rapidly becoming the standard in the industry. I don't know how much they will shake me down for the upgrade, but Cubase updates rank above things like food and rent in this house, so whatever it is, I'll do a write up as soon as I can.


I will normally avoid talking about the state of the mac in general and stick to audio, but I have a dire warning regarding the iMac. It failed the all important "Girlfriend test." My girl is a smart, computer (mac) savvy graduate student with a natural feel for sales and business that I guess she got from growing up with a businessman for a father. She sets up and runs her own Filemaker databases, has better macs than I do, and only has me do stuff for her that involves opening the case. She's damn cute too. But anyway, I always take her opinion very seriously on computer stuff and consult her before I spend my money, and she rarely gives me bad advice. When I told here that the new home mac would not have SCSI or a floppy drive she said, and I quote, "That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. What the hell are they thinking?"


Band practice was cancelled so I got the see the X-Files tonight for the first time in a while. It reminded me that Mark Snow and whoever else does sound design for that show is working at a completely different level than the rest of the world of Television. Maybe it's the horror movie bent to the show or something, but compare the sound on it to Seinfeld (been playing the same synth slap bass riff for nine years) or Profiler or something. Take a minute away from getting goo goo eyed over David or Gillian next time and listen to the music AND the sounds. Top flight stuff.

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