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Accelerate Your Mac!
Bring in the Noise
by Thad Brown


After promising reviews and cool stuff, half not believing it myself, the USPS suddenly came through in a BIG way. No less than FOUR apps to review arrived in two days. When I will have time to record my own stuff, I don't know, but that's OK for you. Coming up, the Koblo synth, SonicWORX, and more. Because I am busy trying to get you actual useful information, not a lot of news or snappy remarks. Just a few things of note, mostly brought up by reader comments via email.


Looks like I will be attending Studio Pro 98 in NYC on Thursday. If anybody else will be there let me know, maybe we can have a drink. Once I get back, I'll do a big write up.


In my lamenting the lack of viable mac soundcards, I forgot two of them. Emagic makes the Audiowerk 8 and Ensoniq makes Paris. The Audiowerk is something like an Audiomedia III, stereo digital I/O, stereo analog in, and eight analog out. A few users wrote me and were very happy with theirs, all noting very good analog to digital conversion. As always, make sure you app supports the card if you want more than Sound Manager drivers. Right now, I believe the Audiowerk 8 supports ASIO from Steinberg, and of course Logic Audio from Emagic. It's also not apallingly expensive.

Paris is a whole different critter. It's pitched at the same high end pro audio types as Pro Tools on the mac and Creamware on the PC. It comes with the application, a sort of mixer like hardware interface, sound I/O card or cards, and a good deal of expandability. Many Paris users swear by it, and one swore at me for not mentioning it. I have not had the pleasure of using it in any capacity, but I can comment that it is VERY yellow. I'm not kidding, the mixing environment is yellow, the lettering on the mixer is yellow, I think even the rackmount box that comes with it is yellow. There are also very reasonably priced 24 bit ADCs for it as well.


I also have had a number of questions from folks about audio for digitally captured video. Nobody seems real happy about the quality of the audio in their video editing apps, so I did some experimenting, both with my own gear and at a place where I moonlight as a digital audio nerd. Most pro sequencer/recorders will sync a QT video within the app and let you do whatever you want with MIDI and audio. You have to graft that audio onto the video file later, but you can go as far out as you want with your audio app. I did it with Cubase and Digital Performer without a hitch, and I know it is possible in Logic and Metro, not sure about Pro Tools, if anybody knows, tell me.

I also did the opposite, ripping some QT movies off of professionally made CD-ROMS to look closely at the audio, which was often of the totally apalling 11k 8 bit variety. 11k means nothing over 5k once it is converted to analog, which basically means it sounds awful no matter what you do. If you are capturing audio at those kind of resolutions, don't waste you time reworking it in a pro audio app, it will only be frustrating.

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