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February 2006

Posts from January 2006

Cakewalk introduces Rapture - a new virtual synth

Cakewalk_rapturesm_1 The National Association Music Manufacturers conference was Jan 19-22. Consequently a lot of gear hit the market.  This is the first of many  posts  offering highlights.

Cakewalk announced a new virtual  synthesizer (official press release). Sonic state has a video of this synth in action.

The software has released and is available on Musicians' Friend for $199! (save $89)

Rapture Highlights:             

  • Wavetable synthesizer with cutting edge sound manipulation capabilities,                 well suited for electronica-related music styles
  • Non-aliasing resampling engine for pristine sound quality
  • Over 500 professionally-crafted sound programs
  • Six fully-programmable, stereo sound-generating Elements
  • Multi-waveform Oscillators with ring modulation
  • Two 16-mode filters per oscillator with LoFi and Drive
  • Over 40 Envelope Generators, LFOs, and Step Generators for superior                 parameter modulation
  • Comprehensive MIDI Modulation Matrix
  • Mix and modulate all Elements through global FX and dynamic Step                 Generator
  • Superbly designed graphical envelope generators and LFOs for ease                 of use
  • Expandable with native support for SFZ sample formats
  •                 Mac formats: AU™, RTAS®, VSTi™
  • Windows formats: DXi (32-bit & x64), RTAS, VSTi

New Howard Jones album on iTunes

Howardjonesrevolutionoftheheart_1 It's been 20 years since the 80s synth-pop icon Howard Jones exploded on to the music scene.What's he been up to? Well, back in 1997 he started his own label, dtox.  He is releasing new material on this label as well as material from other bands such as dba. I think it's quite inspirational to see an 80's icon remaining vital as an artist and staying current by collaborating with new artists.

Howard recently released a brand new album called Revolution of the Heart which is now available on iTunes. Click this button to preview some tracks  Revolution of the Heart. 

This album is worth a listen for a many reasons. One of course is if you are a Howard Jones fan, you'll still enjoy his electronic synth-pop with a positive message. Second, for you producers out there, the album was co-written/produced by dba's Robbie Bronniman resulting in some very cool mixes.

I actually saw Howard Jones perform his electronic set with a band twice in the last two years. He has quite an interesting laptop-based live rig that I’ll comment on in a future article.

Dig deeper here -


Get 10% off of the new release of FL Studio

Allboxesfrontmirrorfatter_1 FL Studio 6 just released. FL Studio has always been one of my favorite virtual software music environments - especially if you want to go beyond simply creating music on royalty free loops. This is a fantastic new release with tons of new features. I'll mention a few new features in this post and talk in more detail in future posts.

New Plug-Ins:   

  • Instrument: Direct Wave - Advanced Sampler plug-in. 
  • Generator: Fruity Envelope Controller - Automation plug-in. 
  • Generator: Wasp XT - Updated Wasp, new interface and additional modulation. 
  • FX: EQUO - Automatable equalizer plugin. 
  • FX: Fruity Delay Bank - Advanced Delay/Filter plugin. 
  • FX: Fruity Multiband Compressor - Variable 3 Band Compressor. 
  • FX: Fruity Reeverb 2 - Enhanced reverb plugin. 
  • FX: Fruity Squeeze - Distortion/Bit-reduction plugin. 
  • Visualization: Chrome - Video synthesizer, controlled from the Piano Roll.

Use this link to get a 10% discount if you spend more than $90 on your order.

Sneak peak at the next version of Windows - Windows Vista, MTV Urge Music Service, Windows Mobile, Media Center, XBOX 360 and more...

Web_mediaplayer_album02 Windows Vista is still a year away, but you can get a sneak peak into the next version by watching the webcast of the Bill Gates Keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2006. The keynote offers a live demonstration of some of the "fantastic new features" of Vista. The video is rather long, so here is a time index:

  • 8:52 - Bill Gates Keynote
  • 24m50s Vista Presentation by group product manager (definitely worth a look!)
  • 36:50 - President of MTV Networks - Announcing "Urge" Music Network 2 Million Music Library
  • 4:50 - Live demo of Urge Music Service 4m50s
  • 44:10 - Justin Timberlake - yup - you heard right
  • 45:30 - Bill Gates, Discussion of Tablet PCs
  • 47:32 - Windows Mobile (including the new Palm® Treo 700w)
  • 49:30 - Wireless phones in the home including VOIP using messenger
  • 50:50 - Seamless TV/Video/PC experience
  • 53:30 - Media Center
  • 55:00 - Media Center Partners (Intel, content partners, Direct TV, etc...)
  • 58:00 - Live demo of Media Center and syncing media into handhelds
  • 1:19:10 - Xbox 360
  • 1:28:00 -  a Live demo of XBOX 360, Bill Gates vs. Steve Balmer playing Fight Night Round 3- ahhh - you heard right
  • 1:33:35 - Bill Gates wraps it up - "2006 will be a good year for the digital lifestyle"

See other webcasts here

You can also visit the official Windows Vista page to keep up on Microsoft's progress.