Ableton has released LIVE 7. I fell in love with the new features while beta testing and consider this a must have upgrade for existing users. If you've never used Live, you should download the demo and give it a try.
Native Instruments has released KONTAKT 3. It now comes with over 33GB of sounds and 1,000 individual instruments. These instruments include orchestral, band, world, urban beats, vintage synths and more. KONTAKT 3 has a new "Performance View" that allows you to quickly tweak sounds.
This video offers a nice tour of the new library and tour of new features.
Other new features include:
Reworked wave editor for intuitive looping, slicing and destructive sample editing
Multi-break point envelopes per sample
Vastly improved navigation
New effects including tube amp, cabinet simulator, rotator
MIDI loop drag and drop into host application
The product is now available now in stores and the NI Online Shop. Full version: $449.-/ €399., Update from KONTAKT 1 or 2: $149.- / €129., Crossgrade: $279 / €249.- (from all KOMPAKT, INTAKT, KONTAKT Player versions, including 3rd party sample libraries with included NI sampler).
If you are looking for a way to use VJ software sync video elements to music for a live show or a rock video check out ArKaos VJ. The software not only responds to MIDI, but also supports ReWire so that you sequence video elements from inside your primary music application ( ex. Ableton Live, FL Studio, Reason...).
If you are familiar with sequencing with software you'll find ArKaos VJ easy to use as it offers a drag-and-drop keyboard interface right within the software. Simply import pictures and movies, drag stills of videos to a key, then drag an effect to the key. Pressing the keyboard within the application using your mouse or sending MIDI data to the application via a hardware controller or from a ReWire host launches the clip.
Flash movies with editable text and live video camera feeds can also be used from within the application. There are plenty of effects to choose from, and you can customize effect parameters. Beat detection is also included. In addition to using this live, you can also export your work to a Quicktime movie.
For me, the only downside was the pricing model . The software runs on both PC and MAC and costs $335 / 279€. While I think this price is more than fair if you are primarily a VJ, I wish they offered an alternative and somewhat stripped down ReWire version for people who are primarily musicians who want to add video elements to their live shows or create rock videos for YouTube.
I've begun releasing .mp3 singles for my new album REBOOT. Prior to releasing the songs, I spent a fair amount of time researching the the best way to tag my MP3s. I wanted to add information to the .MP3s so that I could "bind" songs together into a virtual album via the tags, make my album art show up in your favorite player, and embed info within the tracks so you could find my web site from within the song info.
One issue with tagging with your favorite media player such as iTunes or Windows Media Player is these applications don't support all the tags all the possible tags and tag formats. Also, media players assume you want import your songs into your music library. Rather than import songs into my music library, I wanted to leave the songs where they were - in their own project folders on my system - and simply edit their tags.
The solution I picked is MP3TAG. Here is the marketing blurb:
"Mp3tag is a powerful and yet easy-to-use tool to edit metadata (ID3, Vorbis Comments and APE) of common audio formats. It can rename files based on the tag information, replace characters or words from tags and filenames, import/export tag information, create playlists and more. The program supports online freedb database lookups for selected files, allowing you to automatically gather proper tag information for select files or CDs."