Category: Technology (Archive)

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Voices of Passion – Part 1

When you think about vocals in film, the tendency is to think of big dramatic choirs like those found in Ben Hur, King of Kings, How Green is My Valley, Duel of the Fates from Star Wars, The 13th Warrior and others. For this big choral sound, there have been several choir libraries in recent […]

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Orchestration: An Anthology of Writings

Because of my work in writing orchestration books, the folks at Rutledge publishing sent me a great book by Paul Mathews, Chair of the Department of Music Theory at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Orchestration, An Anthology of Writings, is a refreshing joy to read as it’s filled with many treats working professionals will appreciate thanks to […]

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64-Bit Answers for PC and Mac

Written with Nick Batzdorf, publisher, Virtual Instruments magazine and Jeff Laity, Marketing Manager at Tascam. Over the past few months we’ve been trying to answer the question as to how powerful a 64-bit machine you need to take advantage of the newer PLAY and Vienna Instrument libraries that today do take advantage of the 64-bit […]

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Happenings in Music Technology

Peter Alexander talks about the latest in sample library releases from EastWest, Vienna Symphonic Library, and much more.

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Best Buy Rising

Peter Alexander Discusses discusses Best Buy stores selling pro music gear

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Best Service Galaxy II Piano Collection

Peter Alexander reviews The Galaxy II Piano Collection from Best Service.

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Updating Your G5 or Mac Pro for 64-bit? Yes? No? Go PC?

So far, our ongoing look at transitioning to 64-bit has primarily focused on RAM. However, after counting up the 64-bit libraries in line to review in the coming weeks, I discovered that I’m running out of space (aka capacity) on the hard drives in my Mac G5 which is the system I’m using to review […]

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Storm Drum 2: Part 2

In the past week, I’ve had more time to work with Storm Drum 2. As a general comment, people coming into my studio are mightily impressed with the quality of sound EastWest has achieved in these recordings. System Specs Although I’ve covered this previously, I want to review a few points. First, regardless of the […]

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Storm Drum 2 – Part 1: Installation and Setup

As a former percussion major and as someone who’s spent many an hour on the scoring stages of Los Angeles with some of the best percussionists in the world, I am mightily impressed. But as someone who writes and produces, I am grateful, because what I’m hearing in Storm Drum 2, just with the percussion, […]

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Pre-PLAY

As I begin these series of reviews for each of the new PLAY products from EastWest, I’m addressing some issues that I see appearing in the various forums that deal with specs. SPECS – IN GENERAL All of the new PLAY products, without exception, are designed for 64-bit systems. PLAY is ahead of many manufacturers […]

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E-MU PM5 and the PS 12 Subwoofers

I agreed to review the E-MU PM5 monitors because the folks at E-MU stopped short of swearing on their mother’s Sunday chicken that these monitors, at $498 per pair (street price), were the equal of a $2,000 pair of Genelecs. To enhance the claim, I was also sent two (2) PS 12 subwoofers (one per […]

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RME Fireface 800 and the KRK VXT8s

A while back I reviewed, positively, the KRK VXT8 monitors using the MOTU Traveler. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to replace the MOTU Traveler and work with the RME Fireface 800. The RME Fireface 800 is an audio card that connects to either the PC or the Mac using the Firewire connection. With this […]

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Logic 8 and the Mac Mini

For the past few months, I’ve been talking about the value of getting Logic 8 and running it on a Mac Mini. This week, actually, last night, I got to test my words because for Valentine’s Day, I ordered one from Apple for my wife Caroline, who earned her Masters in Film Composition at Bournemouth […]

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Logic 8, K2 Players and Beyond

Recently, I gave a first review of Peter Seidlaczek’s String Essentials 2 from Best Service where we examined setting up the K2 player inside Logic 7.2 so that it would operate multitimbrally. Lest we forget: Thankfully, happy days are here at last (as opposed to again) with the release of Logic 8 which finally makes […]

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Is It 64bit Yet?

One of the hidden gems of NAMM was the quiet announcement from Vienna that in a few weeks, it will release a Mac/PC version of Vienna Ensemble (version 3) that sends over LAN (local area network) cables both MIDI and audio data between the computer(s) running the Vienna Instrument and the host computer. This means […]

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Independent Developers Shine Out at NAMM 2008

This week we’re dedicating space to those intrepid souls willing to risk a lot of money with recording, programming and licensing fees, to bring out a new library. Having beta tested two major orchestral libraries, co-produced a second, and beta tested other software programs, I can tell you by experience that just getting the product […]

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String Essentials 2 – The New Workhorse String Library: Part 1

Now that NAMM 2008 is over, we’re going to consider a really beautiful string library that’s been seriously overlooked since it’s initial release by Best Service in Germany, distributed by EastWest: String Essentials 2 by Peter Siedlaczek. Peter’s work extends back to the Roland sampler days when he created a number of programs, often not […]

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64Bit and NAMM 2008

A couple of days after this article appears, we will once again be surrounded by NAMM madness. NAMM madness is a state of mind akin to Santa Claus, or possibly a barbecue buffet, in that, once arrived in the “sacred” Hall of Music Technology, we prowl the aisles looking for the next leap to ship […]

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Peering Into 2008

After looking over the news stories for the past year, I thought it would be appropriate to make some yearly predictions as to where things are going with music and technology and how that will impact composers. Lessons From the Writers’ Strike Both Hewlett-Packard and Wal-Mart dropped out of the video download market, citing it […]

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In Review: Vienna Instruments Special Edition

Since its original release last Spring, the Vienna Instruments Special Edition has added to its repertoire the Vienna Ensemble (covered in an earlier review) and most recently, the opportunity for individuals to expand the SE by direct downloading value-priced expansion packages direct from the Vienna site, bypassing both distributors and individual retailers. Vienna has also […]

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KRK VXT 8 Monitors

I am a composer who writes, records, and has to engineer his own projects unless there’s a big fee to include an engineer. I am not, on the other hand, an engineer (e.g., geek) who composes second and lives by specs first! So when I approach a pair of monitors where reading a bunch of […]

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Doug Rogers – Why It’s Time to PLAY

I was able to catch up with Doug Rogers, president of EastWest, right after Thanksgiving to find out more about the new PLAY player and what to expect for implementation on both the Mac and PC platforms under 64-bit. A native New Zealander, with 30 years experience in the audio industry, Doug Rogers is the […]

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Concerns and Questions for Yamaha/Steinberg

During the summer I wrote a column on developers posting more detailed system specs, especially on the Mac, so that customers could easily assess whether their current version of both the OS and the host program could run the desired virtual instrument. This is a more detailed follow up based on that original story where […]

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The Vienna Ensemble in Action

This week I installed the new “free” Vienna Ensemble v2.0. Free to existing users, the Vienna Ensemble is the new virtual mixer from the Vienna Symphonic Library that now accompanies the Vienna Instruments. Vienna Ensemble can be used in standalone mode on a separate “farm” computer or within a sequencing program. Stating the Obvious Here […]

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Dirk Campbell’s Origins – Review

True to its name, Origins is a sample CD in GigaStudio and EXS24 format featuring samples of instruments from early antiquity (the bone flute being one of the oldest) up through brass used by the Roman Legions (the cornu). For those curious, my interview with Mr. Campbell found that all of the instruments were recorded […]

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Dirk Campbell’s Origins Library

When retold with historical fidelity, the Christmas Story is the sound of the Middle East, with the air tinged to our Western ears with exotic percussion, winds and strings, along with the brass cornu played by the “bugler” of the 10th Roman Legion. So, while I’m working my way through the Vienna Ensemble and the […]

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Vienna Breaks New Ground With Release of the New Vienna Ensemble Mixing Package

October 25, 2007 was an important day for the Vienna Symphonic Library with the formal release for PC of their new Vienna Ensemble and the public beta for Mac OSX. As previously reported in Film Music Weekly, the Vienna Ensemble is Vienna’s own proprietary virtual mixing board for Vienna Instruments only. Unless they choose to, […]

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Vienna Instruments Special Edition

Part 1 In time for Christmas, this begins a multipart review of the Vienna Instruments Special Edition. In part 1, I’m giving you an overview with pricing considerations. In part 2, I’ll give you my take on various musical tests I ran on the library. Start With the Chart To get a handle on what […]

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PDF Output and More for Notation Programs

It’s one thing to do a score on screen, and even print it out on your local printer. But what if you want to do more? What if you want the score printed on 11×17 paper? Or parts printed on 11×17 landscape, and on buff 60-lb. card stock? Or how about exporting a file as […]

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More on the new Vienna Ensemble

On September 27, 2007, Herb Tucmandl, president of the Vienna Symphonic Library, posted a mini-overview of what’s coming with the new Vienna Ensemble which is being offered as a free update on approximately October 25, 2007. The significance of the Vienna Ensemble is that VSL is giving users the option of their virtual mixing board […]

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