Happenings in Music Technology

In the past week, a lot’s been happening in music technology. So let’s catch up.


It’s official. Of the major sample library developers, EastWest is among the first to offer a posted academic/religious/industry pricing on selected libraries.  With over three pages of choices (roughly 30 libraries), qualified students and teachers can get QLSO Platinum Pro for $835, QLSO Gold Pro for $485, Peter Seidlaczek’s Classical Collection, Bosendorfer 290, all the new Quantum Leap PLAY libraries, and literally, a lot more. Like Adobe, EastWest has the same restrictions for those who qualify: Education versions cannot be used for any commercial purpose. A commercial purpose is any revenue-generating activity beyond the usual and customary activities educational institutions engage in.

This is a great breakthrough that’s long overdue in the industry.

IK Multimedia Educational Discounts

And speaking of educational discounts, though not posted on their web site, IK Multimedia also has discounts including very aggressive site licensing pricing. Academic institutions, teachers and students can contact either their local IK dealer or IK directly for details. Click on CONTACT US to reach the right person.

Vienna Symphonic Library – Vienna Ensemble 3.0

The Vienna Symphonic Library has made a really huge breakthrough for those composers who use multiple computers in their production studio. The newly released Vienna Ensemble 3.0 is the first proprietary system from a sample developer that enables you to flow both audio and MIDI data over LAN cables to the main sequencing computer. In short, this means that any computer dedicated to running the Vienna library does not need either an audio card or a MIDI interface. One launches the Vienna Ensemble in both the sequencing computer and computer dedicated to the Vienna Instruments. This feature only works with Vienna libraries. The amount of RAM in the computer determines how many instances of VE 3.0. Each instance allows for 16 MIDI tracks and 16 stereo pairs of audio data. The PC version is already 64-bit. The Mac version is 32-bit with 64-bit under development. Purchasers get an automatic license for a master DAW system plus three additional computers for 95 Euros or about $125 US depending on the day and the exchange rate.

Vienna Symphonic Library – Chamber Strings II
It’s amazing what you can discover by skulking around a website. Turns out that VSL will soon release Chamber Strings II which will be the muted library collection. So, all those folks looking to approximate divisi with and without mutes will be able to with Chamber Strings I and II. The price for the entire Chamber Strings II library is $750 US. See the ILIO website for pricing

Vienna Symphonic Library – Price Increase!
And now for the castor oil moment at Music Technology & You. While the Dollar vs. the Euro works well for American companies with international customers, for Americans buying from European companies, the news isn’t so good. A few weeks ago Best Service libraries had a serious increase over at EastWest. And now similar financial issues have hit the Vienna Symphonic Library. Current pricing ends on May 14, 2008. On May 15, there’s an across-the-board 10% rate hike for all Vienna Instrument libraries.

But that’s not all. Effective July 15, 2008, the upgrade path from the Vienna Symphonic Library First, Pro and Horizon Editions are permanently discontinued.

My Experience With CDW
To upgrade my G5 to handle all the libraries I have to review, I tried out CDW who’s an authorized Mac reseller and repair center. To upgrade, I ordered an eSATA PCI card from LaCie, an eSATA to eSATA cable, and a 1 Terabyte Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition preformatted for the Mac. To avoid pilot error since I’m coming from the PC to the Mac, I brought in a tech, former Sales Engineer for Apple John Linthicum (www.linthi.com), to handle the installation. Shipped ground via DHL from Illinois, my order arrived in about two days. CDW is excellent about sending shipping notices and providing a place on their website to track shipping. The box was well packed and no damage occurred during shipping. The entire installation took about 15 minutes and everything worked the first time. No extra software was needed to install in the Mac. One thing I noticed about the Western Digital MyBook Studio drive was that it was packed with three cables, none of which were the needed eSATA to eSATA cable. Fortunately, I ordered a 3-foot cable, but a 6-foot one would have been better. The drive is powered via electricity and turns on and off with the Mac.

Overall, a good experience and I’ll go back for additional purchases.

One thing about Best Buy vs. CDW is that CDW has everything Mac in stock including Logic. And as an authorized Mac repair center, I have a backup for my purchases I won’t be able to get at Best Buy unless the Geek Squad is specially trained to handle it.

My Experience In Filing Taxes
Short column.


  • Al
    April 29, 2008 @ 1:46 am

    Do you mean that Vienna Ensemble 3.0 is meant to stream audio through LAN with VI? cause there’s a little tool that anyone using more than 1 computer had to use and exists already LONG! it’s called Giga Teleport, but it’s meant to be used in combination with the ALL-SO-BUGGY gigastudio.
    What do u need a computer to pass midi for? a dedicated machine that streams audio -fine, but midi? Midi signals are all created within one sequencer program that sends them to separate computers and they supply the audio through LAN.
    I’m pretty sure Giga Teleport is cheaper by the way.

  • April 29, 2008 @ 7:05 am

    Yes, Vienna Ensemble 3.0 streams audio and MIDI over LAN, but proprietary at this point to Vienna Instrument products. Unlike FX Teleport, Vienna Ensemble is dual platform working on both the Mac and PC.

    MIDI cannot be sent from one computer to another without the appropriate software. MIDIoverLAN, also dual platform working on both the Mac and PC, is such a program.

    The advantage of moving MIDI over a LAN connection is that multiple ports within a computer can be set up which allows for additional “instances” (aka openings). Depending on the computer and how it’s setup, this means that a single computer could be streaming 48 pairs of audio and 48 MIDI channels of information without buying additional hardware interfaces.

    Thanks for posting.

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