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MusicDevelopments updates RapidComposer to v2.6 + Anniversary Sale

MusicDevelopments hsa released version 2.6 of its RapidComposer rapid music prototyping software for Windows and Mac.

MusicDevelopments RapidComposer

The latest major update includes dozens of improvements and bug fixes based on feedback and suggestions from RapidComposer users. Besides the workflow improvements, the OS X version became more solid and some new phrase generators and variations were added.

To celebrate the 4th anniversary of the first release, RapidComposer is available at a 30% discount in April.

More information: MusicDevelopments

feelyoursound updates Sundog Scale Studio composition software to v1.10

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feelyoursound has released version 1.10 of Sundog Scale Studio, a MIDI composition software for Windows.

feelyoursound Sundog Scale Studio

Sundog can be used to create whole songs from scratch by supporting the composition workflow in a musical way:

  1. Choose a scale and a base note (e.g. E Minor).
  2. Find a chord progression by clicking chords buttons with your mouse.
  3. Create melodies, basslines, and arpeggios by binding rhythmic note patterns to either the active chords or the current scale.

The note output happens live via MIDI.

Changes in Sundog Scale Studio v1.10

  • MIDI file export: Full song.
  • MIDI file export: Current track.
  • MIDI file export via drag and drop.
  • Solo mode for tracks.
  • New hotkeys: S = Solo, M = Mute.
  • Chords view: Play most important chords via keyboard.
  • Chords view: Change positions with arrow keys.
  • Chords view: Trigger playback with space bar.
  • Display note names in all rubberboxes.
  • Update checker.
  • Small bug fixes.

Sundog Scale Studio is available for Windows, priced at $39 USD / 29 EUR.

More information: feelyoursound / Sundog Scale Studio

WaveDNA updates Liquid Rhythm beat generator to v1.3.2

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WaveDNA has released version 1.3.2 of its Liquid Rhythm and Liquid Rhythm Intro beat making software.

WaveDNA Liquid Rhythm
Liquid Rhythm now allows drag and drop of MIDI to your DAW or desktop.

The latest update includes a number of bug fixes and improvements, and the new ability to drag and drop MIDI arrangements out of Liquid Rhythm and either into any MIDI-capable DAW or onto the desktop. WaveDNA is also improving MIDI scripting support for the Ableton Push controller within the Liquid Rhythm MaxForLive bridge. The release features a beta version of that implementation.

Note: To use the MaxForLive Clips plugin in Ableton Live 9, update you Max to version 6.1.6 before installing Liquid Rhythm (Max must be installed first).

Changes in Liquid Rhythm v1.3.2

  • New features:
    • Drag & Drop MIDI from Liquid Rhythm (standalone or plugin-VST/AU/RTAS) into your favourite Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) (Click and drag on the dotted square in the transport. Right-click on it to adjust preferences for the drag and drop).
    • Choose a BeatForm directly using dropdown menus for each beat under the dials in the BeatForm Tumbler.
  • Improvements and updates:
    • Liquid Rhythm’s MaxForLive Clips patch has been redone to show a button that opens up the main window.
    • Ability to audition the individual elements of a kit when right clicked on the kit within the library.
    • Standalone mode has a new option, that when moving the loop region, confines the playhead to it.
    • Consolidated installer for all plugin modes. (Note: In the installer for Mac, the MaxForLive Clips plugin indicates that it’s 0 bytes in size. This is normal.)
    • Silent instruments (instruments without samples) will now send MIDI notes in plugin and standalone mode. (Useful for connecting another MIDI device to Liquid Rhythm to use as a controller.)
    • Mute/Solo changes in an Ableton Live drum rack are now automatically updated in Liquid Rhythm.
    • Performance improvements when selecting regions in the arranger.
  • Fixes:
    • Walkthrough would sometimes crash when attempting to access a part of the Liquid Rhythm window that was not visible.
    • Changing the colour of multiple tracks and pressing undo wouldn’t revert the colour changes.
    • BeatForm Mute toggle on Medium and Weak wouldn’t toggle.
    • When selecting a clip in Live, the first instrument track in Liquid Rhythm wouldn’t be selected by default; instead it would have the ‘focused region’ indicator, with some other track selected.
    • Mouse Wheel now consistently scrolls horizontally across the molecule tools panel. If you need to scroll vertically in a sub-panel, hold down Alt or Option key with the mouse wheel.
    • On some setups, the audio engine would sometimes cause an error on startup (it would access memory when it wasn’t ready).
    • MIDI Export Wizard and Audio Export Wizard would sometimes appear behind the application, and appear like the system is hung. Now forcing it to appear in front.
    • Downloading a new kit with standalone or plugin would cause a crash when simultaneously using the library.
    • If the ‘welcome to Liquid Rhythm’ window was closed, the menu bars would remain disabled in MaxForLive Liquid Clips mode.
    • Moving the loop region very quickly in clip mode would cause the loop region to grow.
    • Bug in destructive record fixed, where recording in destructive mode and changing in the arranger with the mouse at the same time would cause a crash.
    • BeatWeaver would disable in note edit mode when selecting a note even though there is region focus.
    • Windows XP now installs Liquid Rhythm MaxForLive mode automatically.
    • Accent Modifier note highlights would sometimes get stuck on-screen if you press the escape key.
    • BarForm Family in-place dropdown menu in the arranger wasn’t working.
  • Beta features:
    • Continuing improvements to the Push.
    • Visual display of the active locations in the track.
    • Added support for the BeatForm Tumblers.
    • Users can now select the instruments to edit by switching to ‘Ableton control mode’ on the Push and tapping the appropriate instrument button on the drum pads (bottom left quadrant of Push buttons), and then switching back to ‘User mode’.
    • Ability to enter ‘Ableton control mode’ without having to deactivate ‘User mode’ first.
    • Command Dialer allows customizing the buttons on the Arrange page.
    • Various performance and stability improvements.

Liquid Rhythm for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for $129 USD; Liquid Rhythm Intro is $49 USD.

More information: WaveDNA

Avid ships Sibelius 7.5 music notation software

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Sibelius 7.5

Avid has announced that its Sibelius 7.5 music notation software is now shipping.

Sibelius® 7.5, the new version of the world’s best-selling music composition and notation software from Avid®, is now shipping.

Sibelius 7.5 provides innovative new features that accelerate workflows, allowing composers to focus on the creative process and produce more compelling scores, more efficiently.

Changes in Sibelius 7.5

  • Accelerated navigation—The new Timeline window allows for a quick view of the entire structure of a score for faster editing and playback, no matter how large or complex the score; composers can jump immediately to any section by clicking on any bar in the timecode ruler or on any landmark.
  • More expressive playback—The fully redesigned Espressivo 2.0 feature delivers complete control over the customization of the rhythmic feel of any individual part of the score, plus improved notation interpretation adds more expressive and realistic feel, and can be customized for swing rhythms.
  • Improved notation interpretation—Sibelius playback has been greatly enhanced, providing better interpretation of notation distinctions such as tempo markings, metric emphasis, grace notes, mordents, caesuras, and breath marks; composers can now hear every nuance of their score played back in realistic detail, without having to hire an expensive orchestra.
  • Easy collaboration and sharing—Sibelius 7.5 enables enhanced collaboration and distribution of compositions through innovative score sharing and social media features; scores can be shared through email, uploaded and published as sheet music on ScoreExchange.com, or shared as video or audio files on YouTube, Facebook, and SoundCloud.
  • Full Scorch app integration—Sibelius scores can be exported directly to Avid Scorch® for iPad for fully interactive playback, practice, performance, and publishing; Sibelius automatically optimizes the score for iPad display, paying special consideration to page orientation, number of staves, margin sizes, and more.
  • Localized for Brazil and Russia—Sibelius 7.5 includes local language support for Russian and Brazilian Portuguese in addition to English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.

Sibelius 7.5 is now worldwide, priced at $599.95 USD / 486.56 EUR exc. VAT / £479.95 GBP inc. VAT. Various upgrade options are also available.

More information: Avid / Sibelius

The MIT Press publishes A Composer’s Guide to Game Music

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A Composer's Guide to Game Music

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press has published A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, a new book by the composer of Assassin’s Creed Liberation, The Da Vinci Code and Speed Racer video games, Winifred Phillips.

As an award-winning composer of video game music, Phillips provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field. Among those praising Phillips’s book is celebrated film/game composer Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, Metal Gear Solid series), who described A Composer’s Guide to Game Music as “not just compulsory bedside reading for budding games composers, but a fine achievement in itself. Bravo!” Renowned video game director David Jaffe (God of War, the Twisted Metal series) described Phillips’s book as “an important, deep, and rare exploration of video game music by one of the medium’s smartest and most talented voices.”

Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, one of the most important qualifications for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. “It’s very important to have an enduring passion for games,” Phillips writes. “With the right spark of enthusiasm, the process of writing music for games can be positively exhilarating.”

A Composer’s Guide to Game Music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music for a new medium.

The book is available to purchase for a list price of $29.95 USD.

More information: A Composer’s Guide to Game Music

WaveDNA updates Liquid Rhythm & Liquid Rhythm Intro to v1.3.1

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WaveDNA Liquid Rhythm

WaveDNA has released version 1.3.1 of Liquid Rhythm and Liquid Rhythm Intro, the MIDI sequencer and beat creation software for Windows and Mac.

We haven’t had an update to Liquid Rhythm in a while. Our release cycles are generally short, but the winter season has been very busy for us. Christmas was fun, NAMM was exciting, the snow… My goodness, so much snow. We’re finally releasing an update to our last major release.

It contains many bugfixes, a few enhancements to features, and most notably, the ability to control Liquid Rhythm using the Novation Launchpad S through the MaxForLive Clips Mode via Ableton Live.

We’ve had Launchpad support for standalone, and now we have support for Ableton Live users with the MaxForLive Clip mode for Liquid Rhythm. We’re also working on bringing MIDI scripting support to Ableton’s Push controller. This release features a beta version of that implementation – it’s a lot of fun! (Though we’re still ironing out the kinks.)

Details on what’s new in version 1.3.1 can be found here.

Liquid Rhythm is available to purchase for $129 USD/$49 USD (Intro).

More information: WaveDNA

Fabrizio Poce releases J74 Progressive for Max for Live

Fabrizio Poce of June74 Software has released J74 Progressive, a toolset for chord progression making and harmonic editing in Ableton Live and Max for Live.

J74 Progressive
The Chord Progression Editor with chord progression matrix and arpeggio editor, Analyzer and Harmonizer tools.

While very well equipped for the actual performance, Ableton Live does not provide any specific harmonic editing capabilities: you cannot ask Live to suggest a chord, if your are building a progression or if you imported a clip you do not have a tool to find out which scale that clip is in. Actually you do not have any notion of chord or scale in your material while editing in Live MIDI editor.

The J74 Progressive toolset targets exactly these topics. Progressive is a sophisticated tool for harmonic editing. It is capable of producing high quality chord progressions and arpeggios directly as MIDI clips and provides tools for scale and chord detection as well as MIDI clip harmonization.

Progressive is available to purchase for $12 USD. Requires Ableton Live 9 or higher, with Max for Live.

More information: Fabrizio Poce / J74 Progressive

Make Music releases Finale 2014 notation software

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Make Music Finale 2014

Make Music has launched Finale 2014, the 25th Anniversary Edition of the music notation software for Windows and Mac.

To notate music is to look forward – to the performance, and beyond. Whether you’re creating a simple lead sheet, making worksheets for your students, or composing your magnum opus, Finale helps you easily capture your musical ideas, produce beautiful notation, and quickly share the results.

For 25 years, Finale’s unique ability to create anything on the printed page has remained undisputed while other music notation software has come and gone. Finale 2014 is the forward-looking choice with new innovations, making Finale’s trademark freedom and flexibility easy for everyone to use.

New in Finale 2014

  • New file format. Designed to improve compatibility, the new format for documents created in Finale helps you share your music more easily. Older Finale documents are automatically converted when you open them, and you will be prompted to save the file in the new format. You can also export your document to the older format for use in Finale 2012 (use MusicXML for earlier versions of Finale).
  • Keyless scores. Create scores or sections with no key signature. You can also easily hide key signatures and continue to automatically display accidentals using the Hide key signature/Show accidentals option.
  • Beat-attached Smart Shapes. Smart Shapes that previously attached to measures now attach to beats (in the same manner as expressions) with lines showing the attachment point. Beat attachment allows a Smart Shape start or end point to attach to a particular note, beat, or right barline. Affected Smart Shapes include hairpins, trills and trill extensions, 8va/8vb (ottava/ottava bassa), horizontal brackets, and lines.
  • Smart multi-layer accidental and rest handling. Rests of the same duration and accidentals on unison notes in multiple layers now are displayed only once. Accidentals in one layer are also carried through the measure for all other layers (these can optionally be displayed in Staff Attributes or Staff Styles).
  • Improved percussion functionality. There is now greater interaction between the Percussion Layout Designer and Percussion MIDI Maps, and Percussion MIDI Maps can now be removed.
  • Unlinkable Special Tools. Alterations made with any of the Special Tools are now unlinkable between a score and its parts.
  • MP4 support. Finale now supports loading MP4 videos.
  • Improved Scanning/SmartScore Lite Enhancements. Finale now includes SmartScore Lite version X2, offering improved notation recognition.
  • New ARIA Player. Finale includes the latest ARIA Player from Garritan, with more than 400 instruments including the additions of alto flute, bass flute, oboe d’amore, Eb clarinet, contrabass clarinet, piccolo trumpet, tubular bells, string harmonics, percussion “toys”, orchestral brass mutes, flugelhorn, basic African percussion, steel drums, banjo, fife, tablas, Celtic harp, and nine patches from Garritan Instant Orchestra.
  • Improvements to opening files. Finale displays all readable file types in the Open dialog box. Additionally, MusicXML files can now be dragged-and-dropped onto the Finale application.
  • New method for Finale updates. At launch, Finale automatically checks for updates. Instead of requiring you to download and install the updates manually from the Finale website, Finale now downloads and installs the updates automatically.

Finale 2014 is available to purchase for $600 USD.

More information: Make Music