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eaReckon updates BloXpander to v1.5

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eaReckon BloXpander

eaReckon has announced version 1.5 of its BloXpander VST host software for live performance.

This VST host has been designed to meet the requirements of musicians and sound engineers in live situations. As a serious musician, you surely need a complete DAW to record your music, but when you are in front of your audience, it may be easier to use something dedicated to live situations.
And during live situations, the access to your instruments and effects must be fast and intuitive. The adjustment of these must be done efficiently, and the necessary software sub layers running on your computer should not be your concern when it comes to play or produce music.

Changes in BloXpander v1.5

  • New “Live View” – You can now switch from the classic console View to a “Live View” providing essential controls to be used once your scenes prepared. Controls in the Live View are highly contrasted and quite large (touchscreen friendly). The “Live View” can also be used to manage your scenes and sets the easy way. For example, it is possible to move or copy a scene from a set to another (drag n drop), rename it or change its index in the set from an easy dialog.
  • Improved user interface – If we look beyond the updated graphics that improve the overall look of the console and the redesigned plug-ins case, some controls have also been added or relocated in order to provide a better workflow. The following details represent a non-exhaustive list of changes. The automatic layout adaption should work better with small screens (especially when the resolution height is 768). Should the screen or window width be too small to display the Console View (between 600 and 960 pixels), the Live View will automatically be activated. If you are using a Tablet PC with a screen resolution of 1280×800 (800×1280 in “portrait” mode), it should then be possible to switch from the Console View to the Live View by tilting your device. Transport controls are now accessible from a “Big Display” panel which includes the LCD emulation. This panel can be hidden and can have a semi-transparent aspect. For your convenience, an extra Play button and a Tempo control have been added to the “Touch Zone”. Side panels can be hidden in order to enlarge the console. Finally, the background of the console view can be customized and you still have the option to choose between the new console layout and the previous one.
  • The interface is now available in three languages : English, French and German.
  • Master Record – It is now possible to record the master bus to a WAV file.
  • Improved MIDI engine:
    • “Insert Subscene Lock” option.
    • Inserts can now be selectively locked so their state does not change when a subscene is called. For example, this feature can be used to avoid a sampler to reload its content when switching to another scene while allowing effects to be updated.
    • The “lock” state of each insert is saved with scenes.
  • Various improvements:
    • Channel names can be edited (and saved with scenes).
    • Improved “MIDI Sync In” option (featuring an offset option).
    • New per-plug-in “Hot Update” option: will speed up the scene loading process when some specific plug-ins (samplers/romplers mostly) are involved.
    • New per-plug-in “Force MIDI process” option which should help plug-ins that do not explicitly report their MIDI capabilities to work as expected.
    • New global “Master Mode” option: can be used to specify whether or not the Master level should be recalled from scenes.
    • New global transpose option in the MIDI filter: can be used to quickly set a global transpose value that will be applied to all channels.
    • The previous “subscene store” process has been replaced by a more direct and less confusing “Store/Call” mode switch.
    • Improved minimizing process and new tray icon.
    • Hot Keys can be selectively enabled/disabled and are automatically disabled when BloXpander is minimized.
    • New “Expert” options.
    • The tempo value is now stored with subscenes.
    • New “default” scene option (to be loaded on launch).
  • Updated manuals.
  • Fixed bugs:
    • Improved “MIDI Plug-ins Recall” feature (avoids a potential crash).
    • Improved handling of some specific resizable plug-ins (these plug-ins were not resized correctly).
    • Improved inserts drag n drop (copy/move) feature (avoids a potential crash).
    • Various minor bug fixes.

BloXpander for Windows costs 69 EUR.

More information: eaReckon / BloXpander

Blue Cat Audio releases PatchWork plug-in patchbay

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Blue Cat Audio has announced the release of Blue Cat’s PatchWork, a new plug-in that can be described as a “universal plug-ins patchbay”.

Blue Cat PatchWork
PatchWork can host up to 64 VST plug-ins into any Digital Audio Workstation.

It is possible to chain effects in series or create up to 8 parallel chains that can be activated independently, and create many effects or instruments configurations within the plug-in, without the need for multiple busses. These configurations can be saved as presets and recalled instantly, or shared with multiple DAWs, using any plug-in format. Despite the plug-in’s name, no wiring or cabling is required: configuring plug-ins routing is as simple as adding or removing a row or a column in the rack’s matrix.

For each plug-in slot, latency compensation, presets management, undo/redo integration, and individual plug-in bypass are included for optimal operation. The plug-in also stores the position of the window for each plug-in so that the layout is restored with the session or saved with presets.

PatchWork features

  • Configurable VST plug-ins rack: host up to 64 third party plug-ins or instruments in series or parallel.
  • Available as an effect or virtual instrument.
  • Build your own effects chains: up to 8 “pre” and “post” plug-ins slots to chain plug-ins in series.
  • Parallel processing made easy: up to 8 parallel plug-ins chains.
  • Host up to 8 virtual instruments in parallel and mix them within the plug-in.
  • Global Dry/Wet control (“Mix”).
  • Copy and paste plug-ins with their settings between slots.
  • Recall complex processing setups and plug-ins layouts with one click and share them between your DAWs.
  • Input and output levels monitoring.
  • Plug-ins Latency compensation.
  • Integrated undo/redo.
  • Fully configurable user interface, with multiple sizes.

PatchWork is available to purchase at an introductory discount of 20% until December 31st, 2013. Existing Blue Cat Audio customers can purchase the plug-in with 40% discount.

More information: Blue Cat Audio / PatchWork

Sensomusic updates Usine Hollyhock to v1.02.012

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Sensomusic Usine Hollyhock

Sensomusic has released version 1.02.012 of its Usine Hollyhock music software dedicated to live music and real-time installations.

You’ll find 3 new devices modules: the Leap Motion module, the serial port module (to work with Arduino and other serial devices) and the Wiimote module – create interaction with movements and gestures with the Leap motion, build your own MIDI devices with the Arduino and sensors and conduct your patches with the Wiimote.

Changes in Usine Hollyhock v1.02.012

  • New modules: Serial and Arduino, Wiimote, Leap Motion, Clock, Count milliseconds, Change Scale, Counter, Quantize Data, Quantize Button, Quantize MIDI.
  • Improved MIDI clock management: directly included into the devices. Much more accurate and precise.
  • Improvements in the Doppler library patch, Queue Data in Array module, and MIDI Quantize sub patch.
  • Fixed: important memory crash on store/recall preset of plug-ins.
  • Fixed: [Report #9] on plug-ins module, ‘params’ and ‘params names’ doesn’t update when changing preset.
  • Fixed: [Report #31] on plug-ins module, param value in setting panel doesn’t update when manipulated by patch.
  • Fixed: plug-ins module, in some case, bypass produces noise.
  • Fixed: various details in the Ramp module.
  • Fixed: mapping curves doesn’t work properly on binds.
  • Fixed: [Report #39] buttons and commands colors of the preset manager.

Usine Hollyhock for Windows and Mac is available to purchase for 159 EUR (20% off regular 199 EUR).

More information: Sensomusic

Native Instruments releases MASCHINE STUDIO and MASCHINE 2.0 Software

Native Instruments has announced the release of MASCHINE STUDIO and MASCHINE 2.0, the new flagship groove production studio and next generation of MASCHINE software.

Native Instruments Maschine Studio
MASCHINE STUDIO is the flagship music production system for tactile, creative beatmaking with an acclaimed sound library.

MASCHINE STUDIO joins the acclaimed family of MASCHINE products with expanded tactile control and two hi-resolution color displays. Powerful new MASCHINE 2.0 delivers a new mixer page, new audio engine, dynamic drum synth plug-ins, and much more to all three MASCHINE hardware versions.

Create and perform rhythms, harmonies, and melodies faster than you ever thought possible. MASCHINE STUDIO’s workflow keeps you laser-focused on the quest for the perfect groove. Its pattern-based sequencer and high-performance sampler, exemplary drum synths, incredible suite of creative effects and pro instruments, and acclaimed sound library deliver ultimate production power.

And MASCHINE STUDIO’s impressive hardware delivers full tactile workflow.

Maschine Studio is available to purchase for $999 USD / 999 EUR (includes Maschine 2.0). Current Maschine users can upgrade to Maschine 2.0 for $99 USD / 99 EUR.

Customers who purchased Maschine/Maschine Mikro between October 1st-November 1st, 2013 will receive a free download for Maschine 2.0 on November 1st, 2013.

More information: Native Instruments / Maschine Studio

Steinberg updates Cubase Elements/AI/LE to v7.0.6 + Cubase Elements trial version

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Steinberg has released version 7.0.6 of the Elements, AI and LE editions of its Cubase digital audio workstation software.

The update focuses on visibility and workflow enhancements for MixConsole, including the ability to display channel names in two rows as well as one-click plug-in access.

The new version also includes audio stability improvements under Windows, improved UAD compatibility as well as several resolved issues in different areas.

The update is now available for download from the Steinberg website.

Cubase Elements 7 Trial

Steinberg has also announced the release of a trial version of Cubase Elements, the smallest retail version of its Cubase music production software.

Functionally identical with the retail version, the trial version will run for 30 days, so there’s plenty of time to record audio, try out the powerful recording, editing and mixing tools as well as the included instruments and effect plug-ins.

Try the new MixConsole with its integrated EQ/Dynamics channel strip modules, the Chord Track for easy chord management or the VST Amp Rack guitar tone suite and experience the highly intuitive Cubase workflow relished by professionals around the globe.

No registration is required. Just download, install and enter the world of Cubase.

More information: Steinberg / Cubase

Bitwig beta video: Working with Instrument Clips in Bitwig Studio

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Bitwig has posted a new beta video, which demonstrates Working with Instrument Clips in Bitwig Studio.

The latest beta video highlights several of Bitwig Studio’s features for working with instrument clips.

Switch between clip- or track-based note editing, bring more life into your composition using note expressions and and per-note micro-pitch control, or use the histogram-based inspector function on several notes at once to randomize or spread parameter variances, changing the feel of your instrument clips.

More information: Bitwig

Cakewalk intros Sonar X3

Cakewalk Sonar X3

Cakewalk has introduced Sonar X3, the latest version of its music production software for Windows.

Create music in any style with cutting-edge instruments, effects, and creative tools. Thanks to the award-winning Skylight user interface, SONAR X3 lets you move seamlessly in your production workspace, instantly going from recording to editing to mixing and back again.

Produce flawless tracks with the 64-Bit Double Precision audio engine and upload polished mixes directly to YouTube and SoundCloud. Plus, SONAR X3 let’s you do it all without limiting the number of tracks and plugins; all while supporting the latest technologies like VST3, multi-touch, and Gobbler cloud save.

SONAR X3 is our biggest upgrade to date and includes new and exciting core workflow enhancements and features like Color Customization, Comping, VST3 Support, ARA integration, Melodyne Essential, Tape Emulator, our revolutionary QuadCurve EQ Zoom & Analyzer, and much more. Plus we’ve added new effects and instruments including XLN Audio Addictive Drums, Nomad Factory Blue Tubes FX, Lounge Lizard Session, and much more.

Sonar X3 upgrade is available to purchase for $49 (Sonar X3) / $99 (Sonar X3 Studio) / $149 USD (Sonar X3 Producer).

More information: Cakewalk / Sonar

Mutools updates MuLab & MUX VST to v5.2

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Mutools has released version 5.2 of MuLab and MUX VST

Mutools MuLab
The MuLab sound and music production system transforms a computer into an inspiring modular studio.

Changes in version 5.2

  • Redesigned UI system resulting in a greatly improved look & feel!
  • Redesigned the MuSynth, MuDrum, MuPad, MuSampla, MultiSampla, MuVerb and MuEcho front panels.
  • Oscillators: Super Layers (aka “Fatness”) can now be edited in detail, resulting in many more sound options. Such osc layer setups can also be copy-pasted and saved as presets.
  • New monophonic mode for great solo sounds!
  • Many more improvements, details in the changelog.

MuLab 5 for Windows and Mac is available to purchase staring at 29 EUR, MUX 5 UL costs 49 EUR.

More information: MuTools