Archive for the ‘Windows Computer Systems’ Category


SONAR Home Studio 6 Now Shipping from Dolphin Music

April 4, 2007

SONAR Home Studio 6 gives you everything you need to turn your PC into a complete music production studio. Record live instruments and vocals and mix them with studio-quality audio effects. Edit audio, MIDI, and music notation. Build backing tracks or entire songs with hundreds of included instrument sounds and tempo-syncing loops. SONAR Home Studio 6 is the complete solution for creating and sharing your music.

SONAR Home Studio 6 also introduces Cakewalk Publisher, an innovative new tool that helps users publish and present their music online. Cakewalk Publisher allows SONAR Home Studio customers to create a customized, online, streaming music player with playlists of their music that can then be directly uploaded from SONAR Home Studio to band websites, MySpace pages, and other Internet sites, perfect for aspiring artists hoping to make a name for themselves.

SONAR Home Studio 6 give you all this exceptional value and more power and more by adding a selection of over one gigabyte of instrument sounds, Boost 11 Peak Limiter, Dimension LE, Session Drummer 2 drum instrument, and more.


Sound Card Interface connections – Is it PCI, USB1.1, USB 2.0, FireWire or PCMCIA?

January 3, 2007

So it’s time to look around the back and side of your computer – failing that check the instructions. So which interface type do you have? Is it PCI, USB1.1, USB 2.0, FireWire or PCMCIA? You should have at least one of the above – maybe you have several! Most modern Macs and PCs come with a wealth of USB ports and many also come with FireWire options too. Tower PCs are usually PCI based and laptops often have PCMCIA card slots.

So what do all of these terms mean? In short, nothing – don’t worry about them too much! All you need to know is that they are mostly related to the speed of the interface connection and that the higher the speed the less issues you will have when transferring audio in and out of your computer. USB 1.1 (often simply known as USB and standing for Universal Serial Bus) is the slowest, allowing for less than a couple of megabytes (MB) a second for transfer. FireWire is faster, allowing up to 50MB/second and USB 2.0 allows up to 60MB/second. These are the most common ports found on computers and an important fact to note is that USB2.0 devices will work on USB 1.1 ports although at the lower 1.1 speed. Also USB 1.1 devices will work in USB 2.0 ports although they won’t work any quicker for doing so. Another point is that these connections are usually plug n play meaning that you plug your external interface in and it will more often than not work straight away (however I’m not going to be led into saying ‘always’ as in some instances you may need to load appropriate software or drivers that should be supplied with the hardware).

PCI slots are of a larger variety and usually found on tower PCs. The hardware that plugs into these bays usually requires software (at least a driver) to inform the computer of a hardware presence but the advantage is that the hardware interface is, more often than not, incorporated more into the computer and won’t necessarily have a bit of hardware dangling from it on a lead (although, again, not always!).

Finally PCMCIA cards are hi-spec’d interfaces usually found on laptops and there are many quality interface available for these although not all are plug n play.

So are you still with me, and do you now know the kind of interface you require? I’ll assume that the answer to both of these is ‘yes’. If not take five and go and read your computer’s instructions. Don’t worry if you’re still confused. Like I say, all you need to know is the interface type and the number of ins and outs you need and it’s down hill from now on.


Mackie Spike USB Audio Interface & Tracktion 2

September 26, 2006

If you’ve tried other music production software on the market today and found it cumbersome, limited or just plain un-inspiring, you’ve come to the right place.Tracktion is a revolutionary, easy-to-use music production application that contains everything most people will ever need to professionally record and mix music on a Mac or PC – without all the hassles and limitations of other audio software. Tracktion‘s hallmark is a clean, single-screen interface and streamlined operation, whether you’re recording tracks, MIDI programming, or mixing down songs. It offers rock-solid operation, VST and ReWire support, and very low CPU usage with operating systems ranging from Mac OSX to Windows 2000 and XP. And it contains a whole host of professional features that you can actually use from day one.

Developed by programmer Julian Storer and Mackie, Tracktion 2 is a major step forward from the original version, adding more than 100 new features and updates, while still maintaining the core feature set that has made Tracktion a runaway success.

Recording music on a Mac or PC just got exponentially easier with Spike, a complete digital recording solution from Mackie. Spike consists of the XD-2 USB 24-bit 96kHz Audio/MIDI Interface with clean, high-headroom Mackie mic preamps and onboard SHARC dynamics processing, incredibly easy-to-use Tracktion multitrack audio recording software with unlimited track count and VST plug-in support, and the Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Warmer Phaser plug-in. Quite simply, this is the easiest open-ended system for computer music production.

The XD-2 is a two-channel, mic/line/instrument USB audio and MIDI interface with 24-bit, 96kHz resolution, high quality internal effects for tracking and monitoring, and support for ASIO 2.0, WDM and OS X Core Audio. Its footprint may be small, but this compact interface offers great sound, channel dynamics & EQ for tracking and monitoring, and comes with enough software to get up and running right out of the box. Since the XD-2 has an onboard SHARC processor, it allows things like low-latency monitoring and powered dynamics processingall controllable via an intuitive on-screen graphic display.


Steinberg introduces Cubase 4 and Cubase Studio 4 – Its official!

September 21, 2006

Steinberg is proud to announce a new version of its world-renowned Cubase music production software. Cubase 4 and Cubase Studio 4 offer a wealth of exciting new features at their respective price points, including the revolutionary new SoundFrame™ universal sound manager, a brand-new VST3 plug-in set and new first-class VST instruments to name but a few.

Shipping worldwide from October 2006, the new products represent a breakthrough in music production technology, dramatically enhancing workflows for audio professionals, producers, project studios and musicians.

Find out more about the new features and technologies on our product pages.


M-Audio Audiophile 192 Pro Audio Sound Card

September 17, 2006

The Audiophile 192 continues the legacy of M-Audio’s industry-standard Delta audio card line. Building on the Audiophile 2496—one of the world’s most popular audio cards—the Audiophile 192 features high-definition 192kHz sampling rate, digital I/O, balanced analog I/O and an amazing signal-to-noise ratio. The Audiophile 192 represents a new benchmark in audio performance that’s as good as it gets for music production, mastering and critical listening. As with all Delta cards, you get rock-solid drivers and seamless integration with your favorite Mac and PC applications—and even the ability to combine multiple Delta cards in one system*. And since M-Audio is always ahead of the pack, this world-class card is also compliant with PCI 2.2 and 64-bit audio drivers so you’re ready to take advantage of next-generation platforms and software. The Audiophile 192 is the new world-class standard in stereo audio cards.


Muse Receptor – Hardware VST Plug-in Host

September 7, 2006

It’s no secret that computers have changed the way we make music, Computers allow us to manipulate audio and MIDI in ways that were previously unimaginable. The downside is that we often spend too much of our time dealing with system problems and less time creating music. Not anymore.

Muse Receptor is a 2U rack-mountable multi-timbral sound and effects module that runs standard VST instruments and effects. It combines the power of a computer with the ease-of-use, portability and reliability of dedicated synth and effects hardware.

Receptor’s intuitive, mixer-like architecture combines up to 16 different audio sources, which can be either internal VSTi instruments or external analog/digital inputs. Each source is then routed through its own inline effects matrix that allows three VST plugins to be configured in every possible parallel/series arrangement. From there, each source is sent to a dedicated mixer channel, where the sound can be further processed by sending it to two dedicated effects busses, each with another fully configurable VST effects matrix. Need more processing? There is yet another VST effects matrix on the master output, for mastering and sweetening effects.

In all, Receptor provides architectural support for as many as 16 simultaneous VSTi instruments and 57 VST effects, while further offering the ability to process external inputs using its front-panel high-Z input, its rear-panel balanced analog inputs, or its S/PDIF digital input.

And, all this effects power can be harnessed through Receptor’s intuitive front-panel interface, with full front panel and MIDI access to millions of internal patch locations. For those who prefer mice to buttons, you can connect a mouse, keyboard and monitor directly to Receptor, or you can network it to your Mac or PC and control it remotely from a window on that machine.

In short, Receptor is the ultimate hardware solution for a software crazy world.


NI-VERSARY – 10 years of Native Instruments

August 20, 2006

Starting out as a small but pioneering software company in 1996, Native Instruments rapidly became the leading player in the software instruments market. Recent years have also seen Native Instruments causing a stir in the music hardware sector. By way of thanks to our loyal customers, we are staging the NI-VERSARY SUMMER from July 3rd to September 10th. Enjoy 10 weeks worth of special features: read the birthday wishes from a host of famous artists, win fantastic prizes in a series of raffles, profit from special jubilee offers and come revel with us at the grand NI-VERSRAY party in Berlin on September 23rd.

NI-VERSARY Special Offers

For a period of 10 weeks over the summer we are offering up to 66% off on some 30 NI products! A number of full versions have been reduced, virtually all the major updates, Sound Line products as well as attractive new bundles and a whole lot more are all on offer.
More on the Special Offers…

NI-VERSARY Birthday Wishes

Countless artists the world over rely on the quality and innovation of Native Instruments products – live and in the studio. The software serves both as a source of inspiration as well as a means of making that inspiration audible. Find out what Native Instruments’ 10th anniversary means to them.
All the birthday wishes…


As part of the 10TH NI-VERSARY celebrations, Native Instruments is holding a raffle with over €15,000 worth of phenomenal prizes. An exquisite guitar, a ground-breaking 4-channel DJ mixer, a keyboard, studio monitors, a laptop and an all expenses paid VIP trip to Berlin are some of the prizes that are sure to get you rubbing your hands together in anticipation.
Details on the raffle…


The 10 weeks of birthday celebrations all lead up to the grand NI-VERSARY party in Berlin. An enticing line-up of international live acts and DJs will be waiting for you in Berlin’s Watergate club on Saturday, September 23rd. Read more…


Best entry-level music software (PC)

August 8, 2006

It’s perhaps a bit unfair including this as Mackie’s Tracktion (£109) software is hardly beginner in terms of power but its price puts it right up there as one of the most affordable packages you can buy and it is very easy to use. The developers programmed it to be as simple and as clear as possible so that pretty much all you need to see is on one screen (unlike some other packages where endless options and menus require the use of two screens!). There’s less in the way of instrumentation than in other packages but what you do get is logical and powerful.Acid 6Sony’s Acid software is another cheap way of producing music very quickly. It is now at Acid Pro v5 (£199) but is still essentially the same loop-based software that has found fans across the world. Using audio loops you can build up songs track by track with the software keeping time. The latest version allows includes effects and allows expansion via VST instruments and also has sophisticated 5.1 mixing features.

Cakewalk’s Home Studio (£79) is the entry level software from the SONAR family and features a surprisingly powerful array of tools including three instruments, 24 effects, 64 tracks of recording and the ability to add extra VST instruments.


Striking the perfect balance between passion and precision, SONAR 5 shatters the limitations found in ordinary digital audio workstations

August 8, 2006

Cakewalk Sonar Cakewalk SONAR is one of the most popular brands of music software for the PC. It is packed with features and is possibly one of the most flexible pieces of software going. If you pick a feature, it seems there are half a dozen ways of utilising it so once you get your head around this you can really customise the software to your own working methods. Cakewalk don’t believe in doing things in small numbers, it seems, and there is a huge range of SONAR applications and bundles offered here at Dolphin. The most important is the bread and butter SONAR Studio edition (£209) which features unlimited recording tracks, a groove synths and sampler plus effects. The top of the range SONAR Producer Edition (£329) adds surround and convolution effects, a groove box and some quite amazing synths.

You can read more about the full range of SONAR products here.


The ultimate and innovative “Sonic Workstation” for sample libraries and closes the gap between Virtual Instruments and Samplers

August 8, 2006

Both these systems only the advantages were combined to an intuitively operatable software solution. Furthermore this powerful tool was extended with many professional and innovative features for highest musical demands and creativity.With Yellow Tools Independence you will be able to use, edit, customize and manipulate your instruments in a single familiar environment. Any instrument specific settings can also get assigned to all other loaded instruments and any kind of customization is now possible as everything is available in the same software.