Google Honours Robert Moog’s Birthday with Minimoog Synth Emulator

To celebrate and commemorate the 78th birthday of electronic music pioneer and inventor Robert Moog (May 23 2012), Google has created one of its most amazing “doodles” yet: a full-blown, live-playable emulation of a Moog 3-oscillator analog synthesizer, embedded on the Google home page.

Permalink: Google’s Moog Doodle (play it online)

Think this couldn’t possibly be a serious piece of music tech? Check out the downloadable quick-start manual for the Moog Doodle, available from Moog Music’s site (click the image below to get the PDF):

Moog Music offers a downloadable PDF quick start guide for the online Google Doodle Moog

As you can see, this Moog synth emulation provides 3 oscillators, with control over waveform as well as tuning for each oscillator; a full-featured low-pass filter with a simple dedicated envelope; and a sweet pitch-glide control to give you those distinctive 70s swooping effects.

The Moog Doodle is playable on Google’s home page, using your mouse or your computer’s keyboard (the qwerty row is mapped to the “white keys”, and the number row covers the “black keys”). You can even record what you play, using the simulated 4-track reel-to-reel tape deck.

Google's home page featured a working emulation of a Moog synthesizer on May 23 2012.

Apple Promises its iCloud will “Just Work”… for everything

iCloud Music icons“It all just works,” says Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

“All” in this case means access anywhere, anytime on any Apple-enabled device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod, iTouch, Apple TV…) to all of your music. And all of your photos. And all of your basic application documents (Pages word-processing docs, Numbers spreadsheets).

The bold promise is that your iTunes music will simply appear on all your devices, and you won’t even have to think about it. And with Apple these days, there no reason to doubt Jobs when he claims it will just work.

It’s no surprise that Jobs announced iCloud at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on June 6th. What is at least a little surprising is the scope of the announcement, the bells and whistles that will set iCloud apart from competing services offered by Amazon and Google.

One of the key capabilities of iCloud that I wasn’t expecting to see is Match technology. iCloud isn’t just for your iTunes purchased music. The Match feature will also scan your entire library of music (including tracks ripped from CDs etc) and provide you with 256 kbps AAC audio files stored in the cloud… and available on all your devices, just like the music you’ve bought.

Match is something like Amazon’s Cloud Drive, but it sounds much more usable and convenient, since it avoids the tedious process of uploading songs from your computer to the cloud, (typically much slower than downloading, with most ISPs). Better still, you get instant access to a high-quality audio file, regardless of the encoding specs of the existing file on your computer.

The music you buy from iTunes is stored in the cloud for free, and you get 5GB of paid storage space for other content (other audio tracks, files, photos, video, contacts, calendars and more), for $25 per year (half the price of rival cloud services).

Another interesting aspect of iCloud is that it will supercede the Mobile.me cloud platform. If you’re a Mobile.me user, you’ll be delighted to get way more features and capabilities from iCloud, at a much lower cost (iCloud’s $25 annual fee, vs Mobile.me’s $100-plus).

Let’s give Steve Jobs the final word: “iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices. All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

I’m loving it :)

Cadac Will Launch Its First Digital Mixing Console in September

Live sound console maker Cadac Electronics has chosen the PLASA 2006 exhibition, coming up September 10-13 in London, to introduce the S-Digital Console, the company’s first digital mixer.

Well known and highly regarded for a full line-up of analog consoles for sound reinforcment applications, Cadac has also dabbled in the digital arena with ancillary rack-mount devices such as the D-16 Digital Mix Matrix, and the X16 MADI Merge Unit.

The S-Digital will be Cadac’s first full digital mixer.

The Cadac S-Digital is designed primarily for live theatre applications, building on the company’s 20-year history at the forefront of theatre sound. In a major departure from conventional paradigms in digital console design, the S-Digital is specifically conceived to reflect the surface architecture of Cadac’s industry standard J-Type analogue console.

By presenting the familiar profile and operating surface of an analog console, the S-Digital offers sound designers, producers and theatre owners a user-friendly digital alternative to the Cadac J-Type analog console, and sets a new benchmark in digital console design for live sound applications.

Cadac says the new digital mixer will also carry the top-notch build quality, sound, ease of operation, and reliability that are the hallmarks of a Cadac console.

The Cadac S-Digital is scheduled to enter production in October 2006, and its full specification and technical details, including pricing, will be announced at PLASA 2006.

Also on show at PLASA 2006 is Cadac’s 19″ Digital Series range, with the spotlight on the Digital Series Stage Rack. Combining the M16 Remote Controlled Microphone Amplifier and the X16 MADI Merge Unit, the Digital Series Stage Rack provides a unique solution to applications requiring a comprehensive multi-channel audio distribution system, across both analogue and digital domains, for live sound, TV and radio broadcast, fixed installations and recording applications.

The M16/X16 combination underlines its application flexibility by providing an alternative front-end option for remote and fixed recording systems. The X16 can also operate independently to provide up to four 1 in/2 out distribution amplifiers. This feature enables four independent optical MADI streams (of up to 64 channels each) to be made available on both an optical and coaxial output connector, and is an ideal choice for any installation that requires multiple MADI interface conversions or additional routing capability.

Cadac Web Site

Focusrite’s Liquid Mix Flows Into Stores

The Mac OSX version of Liquid Mix, Focusrite’s hot new bundle of EQ and compressor plug-in software emulations with dedicated DSP hardware co-processor, is now shipping worldwide. Focusrite says delivery of the PC version is set for later in 2006. The final list of 40 compressor and 20 EQ emulations is now online at www.focusrite.com/liquidmixdownloads. The package includes emulations of classic outboard gear such as Neve 1073 and Pultec EQP1 equalizers, and Fairchild 670 and Manley SLAM compressors.

The Liquid Mix emulations have been under construction for over two years, with some emulations requiring more than 8,000 separate sampling sequences taken over a period of months to ensure genuine emulation. Liquid Mix’s immensely powerful onboard DSP can easily handle such complex emulations, though, and is able to drive up to 32 Liquid Mix compressors and 32 EQs simultaneously.

Plans for additional emulations are already well advanced, as well as presets to be made available online for those desiring to quickly get the most out of vintage and classic compression and EQ.

The Liquid Mix GUI has also undergone some final cosmetic tweaks as well as extensive beta testing of both software and hardware on a plethora of different setups and sequencers. As the software continues to evolve, so all new versions will immediately be made available for download from the Liquid downloads page, listed above.

From the outset, Liquid Mix will now ship with a Liquid Mix FXpansion VST to RTAS wrapper, ensuring it works fluidly with both Pro Tools HD and LE at no extra cost*.

Liquid Mix is available now in the UK from all good pro audio stores for just £499 inc. VAT. For pricing outside of the UK, please refer to your local distributor, details of which can be found on the ‘where to buy’ section of the website.

* requires Pro Tools 7.0. Operation with earlier versions will require the full FXpansion VST toRTAS wrapper software, available online from www.fxpansion.com.

Focusrite Web Site

Solid State Logic Buys Sydec Audio Engineering to Beef Up Digital Audio Workstation Development

Solid State Logic (SSL) has deepened its support for workstation users with the purchase of Sydec Audio Engineering NV, developers of the Soundscape range of workstation partner products.  SSL says the acquisition of the Soundscape team and technology will allow SSL to develop exciting new tools for existing and new applications.

SSL’s existing investment in workstation production tools has grown in the past twelve months to encompass controllers, analog and digital rack processors and software plug-ins.

The Soundscape team brings significant PC platform development experience to SSL. The relationship also opens new commercial channels and allows a broader range of SSL and Soundscape products to be distributed around the world, delivering SSL’s established brand values to a wider range of users.

SSL’s recent investments in renewing the hardware and software of its manufacturing technology and updating its manufacturing processes will also bring significant benefits to both companies. This will ensure that high standards of quality and delivery are maintained as volumes are increased.

Sydec’s General Manager Erik Wijnen is enthusiastic about working with Solid State Logic: “It’s amazing to have access to the full range of resources of a great company like SSL. This will allow us to work with the SSL team to focus on new ideas for products and expand the team here at Sint-Niklaas in Belgium.”

Commenting on the acquisition, SSL’s Managing Director Antony David said, “This is an excellent fit for SSL and supports our concept of providing quality tools for the DAW environment. We’re committed to working with a range of companies to improve and democratize the creative process and this gives us a great opportunity to accelerate our involvement.”

Solid State Logic Web Site

Sydec Audio Engineering Web Site