Manytone Music's ManyBass

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This is a plug-in that I've been wanting to mention for a LONG time. A few months ago Manytone Music released the latest plugin to their collection entitled ManyBass. This plug-in is an incredible powerhouse delivering the most flexibility out of any bass plug-in I've seen. Along with the ability to custom map key switching among the collection of Bass libraries (different collections and price ranges are available), the plug-in also does a stellar job amp, fx and mastering emulation. I've played their demos to countless clients and colleagues and none of them can get over the fact that what they're hearing is in fact a plug-in. Definitely worth checking out!

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Kore Player - True Strike Tension

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Native Instruments today announced the release of their latest Kore Player Soundpack. Developed in conjunction with Project Sam, True Strike Tension is a vast collection of percussive elements perfectly suited for film and television scoring. Included in the 750MB collection are 30 kits of percussive instruments spanning the globe.

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Apogee Announces Symphony 64

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Apogee today announced the newest addition to their acclaimed Symphony series. The new Symphony 64 features dual 32 channel connectors on each card allowing each to have 64 channels of audio at up to 192 kHz.

Additional new features in software include the new SBus which allows you to directly link multiple computers with symphony cards for additional processing power and the VBus which allows you to route any application's audio to another through maestro.

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Some quick notes on important specs with the new MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro's for musicians.

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Last Tuesday Apple came out with a refresh of their laptop line. Nearly every machine with the exception of the 17" MacBook Pro was either replaced or upgraded. The following are what I feel are the most important bits of info for deciding which laptop might be right for you.

Pros:

- The MacBook and MacBook Air now feature an onboard Graphics GPU with its own memory. Aside from improved Graphics quality, this also means that a portion of the onboard RAM is not having to be allocated and therefore will give you a little more memory access from within your sequencer/ sampler.

- The 13" MacBook is now expandable to 4 GB of RAM! This will come in to play as more and more 64-bit apps continue to come out for large sample libraries.

- Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro now use faster DDR3 Memory.

- The 13" MacBook now supports Gigabit Ethernet.

- The MacBook and MacBook Pro both come with 5400RPM drives which are expandable to 320 and a 7200RPM version for the MacBook Pro. No more 4200 RPM drives in these machines. The MacBook Air still comes with a 4200 RPM drive which is now at 120GB.

- All machines offer a 128GB Solid-State Drive which has been a topic of discussion since while it is theoretically faster has shown slower write speeds in real world tests. Read speeds however have been very strong.

- The MacBook Pro is now available in speeds up to a 2.8 Ghz Core 2 Duo.

- Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro use CPUs that now have 3MB of L2 cache that runs at the same speed as the processor.

- All of the new machines have dropped DVI or mini DVI for the up and coming Mini Display Port interface. Display Port is expected to take over DVI as the interface of choice in the long run. Adapters should be available for DVI and VGA.

Cons:

- MacBook has eliminated the FireWire 400 port. If you plan on using something such as the Apogee Duet or an interface from the Metric Halo you will need to purchase a MacBook Pro. Otherwise you will need to purchase a USB compatible interface as well as a USB hard drive. This is a big issue and will be most likely a deal breaker for musicians looking to buy the standard MacBook.

- MacBook Pro has kept it's FireWire 800 port but lost the 400. You can still connect to FW400 interfaces using an adapter cable.

Wishlist:

- Faster CPU's breaking the 3.0 Ghz barrier.

- Quad Core Core 2 Duos. These are supposedly in development and would be an incredible jump in performance.

- Larger RAM Capacity. When it comes to live performance, the more that can be squeezed in RAM, the better. 4GB capacity has been out for a while and it would be nice to see the jump to 8 GB.
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ProTools 8 Announced

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Yesterday at AES Digidesign announced the upcoming release of ProTools 8. After speaking with their software developers earlier in the year I got a strong impression that they were working very hard to put as many user desired features into this update. Some of the new features include:
- Updated Look on the Interface
- A much larger instrument & plugin collection with nearly 8 GB of loops.
- Improved MIDI functionality.
- Higher Track Counts in the LE & M-Powered versions allowing users to go up to 128 tracks on LE systems.
- Built in Sibelius compatible scoring feature.
- New Comping tools similar to Logic & Cubase
- New Satelite Link System that allows you to control up to 5 HD systems as one.

Click Here to check out videos on these and other new features.

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