Monday, June 18, 2012

a silly blog it is

Looking back on the earliest posts, as the project begins, we see some silliness.

At this point, my beloved notebook that the Utenzil project started with is completely outdated. In addition, it was damaged in a malicious act by a vindictive person so it needs a new monitor. That's ok, an external monitor can be used, and it is still great as a music computer. But, it is not powerful enough to run the most recent versions of Ableton Live, so it will be forever stuck at version 6. That's ok. Also, it runs Windows XP, but that's ok also: there is one HID to MIDI utility in particular that only runs on Windows XP.

My more recent machine  is dual core. It's running Live Suite 8. But it's four years old, runs Vista. But that's ok, because it's got a firewire port, needed for my MOTU Ultralite interface.

And now, I've got a brand new machine, running Windows 7. i7 processor, Quad core, SSD cache for the drives, should be super nice and fast. But it has only USB ports. I don't find any Windows notebooks offering firewire ports any longer, these being replaced by HDMI.  Isn't that something?

So, a new USB audio/midi interface is needed.

USB 3.0 has been available for a while now, but audio interfaces that connect using it have not appeared. This discussion provides a cross-section sampling of the observations and feelings about this.

The choice for the new USB interface is Focusrite. Why? Good price point/feature balance, sturdy unit, has an ADAT optical input for future expansion, has a software bundle that looks useful and is from a company that builds a line of other outboard audio gear. The other consideration was the MOTU Audio Express, because MOTU has provided a good experience and good quality thus far, but it's $100 more for fewer features. So we'll see if this is a good choice.

Also picked up a Launchpad because it looks like a lot of fun. The way it can be set up is nicely sophisticated even though it is very easy to see how it can be used to trigger clips.


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