Tag Archives: Pro Tools

PTJ 95 News: Catching Fire

Amazon, which has been locked in a heated battle over e-book prices for weeks with book publisher Hachette, is hoping customers warm up to its new Fire TV box with a little taste of the action. The company’s website is currently running an offer for selected (and interested) users  can sign up for a free 30-day test drive with the Fire TV box .

The Oculus Rift technology may have a bigger future than just creating a virtual world for Facebook users. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, (club name: DARPA), has been experimenting for the past few years with using the virtual reality headsets for cyberwar training. The project is called Plan X and Wired has a detailed look at it.

Speaking of games, a new PlayStation 4 system update from Sony allows customers to download pre-ordered games in advance so you don’t have to sit there and wait for it to crawl down your wires on release day before you can play. Destiny, a first person shooter due out for the PS4 in September, is the first game to support pre-loading.

Spotify is telling its Android users of a security breach concerning user data and is advising people using its Android app to upgrade to a new version. Those using the Windows Phone or iOS apps are not affected.

Malware is everywhere, including on the Mac, and Google has just released an OS X upload client for its VirusTotal meta scanner. Elsewhere in the Googleverse, the company has added its Google Now-style Voice Search to its Chrome desktop browser. To get rolling with it, you just need to do a bit of setup, then point Chrome to Google.com. From your desktop, you can ask Google the same sort of questions you may ask your mobile device running the Google Search app.

checkbookThe spring shopping trend in the tech world continues. Intuit, maker of the personal finance mainstay Quicken has dropped $360 million for the mobile bill-paying app Check. (And yes, after weeks of rampant whispers, Apple sealed the deal with Beats this week.)

Rumors about Apple’s forthcoming announcements at next week’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco have already started to fly, and the Financial Times says its sources point to a new software platform for the “smart home.”  Apple does plan to livestream the keynote address next Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

The Internet of Things has raised all kinds of discussion, including excitement about the remote control of one’s home to security fears about appliance rebellion. For deep thoughts, consider the upcoming philosophy conference devoted to The Internet of Things. It starts July 3rd at York St. John University in England.

The audio software Pro Tools is partly responsible for a new compilation of unreleased songs by the rock band Queen. The album is mixed from unreleleased vocals by Freddie Mercury, the group’s late lead singer, and new instrumental tracks by living members of the band. Dr. Brian May, a guitarist, songwriter and backing vocalist for the group, as well as an astrophysicist at Imperial College London, recently confirmed the plans to The Guardian of London. The new album, tentatively titled Queen Forever, is due out by the end of the year.


And finally, if you like antique computers, want to feel old or like to see the kids confused by technology for once, check out The Fine Brother’s “Kids React to Old Computers” video that’s been lighting up YouTube the past few days. The 8-minute clip shows a variety of pre-teens trying to figure out how to use an Apple II-like PC. Kids, back in the Olden Days, we had green-on-black VDTs and 300 baud modems to connect to our BBS’s, uphill both ways. And, not to get philosophical about it or anything, we liked it.

PTJ 95: Another Rootin’ Tootin’ Good Time

The Pop Tech Jam crew couldn’t help getting their geek on over this past U.S. holiday weekend.

J.D. spent her time off digging up online Cultural goodies from the British Library and New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art while El Kaiser tried valiantly to install customized versions of the Android mobile operating system onto his Samsung and Google branded devices.

In the news Amazon offers selected users the opportunity to sign up for a free 30-day test drive of the Fire TV set-top box ;  Oculus Rift technology may become an integral tool in the training of cyberwarriors;  Sony will allow customers to download pre-ordered games in advance for the PlayStation 4 game console; Intuit, makers of Quicken, goes shopping; technology paves the way for a new album from Queen with Freddie Mercury on vocals; and the Fine Brother’s “Kids React to Old Computers” video lights up YouTube.

Home Recording Means Never Having to Fix it in The Mix

This week we featured the debut single from singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mario Ceara on the show. The single, “I Believe” was produced and recorded in his home studio using consumer equipment and software. The result is a professionally recorded track that cost next to nothing to make.

Thank God I got into the glamorous and lucrative world of podcasting. If I’d stayed in the music business I might have starved to death…

There are a myriad of hardware options, plugins, gadgets and doodads for home-recording enthusiasts but my focus here and on the show is on the digital audio workstation software—or DAW for short.

The DAW software serves as the mixing board, effects rack, and multi-track recorder and is by far the most important purchase when putting together a project studio.  It is the “nerve center” of the whole setup so care should be taken in its selection.

Here are a few examples that are “Kaiser Approved”.

The industry standard is Avid’s Pro Tools. It is ubiquitous and is available in various flavors from 2 track versions for beginners just getting into audio production to the HD bundle with its proprietary hardware interface.

Ableton Live is a popular alternative to Pro Tools and is available in 3 versions: Intro, Standard and Suite. The software package is especially suited for live performance.

Apple Logic Pro is a popular choice of professional musicians, is well designed, and relatively simple to use.

Steinberg Cubase has been around for decades and I used an early version of the software on my first computer, the Atari ST. Steinberg actually invented the VST synths and effects standard and most other major DAW developments.

Cakewalk has also been in the DAW software business for decades and their Sonar software is rumored to be the most popular PC-only DAW in the world.

Sony’s ACID has been around since 1998 but is still a player in the DAW game. Looping and automatic timestretching are two of its killer features.

If your budget is tight, some low cost alternatives include Apple GarageBand which is free for Mac and iOS.  The open source and multi-platform Audacity is also free.  Traktion will set you back $60, and Cockos Reaper offers a discounted license for personal use.

While none of these options will guarantee you a spot at the top of iTunes download chart, they will allow you to record some great sounding music.

PTJ 93: Now With More Pop!

This week we really do put the pop in the Pop Tech Jam and debut a new single from singer and multi-instrumentalist Mario Ceara. Yes, Mario is El Kaiser’s nephew but don’t let that stop you from listening. He comes from the side of the Kaiser clan with real talent!

Mario recorded and produced his single on his laptop using software and peripherals that have made it possible for musicians to quickly and professionally produce music and make it available to their audience at lightning speed.

J.D. is back from her secret mission to parts unknown with some tips on how to stay connected with your smartphone while traveling overseas without breaking the bank.

In the news, new rules on Net Neutrality have generated quite a bit of a backlash; the European Union Court of Justice has ruled that people have a right to be forgotten on Google; Microsoft released a cheaper version of its Xbox One and may also be gearing up to launch a music locker service for the console;  Apple’s $3.2 billion looks to buy Beats Electronics; And Twitter has announced a new “Mute” feature that lets you temporarily turn off the tweets.