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Digital Performer v2.0

Martin Russ brings you the latest Apple news, as well as a plea for forgiveness...

Apologies to anyone who could not get into the Apple Expo last month; I forgot that it is really designed for business users. As it was, almost the entire show seemed devoted to colour scanners and printers, with only a couple of stands showing off any music‑related stuff: thanks to MCM and KRCS for trying to show all those business people how to make music! Lars from MCM was also dealing with a long queue of educationalists and students, and I assume that Digidesign and Avid were there for recording studio people; thanks to them too.


For MOTU, read Klemm. After distributing MOTU for some time in various European countries, Klemm Technology have now taken over UK distribution too. They can now be contacted at the new UK branch, at PO Box 4, Arlesley, Bedfordshire SG1 6AA.

Simon Stock at Klemm told me that the latest product from MOTU is the FastLane MIDI Interface for the Mac. This is an 'entry‑level' one In, 3 Out (16 channels) box, with LEDs to show MIDI data, and a captive lead which helps prevent problems with AppleTalk cables coming loose. With perhaps a hint at one possible market, it comes in 'PowerBook' grey, and costs £79. Simon said that various upgrades to MOTU products are in the pipeline, including Unisyn 1.1, which adds colour to match MOTU's other recent releases. There are also rumours of a forthcoming Digital Performer v.2.0, with DAE support and Performer 5.0 features. The current version of MOTU's Free MIDI System is now 1.1.1. More details when I get to grips with it.


Mentioning Overture last month reminded me that Opcode also cater for people who want some notation but find a price tag of almost £450 a little too large. Musicshop offers EZ Vision, but with some notation features, and costs a much more accessible £149.95, whilst for £199.95 you get a complete EZ Starter kit. This sort of approach, where there are variants on a professional program intended for use by mere mortals, is quite common. Just because you may always hear people talking about Cubase, it does not mean that there is not a Cubase Lite lurking in the background somewhere. One of the rules about software has always been: "If you don't see what you want — ask!"

Of course, what I really want is an extension to Apple, IBM, Novel, WordPerfect and Adobe's OpenDoc technology, so that I can 'mix and match' the best bits from all sequencers and combine them with just enough notation to suit my needs. But I reckon that even if OpenDoc succeeds in the document, spreadsheet, and database markets, it may take some years for it to spread to musical applications.

On The Net

The huge explosion of interest in the Internet has begun to alter the way the Net works. Apparently, directories on ftp sites with names like /pub/graphics/over_18_only/ have started to disappear recently, and lots of suspect MIDI Files have been vanishing as well. Okay, these are two examples which abuse the cherished fact that anyone on the Internet has completely free access to anything, but this does also mean that instead of being a not‑so‑closely‑guarded‑secret, the Internet is beginning to be noticed by people who do not want it to be a place where 'anything goes'. What's to come? The police and the censor on the Internet? U‑certificates and commercials?

Bearing this in mind, all future Apple Notes musings about the Internet will contain this useful phrase: Assuming It Is Still There, which can be abbreviated to AIIST and pronounced '(h)aste'. For example, if you use Symantec's Think C or C++, and want to dabble with MIDI programming, there is a complete Think Class Library called 'CMIDI 2.2' by Paul Ferguson. It's on in /pub/tcl/classes — AIIST, of course! [Actually, Martin, it's been moved already — Stop Press Ed.]

Book News

Two books to mention this month. The first is an excellent guide to using the Mac, and is ideal for those people who don't read manuals, who only ever use a sequencer, and who aren't at all technical. It is The Little Mac Book by Robin Williams (no, not that one) and Kay Nelson. (Peachpit Press, ISBN 0‑938151‑68‑1). It costs under £15, and is thoroughly recommended for anyone who wants to learn how to really use their Mac.

On a completely different tack, Byte's Mac Programmer's Cookbook, by Rob Terrell, is a varied mixture of information, advice and tips aimed at just about any Mac programmer. (Osbourne, ISBN 0‑07‑882062‑6) At under £25, it comes with a 3.5‑inch HD disk crammed full of useful programs, utilities and source code. It's well worth a look, if you can stand the blatant Americanisms and Net‑speak.

Apple News In Brief

    After months of rumours, Apple has finally announced that it would be licensing the Macintosh Operating System. The next version of the Mac Operating System, System 8 (not the currently shipping System 7.5), will now be known as MacOS. IBM and Motorola are due to start using MacOS in their forthcoming PowerPC‑based computers, and many other companies are also interested. But don't hold your breath for Mac clones quite yet. Expect them sometime from the middle to the late part of next year...
    I spotted an innovative accelerator for PowerMacs hidden away in a small stand at the Apple Expo. It consists of a small clip‑on crystal and fan, which have the dual effect of increasing the processor's clock rate, and keeping it cool to compensate for the increased power dissipation. Contact Domain on 091 266 8998.
    Last month's rumours about AT&T considering an Apple buyout may well be vapourware. But then given the continuing takeovers within the software industry, surprises can always be just around the corner. The latest rumours suggest that Apple is on the verge of entering into collaborations with several big names, including IBM, Sony, and Motorola. More on this as more reliable news arrives...

Here are the current versions for Opcode Software products:

  • Studio 3 DA 1.01
  • Studio 4/Setup + Patches 1.21
  • Studio 5/Setup + Patches 1.2.2
  • Vision 2.0.8
  • EZ Vision 1.10
  • Studio Vision Pro 2.08
  • MusicShop 1.02
  • Studio Vision AV 2.08
  • Galaxy 1.28
  • Galaxy + Editors 1.28
  • Edit One 1.27
  • Max 2.5.2
  • Audioshop 2.00
  • Claire 1.01
  • Cue 3.05

Contact MCM on 071 258 3454 for upgrade information.