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ATPM 8.01
January 2002




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Beyond the Barline

by David Ozab,

My Resolution

New Year’s is traditionally the time for resolutions, those great promises we make to ourselves on January 1st, only to break them all by Groundhog Day. Like most people, I’ve had a terrible history with resolutions, so much so that I’ve given up making them. This year, though, I’d like to take another crack at it. I’m only making one, and I’m giving myself the whole year to accomplish it. I’m also putting it in print to keep me from backsliding.

Drum Roll Please

My resolution for 2002 is to be running OS X on my Mac by the end of the year. Doesn’t sound so tough, does it? But wait, I’m a musician. My software doesn’t work on OS X. True, but slowly that is changing, and I’m facing the New Year with confidence. This is the year I will upgrade to OS X.

What Works?

Actually more than you might imagine. First, and most importantly, my sound card, the Midiman Delta 2496 is OS X compatible. Midiman also has new drivers for their MIDI interfaces. I had been looking at the Midisport USB 2X2 as a possible purchase, and now that I know it will work with X, I have no reason to be apprehensive.

The shareware audio editor Felt Tip Sound Studio (which I use extensively) was among the first audio programs Carbonized. When I’m ready to move up to a more sophisticated package, Bias’ Peak 3.0 and Deck 3.0 will soon be OS X compatible as well. Bias’ Peak DV, a stripped-down version optimized for use with Final Cut Pro, is already out for OS 10.1.

What’s Coming?

Bitheadz is working on Version 3.0 of the Unity DS-1 Digital Sampler, which, along with many other improvements, will be OS X compatible. I presently own version 1.4, which I’m very happy with, but I’ve resisted upgrading without the promise of OS X support. Now that I know for certain that Unity DS-1 will run on 10.1, I am willing to pay for the upgrade when I have the available funds.

Emagic is scheduled to release their new versions of the Logic Audio series (Platinum, Gold, and Silver) for OS X this month, along with compatible hardware interfaces. These were demonstrated at the last Macworld, and were originally slated for a September release, but were then delayed until January. I’m in the market for a new sequencer, and though Logic might not be my first choice overall (I find Cubase more intuitive), a 10.1 version will go a long way to changing my mind.

Steinberg’s Nuendo (basically Cuebase without MIDI) is also due out for OS X in the first half of next year. No word yet on a release date for a Carbonized Cuebase, however. As far as other applications I might consider, neither Digidesign nor Mark of the Unicorn has made any announcements regarding OS X. MOTU’s has “aquafied” the look of Digital Performer 3, maybe that’s a hopeful sign, though personally, I’d take either Logic or Cubase over D.P.

What’s Missing?

There are three applications I just can’t manage without, and none of them are scheduled for OS X compatibility any time soon. First, there’s Coda’s Finale. I’m presently up to my elbows in my dissertation (serves me right for writing an opera!), and a notation program is indispensable. Despite my occasional gripes with Finale, I’ve invested far too much time, and created way too many scores to switch easily. So I’m sticking with Finale 2000 until I can upgrade to a Carbonized version.

Cycling ’74’s Max is another program I can’t live without. I paid for the upgrade to 4.0 (the first paid upgrade in years) to get the integrated Max/MSP package along with more stable performance with my sound card. Now I’m hoping for a Carbonized version, and, maybe if it’s not too much to ask, make it 4.1 so it’s free to those of us with the latest upgrade.

Finally, there’s U & I Software’s Metasynth (along with the bundled Metatrack and Xx). If you missed my columns on August 2000’s MetaCamp, suffice to say that Metasynth is one of the most unique and flexible sound synthesis programs ever made. Todd Barton is talking about reviving MetaCamp this year, and, if he does, I will be there. My first question to Eric and Edward will be, “When will it run on OS X?”


So that’s my goal. I’m a lot closer now than I was in May (when I wrote my first column on OS X), but I’ve still got a long way to go. That said, I still hope to fulfill my resolution, and, at this time next year, to be writing at length about my new OS X-based home setup. If for some reason, though, the upgrades I’m hoping for get delayed and I can’t keep my resolution, I have one consolation: I can blame it on someone else!

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