Indulging In Music Gear Geekery

The NAMM convention is this weekend, which means there should be some cool new music gear announcements coming up. So you’ll have to excuse me if I go into full geek mode for a couple days and ramble on about music software and hardware. :-)

Ableton have already announced two new versions of Live. There’s a point upgrade (5.2) that will bring both general bugfixes and Universal Binary support for the new Intel-based Macs. They’ve decided to charge for only the Universal Binary version, citing the extra development time needed to port the software to the new architecture. I can’t really blame them for it, Apple has made it such a pain in the ass to develop music software for OS X that I’m amazed any of the smaller developers have stuck with it. Memo to Apple: solidify and stabilize your API’s and architecture, else you’re going to start losing developers!

Ableton also made a preliminary announcement of Live 6, scheduled for Q3 of this year. The only new functionality they’ve announced is that they will finally support multi-core and multi-processors across both platforms and all the architectures. About damn time. It sucks having an entire processor sitting there doing nothing! I look forward to the huge performance jump, whether it be on my current dual G5 system, or on one of the dual-core Intel Macs I’ll inevitably buy.

The full feature list announcement for Live 6 won’t be made until summertime, and I can’t wait to hear what they’ve come up with next! Live, from the original 1.0 release, was the single most innovative piece of music software ever created, and has only strengthened itself with further innovation on every release since then.

Native Instruments has also announced a timetable for migrating all their products to Universal Binaries, so the big three music software developers for me (Ableton, NI, and Apple’s Logic) are all on track to be fully switched to the new architecture by summer. Now I just need Apple to announce a fully-loaded 17″ Intel-based laptop (anything but that piece of crap MacBook they announced last week!) and I’ll finally be able to have a powerful and portable Mac-based music production studio! w00t! My checking account is cowering in fear. :-)

NI also indicated they’ll be making a major product announcement today at some point, and I’m interested in what that could be. I’m hoping it’s something on the more “pro” side of things, as they’ve been really focused on the more recreational GarageBand crowd with most of their recent releases. Gimme something cool!

Okay, okay. I’ll stop rambling on. For now. ;-)