Musikmesse Roundup 1: Endless Cycling `74 Goodies

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Date: Wednesday, March 12th, 2003, 09:44
Category: Archive

Over the last week or so, there have been a flurry of music technology announcements in the wake of Frankfurt’s Musikmesse conference — think the European NAMM. This week I’ll be covering the best news for Mac musicians.

First up is Mac-friendly developer Cycling `74. The creators of the massive plug-in package Pluggo offered the release of MODE 1.0, five VST/RTAS instrument/effects plug-ins for Mac OS X, great news for the plug-in starved platform. There’s the single-voice percussion module BANG with FM, analog modeling, and sample playback all built in, the mono synth MONO (aptly named) which brings an FM engine to an analog design, POLY which samples some vintage DCO synths, the rhythm-based effects processor SPIN, and WASH, which “is an instrument in its own right-capable of anything from simple multi-tap delay textures to hour-long walls of morphing feedback.” This could be the sleeper hit of the Musikmesse show. Yes, there are so many plug-ins out there it could make your head explode, but Creative Synth Development sounds like they may have hit on that special spot, just the right amount of simplicity to make a tool addictive creatively. Q3 2003, US$295.

But wait, there’s more! Two companies have come to the rescue of those who want to add hardware power to the immensely deep interactive software MAX/MSP, without starting from scratch. Making Things’ Teleo is a set of hardware tools for building interactive art, with USB translators for your Mac, modules for I/O control, and the ability to power motors (MOTORS!). Start shmoozing with the art gallery director and try to land that installation gig now. Plus, if you lean more to the DJ side of things, get ready for Ms. Pinky, special records that combined with MAX/MSP let you scratch absolutely anything. Just connect one or two turntables via a pre-amp to your Mac’s audio in and turn on the record. Read those last two sentences a couple more times; I’m still trying to get up off the floor. Available now for US$99. (Additional records just US$9.95.)

And in other news, Cycling `74 is nearing the final OS X release of MAX/MSP (if you don’t know what it does, you owe it to yourself to check their website), plus their live performance software radiaL. Stay tuned to the PowerPage — I’ll be learning and performing with the stuff over the summer. Cycling `74 definitely wins my award for Mac music’s MVP developer. No one is cooler.

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