HELL HAS FROZEN OVER – Band In A Box 2009 for MAC?!?!

I could NOT believe my eyes this morning. Band in a Box 2009 is FINALLY out for Macintosh. After being behind 7 versions (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2007.5, 2008, 2009), PG Music has LEAP FROGGED the Mac version to the latest Windows version.

Amazing. And to get it all up to date on a Mac is $159?!?! Say what? No…….really? I get ALL the features of the PC version? Even the “Direct-to-Disk” Audio Rendering? YES, you do Virginia.

So…….one of the most valuable teaching/learning Jazz/music software programs is now fully available on the Mac. GET IT NOW!

UPDATE: The download version is HUGE. Like, not quite as bad as downloading ProTools 8, but close. On first glance, it seems there are still things missing in the Mac version. There is no ear trainer (which is a cool feature), No Piano Roll window (edit: oops, it is in there, just not out in the open), practice window and the Soundtrack thing. These seem to be missing. Maybe in a maintenance version?

UPDATE: Ok, it is WAY BIGGER THAN PROTOOLS 8 WAS. Seriously, I have downloaded 10 gigs so far, and I’m on RealTracks 11-12, which is 3.2 Gigs (downloading). I still have 10 more parts to download……probably another 20 gigs?? Yikes!!!

Finale 2010

Not to be outdone by Sibelius, MakeMusic announced Finale 2010. Actually, lets reword that. Failing to incorporate any of the ideas presented in Sibelius 5, and failing to come up with anything new and interesting, MakeMusic announced Finale 2010.

Ok, so, what is new for the $99.95 pre-order price? Not much at all. They finally changed the way chords work in program. I can’t tell you when they last mucked with that, probably 10 years or more. It is not a revolutionary feature, but more of a “duh….it needed to be fixed” feature. Since the inception of the program you could not have chords in an empty measure. Now, Finale 2010 has a new “feature” that can do this. Blah Blah Blah.

What else? Well, you get a new font, more Garritan sounds, perhaps a working Aria player, hopefully fixed Percussion notation, Automatic Rehearsal Marks, and measure number controls. That last one really should be a “feature” but should have been fixed in Finale 2007. It is kind of like the version of Finale where they listed that Copyright symbol as a Feature. Those people from the middle states have humor don’t they?

In all, for $100……..worth it? The last version of Finale I updated to was 2007. It sort works on my 10.5 equipped Macs. Finale 2008 and 2009 TOGETHER had some interesting features I could have used, but not really. 2010 though……I dunno. I suppose two page editing, a better cursor, dynamic placement that is better, and chords that are better are noteworthy features to update to. Though MakeMusic wants $170 to upgrade me. Ha! Looks like Finale 2007 will be getting more use from me.

Sibelius 6

Sibelius 6 has just been announced. I’m not seeing much that makes me go “whoa” like when they put in Parts and Score linking. The noteworthy features I saw are:

They also seem to have snagged some of Finale’s “features” like Sing in Music, Slurs, chords, putting dynamics in based on how hard you played. Go check it out.

Peterson Strobe Tuner For iPhone/iPod Touch

a7Have an iPhone or an iPod touch? Need a tuner? You NEED the Peterson Strobe Tuner for the iPhone/iPod Touch. I’ve tried many of the tuners available that are available for the iPhone/iTouch, free and paid. This one is worth the $10.

If you don’t know what a strobe tuner is, check out this wikipedia entry. I have had a Peterson Virtual Strobe tuner since 2001. It is annoying accurate, but not really something you can take out on a gig. It is large. And stuffing it into your gig bag isn’t really an option. I have mine mounted on my stand in my studio.

Back to the iTouch/iPhone version. Putting the two on a stand together, and trying to tune, both strobe tuners pretty much work the same. You try to get it to stop moving. The hardware version is a little more smooth in its motions, and iTouch/iPhone version is a tad jerky, but not really anything to complain about. In fact, the iTouch/iPhone version didn’t get confused as to what note I was playing. The hardware Strobe tuner sometimes things I’m tuning to an F when I’m really doing a concert D. I’ll see about making a little video showing them in action.

Bottom line. If you have an iTouch (second Generation) or an iPhone, the Strobe Tuner is well worth it.

10 out of 10. I’d say it is perfect.

UPDATE:My assistant Beaker (Matt) and I did a real simple little video of my original VS1 and the iPhone app. Enjoy