Tag Archives: Apple

Running Band in A Box Under Parallels

Ok, so we all know that the latest Macs all run Intel processors. You might have heard of an Apple Beta program called Boot Camp where you can get your Mac to boot up as a *shutter* Windows XP computer. You might also have heard of a program Parallels that lets you mitigate Windows to just a Window. Well, if you take the two programs, and add in Band in a Box 2007 for PC, you get a very functional program that runs pretty flawlessly.

Yes, Virginia, it works fine….

Ok, so, first off, you need to download Boot Camp, and get Microsoft Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2. Not Vista. Vista, as of right now, works fine in Boot Camp (IE: Dedicating the whole machine to it), but has a lot of issues with Parallels. Boot Camp is picky, and you need to have Service Pack 2.

Now, having Continue reading Running Band in A Box Under Parallels

Finale 2007

MakeMusic released Finale 2007 a while ago. August I believe. I’ve been using it since then, and I think I can finally review it properly.

There are not a lot great new features in Finale 2007 compared to 2006. The big feature, in fact, really the only feature that is huge, is the linked parts. Though, on MakeMusic’s preview page they harp “features” such as “Authorization Improvements“, and “Improved pickups, vertical collision remover“. There are a couple of other new things I get to. Let’s dismiss the authorization thing. That is as lame as the Copyright symbol they billed as a feature in 2006. The vertical collision remover sorta works, but not really. I can’t really see any difference in the pickups as I really didn’t do much with complex pickup measure.

So, lets dive into the reasons why you’d want to upgrade to 2007…..

Continue reading Finale 2007

Tweaking Smart Music On The Mac

I have a love/hate relationship with MakeMusic’s Smartmusic. First, the love part. I love that it has a lot of backgrounds for classical etudes, and you can slow them down, tweak the key, etc. You can even record yourself with it, though the quality and the mixing of the resulting recording is not great at all.

Hate part. They tether you to the computer. Personally, I hate looking at a computer monitor all day, and for music. I like to have music stretched out on my stand. 3 Pages sometimes. A lot of stuff, including the jazz stuff in Smartmusic, is screen only. While I can understand copyright issues for songs, for simple little jazz patterns I don’t. Why not let people print them?

Anyhow, the Continue reading Tweaking Smart Music On The Mac

DEVONThink

I tend to gather stuff while online. Pictures, articles, PDFs, this, that, the other thing. It’s really hard to keep track of stuff. Perhaps it was a website where you read this great article about taking care of your reeds. Or maybe it was that PDF of a solo you downloaded, but what was the file name again? Mac OS X’s Spotlight can only help so much in finding stuff. And on Windows…..you’ll have to wait for Vista for anything like Spotlight.

Fear not. There are a number of solutions for this information overload, and the one I picked was DEVONThink Pro. It’s a great program that can keep track of all the STUFF you gather. All the PDFs I’ve collected. Articles out of FluteTalk, or the Double Reed Society. Or out of Downbeat. I have something like 16 gigabytes in DEVONThink right now. PDFs of songs. I can organize them. Categorize them. Type in some good descriptions. Plus, if I want to find a Beach Boys song, but I don’t remember the title…..I can search on it….instantly.

I don’t really know of anything like this for Windows, but if you have a Mac, you should check it out.

iPod “Video”

After nearly 3 years of faithful service, my 3rd generation iPod died. It wasn’t the battery. It was the hard drive. The hard drive finally decided to check out. I was sad.

For the last 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been going through iPod withdrawal. Shuttling my music files between home and the studio is a pain. I’ve been using a “portable HD” that I usually use to backup my stuff. Plus, those nights when you want to listen to music before going to bed? Or in the car?

So, it was a choice between an iPod Nano or an iPod (with video). The Nano is very nice. A number of my students have them. However, 4 gigs is just too small. My finale files I transfer back and forth take up nearly 500megs, plus if I wanted to put all my Aebersold play-alongs on there, I couldn’t. So, I decided to go with the iPod. Wow…..

(Update: 02/21 21:00 GMT by E :The Aebersold AACs/MP3s take up about 10 gigs. I don’t have all the playalongs, but I have 85-90% of them)

First off, it “looks bigger”. But it is not. In fact, it is the same width, and the depth is almost half that of my 15 gig iPod. It looks bigger due to the screen. And the screen is absolutely incredible. Clear, color, crisp. Man, in 3 years they have done wonders. I haven’t watched any videos on it, but I imagine they look great.

Sound quality is great. I plugged in the standard headphone and it sounds great. I plugged in my Shure headphones, and it sounds “greater”.

Two bad things. First is the case. It’s really flimsy. I am planning on getting a better case ASAP. I don’t want any scratches. Second bad thing, no dock. My previous iPod came with a nice little dock, this one comes with nothing. They will sell you one for like $40. Um. No. Not right now, thanks.

Rating. 8 out of 10. No dock and a poor case are the two points taken off. They could have at least done a clip case like what came with the 3rd generation iPod. And no dock, that’s just cheap Apple.

Update: 02/28 08:50 GMT by E :Found another interesting thing. When you unplug the headphones while playing, the iPod will put what it was playing on Pause for you. That is a very nice little thing to have.

James Newton Howard On Scoring For King Kong

KongisKing.net has a couple of interesting videos about the post production of the new King Kong movie. Of interest are the post production movies of weeks 4 and 5.

Amazing that he does about 2 minutes of music a day, and then the copyists come in at like 4am to write out parts for the orchestra to play in the morning. Also amazing the amount of Macintoshes used 😉 Also of note is that it appears that Finale is used, by the look of a couple of the pieces of music in the videos, specifically in the Week 4 video, about 4:21 into it. Looks like Finale using Bill Duncan’s Finale Fonts

Podcasting

Two days ago Apple CEO Steve Jobs has announced that iTunes 4.9 will include integrated podcast support. The update will let users browse and download podcasts. This is big news.

What? You haven’t heard of Podcasting? It perhaps is the death of internet “radio”. It perhaps is the latest, greatest way to promote your band or tunes. Whatever it is, it’s going to be big. Podcastingnews is one sight that keeps track of what if going on. Another site, iPodder.org has a list of feeds one can get Podcasts for, including some Jazz ones.

What do you think? Is this going to be something of a hit? On demand content that is organized? Could you imagine subscribing to a Podcast from say KCSM and being able to download what they are playing? There are a lot of possibilities and issues to consider….

Update: 06/05 05:37 GMT by E :Here are some more Podcasting Sites:

Keeping Track Of Your Stuff

Being a musician, one tends to gather a lot of “things”. CDs, books, magazine articles, posters, pictures, autographs, etc, etc, etc. How do you keep track of all them?

If you decided to “rip” all your CDs to a program like iTunes, then you have a nice, easy to use list of what you have. But what if you DO NOT or CAN NOT rip all your CDs. Like you don’t have the space, nor really want to have all your stuff on the computer? And what about books?

One answer on the Macintosh is Delicious Library. Using UPC codes found on most everything, it can easily catalog your “stuff”. However, there are some problems……

First, Delicious Library is not the only product out there that can look up and catalog items. Bookpedia, Media Collector, and probably a myriad of other programs on both the Mac and PC. Most all these use some sort of Database to look up the UPC or ISBN numbers off the book. Delicious Library uses Amazon.com to look them up. Some of the other programs can use other databases to look stuff up. Is it necessary? Perhaps…..

Delicious Library can use a bluetooth (ie: wireless) scanner to scan in UPC codes. This works GREAT. It’s very cool. And a HUGE time saver if you have a lot of “stuff” like I do. To scan 200 DVDs, it took about 15 minutes. To scan a couple hundred CDs (451), about 30 minutes. All wirelessly, all right to the computer. However….

Not everything has a UPC code. And not everything has a UPC code that can be found off Amazon.com. If you are part of BMG Jazz club you get CDs that don’t have a standard UPC code. It has some sort of BMG code on it. Resulting in a failed lookup on Amazon. But if it does have a UPC code, it works very very well. CDs I bought in the 90s work. Delicious Library finds it, adds the album art, and info to your collection. Easy.

Books are a mess. 9 times out of 10 the UPC code failed to find the book. However, ISBN numbers 9 times out of 10 WORKED. But you have to enter the ISBN number manually. That is a pain. But it works usually.

Hal Leonard sucks. Just 90% of the books I have from them, have their own custom UPC or they fail to be looked up properly. Shame on you Hal Leonard. If the book has an ISBN, it seems to work mostly. Oh…..and Warner Brothers. You guys are in the same boat. Get the UPCs happening.

Aebersold. Aebersold does not seem to have UPC codes at all. None of the books I own have a UPC. Books like “Around The Horn”, “The Augmented Jazz Scale”, etc have NOTHING. No ISBN, nada. I do think my latest purchase from Aebersold, Vol. 112 – Cole Porter has a UPC on it. It was not found on Amazon.

I’m not going to mention all the other pieces of Music I have that have nothing on it. All those classical Sonatas for Flute/Clarinet/Sax, etc. These are all manual entry things. Not fun.

For people with a lot of stuff that can be bar code read, programs like Delicious Library rock. However, if you have stuff that is NOT bar-coded nor have ISBN numbers, this program is pretty much useless for you. I think if this program could create a printable bar code and increment it, that would make the program 50 times more useable. Or even if it printed a UPC for items (like Books) where the UPC isn’t found. Then this program would be an elegant, functional organizer.

M.I.P.A. Winners

mipa Musikmesse International Press Award 2005 posted its winners. Some of the highlights:

  • Best Innovative Product – Apple GarageBand
  • Best E-Drums – Roland TD-12 V-Drums
  • Sound Libraries – Apple Jam Pack (though I’ve heard Garritan Personal Orchestra, and it’s amazing)
  • Mixing Desk (Project Studio) – Yamaha DM-2000 (beat the Mackie Onyx 1640…interesting, though the Yamaha’s list price is $20K compared to about $1800 for the Onyx 1640)
  • Studio Microphone – AKG-C414 B-XLII
  • Recording Software – Cakewalk Sonar 4 (beating out Logic 7 and Ableton Live 4)
  • Recording I/O Devices – MOTU 828 MkII
  • Recording Hardware – Digidesign Protools HD (no surprise)