Archive for April, 2009

Kontakt 3.5 beta available

Posted: April 27, 2009 in Audio
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A beta version of Kontakt 3.5 is available for Kontakt 3 users (the final version will be available before July). It brings many new features and fixes :

New and improved features:
-Compatibility with Windows Vista 64 (XP 64 tbd)
-64-bit memory addressing for Mac OS X and Windows Vista 64
-New DFD engine with drastically reduced memory footprint
-Optimized sampling engine with substantial performance increase
-Advanced multiprocessor support
-New browser feature for Kontakt Player libraries
-Direct MIDI Learn for all sliders and knobs, including performance views
-Improved automapping
-Bypass button for effect slots
-Aftertouch interpretation added to KSP
-New “Engine Restart” button
-Custom wallpapers for library boxes
-Play cursor for Beat Maschine mode in Wave Editor
-Pro Tools compatibility under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
-Localized info pane in six languages

Fixes:
-Several fixes and stability improvements

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A expansion for Eastwest Symphonic Choirs is provided (priced 80$ and requires the PLAY SC version – or PLAY upgrade) : it brings the old famous Voices of the Apocalypse samples (that library was priced more than 500$ and was made of many CDs). Moreover VoA patchs can now be used with WordBuilder. The VoA licence is also now less restrictive : the restriction for using Voices of the Apocalypse for film trailers has been removed.

New videos tutorials about SC are also available.

Following noise.io, or the more recent technoBox, we can discover Randgrid (6,99$), a new synthesizer for iPhone that brings a very powerfull sound (close to ImpOscar). It provides two virtual analog monophonic synths (substractive synthesis, with two oscillators per instrument) and 14 drum samples, effects (stereo delay, distorsion) and a step sequencer.

To complement it we can watch stunning videos of iShred (4,99$ for the full version, 0,99$ for the Lite version), whose sound somewhat seems better than pro guitar samples and effects applications priced one hundred times more, and whose usability seems great.

Power Toppler is a clone of the famous Nebulus (Atari ST/Amiga) for iPhone. It offers 16 levels (8 in the original game) and the character is a robot (was a frog). Graphics are presented as enhanced, however from provided images they seem less attractive than in the original game (the music was also great). It seems however interesting from first reviews, and the touch control scheme is said to work well with the original (particular) control system of the character (does not move – the tower rotates as he moves towards or backwards). The game is available at the AppStore for 1,99$.
We could still get Zebulon on OSX, another (free) clone of Nebulus.

Google presents O3D, a 3D framework that provides javascript APIs (works inside a browser plugin). The OSX verison requires an Intel mac. The plugin accesses to the graphics card acceleration through OpenGL or DirectX. An utility allows importing of external 3D models from Collada, SketchUp, 3ds Max and Maya.
We can watch a stunning video and launch demos (require the plugin to be installed).

A new 0.5 version of CP2JavaWS bridge is available at Sourceforge. It includes the following new features :

– full digest authentication (rfc2617) support (tested on Safari and Firefox), with automatic retrigger of original connection.
Besides digest parameters settings (nonce life, realm, etc.), the authentication filter allows to set list of services that require (or not) authentication (using includes and excludes).
Authentication occurs only once (for the first service that requires it).

Note : only works with sameDomain (when using JSONP digest authentication could happen, but there is no mean to check response status nor retrieve response headers – see security considerations)

– session/state management : JSESSIONID cookie is automatically retrieved once authentication challenge ends (Authentication-info response header with Ok code) and added to following requests (had to be coded for Safari – Firefox handles it natively).

Note : only works with sameDomain (when using JSONP, for security reason the server isn’t allowed to set a cookie to the client, as it originates from another domain).

– a new Habilitation fillter has been added : it allows (through a custom habilitation service) to set access rules for services, depending on the user, remote service and method called (these rules apply after authentication check).

– sameDomain setting moved from remoteService to endPoint (the same for all services of a web app).

– the packaged cp2javaws-filter.jar now includes the right files (sources files were ok however).

Mac mini : power and heat / idle mode

Posted: April 22, 2009 in Apple
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Apple provides guides about macs environmental performances. We learn that the new Mac mini uses 45 percent less power (only 13W) when idle (that isn’t sleep – that uses only 1,5W – but fully awake machine without any active application other than system daemon tasks). The previous version required 23W in idle mode, and the original version with 1,25Ghz G4 used 32W in that mode. The max power is 110W (was the same in older CoreDuo versions, and 85W on the single G4 with Radeon 9200), for a 2 Ghz Core2 Duo and Nvidia 9400M. Heat dissipation in idle mode is also down (2,5 times less than with the first G4 model, and close to 2 times less than with the previous CoreDuo model). However max heat dissipation in full charge is the same (was a bit higher when switching from a single G4 to a CoreDuo).

New MacPro also made progress in idle mode, however they can require up to 300W in full charge (that is in fact considering 8 cores, many fans and a high end graphic card).