Archive for September, 2011

Alchemy Mobile for iOS

Posted: September 27, 2011 in Audio
Tags: ,

Camel Audio presents Alchemy Mobile Synth App for iOS, an iOS version of Alchemy player. It is bundled with 25 sounds (additional 25 sounds after registering at the site) and 25 loops, and allows morphing between the 6 variations using touch. The keyboard width is adjustable, and multiple instruments can be recorded using freeze feature.
A Pro version is available (19,99$). It includes 150 sounds, 50 loops, and allows remote control of desktop Alchemy player’s parameters. Additional libraries are available through in-app purchase (50 sounds each, 4,99$). A video is provided.

Shadowgun / Dark Meadow

Posted: September 25, 2011 in Games
Tags: ,

Shadowgun, that uses Unity engine, is announced this September, 28 (we can watch a video here). It provides 30fp on iPhone 4, and 60 fps on iPad2 (and then on iPhone 5).

We can also watch a video of Dark Meadow, based on U3 engine and expected this October.

Another World available

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Games

Another World is available at the App Store (4,99$).
I discovered and completed the game back in 1992 (without any help, and also wrote a walkthrough), while completing the 23 songs from Masters 3A and 3B (in 3 weeks only).

Roland R-Mix

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Audio
Tags: ,

Roland presents R-Mix, an audio software for mac, PC and iPad. It allows to display a representation of harmonic components from a stereo mix, edit their level, pan, pitch, speed, and to apply effects/noise cancel. Among common uses are remix, karaoke, or study of a particular instrument. A video is available, however the price isn’t announced yet.

Sonivox provides lite versions of its orchestral libraries as DVI (Downloadable Virtual Instruments) plugins, notably Symphonic Ensemble Strings (79,95$), derived from the famous Symphonic String Collection (498 euros at bestservice / 995$ at Sonivox site), Symphonic Ensemble Brass. We can also find Fender Precision Bass (29,95$), Les Paul Guitar (22,95$), Session Drums 2 (29,95$), Soundstage (99$). Moreover full versions are downloadable for 3 days try.
Among composer libraries we can discover Eighty Eight – Grand Piano (199$), a Steinway CD 327 grand that features 16 velocity layers (11 Gb) and realistic/powerful sounding in high octaves.

Native Instruments provides a free Retro Machines MKII serial number for owners of original version. The library includes 3,7 Gb of samples (1 Gb in original Retro Machines) and Kontakt 5 player is required. We can listen to stunning audio demos here.

Another World 20th anniversay edition is expected on iOS this September, 22 (4,99$). This new version presents both HD graphics and original ones (we can switch between both modes with two fingers as with Monkey Island) and fine-tuned controls (easy to use finger directions or basic virtual pad). Moreover an easier difficulty settings is allowed (now the normal one, there are also Hard and Harder settings).
We can still watch a video here.

OnLive : review

Posted: September 17, 2011 in Games
Tags: ,

Onlive, announced soon in France, allows to play on PC games that aren’t yet available on mac, or that require a more powerful processor and/or graphics card (the computer becomes a terminal – rendering is made on remote servers). The client software (native application – not web) presents an array of video screens for current playing users, and also allows testing of most of listed games (15 to 30mn session time).

On a 2,4 Ghz mac mini with Nvidia 320M and 14Mbits/s connection games are really smooth (in fact better than on native versions – notably in Assassin’s Creed 2) and images are rendered at max quality on the server. However the required compression (to send these 30-60 fps through the network) leads to lower quality and lower resolution (depends from game to game), with many artefacts and blur (less sharp image). Here are results testing some games :

– Siberia 2 : the image size is medium and the ratio isn’t right (horizontally compressed image – switching to 1280*960 instead of a 16/10 screen resolution helps a little). The pointer experiences initial accelerating (not constant speed).

– Deus Ex : the game is smooth however the image (mid sized) is of low quality (lots of blur – the original textures of that old game also weren’t the best).

– Dirt 3 : the game is perfectly smooth and controls does not experience any lag. The original rendering is great and compensates the later compression (image size is also better).

– HomeFront : the game is smooth and rendering quality is also great before compression.

The price seems too much high for now (the same as for native versions – and about 3-5$ for a few days) however the technology seems the future of computer games (notably on macs where graphics card are not on part with PC ones).

Upcoming VDSL2+ connections will allow twice the actual bandwidth for most users and then better image quality/less compression (a settings to choose between max quality and max framerate would be great), despite leading to higher latency. This should not be a problem as connecting to US servers (125ms ping time compared with 45ms time for local/french servers) doesn’t lead to lag yet .

For now Onlive is a better way of testing games than Youtube videos. The interactive features (access tp live gamers sessions, audio and/or video chat) also help discovering (and then buying) of new games.

Feral announced Deus Ex : Human Revolution port on mac. It is expected this winter.

MacUpdate promo Bundle

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Apple
Tags: ,

The new MacUpdate Bundle provides for only 49,99$ famous softwares (90 percent discount), among these Toast 11 Titanium (manages BluRay and features a fast H264 encoder/decoder), DataRescue 3 (data recovery, startup disk creation) and Mellel (word processor).
It also includes interesting utilities (iStat Menus, EarthDesk, PhoneView – allows to access to iPhone’s filesystem), a photo editor with effects, etc.

An upgrade from EZDrummer to Superior Drummer 2.0 is available for 95 euros until September, 30.

Sonic Couture presents The Conservatoire Collection, a 23 GB samples library that features baroque instruments. Audio demos are available and it is priced 199 euros.