The End of Plug-ins on the Mac?

Beginning next March Apple will require Apps sold through the Mac App store to be “Sandboxed”. Sandboxing keeps the app in it’s own space and restricts what it can do system wide. Apple does this on iOS to protect your phone from being hacked, taken over, etc… One side effect is that as far as things stand today you can’t use plug-ins. Obviously for musicians using sequencers this would have serious implications. Before you get into a huff we will still be able to install and use unsandboxed Apps and plug-ins as long they are not sold on the Mac App store. Two things could happen here. First, Apple could eventually require Macs to use the Mac App store. Imagine having to Jailbreak your Mac? A more likely scenario will be a new type of plug-in architecture will be implemented that works in a way Apple likes. What do you think?

“In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs. It is often used to execute untested code, or untrusted programs from unverified third-parties, suppliers, untrusted users and untrusted websites. The sandbox typically provides a tightly-controlled set of resources for guest programs to run in, such as scratch space on disk and memory. Network access, the ability to inspect the host system or read from input devices are usually disallowed or heavily restricted. In this sense, sandboxes are a specific example of virtualization.” – Wikipedia

For more info read this article: Why the Mac App Sandbox makes me sad

photo credit: Gilkata


RealBeat Demo by thingstocome

This morning I’ve been playing with the newly released RealBeat. It’s for iOS AND Mac. Upon launching the app it has sequence blocks set up. You hit record on a few sample slots and everything starts playing. There are a few effects on Kaosillator type pads. You can edit the samples and sequences. RealBeat is a slick and fun audio app. What you hear above took less than a minute with my own voice. Recommended.

“Record your voice, your fridge, your neighbour’s dog or let your iPhone or iPad speak and make rhythms out of the sounds immediately. RealBeat concentrates on simplicity and fast results. No steep learning curve or cluttered screens! Get creative in an instant!” –

For more info:

Ableton Live Lion Ready

Now I can upgrade to Lion.

“We’re pleased to announce the release of Live 8.2.5, the latest Ableton Live 8 version. Live 8.2.5 now officially supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – please make sure to check that all of your third-party plug-ins and audio/MIDI hardware are Lion-compatible before upgrading your OS.” –

For more info:…

10 Macintosh Dashboard Widgets for pro-audio.

Apple Dashboard IconWhen Apple first released Tiger one feature I didn’t really like was Dashboard. It looked pretty but on my 12″ 867 G4 every time I hit F-12 the computer would slow down to a crawl. Even when the widgets would appear they would all take a good 20 seconds to fill up with whatever info they were grabbing from the internet.

As my computers and internet got faster I started using Dashboard for games like the great Asteroid clone from Christopher Marks. Lately I’ve been adding in useful little helper widgets on the recording studio machine. Here’s 10 Macintosh Dashboard widgets for pro-audio. Please note I took the descriptions of each widget from either or the developer.

10. GuitarChords. Just pick a note and type of chord. Then watch as the widget displays how to fret that chord on the guitar. Scroll up the neck and see alternate ways of playing that same chord. Next, press the play button and hear what each of these chords sounds like. When you get tired of that, flip the widget around and change the tuning on your guitar. Ever wondered how to play a E-flat augmented chord in Open G tuning? Now you can find out. Download

9. Scales. Get lazy, and look up your major/minor scales or go crazy and write all your songs in Super Locrian and Six Tone Symmetrical. For a reminder, the widget says “Learn Your Scales”, in case you don’t have a music teacher to tell you that everyday. Also for your displeasure, this widget has the look and feel of Macintosh System 7. Download

8. Chord Reference. You choose a note and chord type. This ergonomic widget will display simply the notes composing that chord on your guitar. Your ear is the limit. This is a port of the original classic shareware for Mac OS in 1994. It hopefully offers an ergonomic interface for chords, one you’ll find useful and easy-to-use. Download

7. ittyBittyMIDI. A Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X that allows you to quickly monitor MIDI signals on your computer. You can use it to either monitor all MIDI devices or Continue reading 10 Macintosh Dashboard Widgets for pro-audio.