Audiophile 2496 x64 Rant

Okay- this is a pure rant with nothing of value to anyone but myself.

I’ve been using an M-Audio Delta Audiophile 2496 for years now in 32-bit systems: both Windows XP and Vista.  This is a great card- massive clarity above anything else I’ve ever tried.  I’ve produced a ton of projects off of this card and it is tightly integrated into my studio cabling at this point.

Recently, I upgraded my hardware and took advantage of 8GB of RAM.  To actually utilize that amount of RAM, you need a 64-bit OS. The whole point of this rant is that M-Audio still do not have any drivers for this card for 64-bit Vista.  They don’t have any public beta drivers either- the drivers in private beta.

I signed up for the beta but am not holding my hopes very high.  I suppose I can just deal with onboard audio until they release the drivers- but I wouldn’t want to actually record anything using that…

Just a real cramp in my gut.  Let’s have at them drivers, already!

Sonar 8 PE Review

Sonar 8 was released a few weeks ago.  Being in the middle of a project at the time, I’ve had a good week or so to check out some of the new features.

Here are some things I like:

SONAR Performance Optimizations
How can you not like this?  I haven’t had a huge problem with projects in the past, but do notice a significant decrease in resource usage in this new version, all the same.

Dedicated Instrument Track
This is more of an organizational preference than anything else- but I do find it a bit cleaner than the old way of grouping a midi and synth track within a track folder.  Another good thing is that you can switch back and forth whenever you want and apply the feature to only those instruments you want.  Very flexible!

Dimension Pro
Very similar to Dimension LE that shipped along with Sonar 7 PE- the most noticible thing for me so far is that we get over 7 gigs of material with the pro version.  Wow.

Z3TA+ / Integrated Step Sequencer
Two tools from the previous version I feel compelled to mention here since they are just so great.  Z3TA+ is a waveshaping synthesizer with a wide array of options for generating some really, really incredible sounds.  The step sequencer provides an alternate midi pattern generation environment from the traditional piano roll.

TL-64 Tube Leveler / TS 64 Transient Shaper
Any tools that give me more control over the sound are always welcome.

TL-64 provides intuitive controls to determine the level and character of analog tube saturation, from subtle “warming” to hard-driving saturation. The TL-64 plug-in features a unique selectable Dynamic Response Filter control that when engaged employs a dynamic (versus static) tube model algorithm.

Here are things I could care less about:

Beatscape loop performance instrument / Loop Explorer 2.0
I don’t work with loops… so this is pretty useless as advertised.  However, as with many other tools, it may be useful when applied in some other way?

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 LE
Similar to above… I wonder what running some vox through this would do…

I’ve been using this software since version 3 and normally upgrade every other version.  I obviously have broken that tradition with the purchase of Sonar 8- the overall improvements on an already solid piece of software were too good to pass up for another year.  There are lots and lots of other things to mention, but these are some initial observations after a week of use.

More nformation can be found at http://cakewalk.com/Products/SONAR/.

Adobe CS3 Upgrade Paths?


Various Amazon worlwide stores have posted pricing info and box art for the upcoming Adobe CS3 product suites that will be officially announced tomorrow. Depending on where you look, both upgrade and ‘upsell’ pricing is present alongside the full retail licenses. I hope that the Adobe store will offer a variety of upgrade paths as many of us own both a collection of Adobe software and also Macromedia Studio 8.

Fractured Vision Media is licensed with both Studio 8 and the CS2 Production Studio Bundle- so we pretty well have the CS2 version of the new “CS3 Master Collection” being offered. So will we be able to upgrade from both collections collectively? Or will we be gouged completely even in consideration of my prior investment?

On a related note: it’s upsetting to see the fabulous Audition replaced by SoundBooth. I haven’t given the SoundBooth beta a full testing- but it is lacking many of the features we use to master audio tracks. Really seems like a step backward for audio professionals. :(

Oh, and in regard to my prior rant about splitting product versions: nice to see that there is no mention of “Flash CS3 Standard” anywhere.

EDIT: Nice. With Macromedia Studio and Adobe Production Studio the price is $1,399.00. Since Master Collection will not ship till July, you also have the option to snag a smaller collection now and upgrade from that later for the difference. I think we may just go with Web Premium for now- The audio/video tools in Master Collection can wait 18 months…