Friday, July 31, 2009

New software and hardware

I just entered into the "public beta" test of Propellerhead's new "Record" software. It's pretty freaking awesome, I must say. "Public Beta" means that anyone who has obtained a "code" from (free for the asking) can download the full software and use it until the September release date. Though it's marketed primarily to folks who want to record "audio", ie. guitars, vocals, etc., it also integrates incredibly well with their "Reason 4.0" software, which I have blogged about several times, such as here and here.

The skeptic in me says that this is simply Reason 5.0 and those clever Swedes at Propellerhead has found a sneaky way to market it in order to make more money. Of course the reality is a bit more complex than that. But for me, since I rarely record audio and do mostly virtual instrument tracks, this release means one thing: Reason 4.0 is now multi-core aware. Record does a very good job of utilizing all four of my processing cores when I play back a complex song like the one shown below, which Reason has never done. (and the skeptic in me is now reminding me that in an interview, one of the propheads said it was going to be incredibly hard to ever make Reason support multiple cores.)

The other thing Record offers is a much better virtual mixer than Reason, which has been modeled after a high-dollar professional board, the SSL 9000k.

So, if the goal of this "Public Beta" is to get Reason users like me completely hooked on this software so that we have to buy it when released, they have accomplished their mission with flying colors.

Like Christmas in July, the same day I got into the Record public beta, my two new Acer 24" wide-screen HD monitors arrived. I've got a lot more screen real estate now, as shown in the before and after pictures below. Click on the pics for a close-up look. These pictures show exactly how much of the beautiful Record UI will fit on my screens, before and after. Awesome. Just Awesome. (Thanks LoriLea!!)

Left Monitor (Tracking and Instrument Rack)


new - Notice that you can see ALL of both sides of the instrument rack without scrolling, and about 40% more of the timeline of the song!

Right Monitor (mixing desk and Tool window):


New - notice all that black space where a whole bunch more mixer channels would be visible without scrolling

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