TNSS: It’s Your Funeral

Banner Picture from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jambalaya_1969_Jazz_Funeral_2.jpg

Yargh. Ran into this over coffee this morning…

If you’ve lighted over here from over there I welcome you to APITE. I posted the comment on Gearnews before writing this (and besides it’s about time for a new TNSS anyway, right?) so I’m expanding my diatribe from there along with a few updates.

(UPDATE – I posted my comment on Gearnews over 4 hours ago and I just checked – it’s not there. Will erase this update when (and if) it is but you can still read the post in the meantime.)

(UPDATE 2 – It’s 24 hours later and there are new posts there but my comment is still absent. Perhaps it’s my mistake, but pretty positive I hit the submit comment button. Perhaps I’ve struck a nerve?)

Let’s start with (as usual around here) it’s been a while since a TNSS post, because I really haven’t had any issues to report on since the last one. It’s that simple. I’ve had a few snags with various Plugins (and a particularly nasty one from Surreal Machines) – but those were fixed within days and are Plugin issues that we have all had regardless of Platform or Operating System or Processor Type. Bugs happen. Bugs get fixed.

Reaper is out of Beta (Universal App) and still working beautifully. Logic Pro is chugging along swimmingly. Ableton Live? Yep – no issues. Avid is always late to every party, and I don’t really care for Pro Tools (reasons below) so maybe that’s what people are harping on here. But if you are a PT user you have been dealing with this for decades now and it should be no surprise at all so you have nothing to complain about. Maybe Cubase is still a mess (I had endless problems with it on Intel machines – the iOS version is surprisingly rock-solid however).

The only Plugins I’m having issues with are the d16 Group ‘Classic Boxes Collection’ which they acknowledged over a year ago would need major updates, and I’ve found workarounds for those in the meantime if I need those types of sounds. I do believe I’ve talked about this before.

Another reason for my slowness around here is aligned to everything about the linked article at the top – I’m only going to post when I think it’s relevant or useful to the conversation. 

And that’s why I’m posting this and why I commented on that article. Go ahead – read it if you haven’t already. I’ll wait…

Notice anything unusual? Were you able to glean any references to the issues noted? I couldn’t! And this is the problem I have with the post – it’s word jambalaya with no references, links, or real usefulness. It’s typical of the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) School of Modern Reporting (not even going to refer to this as Journalism) and MUST GET EYES ON PAGE Webposting. It’s not marked as opinion, it’s not tagged as anything other than just another article.

And it stinks.

I check a lot of Music Pages over java in the morning: KVR, Sonicstate, Matrixsynth, SynthAnatomy, MacOS Audio, and even Gearnews, just to name a few. I used to like Synthtopia years back (not linking it), but I had had enough of their wretched moderation of the Commentariat (not to mention the wretched Commentariat in general) and the propensity for doing the same nonsensical posts like this one above. Bookmark delete – never checked again.

I understand some people do this for a living. You need audience engagement. You need to pay the bills. But at what cost are you making that happen? I’ve seen this kind of ‘reporting’ popping up a lot in the Music Trades as of late (or maybe I’m just now noticing it), but it makes my ‘Betteridge’s Law’ hackles go up and then it just makes me angry because I. Did. Not. Come. To. Your. Site. For. This. Assault. On. Intelligence. I came here for actual information.

If I see it once then I let it slide because maybe it was a slow news day for you. If I see it there again I am never going back to your site because you have accepted this as normal.

APITE is my baby. It’s my opinions and my experiences and I know that yours may be completely different! It’s not perfect and it’s not something I think anyone would want to read on a daily basis, but I do the best I can to present the most accurate info I find. If I mess up I will correct it. All I want to do is present what I encounter so that it might help someone else along the way. That shared knowledge is what makes us all greater in the long run, and is the true intent of ‘The Power of the Interwebz’.

And I want to keep that going. We should all strive to keep that going no matter the genre or interest. Just give us the truth and don’t be afraid to say when you’ve gotten something wrong. Drop these basic tenets and you’ve lost me as a reader. Betting I’m not alone here either…

So Gearnews, I plead with you – keep reporting on the new and cool in the Music Sphere. Show me the ‘Leaks’ that are intriguing, but I know (and you allude) are likely BS. Do in-depth reviews of tools and toys. But please stop doing these inane posts unless you are committed to doing the deep dive into why.

Because there’s just too much crap out there already.

My opinion of Apple’s M-series (Apple Silicon) hardware still stands: it’s the future of the Platform and just run rings around Intel’s processors as of this writing. They are solid computers with absolute minimal issues for all of the Musicware (and software in general) I have installed on both Edsel (Mac mini) and Josephine (MacBook Air). I also test a lot of Beta software, and have yet to see an issue from any of those I’ve tested other than bugs within those programs. My two M1’s are not ‘locked down’ either – I check for updates at least once a week, so they are running current software. As I’ve said many times before, do your research well and  always check on a machine that isn’t Mission Critical for your work.

/end Rant.

Let me leave you with a some goodness before I go. If you haven’t caught it already, both Audio Damage and ToneBoosters have set some of their ‘legacy’ Plugins free (click the links above for the downloads). AD is Mac-only, but ToneBoosters are cross-platform. For the TB Plugins, click the link above and scroll down to the bottom to the ‘Where can I find older (legacy v3) plugins?’ Text is and click that to access the downloaders. About 70% of the Audio Damage stuff will still run on Apple Silicon mostly Rosetta2) but all of the Tone Boosters Plugins work fine as of MacOS 12.2.1. Nice trend happening here.

Lastly, I’ve been thinking about building a ‘Retrotech’ music computer and might make it a companion to the TNSS series (I’ve even got a silly name for it obvs.). As much as I’d love to go back in time to the heady days of MacOS 8 or 9 and the joys of Opcode’s StudioVision Pro (man, I miss that program), I think it’s going to be more cost-effective to go with something from the last decade or so (mostly for Plugins). For now it’s just a thought, but I like the idea and am actively looking for the hardware. Let me know if it’s something you might be interested in or if I’m just getting Hipsterish in my old age. 🙂

Until next time…

TNSS: Hammer into Anvil

MacOS Monterey (aka MacOS 12.0.1 as of this writing) dropped yesterday afternoon here. I took the plunge and used Josephine as the Guinea Pig. Sizable update with about an hour total install time, but no hitches or glitches or witches (it’s Halloween Season too – so of course had to put that in here.) 🙂

I have been slowly prepping the Josephine for the update over the past few weeks. I went through the process of getting the Universal Audio software installed since they say it’s now usable with Big Sur (MacOS 11), and did a hefty round of both software and plugin updates to match what was already on Edsel. Everything was checked for usability with Big Sur before Monterey was due for release, and I found nothing other than the ‘usual’ problems I’ve had with Bug Sure® over the past year, the biggest two are talked about below. 

The Banner Pic above was my biggest problem. That’s supposed to be GForce Software’s Oddity2 ARP Odyssey emulation. It’s one of the first Plugins I purchased way back when and has always been one of my absolute favorites (just like the real hardware). No matter what I tried (reinstallation, Rosetta mode, waving chicken bones over the computer) it would produce sound as normal, but the graphics were gobbledegook – meaning no adjustments could be made to the on-screen controls. Although I have a few Presets for it as ‘starting points’ I like to tweak and create. Whatever was happening here made this impossible…

So this morning I tried opening Oddity on Josephine in ’standalone’ mode. Holy Cats It Works Again!!!! I closed the App and launched Logic, which was still in ‘Rosetta Mode’ to authorize the UA and IK Multimedia Plugins that prefer to be AU Validated that way. Sure enough, Oddity looked as it did before Bog Sore®. I quickly created a MIDI Pattern in Logic and let it run while I twiddled with knobs and sliders – it was so good to have it back again…

Out of all those updates I did before prepping Josephine for MantaRay®, Oddity2 was not one of them. I did update to the latest Logic Pro (10.7), so wondering if that fixed it I opened Logic on Edsel which is still running Blag Sour®. Nope – even with the Logic 10.7 update (and the 11.6.1 ‘Security Update’ that came out yesterday) Oddity still has the graphics issue. Not sure what Monterey Jack® did, but this is great news. However, I tried to install d16 Group’s Nepheton (another old fave) on Josephine and it unfortunately still crashed Logic when I tried to Authorize it. In their defense, the d16 Crew states they are aware of this issue and a fix will happen sometime. Insert Sad Trombone sounds here because I use these a lot too…

D16 Error

I will check the few other Plugin issues I had and put those results in a future post. For now I’m just happy that I have my beloved Oddity back in action. I got the Korg Odyssey as a part of their Collection 3 Bundle Upgrade, and although it’s a great little synth, it just doesn’t have the sound the GForce version has. I tried to match sounds I’d created in Oddity2 on the Korg, and although I could get close, the Oddity just runs rings around it as far as I’m concerned. 

The other major annoyance I had with Bag Slur® is this:

DMG Eject

This would happen on the odd Installation, and there is no way to get the damned thing to eject other than a User Log Out (which might bring up the Force Eject Dialog Box to allow you to get rid of the Disk Image once you log back in) or just doing a Restart which guaranteed its removal. Again, no amount of shenanigans and goings-on I tried would alter either of these two solutions, and it didn’t happen with every .DMG – just plain unrepeatable and weird. I have yet to encounter this on MacOS 12 as of yet, and will let you know if I do.

As for everything else I have no complaints. My Productivity Apps continue to allow me to be productive, and what few Utilities I’ve needed have performed as expected. Would I recommend you update before the ‘Recommended Point One’ version?

Not really.

If you’ve been reading this series then you know the drill: if what you have is working the way you need it to, don’t upgrade until you can take the time to work out the problems or you have another machine to test on. However, if you are having the same kind of Plugin issues that I was having with the Oddity, it might be worth the hassle. Not sure what Apple did here, but kudos to the Programming Team. 

So I did have a question asking if I was going to upgrade to one of the newer MacBook Pros with the M1x/M1Max chipsets. The simple answer is ‘Sure, I’d like to have one, but not right now.’ From everything I’ve read so far they are incredible computers, but honestly I’m still impressed by the power of the original M1’s in both Edsel and Josephine. That 14’ is the sweet spot for me, but my MacBook Air is really close to that size now.

The Dolby Atmos® and Spacial Audio updates in Logic Pro might require a future upgrade (thinking a year or so) but both of my machines handle these just fine in the simple tests I’ve done. I also have other things I need to take care of beforehand with my pittance of savings…

I’ll call it here for now. Monterey (what – no snarky Portmanteau?) works, fixes some annoyances (at least on my devices), and other than (again) resetting every one of my Mission Control Desktops to a retina-searing color scheme (easily fixed) is so far a better version of Big Sur (yep – snark over…) – very similar to the old Lion/Mountain Lion upgrades of yore.

At least for the time being. 🙂

Until next time…