Mood-lit musician isn’t grooving to M1 Mac mini’s sound [Setups]

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It's amazing what some light strips and display wallpaper can do for ambiance.
It's amazing what some light strips and display wallpaper can do for ambiance.
Photo: skylar_schutz@Reddit

Redditor skylar_schutz makes music on keyboard and guitar, but their Mac mini M1’s sound quality doesn’t do it for them. That’s not a huge shock. Many mini owners, past and present — if they’re even close to identifying as audiophiles — use AirPlay 2, Bluetooth or USB-wired speakers with their setups.

“The sound coming out from the M1 mac mini is just so-so … wouldn’t recommend it if you aim to enjoy listening to music from it, more so if you intend to do music production,” skylar_schutz wrote in reply to a question.

RodeCaster Pro powers Chicago trio’s Bums of Manarchy podcast [Setups]

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Rocky Lira works his day job and podcast production here.
Rocky Lira works his day job and podcast production here.
Photo: Rocky Lira

Rocky Lira, aka “Rocky Bandit,” and his “knucklehead” friends Eddie and Paddy went big into podcasting on a moderate budget recently. And they have the gear and the podcasts in circulation to show for it.

He and his Chicago pals started the weekly show Bums of Manarchy for fun, recording more than a dozen episodes so far. Lira got off to a fast start handling the podcast editing and production. He said he uses an M1 MacBook Pro and an older model, along with two iPad Pros and his iPhone 12 Pro — in concert with a Rode RodeCaster Pro Integrated Podcast Production Studio console.

5 Ableton Live tips for GarageBand users

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ableton live at home
Who needs to leave the house any more?
Photo: Ableton

If you’re a stuck-at-home musician, or just someone who would like to learn to make music with their Mac, then maybe you’ve just downloaded the generous, lockdown-era, three-month free trial of Ableton Live. And if you’re a GarageBand (or Logic Pro X) user, you may be feeling a little lost.

Fear not. I did the same thing last year. At first I was overwhelmed just trying to do basic stuff, like routing my guitar into Ableton or trying to work out why the app offers at least three record buttons.

So, as a relatively fresh Ableton user, I thought I’d make a list of handy tips for new users coming from Apple’s music apps.

iPad Pro is a Swiss Army knife, not a surgeon’s scalpel [Opinion]

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The iPad Pro is the perfect tool for many people.
The iPad Pro is the perfect tool for many people.
Photo: DP Spender/Cult of Mac

By DP Spender

The launch of the new 2020 iPad Pro brought a plethora of articles from tech journalists asking, “Is this Apple’s laptop replacement?” That question is so open-ended, it might as well be an infinite loop. It’s like asking a toolmaker, “Is your new hammer a suitable replacement for last year’s wrench?”

It is in many ways a pointless question — and one that in my opinion totally misses the point. The question should be, “Does the 2020 iPad Pro get your job done?” To which my answer is yes, but then so did the 2018 model.

This app puts a multitrack recorder inside almost any music app

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MultiTrack Recorder Plugin
This is how we recorded multiple tracks in the olden days, kids.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

4Pockets’ MultiTrack Recorder Plugin is an audio-recording app that can be loaded inside other music apps. If you’ve ever seen an app like GarageBand or Logic in action, you’ll be familiar with the layout of multiple tracks on a horizontal timeline. MultiTrack Recorder Plugin offers exactly that, only it’s designed to be used inside other music apps. Apps that don’t have their own recording functions.

Making music on iPad forced me back to the Mac

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Tuning a ukulele
Sometime the old ways are the best.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I use my iPad for almost all my computing. I write, read, record and edit music, edit photos — you name it. I’ve used my decade-old Mac less and less in recent years, as the iPad, or rather iOS, has gotten ever more capable.

But this week I dusted off my Mac, ordered some extra RAM (yes, it’s still available!), and fired it up. Why? Because, as powerful as the iPad is, the Mac is still way, way better for some tasks. In my case, that task is recording and editing music.

Apple stores will now teach you how to remix Madonna

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Madonna
Madonna is back with a new album and a Today at Apple session.
Photo: Apple

Apple is joining forces with Madonna to help teach people how to make music.

The partnership is for a new Today at Apple Music Lab available at local Apple stores. Attendees will get a hands-on look at how Madonna’s newest track Crave was made and then be taught how to remix it.