Sibelius 2 for Mac OS X and Windows is now available from Sibelius Group (www.sibelius.com) with more than 200 added enhancements. Redesigned with a look that complements the interfaces of Mac OS X and Windows XP, new features include artificial intelligence (to arrange/orchestrate music automatically) and mouse-less music input for using nearly every Sibelius feature — copying and pasting and moving lines and staves. Other features include enhanced rubato and rhythmic feel for a more human-sounding playback, 11 new plug-ins (including an application that instantly adds string and brass fingerings), color graphic import capability, and the ability to let people print and save music from your Website with Scorch. Sibelius 2 calculates and displays precise timecode (time position from the start of the score) above bar lines, and calculates the exact duration of the score and prints it on the last page. Sibelius 2 includes a free upgrade of PhotoScore Lite 2 to scan printed sheet music into the system. List is $599.
MOTU DIGITAL PERFORMER 3.1
Mark of the Unicorn unveils Version 3.1 of its Digital Performer workstation software. Upgrades include a Multiple Undo function (with an Undo History window and time-stamped action list of project actions), and users can navigate through undo “branches” in the history tree. Timeline Undo provides a time-based representation of a session; by clicking anywhere on the timeline, a user can instantly jump to the state of the project at that point in the session. Also new in 3.1 is surround support in the Waveform Editor — users can destructively cut, copy and paste multichannel audio, or use the pencil tool to edit out clicks and pops in an individual surround channel. Many new features are designed to accommodate users who are familiar with Pro Tools: The multitrack Sequence Editor, which displays independently resizable audio and MIDI tracks in one window, can now trim multiple audio regions at one time. A new I-beam tool has been added to the Tool palette to make time-range selection more intuitive. Loop-based production enhancements include the ability to audition and import Propellerheads Recycle REX 2.0 files, loop drag-and-drop, auto-conform capability and more. DP 3.1 introduces several new MIDI and post-production features; visit www.motu.com for details.
ROXIO TOAST WITH JAM
Roxio (www.roxio.com) debuts its Toast with Jam CD and DVD recording software for the Mac with CD mastering features. Toast with Jam includes Toast 5 Titanium to burn photo, video, music and data to CD and DVD; and Jam 5 for editing, arranging and burning CD masters. Jam 5 features a more flexible crossfade tool using a graphical waveform interface, a Dithering feature and support for 24-bit audio files. The system also features an updated version of BIAS Peak LE VST, which includes multiple VST effects plug-ins. Toast with Jam is built for OS X and supports OS 9 users. Retail is $199.
ES2, the latest synthesizer in Emagic's (www.emagic.de) Software Instruments line, offers up to 16-note polyphony per unit, with three oscillators per voice. (Oscillators 2 and 3 can sync to oscillator 1.) Analog and digital waveforms (including FM, Ring Mod, Noise and more) can be used as sound sources, and timbre is shaped with two self-resonating filters, running in serial or parallel: One filter is a multi-mode filter with distortion circuit, and the other is a lowpass filter with selectable slope and fatness parameter. (The lowpass can also be frequency-modulated by oscillator 1.) Additional synthesis options include a sine wave from oscillator 1 that can be mixed with the filter output, a built-in distortion circuit, and a time-based effects processor, with independent intensity and speed controls (with chorus, flanging and phasing). The ES2 runs under any program in the Logic Audio Series from Version 5 upward, and is copy-protected with Emagic's new Expandable System Key, a programmable hardware key for the USB port that includes the Logic 5 license and temporary licenses for all Emagic software instruments, so users can try out software instruments for one month without functionality restrictions. Retail: $249.
A-Plus is Minnetonka's (www.minnetonkaaudio.com) new system for creating DVD-Audio discs. The software is designed for simplicity: Users drag-and-drop sound files to create a playlist and hit Record to burn a disc. The program accepts 5.1 surround recordings as six sound files or as an MLP-encoded sound file (stereo recordings are also accepted); the program will automatically create an onscreen menu from track and group titles. The menu can display up to 30 items. A-Plus supports all DVD-A sound file formats including bit depths of 16, 20 and 24 bits, and sample rates of up to 96 kHz in surround and 192 kHz in stereo. The system runs on Windows 98, 2000 or NT operating systems, and is compatible with DVD-R and DVD-RW media and Pioneer S201, Pioneer A03 DVD drives. Compatible sound files include .WAV, .AIFF and .MLP.
The 3DPanner Motion Effects is a VST/DX audio plug-in from SpinAudio, based around 3-D positioning using a binaural panning technique from HRTF functions; users can place sound in a 3-D sound field using conventional stereo output. The plug-in is derived from SpinAudio's 3D Panner Studio, but while 3DPanner Studio supports only static positioning, 3DPanner Motion Effects allows continuous changes of 3-D position. Besides supporting VST automation, which allows users to draw a free motion path, 3DPanner Motion Effects offers three oscillators on x, y and elevation to create simple or complex motion curves. The plug-in supports VST 2.0 MIDI interface that allows synching of motion start/stop and control oscillators in real-time via MIDI control messages. A plug-in MIDI Map editor is provided for custom tuning, and Steinberg Nuendo users can use Nuendo's channel surround panner to control the plug-in.