You can see the properties for an audio device by choosing that device from the 'Properties For' pop-up menu underneath the System Settings section, which lists all Core Audio audio devices — including Aggregate Devices. If you select an Aggregate, you can modify the structure properties for this device without opening the Aggregate Device Editor sheet by clicking the Configure Device button in the main Audio Devices page instead.
While this also opens a sheet, you don't get the option of adding or removing Aggregate devices, which provides a slightly safer way of configuring these devices. For devices that have their own configuration window or sheet, the Configure Device button will also be visible when that device is selected in the 'Properties For' pop-up menu. You can also select the clock source where the device supports different clock sources underneath the 'Properties For' heading, although this will be greyed out if an Aggregate device is selected — even if the master clock source for that Aggregate device can be selected from different clock sources on the corresponding hardware device.
In this case, you need to switch the Properties back for the individual device before you can change the clock source. Two columns in the lower part of the Audio Devices page show the Audio Input and Audio Output properties for the device selected in the 'Properties For' pop-up menu, both of which are laid out identically.
At the top of the pane is a pop-up menu that selects the Stream to be configured. Which brings me to Tiger's Open Audio Library, or OpenAL, is designed to make it easier for developers to add audio to applications, especially where the placement of sound sources is required in a three-dimensional space. Games are what has really driven OpenAL's development, so that there is a common, OS-level way for developers to provide 3D sound in applications.
There have been plenty of non-Apple solutions to this problem, such as Creative Labs' EAX and Microsoft's DirectSound3D technologies, but using these means that developers have to rewrite parts of their code for different platforms. OpenAL is similar in conception to Open GL Open Graphics Library , a cross-platform standard for 3D graphics that has hardware acceleration support in most graphics cards on the market today. When you want to draw a Cube in OpenGL, for example, the basic code looks the same no matter what computer or graphics hardware you're using.
In the same way video cards usually offer hardware acceleration for OpenGL, there has also been hardware support for OpenAL in hardware from manufacturers such as Creative Labs and Nvidia. For more information about OpenAL, visit www. In Core Audio speak, each audio Device is regarded as being comprised of multiple audio Streams that deal with how the audio data is passed between the Core Audio driver and the application. If we run at a sampling rate of Therefore, at The sampling rate and bit depth are described as the Format in Core Audio, and each Stream within a Core Audio Device can theoretically have a different Format.
So when writing a Core Audio driver, developers split the different banks of inputs and outputs into different Streams within the single device so that each Stream can contain a different number of channels with a different Format.
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Underneath the pop-up menu where you select a Stream are two pop-up menus to configure the sampling rate and bit depth for that Stream; however, despite the notional ability for different Streams to have different Formats, changing the format for one Stream will change other Streams to the same Format in most current Core Audio drivers. Below the Stream parameters in the System Settings is a list of the total input or output channels available with the device, and you'll notice in the screenshot overleaf that the channels that belong to the currently selected Stream are highlighted with a blue background.
Depending on the functionality offered by the Core Audio driver, it's possible to change the gain of channels, mute and unmute channels, as well as setting the through option to automatically pass input channels to the corresponding output channels on the audio hardware. These various options are greyed out when unsupported. Part of what makes it easy for Aggregate devices to be supported in Core Audio is the ability for a single Device to have multiple Streams. For example, if you have two audio Devices each with single input and output Streams, the Aggregate Device will be presented as a single device with two Streams for both input and output: one for each Device.
If you create an Aggregate Device with your Mac's built-in audio hardware and a MOTU , for example, you'll end up with a device consisting of six Streams for both input and output. The only thing to bear in mind is that not all Core Audio Drivers name Streams appropriately, notably those that only contain single streams: in these cases you end up with unhelpful names such as 'Stream n', where n is the number of the Stream in that Device.
So far it seems that Tiger has broken fewer music and audio applications and drivers than previous releases; many third-party developers were ready at the release of Tiger to supply the necessary patches and driver updates. Generally speaking, Core MIDI drivers seem unaffected by the move to Tiger, but here's a brief rundown on the current state of Tiger compatibility from various manufacturers at the time of writing mid-May As one would expect or at least hope , Logic v7.
On the hardware side, there has been no mention of driver updates or incompatibilities for Emagic's previous interfaces, but using an MT4 MIDI interface with a laptop running Tiger didn't seem to be a problem. Users of Peak 4. On the plus side, I did successfully install the At the time of writing, M-Audio were verifying compatibility of the company's MIDI and audio devices with Tiger, saying that Tiger-compatible drivers would, where necessary, be available shortly.
MOTU's current v1. The only incompatibility with this version is when running with Logic 7. Audiodesk users can download a Tiger-compatible v2. The company advise that users of Final Scratch v1. A small update is also required for users wishing to perform a clean install of Komplete 2 on Tiger rather than those upgrading to Tiger on a machine that already has Komplete 2 installed and fixes for Audio Units validation errors are apparently on the way for Battery 2 users and those with products based on Kontakt Player, such as Garritan Personal Orchestra.
Sibelius claim that all of the company's products have been tested with Tiger and that no serious compatibility problems have been found, with the exception of Sibelius Starclass, which apparently reports problems playing sounds with Quicktime when Adobe's Acrobat Reader v7 is installed. The solution is to remove version 7 and download and install the older version 6 from www. While Steinberg have yet to comment on testing with the final versions of Tiger, they've indicated in their support forum that Cubase, Nuendo and other products have been tested with pre-release versions of Tiger and seem to be fine.
Products that showed problems with the pre-release version of Tiger are Halion Player, the Nuendo Dolby Digital Encoder and the driver for the MI4 audio hardware that's part of the Cubase System 4 bundle. Full compatibility information will be available from Steinberg's web site in due course, and the company has also indicated that future Cubase and Nuendo releases will support Quartz 2D to improve graphics performance, which should offer a significant acceleration to the user interface.
Panther introduced a way to configure which outputs on your audio devices are assigned to which speakers in audio applications with a single stereo or multi-channel audio output. This is the Configure Speakers sheet, which is opened from the Configure Speakers button for the currently selected audio device in the 'Properties For' pop-up menu. While this doesn't have too many uses in programs like Logic that deal with specific input and output audio channels on your hardware, it is useful to know about, since musicians and audio engineers are the ones most likely to need to manage multi-channel audio devices on a Mac.
One simple example where Configure Speakers can be useful is with an application like iTunes.
Say you have an audio device with eight outputs: by default, iTunes will always play out of the first two outputs, but what if you want to hear to monitor via outputs seven and eight instead? The Configure Speakers sheet enables you to specify what outputs on your Audio Device are used by applications that output audio to Mac OS X's stereo or multi-channel speaker arrangement. Notice how multiple Streams can be selected in the upper part of the sheet if the Audio Device has multiple Streams, as you can see here for an Aggregate Device. In the Configure Speakers sheet, if you're using a device with multiple Streams, you enable the Stream with the outputs you want to assign in the upper part of the sheet — in this example, you need to enable the Stream that encompasses outputs seven and eight on your audio device.
Next, in the lower part of the sheet, you'll see a graphical representation of the speaker arrangement Mac OS X applications use when outputing audio, meaning that when an application like iTunes outputs stereo audio, it's this model that's used for the audio output. The speakers are labelled with their configuration left front and right front in the case of simple stereo and are positioned in relation to the listener, who is illustrated with a blue dot see the screenshot on the right.
Clicking on the speaker button sends white noise to that speaker until you click it again, and you can set which output on your audio device is used for this speaker in the pop-up menu below that speaker. In this example, you'd select '7' in the pop-up menu for the left speaker and '8' for the right speaker, and click Apply. All stereo output from basic audio applications that don't specify audio outputs themselves iTunes, Quicktime Player, DVD Player and so on will now take place via outputs seven and eight on your audio hardware.
Programs that address specific outputs on Core Audio devices, like Logic, will ignore these settings. The process of setting the assignments for applications that output basic multi-channel audio such as DVD Player and the new version 7 Quicktime Player is the same as for stereo configurations. In the Configure Speakers tab, click the 'Multi-channel' button and select a multi-channel configuration from the pop-up menu that now appears beside the button.
You'll only be able to select multi-channel configurations based on the number of total streams in your audio device, so four speakers will only allow you to set stereo and quadraphonic configurations, for example. As before, getting it all to work is a question of enabling the required Streams at the top of the sheet, selecting the multi-channel configuration from the pop-up menu, and then assigning the outputs on the speakers in the lower part of the sheet. Apple include many Audio Units with Tiger, most of which are self-descriptively named, as detailed in the following list.
You'll notice many Audio Units that don't usually get presented in your Audio Units host applications. Audio Units included with Panther are indicated with an asterisk. Audio Units, as the OS X audio plug-in standard, has had a somewhat tumultuous journey compared with other plug-in formats. A great deal of development was carried out during the early Since few v1 Audio Units plug-ins existed, this didn't create too many problems for developers, and the specification settled down during Plug-ins that failed were set to one side, requiring manual user activation to bring them back into the application again.
Although this created a few problems for users in the interim, overall it was a good move, and encouraged the development of 'fully legal' Audio Units plug-ins to improve overall system stability. While many audio plug-in formats were created for specific purposes, such as to process incoming audio to create an effect, the Audio Units format was created to be broad container for a variety of different audio tools. There were actually seven different types of Audio Units in the specification released with Panther, and there are nine in Tiger.
The original seven types are: Effect one of the most common types, this is a standard process that takes an incoming audio signal and creates an outgoing audio signal , Music Device the other common type, which is used to implement software instruments , Music Effect which is similar to Effect, but allows a MIDI input for controlling the effect's parameters , Output which can send an incoming audio signal to an output stream on a Core Audio Device or to a file , Format Converter to implement a utility that converts audio in one format into another, such as a sample-rate converter , and the Mixer and Panner types, which are fairly self-explanatory.
A full list of the new Audio Units plug-ins that ship with Tiger can be found in the box opposite, and Tiger also adds two new Audio Units types. There's Offline Effect, for creating effects that work on an off-line audio stream, such as when processing files, and there's Generator, which generates an audio output, but doesn't require an audio or MIDI input to do so, like a test-tone signal generator. In order to use these Audio Units, applications need to be written to support these new types. However, as you might expect, Apple's own applications, Garage Band and Logic, in their latest 2.
Basically, audio passes through the AUNetSend plug-in, which can be used as an insert effect, for example, and while this plug-in carries out no processing on the actual audio signal, it does pass any incoming audio to a connected instance of AUNetReceive running within any Audio Units-compatible application on the network. However, you don't have to have a network of Macs for these Audio Units to be useful, as you can also send audio from AUNetSend to AUNetReceive with both plug-ins running under the same application on the same computer.
To set up AUNetSend, you simply add it as an insert effect to an audio channel you want to transmit over the network. All you need to do now is open an instance of AUNetReceive on another computer on the network, or the same computer — but remember that you need a host application compatible with Audio Units Generator plug-ins to do this. Tiger introduces a new file format for storing audio data known as CAF Core Audio Format , which is a bit file format capable of storing 'a thousand channels of audio for a thousand years in a single file' according to Apple, in both uncompressed and compressed formats such as Apple Lossless and AAC.
Quicktime 7 offers support for CAF files, although there is no support in any other application, including Apple's own offerings, at the time of writing. While little information is available yet as to the specifics of this new audio file format, CAF is pretty similar to other audio file formats, such as the Broadcast Wave file format, and consists of a series of data chunks, including one chunk that stores the actual audio data, and another that describes the format of the audio, such as the sample rate, bit depth, number of channels, and other settings associated with streaming the file across a network.
Other chunks specify other characteristics concerning the audio stored in the file, such as an overview, so that the data for displaying the audio on screen is stored with the audio rather than it having to be created from scratch when the file is opened in multiple applications. There's also an Instrument chunk to store data such as MIDI note values, velocities, gain adjustments and so on, if the file is to be used as part of a sampled instrument, and further chunks define a list of regions with the file or marker locations for storing loop points, program start and end points, marker start and end points, and so on.
In addition to being able to store marker points as positions in terms of the number of samples from the start of the file, CAF also allows for SMPTE times to be recorded with sample-level sub-frame offsets if required and the original frame rate.
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This is an improvement over Broadcast Wave, where the time stamp is usually only represented in samples and the original frame rate is rarely stored, leaving it up to the programmer to decipher the original SMPTE time based on a guess of the correct frame rate. It will be interesting to see how this new file format develops as it gains support from other Mac applications in the audio, music and video markets. As this article hopefully demonstrates, Mac OS X is the most feature-rich operating system for music and audio purposes. It's not that other operating systems are less suitable or perform less well for music and audio purposes — it's just that Mac OS X includes more features specifically designed for professional audio and MIDI users, leaving developers free to use the OS-based features provided for them, rather than having to take time to create their own, application-specific ones.
You might ask why this matters to end users, but it means that under Mac OS X, there is a more consistent approach to addressing matters concerning audio and MIDI hardware, along with plug-ins. While no MIDI or audio applications are becoming Tiger-dependant at this point, Tiger is still a must-have upgrade for musicians and audio engineers. The general OS X improvements are nice, but the improved bit support is going to help samplers and other memory-intensive applications running on G5-based Macs, and you can expect to see your applications' interfaces redrawing a little quicker if you have a graphics card that can take advantage of Quartz 2D Extreme.
It's nice to see Apple designing their OS with the professional audio market in mind. OpenAL Tiger's Open Audio Library, or OpenAL, is designed to make it easier for developers to add audio to applications, especially where the placement of sound sources is required in a three-dimensional space. Compatibility So far it seems that Tiger has broken fewer music and audio applications and drivers than previous releases; many third-party developers were ready at the release of Tiger to supply the necessary patches and driver updates. Default Output.
System Output. Generic Output.
Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed. Overview Review User Reviews Specs. Pros Powerful and robust feature set: Audacity is loaded with audio editing, recording, and exporting tools that work in tandem with Mac's multimedia capabilities. Cons Interface is dated and sometimes clunky: While Audacity's feature set delivers, it looks and feels a little dated compared to more modern software. Bottom Line If you need a powerful, free audio editing tool for your Mac, Audacity is a great tool with which to start.
Publisher's Description. From Audacity Developer Team: Audacity is a free audio editor. Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste with unlimited Undo , mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings. It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications.
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Sort Date Most helpful Positive rating Negative rating. Pros Audacity is a great audio editor on my Windows 8. Cons On the Mac it is an empty suit. Nothing works Summary Save your energy. You will be warned that "Critical Nyquist files Report this post. Pros It's free and can be deleted. Cons Horrible interface is complete unintuitive and user-unfriendly. Summary This is probably suited to very technical users. Pros free lost of features that so far work Cons user interface is a little awkward not as intuitive as Wave Pad , but it is free software Summary unless you are a high-end audio editor, this should meet your needs.
Pros Pro features Cons Would like to rip audio from a video file. Pros powerful multi-track audio editor Cons no right click options or context sensitive help. Pros Useful app for quick audio tweaking and conversions Cons Too many things went wrong in this update. Summary Wait until 2. Pros None. Cons Does not appear to even have all the files needed to run. Pros Many options, it's free, easy to use, very good quality program. Cons Interface is dated, no option to export a file as an "m4r. It's terrific! Pros All positive. Cons There's a learning curve, yes, but it is a very rewarding one.
Summary Audacity is worth any amount of time you can make available to work with it. Results 1—10 of 74 1 2 Please Wait. Submit Your Reply. Summary: Count: 0 of 1, characters Submit cancel The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Thank You for Submitting a Reply,! Note that your submission may not appear immediately on our site. E-mail This Review. E-mail this to: Enter the e-mail address of the recipient Add your own personal message: 0 of 1, characters Submit cancel.
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Screenshots Next Back. Note: Real-time preview does not yet support latency compensation. Shell VST effects that host multiple plugins are now supported. All Effect Menu items built-in or plugin can now be used in a Chain. Items in the Effect, Generate or Analyze Menus can be sorted or grouped by name, publisher or class of effect. Noise Removal is improved and renamed to "Noise Reduction".