Saturday, January 11, 2014

audio engineering on Mavericks

Audio engineering has never been a first class citizen in Monoposoft systems. The mid 90's was the only highlight when a text based multimedia command language and a standard method of streaming 44.1K stereo was default on all PC. A rich library of educational CD-ROM flourished and the days of soundblaster configuration settings for each program used were a thing of the past.

By Vista however edutainment was assigned to landfill with the MCI interface being buried, a large latency was introduced as standard to the multimedia apis and the DirectX audio system was deprecated with no alternative in sight.

Meanwhile OSX had rebooted the Mac into a low latency logically designed workhorse where AudioUnits were free to all unlike ASIO in which a third party application vendor secretes the API behind private non-disclosure agreements.

And under the surface it is always a nice surprise to find a high standard of design and best practise documents.

Free devices are provided by the developer community that allow audio and midi pathways between applications, so routing the audio output of say GarageBand directly to the audio-in of a google hangout is simple.

The midiO system plugin provides a very useful software instrument that in turn outputs to a system midi out.

To drop plugins into your ~/Library folder with Finder you first need to unhide the directory from shell.

chflags nohidden Library
Another superb tool is BootCamp which provides method of rebooting Apple hardware for Visual Studio use allowing software engineering to thrive on the same hardware, hurrah!