I guess it's a little presumptuous to start my own thread on this, but by golly, this internet hookup is costing me by the hour, so I'm milking it for all it's worth!
VSL's new VI - Not surprisingly, this looked very cool. The big appeal to me is that all of each instrument can now be on just one track. For example, you only need one "violins" track, which can internally switch between all the articulations (legato, repetition, etc) and different tones (marcato, pizzicato, soft, etc) in real time. I like this because one thing that makes orchestral sequencing a pain is you need 5-10 tracks of each instrument and the full sequence becomes unwieldy. Now (end of February, actually) you need just one. However, I should note that the VI doesn't do much in terms of new articulations that you couldn't do before with VSL, it's just easier. But for my money, it's worth it. I should also point out that the application did crash once during the demo I saw, though it's obviously not the final release version (in fact, for now they only had strings and woodwinds.)
Loads of new software instruments - NOT! This year's show is very light in new software, at least from what I saw today. Even the big guns East West and Ilio had nothing not previously released. I saw Nick at EW, by the way, and told him Orchestra Platinum would be useable if it didn't have so many damned out of tune samples! He got a chuckle out of it.
Gigastudio for Mac - No announcement yet, but one of the guys said it will be made during the show. But the announcement is just that they PLAN on it. It won't actually be ready for 6 months or a year. Don't quote me on this one because I don't know how reliable the guy I spoke with is.
Origins - Somebody elsewhere really didn't like this one a few weeks ago. I checked out the demo at the Ilio booth and it sounded pretty cool to me, though. Enough so that I bought it. I'll load it tonight and give my impressions later.
Logic - They claim Logic 7.2 works with the Intel Macs and ProTools 7 as well. I can't remember the release date, though.
Most boring synth demonstrations - Native Instruments. They get this prize every year. Their products are so great and often cutting edge, yet the guys showing them have about as much charisma as a lamp.
Best demonstration - Eric Persing from Spectrasonics. Who doesn't love watching Eric demo a product? Spectrasonics had no new products, but Eric demoed some new tricks for Atmosphere, Trilogy and RMX. I have to admit I was skeptical, but by golly, I learned some VERY cool stuff. Hopefully his tips will be available on their website later.
Best demonstration, honorable mention - Phil Jackson at Logic. As usual, he's very entertaining. I've been on Logic for years, but I still watch his demos because he's such a power user, there are always a few tricks I haven't seen before. He's lightning fast with editing.
Smartest attendee - Me. Because I'm one of the only people here who brings a bike. Rather than pay and park my car (pickup, actually) in the parking lot and walk 1/2 mile to the entrance, I ride from my hotel right up to the bike rack which is right at the entrance. There was only one other bike besides mine, even less than last year! Plus, when I lock it up, I run the lock cable through the handles of my bag which has my extra water bottles and stuff in it . . . a sort of on site locker! I'm so smart I just can't stand it!
- Mike Greene