How-To ▪ August 4

AAPL: 114.64

-3.80
Stock Chart

tidyingupipad

Like many other people right now, I’m in the midst of watching my house transform as a direct result of Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. As the title suggests, the book powerfully explains how to properly keep any room tidy, in the process helping you resolve lingering issues in your life. Thanks to positive press, strong word of mouth, and surprisingly tangible results, Tidying Up is rapidly taking minimalism mainstream, bucking an age-old trend towards hoarding untold quantities of stuff and leaving it scattered around one’s living and working spaces.

As a long-time minimalist, it’s refreshing to see decluttering catching on. But Kondo’s KonMari system — keep only those items that “spark joy” and are actually being used, discarding everything else — has created a problem for tech-savvy readers. No matter how necessary they’ve become in our lives, Apple device chargers don’t “spark joy.” In Kondo terminology, their cables are untidy; particularly if you’ve purchased inexpensive third-party options, they’re not particularly nice to look at.

I knew this was a problem when my wife, inspired by Tidying Up, nearly tossed out the multi-iPad charger our family has used for years. Yes, the charger was creating visual clutter, but we needed it — or something better — to keep everyone’s iPads working. My hunt to find minimalist solutions to our daily charging needs inspired this article. Below, I’ll run through a few options that will help you tidy up your iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple Watch, and Mac spaces, so you (and/or your significant other) can achieve minimalism without giving up your favorite devices…

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How-To ▪ August 2

AAPL: 121.30

-1.07
Stock Chart

In this week’s episode of the The Logic Pros, Flex audio features are up, with some serious hardware reviews on deck. Next week we will start a mini-series of episodes showcasing some top-notch instruments from the likes of Moog, Native Instruments and more, but first we will dive into Logic’s time compression/expansion and micro pitch correction features:

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How-To ▪ July 30

AAPL: 122.37

-0.62
Stock Chart

Less than two years after they each went into service, only one of the three Lightning cables pictured above is actually working properly. It’s not the big Belkin cable on the left, which is visibly pretty wrecked, or the thick, no-name 6-foot cable on the right, which looks fine on the surface but can’t properly supply power to a connected device. The one that works without problems is, amazingly, Apple’s official Lightning cable — the one that has been pilloried by numerous dissatisfied users, notably including our own Zac Hall, for coming apart after months or years of use.

These complaints aren’t without merit: even Apple-authorized Lightning cables do break, which is particularly infuriating given how expensive they tend to be. But there’s a lot of bad information about Lightning cables floating around right now, and having spent a lot of time using them and reading user complaints, I wanted to help people avoid some of their preventable failures. Taking a few precautions can save you a $10 to $20 replacement cost, as well as wasted time and stress…

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How-To ▪ July 26

In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we will be looking at ways to speed up our editing and song creation with LPX’s MIDI Transform feature. In many cases, manually working Logic’s Piano Roll editor will get the job done, but there are certainly times when editing MIDI performances/events can be a very tedious process. Getting those extended performances just right or zeroing in on problem areas for complex passages can’t take hours (or days) to get right in some cases. But with LPX’s MIDI Transform features we can get many of these types of arduous tasks done in just a few clicks:

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How-To ▪ July 20

History will remember the early 21st Century as a turning point for photography — the point at which mainstream photos transitioned from chemical to digital, thereby becoming “print optional” for the first time. Although digital photography has taken small annual steps for 20 years, those steps have collectively evolved early, uselessly low-resolution digital cameras into superior alternatives to their film-based predecessors. Even the tiny cameras built into iPhones take much better-quality photos than Kodaks and Polaroids, and more of them, too: the days of 12-, 24-, or 36-exposure film cartridges and fading exposures are long gone, replaced by all but infinite burst-mode photos that can live on your computer forever.

But some photos deserve a more prominent display in your home than a vault in your computer’s photo library. Apple has known this since the dawn of digital photography. Since iPhoto launched in 2002, Apple has offered photo and book printing services, a feature later added to Aperture and OS X Photos. Yet even though CanonSony, and Nikon have introduced high- and ultra-high-resolution cameras capable of creating huge prints, Apple hasn’t updated its apps with new large-format print options. That’s where this How-To series comes in.

It’s possible to use Photos to create large paper prints, but there’s a lot of exciting large-format photo printing work being done now with other materials, including metal, glass, and canvas. Part 1 of this How-To guide looked at large-format metal prints, and Part 2 looked at canvas and glass prints, with tips on composing large-format images. This third and final part looks at several additional options: turning your photos into hand-painted art, printing on brushed silver aluminum, and large-format “behind acrylic glass” photo printing. Each is different from the prior prints we covered, and one is the most beautiful large photo-to-wall art process I’ve yet seen…

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How-To ▪ July 19

In this week’s episode of The Logic Pros, we are taking a look at how Logic handles external MIDI-based instruments in the real world. It really doesn’t get any easier than loading up your favorite soft-synth, but that doesn’t mean they are as fun or inspiring as the real thing. LPX has a handy feature that makes it so many of the most popular and sought-after external synths/MIDI-instruments can integrate just as smoothly:

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