Rax 2 'virtual rack' software gets visual overhaul

Plasq, makers of the popular Comic Life software, have released Rax 2.0, a major upgrade to their virtual rack software for musicians and live performers. A free upgrade for registered users, Rax costs $49.

Rax provides a virtual interface for Audio Units plug-ins. It’s designed to give Mac-using musicians and live performers an intuitive way to control their software without detracting from their performance. Rax 2.0 is now a Universal Binary for Intel and PowerPC-based Macs.

Rax 2.0 sports a new high-contrast user interface that makes it easier to view Rax’s settings from farther away. Knobs now feature “value bezels” that tell you what the precise value is of each parameter.

The interface lets you organize your racks into songs, and songs can be organized into sets. A new model is used in Rax 2.0 to build and organize setlists, relying on MIDI or Apple Remote-based remote control.

Rax 2.0 features OnStage, a full screen mode that simplifies the interface for when you’re performing.

New in version 2.0 is additional visualizer support, so you can assign and control a visualizer for each song in your set using MIDI and audio in Rax. You can now make your own visualizer using Tiger’s Quartz Composer application.

Rax 2.0 requires Mac OS X v10.4 or later. The developer recommends that users interested in using visualizers work with Core Image-accelerated Macs specifically.

A 30-day demo is available for download.

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