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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » apps


Hello 2019, Goodbye Allihoopa

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 16 Jan 2019 12:35 pm

You may have been wondering where all the app coverage had gone towards the end of last year? The short answer is that I took a break for a variety of reasons, but now, I’m back, and will be talking about apps and mobile once again.

Welcome to 2019, already, in just a few days it’s been an interesting year. With the launch of the Korg Volca Modular. There’ll be a lot more to talk about in mobile, and not just in apps. But to start with there is sad news. The online mobile centric sharing and collaboration service Allihoopa is shutting down as of the 17th.

I have to admit that this came as a surprise to me. Allihoopa has been around for quite some time now. They started back in 2016 as a web based service and launched their own native iOS app back in early 2017 in response to user feedback. They built great partnerships with other high profile app makers such as Korg, Yamaha and Soundtrap. But even so, it seems that it wasn’t enough to keep the lights on. They’ve posted a statement here if you’re interested in reading it, and if you’re reading this before the 17th then you can download any content you shared as well.

So why has this happened? To use their own words:

“Simply, we can no longer afford to be in business”

Which is a common issue with music tech start ups irrespective of how good or how well loved they are. The this happens usually comes from a handful of causes:

Lack of funding
Without detailed knowledge of their financial position it’s difficult to say if this was it or not. But securing funding is never easy, irrespective of how good the idea or how big the potential market is.

Burn rate
Even if you have funding, if your burn rate (that is the amount of cash you physically need to spend each month) is too high you will always be looking for funding and that detracts for actually making and improving your product, attracting customers, and generally running the business.

Monetising the product
With a service like Allihoopa it’s difficult to see how this was going to happen. I could have envisaged additional services and a possible “pro” tier for users, similar to SoundCloud, but, to the best of my knowledge that wasn’t something that Allihoopa had even hinted at.

All of this is of course just my speculation. I have reached out to a few people to get more detail, but at the time of writing I don’t know. If that changes I’ll update this and let you know more.

This leaves some currently unanswered questions though. What will happen to the existing Allihoopa apps? Here’s what Allihoopa’s statement says:

We are trying hard to find a place for our Take and Figure apps, but at this point they have no home. We’ll let you know if that happens. If we are unable to find a new owner for them, they will be removed from App Store.

As far as I know there is no current taker for either app. I hope that’ll change too, but as of now, that’s it. This in particular is a really sad situation. When Figure first launched, under the Propellerheads brand, it was a breath of fresh air. It was what mobile music was all about and it engaged a huge number of new users.

If it goes and if no one picks it up that will be loss to the whole mobile music world.

What does this mean for other music sharing start ups?
Finally a few words on what this means for others looking to occupy a similar space. At face value this could be interpreted as a fairly negative message. I have to say, that without knowing exactly what’s been happening inside Allihoopa that is a big assumption. There could be multiple reasons for this outcome.

However, if nothing else, it should be taken as a cautionary tale for anyone playing in a similar space. Getting users onboard and hosting vast amounts of content is great. Allihoopa hosted over 1.7m pieces from around 240 countries. That’s impressive by any standards.

Even so, the lights are still going out.

The post Hello 2019, Goodbye Allihoopa appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The new iPad Pro has a USB-C port – so what can it do, exactly?

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 5 Dec 2018 1:46 pm

The iPad finally gets a dedicated port for connectivity, as you’d find on a “desktop” computer – and it’s loaded with potential uses, from power to music gear. Let’s break down exactly what it can do.

“USB-C” is a port type; it refers to the reversible, slim, oval-shaped connector on the newest gadgets. But it doesn’t actually describe what the port can do as far as capabilities. So initially, Apple’s reference to the “USB-C” port on the latest iPad Pro generation was pretty vague.

Since then, press have gotten their hands on hardware and Apple themselves have posted technical documentation. Specifically, they’ve got a story up explaining the port’s powers:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209186

Now, keep in mind the most confusing thing about Apple and USB-C is the two different kinds of ports. There’s a Thunderbolt-3 port, as found on the high-end MacBooks Pro and the Mac mini. It’s got a bolt of lightning indicator on it, and is compatible with audio devices like those from Universal Audio, and high-performance video gadgetry. And then there’s the plain-vanilla USB-C port, which has the standard USB icon on it.

All Thunderbolt 3 ports also double as USB-C ports, just not the other way around. The Thunderbolt 3 one is the faster port.

Also important, USB-C is backwards compatible with older USB formats if you have the right cable.

So here’s what you can do with USB-C. The basic story: do more, with fewer specialized adapters and dongles.

You can charge your iPad. Standard USB-C power devices as well as Apple’s own adapter. Nicely enough, you might even charge faster with a third-party adapter – like one you could share with a laptop that uses USB-C power.

Connect your iPad to a computer. Just as with Lightning-to-USB, you can use USB cables to connect to a USB-C port or older standard USB-A port, for charge and sync.

Connect to displays, projectors, TVs. Here you’ve got a few options, but they all max out at far higher quality than before:

  • USB-C to HDMI. (up to 4K resolution, 60 Hz, with HDMI 2.0 adapter.)
  • USB-C Digital AV Multiport. Apple’s own adapter supports up to 4K resolution, 30Hz. (The iPad display itself is 1080p / 60Hz, video up to 4K, 30Hz.)
  • USB-C displays. Up to 5K, with HR10 high dynamic range support. Some will even charge the iPad Pro in the process.

High end video makes the new iPad Pro look indispensable as a delivery device for many visual applications – including live visuals. It’s not hard to imagine people carrying these to demo high-end graphics with, or even writing custom software using the latest Apple APIs for 3D graphics and using the iPad Pro live.

Connect storage – a lot of it. Fast. USB-C is now becoming the standard for fast hard drives – USB 3.1/3.2. That theoretically allows for up to 2500 MB/s data access, and Apple says the iPad Pro will now work with 1 TB of storage. I’ve asked them for more clarification, but basically, yes, you can plug in big, fast storage and use it with your iPad, not limiting yourself to internal storage capacity. So that’s a revelation for pros, especially when using the iPad as an accessory to process video and photos and field recordings on the go.

Play audio. There’s no minijack audio output (grrr), but what you do get is audio playback to USB-C audio interfaces, docks, and specialized headphones. There’s also a USB-C to 3.m mm headphone jack adapter, but that’s pretty useless because it doesn’t include power passthrough – it’s a step backward from what you had before. Better to use a specialized USB-C adapter, which could also mean getting an analog audio output that’s higher quality than the one previous included internally on the iPad range.

And of course you can use AirPlay or Bluetooth, though it doesn’t appear Apple yet supports higher quality Bluetooth streaming, so wires seem to win for those of us who care about sound.

Oh, also interesting – Apple says they’ve added Dolby Digital Plus support over HDMI, but not Dolby Atmos. That hints a bit at consumer devices that do support Atmos – these are rare so far, but it’ll be interesting to watch, and to see whether Apple and Dolby work together or compete in this space.

Speaking of audio and music, though, here’s the other big one:

Work with USB devices. Apple specifically calls out audio and MIDI tools, presumably because musicians remain a big target Pro audience. What’s great here is, you no longer have the extra Lightning to USB “Camera” adapter required on older iPads, which was expensive and only worked with the iPad, and you should be free of some of the more restrictive electrical power capabilities of those past models.

You could also use a standard external keyboard to type on, or wired Ethernet – the latter great for wired use of applications like Liine’s Lemur.

The important thing here is there’s more bandwidth and more power. (Hardware that draws more power may still require external power – but that’s already true on a computer, too.)

The iPad Pro is at last closer to a computer, which makes it a much more serious tool for soft synths, controller tools, audio production, and more.

Charge other stuff. This is also cool – if you ever relied on a laptop as a mobile battery for phones and other accessories, now you can do that with the USB-C on the iPad Pro, too. So that means iPhones as well as other non-Apple phones. You can even plug one iPad into another iPad Pro.

Thunderbolt – no. Note that what you can’t do is connect Thunderbolt hardware. For that, you still want a laptop or desktop computer.

What about Made for iPhone? Apple’s somewhat infamous “MFI” program, which began as “Made for iPod,” is meant to certify certain hardware as compatible with their products. Presumably, that still exists – it would have to do so for the Lightning port products, but it seems likely certain iPad-specific products will still carry the certification.

That isn’t all bad – there are a lot of dodgy USB-C products out there, so some Apple seal of approval may be welcome. But MFI has hamstrung some real “pro” products. The good news as far as USB-C is, because it’s a standard port, devices made for particular “pro” music and audio and video uses no longer need to go through Apple’s certification just to plug directly into the iPad Pro. (And they don’t have to rely on something like the Camera Connection Kit to act as a bridge.)

Apple did not initially respond to CDM’s request for comment on MFI as it relates to the USB-C port.

More resources

MacStories tests the new fast charging and power adapter.

9to5Mac go into some detail on what works and what doesn’t (largely working from the same information I am, I think, but you get another take):
What can you connect to the new iPad Pro with USB-C?

And yeah, this headline gives it away, but agree totally. Note that Android is offering USB-C across a lot of devices, but that platform lacks some of the support for high-end displays and robust music hardware support that iOS does – meaning it’d be more useful coming from Apple than coming from those Android vendors.

The iPad Pro’s USB-C port is great. It should be on my iPhone, too

The post The new iPad Pro has a USB-C port – so what can it do, exactly? appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Cyber Monday means still more deals on music software

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 26 Nov 2018 6:28 pm

If you snoozed on some deals this weekend, and you’re longing to build out your software arsenal, erm, legally, it’s not too late. Here are some of the best deals we missed over the weekend plus some Cyber Monday news.

And yes, if you think I’d do this just as an excuse to run an image of some Cybermen, vintage ones looking like BBC actors dressed in a combination of balaclavas and some combination of hardware store parts that make it look like they have an air conditioner strapped to their chest, oh absolutely I would.

Ah, back to deals.

pluginboutique.com continues the sale of the weekend with a bunch of Monday “flash” deals. That includes ROLI’s wonderful new Cypher2 synth on sale, Softube Tape for thirty bucks, and many others – plus loads of plug-ins are $1 or free meaning you can go shopping for next to nothing or actually nothing. Also, pluginboutique.com’s site is up, which isn’t always the case with some of these flash deals from plug-in developers, so they’re a good place to check out.

Some examples:
Loopmasters Studio Bundle at 90% off, or $132 for a bunch of stuff.

iZotope at 78% off (weird number, but great)!

AAS / Applied Acoustics for 50% off – I’ve always loved their unique physical modeling creations.

The beautiful Sinevibes creations for 30% off.

Harrison make wonderful consoles. Now Mixbus was already kind of ridiculously affordable – US$79 buys you a full console emulation that’s great for mixdowns and mastering and the like. But for Cyber Monday, that’s a “okay, you have to buy this” $19, which is just stupidly good. Alternatively get Mixbus plus 5 plug-ins for $39. They didn’t pay me to say that, either; at those prices, I don’t imagine they have much marketing budget!

Enter code CYBERMON18 when you shop their store.

Trakction are back with 50% off everything today only. Try entering code EPIC2018, too.

Spitfire Audio have Black Weekend sales still going – think 25% off individual products, or up to 77% off of collections, for their unique and delightful sound libraries.

Sugarbytes have everything on sale: EUR69 plug-ins, EUR333 bundle, plus up to 50% on iOS Apps.

Propellerhead have a huge Cyber Monday sale, and with loads of big discounts on Reason add-ons and the cheapest ever price on an upgrade, it’s nice fodder for their loyal users. Euclidean rhythms, the KORG Polysix, the Parsec “spectral synth,” the Resonans physical modeling synth – some serious goodies there on sale. And €99 for the upgrade means you can finally stop putting off getting the latest Reason 10. (Not only is VST compatibility in there, but the Props have done a lot lately on usability and stability meaning now seems a good time to jump for Reason users.)

Eventide have their software on sale through the end of the month. This is really the most affordable way to get Eventide sound in your productions (short of a subscription deal).

Anthology XI for US$699 instead of the usual $1799 is especially notable. Having those 23 plug-ins feels a bit like you’ve just rented a serious studio, virtually.

If that’s too much to budget, consider also the new Elevate Bundle – makes your sounds utterly massive, and the three do fit well together, so $79 is a steal.

There’s also the excellent H3000 delay on steep discount, and the luscious Blackhole reverb for just $69. (Or for more studio reverb sounds, the ‘Heroes’/Visconti-inspired Tverb for $99.) And of course the rest of the lineup, too.

Waves had a big sale over the weekend, but for Cyber Monday they also have a new synth – the Flow Motion FM Synth. This crazy UI is certainly a new take on making FM easier to grasp, and it’s got an intro price of US$39. (I have no idea how good it is as I haven’t tried it yet, but they’ve got my attention – and NI aren’t shipping the new Massive yet, so Waves gets in here first with their own hybrid take!) And Waves are doing a buy 2 get 1 free deal, as well.

After introducing a vocal plug-in over the weekend, Waves are using Cyber Monday for a product launch, too – the Flow Motion FM synth seen here.

Output have added a 25% off discount on their software, even including their already discounted bundle, for Cyber Monday.

Steinberg have a big sale this week, including apps, with up to 60% off. That’s a big deal for fans of their production software and plug-ins, but also take note that their terrific mobile app Cubasis – perhaps the most feature-complete DAW for iOS – is half off, as is the Waves in-app purchase for the same.

App lovers, it’s worth checking the Android App Store / Google Play as a bunch of stuff is on sale now – too much to track, probably. But some top picks this week: Imaginando’s Traktor and Live controllers, iOS and Android, are all 40% off – everything.

KORG’s apps are still 50% off.

And the terrific MoMinstruments line is all on sale:
Elastic Drums: 10,99€ -> 5,49€, $9.99 -> $4.99
Elastic FX: 10,99€ -> 5,49€, $9.99 -> $4.99
iLep: 10,99€ -> 5,49€, $9.99 -> $4.99
fluXpad: 8,99€ -> 3,99, $7.99 -> $4.49
WretchUp: 4,49€ -> 2,29€, $3.99 -> $1.99

Puremagnetik have US$10 Cyber Monday deals – $20 each, then enter code BLACKFRIDAY18 for 50% off on top of that – so ten bucks for String Machines XL, Retro Computers +, and Soniq’s classic synths.

Still going… A lot of the deals I wrote up over the weekend are still on, including Arturia and Soundtoys.

Native Instruments have a 50% off sale still going. Tons of stuff in there, but Reaktor 6 for a hundred bucks – full version, meaning you don’t need a past version – that’s insane. That’s a hundred bucks to buy you what could be the last plug-in you ever need.

IRRUPT/audio have a 50% off deal on their unique sound selection if you enter code IRRUPT-VIP.

Sonic Faction have a 40% off sale on instruments for Ableton Live and Native Instruments Kontakt – enter code CYBRMNDY40

Need to learn things and not just buy them? Askvideo/Macprovideo have a deal for today only with US$75 for a yearly pass (the price that usually gets you just three months), or 75% off all à la carte training.

And SONAR+D in Bacelona has a 200EUR delegate pass sale today only.

Some of the deals are expiring, but some last through today or through Friday (with a few straggling into December), so check out previous guide and guide to other guides:

Here’s where to find all the don’t-miss deals for Black Friday weekend

The post Cyber Monday means still more deals on music software appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Noir is part bass, part drum synth – a must-have iOS drum machine

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 12 Nov 2018 8:58 pm

Dark, crunchy, synthetic sounds, grooves that morph somewhere in the shadows between bass line and percussion pattern – Ruismaker Noir is exactly the sort of drum machine you’d want with you at all times. And as it’s an iOS app, you can take it with you.

Here’s the idea: what if the drum synth were also a monophonic synth? And what if you could morph between those, for basslines that start to get edgier and more rhythmic, or rhythmic lines that start to get more melodic? And what if you had an integrated sequencer so you could mess with both of those at once (including all the mighty morphing modulation)? Well, uh, obviously the answer to that would be yes, please, I would want that.

Noir is the latest in the Ruismaker line from Dutch developer/designer Bram Bos. Bram has had a series of synthesis-focused drum machine apps for iOS mobile, and as if that weren’t already enough experience for you, he has a long history of plug-in development dating back to one of the first software drum machines ever.

But that’s the thing about developing electronic instruments – it’s often not about a single breakthrough but lots and lots of iteration. So Noir is the most full-featured of the Ruismaker series yet, but also reaches a new level of playability and sound. Sorry, that sounds like marketing copy, but having used Bram’s stuff over the years, I mean that from first-hand experience – I’ve watched him add those details and refine ideas as he goes.

And it comes at the right moment. You hear a lot of these sort of aggressive, synthetic sounds (uh, winter is coming for the northern hemisphere). But a lot of people use modulars to get them, which means you need a modular rig and some time in the studio. (Time, money, space … uh oh.) Plus, having this in an iPad app with an intuitive touch sequencer will also be a far shorter path to articulating a groove that’s in your head for a lot of people. And the results here are distinctive enough that even if you do have that modular rig, you might tinker around with this anyway.

You can also use a standalone mode to fine-tune presets, then jam with the plug-in later.

It’s built as a plug-in, so you can use it with DAWs like Cubasis, Garage Band, and Modstep. Or combine it with other drum machines like Elastic Drums for some serious drum mayhem.

Delicious with effects:

Specs:

– AUv3 (Audio Unit) plugin, with integrated sequencer
– Basic standalone mode for tinkering or preset creation
– Universal; runs on any iDevice with iOS10 or higher
– All parameters accessible via MIDI CC and AU Params
– AU MIDI output from sequencer (requires iOS11+)
– Fullscreen plugin GUI in all compatible hosts
– Modest CPU and resource loads

This whole thing packs a lot into one app. There’s a full MIDI implementation, which means you could even make a hardware controller mapping if you like. But it’s also nice that the internal sequencer will do the job if you don’t want to switch back and forth to an app.

I have a feeling I may not sleep on my flight back from the USA to Germany as I’ll get sucked into playing with this. See you on the flipside.

The app:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ruismaker-noir/id1441208874?ls=1&mt=8

User manual available on ruismaker.com

The post Noir is part bass, part drum synth – a must-have iOS drum machine appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Apple’s new iPad Pro: USB-C is in, headphone and home button are out

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 31 Oct 2018 2:09 am

Apple’s new iPad Pro again establishes the high-end of Apple’s tablet line. But it also reveals some significant changes that iPad-using musicians will notice – USB-replaces Lightning, and the headphone jack and home button are gone.

Apple’s own marketing reveals something of how they think of computing – “a magical piece of glass that does everything you need.” And in that regard, the new iPad continues Apple’s leadership both in quality of display and the computational and graphics horsepower underneath. The iPad Pro has a dramatically better display, and dramatically faster hardware to power it, both of which will benefit creative apps including music and visual creation. These are the high-end models – US$799 and up for the smaller model starting at 64GB, $1149 for the bigger display.

The chip in this case is the A12X Bionic, which boosts all three categories of hardware performance we’re now seeing in mobile – CPU/computation, GPU/graphics, and now machine learning-specific optimizations. Apple has also vastly improved their Pencil for those using that. Most notably, you don’t have that awkward problem of charging with the pencil balanced from a Lightning port; you can just magnetically attach it to your iPad and it charges automatically. There’s a new keyboard design, too, which is also welcome. (I prefer my Logitech keyboard to Apple’s offering on my older iPad Pro; we’ll see if this time round, the first-party offering is more competitive.)

The boosted performance comes at a nice time for Apple apps, as Adobe ships full-blown Photoshop and promises an augmented reality platform next year.

About that port: now in place of Lightning, you get a USB-C port. The good news about this is, you get a single port for connectivity and charging. And it’s the same one you’d use with your later-generation MacBook (or newer PC).

The bad news is, there’s only one port. That means dongles not only for USB-C use, but also you’ll need an adapter that has pass-through charging if you want to charge your iPad and use accessories. Lightning-based accessories are also out.

Oh yeah, “USB-C” – a phrase which is utterly confusing, since it describes the connector but not what the connector implements. (I will reach out to Apple for comment on that.) We do know there’s support for advanced external displays, but that requires … still more dongles. (“Up to 4K through USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter,” sold separately.)

And Apple has eliminated the headphone jack. That’s defensible I think on a phone, which has limited space and benefits from better water resistance. On a hefty tablet, though, it’s inconvenience without any real purpose.

This doesn’t mean the end of iPads for audio use – you just add an adapter. But it adds some additional resistance for pro users. And I remain puzzled as to why Apple doesn’t offer its own more innovative pro solution based on USB-C, other than a bunch of plain-vanilla but very-expensive adapters.

There’s another, subtler problem. For a lot of us, one of the big use cases for the iPad is use as a control surface for other apps. If you’re using an iPad onstage, though, one of the first things you’d want to do is disable all those gestures, so you don’t accidentally trigger them while running your live show or jamming. Since the new iPad Pro eliminates the dedicated home button, that’s no longer an option – and the upward swipe for the home button means you’re liable to accidentally exit your controller app. That’s pretty unpleasant if you’re onstage.

All of this could be another reason to consider something like a Windows touch-enabled device instead of an iPad Pro, particularly at the high end. $300-400 iPads are just phenomenally better than anything running Windows or Android right now, so there it’s no contest. But at the price point of the high-end iPads Pro, you might want to do some pros/cons with Windows.

And I don’t expect this news to go over terribly well, because it’s coming atop a year that left anyone looking for high-spec Mac desktops in the cold … again. So you get some utterly gorgeous iPads, but they’re still port-challenged. And you get updated MacBook and Mac mini, but still favoring slimness and battery life over high-end specs.

Apple has hinted there’s more in the pipeline, but it seems that we’ll see those results some time next year. In the meantime, some iOS developers I know are taking a more serious look at competing platforms – but that may be for the best, anyway.

Heavy iPad users I’m sure will want these, and if you’ve been putting off Mac mini or slim MacBook purchases, now you finally can make your move. Just expect some added griping from pro users about losing ports, especially when there’s not a clear immediate benefit in trade.

https://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/

The post Apple’s new iPad Pro: USB-C is in, headphone and home button are out appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z is here, and it’s full of surprises: video round-up

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 29 Oct 2018 6:25 pm

Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z takes everything the mysterious Swedish maker has done in the past years and packs it into a candy bar-sized hunk of awesome. The first feature reveals and videos of the final creation are inbound, showing it doing some weird and wonderful things.

First, what is the OP-Z? (O-P-Zee for Americans, O-P-Zed for the rest of the world.) It’s an ultra-compact digital synth with loads of sequencing and groove features. It feels terrific in the hand – nicely heavy, but with the width of the beloved iPhone 5 so it’s easy to hold. (I don’t have a review unit yet, but I have gotten to try it.)

The main focus of the instrument: sequencing, so you can create elaborate patterns of synthesized sounds, as part of a rig or on its own, for on-the-go and studio creation or live performance.

What it doesn’t have is a screen; you connect a smartphone or tablet for that on the go. And so the basic idea is, it combines some of the compact game-style ideas of TE products like the Pocket Operators with the powerful synth and sequence workflow of the OP-1. It does more than all those past creations combined, though, and the Teenagers are pushing some unique possibilities for visual creation.

Your iPad or iPhone is the display and multi-touch editor / expanded sequencer for the OP-Z. (No Android support yet, but there are some unique PC visual integrations, too.)

The OP-Z ships worldwide for EUR599, and at the moment it’s sold out. That situation may ease as the Teenagers ramp up production.

But the OP-Z seems to have the most attention at the moment of any digital product, in contrast to sought-after analog instruments like the Moog One.

And sure, while some of this is more predictable – sample packs of drum sounds, effects like delay and reverb, – some of it is decidedly more left-field.

The most surprising features so far

The biggest surprises of the OP-Z:

1. It’s polymetric and does automatic melodic analysis. 1-144-step patterns let you create different rhythms on different tracks, and automatic melodic analysis gives you easier transposition.

2. Wireless display. iOS devices – iPhone, iPad – give you wireless displays and multi-touch input, and they’re remarkably responsive, enough so to play live.

3. The microphone is connected to the accelerometer. Yeah, this thing knows if you hold it up to your mouth.

4. Luxe texture. At first I thought this surface was a process applied after manufacture, but TE say they’ve added glass fibers into the body during injection molding. That makes the OP-Z feel expensive and grippy – so you don’t drop it. It’s not quite like anything you’ve touched before, and they’re promising serious durability.

5. It’s a spiritual successor to the Game Boy Camera. This wouldn’t be a TE product without some nod to the weirder side of Nintendo. This time, you get rapid-fire “photomatic” sequences a bit like on the Game Boy’s camera mode, which you can sync to the music. Of course. Or maybe you should think of it as a GIF creator. Either way, back to the 90s.

6. It’s a VJ instrument and immersive audiovisual tool. This is wild enough that we’ll need a separate story on it, this being CDM. But think Unity 3D integration.

This has relevance not just for the OP-Z but anyone interested in MIDI control of 3D visuals in Unity, since they’ve released the entire toolkit on Github:

https://github.com/teenageengineering/videolab

Plus there’s even a dedicated track for controlling lighting (via the industry standard DMX protocol)? Not sure how you connect this, exactly, but it’s a cool add-on – and someone may want to rig up some DIY solution with light bulbs as in their demo.

7. Tons of expandability is planned. Teenage Engineering are promising new effects, firmware updates, expansion via hardware ports, and more.

Video hands-on

YouTube celebrity Andrew Huang has the highest production values of the first OP-Z videos, and gives you a snapshot review.

More depth comes from Cuckoo, who’s don an extensive mega tutorial (and is just getting started, it seems):

Microwavez shows how you’d combine this with an iPad:

Here’s what it looks like making a beat, via Brandon Guerra:

And NomNomChomsky has a review up, as well:

More:

https://teenageengineering.com/products/op-z

The post Teenage Engineering OP-Z is here, and it’s full of surprises: video round-up appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Teenage Engineering OP-Z has DMX track for lighting, Unity 3D integration

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 29 Oct 2018 6:21 pm

The OP-Z may be the hot digital synth of the moment, but it’s also the first consumer music instrument to have dedicated features for live visuals. And that starts with lighting (DMX) and 3D visuals (Unity 3D).

One of various surprises about the OP-Z launch is this: there’s a dedicated track for controlling DMX. That’s the MIDI-like protocol that’s an industry standard for stage lighting, supported by lighting instruments and light boards.

Not a whole lot revealed here, but you get the sense that Teenage Engineering are committed to live visual applications:

There’s also integration with Unity 3D, for 2D and 3D animations you can sequence. This integration relies on MIDI, but they’ve gone as far as developing a framework for MIDI-controlled animations. Since Unity runs happily both on mobile devices and beefy desktop rigs, it’s a good match both for doing fun things with your iOS display (which the OP-Z uses anyway), and desktop machines with serious GPUs for more advanced AV shows.

Check out the framework so far on their GitHub:

https://github.com/teenageengineering/videolab

We’ll talk to Teenage Engineering to find out more about what they’re planning here, because #createdigitalmotion.

https://teenageengineering.com/products/op-z

The post Teenage Engineering OP-Z has DMX track for lighting, Unity 3D integration appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Deep Synth combines a Game Boy and the THX sound

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 22 Oct 2018 3:43 pm

Do you love the THX Deep Note sound – that crazy sweep of timbres heard at the beginning of films? Do you wish you had it in a playable synth the size of a calculator? Deep Synth is for you.

First, Deep Note? Just to refresh your memory: (Turn it up!!)

Yeah, that.

Apart from being an all-time great in sound design, the Deep Note’s underlying synthesis approach was novel and interesting. And thanks to the power of new embedded processors, it’s totally possible to squeeze this onto a calculator.

Enter Eugene, Oregon-based professional developer Kernel Bob aka kbob. A low-level Linux coder by day, Bob got interested in making an audio demo for the 1Bitsy-1UP game console, a powerful modern embedded machine with the form factor of a classic Game Boy. (Unlike a Game Boy, you have a decent processor, color screen, USB, and SD card.)

The Deep Note is the mother of all audio demos. That sound is owned by THX, but the basic synthesis approach is not – think 32 voices drifting from a relatively random swarm into the seat rocking final chord.

The results? Oh, only the most insane synthesizer of the year:

Whether you’re an engineer or not, the behind the scenes discussion of how this was done is fascinating to anyone who loves synthesis. (Maybe you can enlighten Bob on this whole bit about the sawtooth oscillator in SuperCollider.)

Read the multi-part series on Deep Synth and sound on this handheld platform:

Deep Synth: Introduction

And to try messing about with Deep Note-style synthesis on your own in the free, multi-platform coding for musicians environment SuperCollider:

Recreating the THX Deep Note [earslap]

All of this is open hardware, open code, so if you are a coder, it might inspire your own projects. And meanwhile, as 1Bitsy-1UP matures, we may soon all have a cool handheld platform for our noisemaking endeavors. I can’t wait.

Thanks to Samantha Lüber for the tip!

Previously:

THX Just Remade the Deep Note Sound to be More Awesome

And we got to interview the sound’s creator (and talk to him about how he recreated it):

Q+A: How the THX Deep Note Creator Remade His Iconic Sound

The post Deep Synth combines a Game Boy and the THX sound appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Control all of Ableton from iOS, Android, Windows: touchAble Pro

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 5 Oct 2018 1:13 pm

Ableton Live: lug along hardware, or … be forced to use a mouse or touchpad. No more: touchAble Pro continues to unlock more and more of Live’s functionality, and now it’s available across touch platforms – iOS, Android, Windows.

That last bit in itself is already news. iPad owners have had plenty of great stuff, but … what if you’ve got an Android phone instead of an iPhone? Or a Microsoft Surface? Or what if you want controls to jam on a big touchscreen display – in the studio, for instance?

It’s possible to target all three of those platforms; the fact many developers haven’t tells you they haven’t yet figured out the business case. But with Ableton Live a massive platform, numbering millions of active users, and use cases that focus on making things happen, uh, “live,” the touchAble devs could have a winner.

And whichever platform you choose, there’s simply no way to put this much control of Ableton Live at your fingertips, with this much visual feedback. We covered this release in full earlier:

touchAble Pro for Ableton Live: touch control on iOS, Android, Windows

But here’s a recap of why it’s cool, whether you’re a returning user or new to the platform:

Piano Roll editing (top), and custom Devices (bottom).

New:

  • Audio clip view with waveforms, including side-by-side waveforms
  • Piano roll view for pattern editing
  • Draw and edit automation
  • Track I/O
  • Custom layouts with Template Editor
  • Custom Device templates (even with third-party plug-ins and Max for Live, via an In-App Purchase coming soon)

And this matters. Now you can quickly whip up a custom template that shows you just what you need to see for a live performance – without squinting (it’s all scalable). Add in side-by-side waveforms to that, and you could twist Live into a DJ tool – or certainly a more flexible live performance tool, especially if you’ve got other instruments or vocals to focus on.

Plus a lot of other good stuff:

Transport, metronome, cues, and quantization
Clips and scenes and control looping
Arm, mute, and solo tracks
Adjust monitoring
Mix, pan, crossfade, and control sends and returns
Play instruments with grid or piano-style layouts, with scales, note repeat, aftertouch, and velocity (based on finger position)
Control device parameters, using faders or assignable X/Y pad modules
X/Y Pad: assign physics, make and morph snapshots or record full gestures,
Navigate Live’s Browser, and drag and drop Devices or Samples to the set

Enlarge stuff – like this clip overview – and make the custom layout you need.

Side by side waveforms, and a bunch of clip options. Oh yeah.

Touch on Windows isn’t just about devices like Surface – it’s also big touch-equipped displays, so ideal for studio work.

Three new videos are out now to walk you through how it’s all working.

More:
http://www.touch-able.com

The post Control all of Ableton from iOS, Android, Windows: touchAble Pro appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Auxy Studio gets ‘smoother’ in version 5.2

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Fri 28 Sep 2018 12:06 am

Auxy has been around for a while, and it was only in the last few days that I was remembering the very first time I heard about the idea. I was impressed back then, and I’m really pleased that Auxy is still around. Since it went to a subscription model we’ve seen some new packs, but not a huge number of updates, in fact this is the first Auxy update since May. Version 5.2 brings in some nice new features like tagging and sample reverse. It’s not a bad list at all.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Sort your projects with tags. Swipe left in the list to tag a project.
  • Reverse playback option for any sample. New toggle added under the length setting for each sample.
  • Trigger the ducker with any sample. New toggle added under the volume setting for each sample.
  • Quickly reorder instruments with drag and drop.
  • ‘Select All’ option added to the editor. Touch and hold the grid until the selection box appears, then tap the box to select all notes in the loop.
  • Current song length timer added to settings.
  • The ‘Make new loops chromatic’ setting is now applied to all projects and properly stored between sessions.
  • Now possible to clear sample slots.
  • Imported samples can now be up to 20 seconds long.
  • Fixed an issue where Auxy would take more space after exporting stems.
  • The app is updated for and tested for iOS 12.
  • Some bug fixing and lots of polish as usual… 🙂

Auxy is free on the app store but with a subscription model

The post Auxy Studio gets ‘smoother’ in version 5.2 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

And then there were two more handy audio units from 4Pockets

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 27 Sep 2018 11:15 pm

4Pockets have gone and done it again. Having initially launched their expander and compressor plugins, followed by their flange, phaser and vintage vibe plugins, then the panning delay and stereo graphic EQ, and lastly the reverb and auto-wah. Well now they’ve added two more. A noise gate plugin, and an analyser / tuner.

Here are the details:

Noise Gate AUv3 Plugin

Anyone working in a live recording environment whether that be with a microphone or a high gain guitar effects will feel the need to suppress unwanted noise. This gated noise gate allows you to suppress any background noise over a specified level by a chosen suppression amount. This allows subtle sounds to still be heard as opposed to the brick wall approach. The effect has controllable attack, release and hold times as well as high and low pass filtering to eliminate main hum and hiss.

Noise Gate AUv3 Plugin costs $4.99 on the app store

Analyser & Tuner AUv3 Plugin

This plugin can be used directly within your DAW to analyse either the monitored input signal from your audio device or your mixer output. It uses Apple’s accelerate framework to perform fast high resolution 8K fast fourier transformations to display a real time frequency spectrum. The result is an accurate representation of the sampled sound broken down into its frequency components.

You can use this plugin in conjunction with equalisers and parametric filters to obtain a nice flat mix or eliminate hard to find unwanted noise or hiss.

Various display modes include, linear narrow band, logarithmic narrow band, Octave, 1/3 Octave, 1/6 Octave and Mixer Mode with selectable ANSI A and C weighting curves. Up to 64 times oversampling can be applied to obtain more stable readings.

This plugin also includes a Digital Tuner mode which allows real time note detection, frequency and cents deviation from true pitch.

Analyser & Tuner AUv3 Plugin costs $4.99

The post And then there were two more handy audio units from 4Pockets appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Fred’s Envolver 2.1 gets even better

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 27 Sep 2018 10:12 pm

FAC Envolver is a pretty cool audio unit. As are most if not all of Mr Corvest’s apps. In version 2.1 this AUv3 gets even better.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Replace MIDI Note Gate chart by dashed lines
  • Update rise and fall ranges
  • Update some labels and colours
  • Addition of a new preset (SQ BrB Tom)
  • Bug Fixes, Stability And Performance Enhancements

FAC Envolver costs $9.99 on the app store:

The post Fred’s Envolver 2.1 gets even better appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

If you’re looking for a simple and cheap granular synth for your iPad, then look here

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 27 Sep 2018 8:47 pm

MonoGranulator is just a simple granular synthesis for live electronics.

Features:

  • Audiobus 3 and Inter-App Audio Filter
  • Waveform
  • Density and Duration
  • Control Pitch
  • FM and AM apply in every grain
  • Resonant Filter
  • Sound Source Localization, Reverb

MonoGranulator on the app store costs just $0.99

The post If you’re looking for a simple and cheap granular synth for your iPad, then look here appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Quantiloop Pro – Live Looper 2.90 brings a whole host of updates, new functionality and more

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Thu 27 Sep 2018 8:34 pm

Quantiloop Pro – Live Looper version 2.90 brings us a huge range of new updates and features that in a wide variety of areas that will make existing users very happy, and certainly temp new ones too.

Here’s everything that’s new:

User Interface:

  • Dark mode, for better readability on stage
  • Track Labeling
  • DSP display, click to get more info
  • Show status bar with battery display
  • Simplified/Rearranged some settings to more logical places (track, phrase, rhythm)
  • External Sync display
  • WaveForm display
  • Improvements to all stepper controls (E.g. BPM). Holding the control in the center brings up a dialog for direct text entry.
  • iPhone Xs support

Looper

  • Song Parts – Assign a track to any song part to allow for any serial/parallel looping setup. (E.g. Track 1 percussion, Track 2-3 part A, track 4 part B etc)
  • New Rec quantize option, allows starting recordings in the middle while keeping start sync
  • Quantized Undo/Redo
  • Blank Track creation: If the length of a track is known, then holding the track button for an empty track will pre create an empty loop, that then can be used to start dubbing in the middle for instance.
  • New AUTO size setting, creates tracks of equal lengths.

IAA/Audio Unit/Effects

  • Split effects seperate categories: Bultin, AU, IAA
  • Most recently used effects selection
  • Easier switching between effects
  • IAA Transport improvements from clients hosted in QL
  • New ‘Mute Audio’ track effect

Rhythm

  • Allow multi select loop import for rhythm loops
  • Improved rhythm save dialog
  • Import loops between begloop and endloop markers if they exist

Audio Engine

  • Re-enable Bluetooth output.
  • Multiroute audio setting
  • Added measurement mode option
  • Added 64 frames buffer size (1.5ms) option. (Warning CPU usage)
  • Post Fader option for discrete outputs

Advanced Settings

  • Added an advanced settings menu under system settings for detailed control of hold actions

MIDI Control

  • Added MIDI next/prev bank command (default hold action for next/prev preset

Latency Compensation.

  • Much improved automatic round trip latency compensation
  • Manual latency compensation on all loaded IAA apps, inputs and outputs. (Hold the icon in the connections panel to bring up the latency comp dialog)

And many other bug fixes and improvements.

Quantiloop Pro – Live Looper

The post Quantiloop Pro – Live Looper 2.90 brings a whole host of updates, new functionality and more appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

VirSyn announces a sale on their extensive iOS portfolio

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Wed 26 Sep 2018 11:27 pm

VirSyn have made a great name for themselves in the iOS world. They’ve brought us an excellent range of both synths and also FX audio units. Right now their apps are on sale for up to 40% off. But only for a very limited time indeed, until the 1st of October. If you’re not familiar with what VirSyn have to offer, here’s what they’ve put on sale.

BandShift (on sale at $6.99, normally $9.99): BandShift is a multi-band auditory filter and frequency shifter taking a new approach to manipulate the pitch of complex sound sources in realtime.

AudioEffX (on sale at $6.99, normally $9.99): Multieffect Audioprocessor Seven studio quality effect modules for live usage and to enrich your iTunes music library. All effect modules can be used together chained in any order you like.

Addictive Pro (on sale at $11.99, normally $19.99): The hybrid synthesis algorithm on which Addictive Pro is based provides you with efficient means for easy control of complex sounds far beyond usual sound synthesis methods.

ReSlice (on sale at $9.99, normally $14.99): Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or the touch of your fingers.

microTERA (on sale at $6.99, normally $9.99): Waveshaping Synthesis is a type of distortion synthesis that can create dynamic spectra in a controlled way. In waveshaping, it is possible to change the spectrum with the amplitude of the sound.

Cube Synth (on sale at $6.99, normally $9.99): Cube Synth is a groundbreaking new software instrument giving you the power and flexibility of additive synthesis together with easy editing and morphing capabilities.

Poseidon Synth (on sale at $11.99, normally $19.99): Poseidon Synth – The Ocean of Sound For all creatures in the ocean of sound – Sonic textures from other worlds, Analog signature sounds, Cut-through-the-mix leads and silkily smooth pads.

Tera Synth (on sale at $11.99, normally $19.99): Tera Synth – Modular Analog Synthesizer Explore new sound spaces with Tera Synth that go beyond the emulation of synthesizer legends.

Plus there are plenty more besides. You can find more of VirSyn’s apps here.

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