CrossDJ for iPad: Full Featured DJ App At A Nice Price

CrossDJ, MixVibes, iPad DJ App

CrossDJ for iPad, brought to you by MixVibes, is a great solution for the iOS DJ on a budget.

Although iOS DJing is a fairly new phenomenon, MixVibes has been in the software mixing game for a decade now. In addition to CrossDJ for Mac/PC, the French company also offers a video plug-in, an audio interface, and a full line of hardware controllers. So it was a natural move to bring their DJ tools to iOS.

CrossDJ has a very straightforward interface, with the familiar dual decks and mixer section. This comes complete with 3-band EQ, crossfader, volume faders, and pitch sliders. Yes, of course, you can scratch your mp3’s with the spinning vinyl record, or use it to cue up a specific point in a song. You can also just touch the waveform to skip through the track. Set up to 6 cue-points or create loops from 1/8th to 16 beats.

MixVibes boasts the “best audio engine of the market.” Their elastic beatgrid algorithm allows artifact free pitch/speed-shifting, without changing the key of a track.  BPM analysis happens automatically when loading music onto one of the decks, so you can easily sync tempo to the track currently playing. The beatgrid detects transients so you can visually beat match tracks.

Switch the vinyl record interface over to FX view and you get an XY pad. This allows you to apply effects on the fly, or hold at a certain setting. Aside from the usual low-pass filter, echo and phaser effects, CrossDJ has a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. ‘Bliss’ white-noise, ‘Crush’ bit reduction, ‘Chopper’, ‘Brake’, and ‘Roll’ are a few of the unique sound manipulations available.

To celebrate its 1st birthday, CrossDJ for iPad is on sale for just $0.99 (regularly $9.99) THIS WEEKEND ONLY.

Download CrossDJ for iPad

There is also a free iPhone version

Rob Papen Limited Edition EDM & Urban Synth Bundles

Rob Papen, EDM Synth, Urban Synth, synth bundles, Predator, Punch, Blade, SubBoomBass

World-renowned Dutch soft-synth designer Rob Papen has two LIMITED EDITION software bundles available UNTIL 3/31/13 ONLY, so get on this deal QUICK!!!

Rob Papen, EDM Synth Bundle, Blade

The EDM Synth Bundle contains 3 virtual instruments to shake that dance-floor. Blade is an additive synthesis engine loaded with sound sculpting effects and a programmable XY control pad. The schwanky graphical interface is clean, futuristic, and has a bad-ass blade up top! What more do you need to make cutting edge sounds? (ugh sorry couldn’t resist pun). Anyway, you actually need a lot more, and thankfully, it’s all here. Papen has packed Blade full of so many options, it’s a veritable sonic swiss army knife. At the core is what Papen has dubbed the Harmolator – an oscillator system that allows precise, varied control of harmonic content and timbre. Next there is a mangling section that offers 21 distortion and 14 filter options. Then there is a sequencable arpeggiator, where each pulsing note’s pitch and velocity can be finely tailored. The centerpiece of Blade is the aforementioned XY control, which makes it possible to inject that oh so important human element. You can record modulation, then loop it backwards and forward, adjust and sync speed.

Rob Papen, EDM Synth Bundle, Urban Synth Bundle, Predator

Common to both bundles are Predator and Punch. Predator is a classic triple oscillator synth with filters, LFO modulation, arpeggiator, and a whole slew of effects. Also included is the PredatorFX plug-in, which allows you to use all these functions as a sound processor in your DAW. Punch is a drum synth/sampler/groove-machine. You can mix and match preset sounds or add your own to create a custom kit. Tweak, filter, add envelopes, LFO’s, and modulation to each individual sound. Trigger built-in key-mapped sequences, all programmable on a grid similar to the arpeggiator found in Papen’s other instruments.

Rob Papen, EDM Synth Bundle, Urban Synth Bundle,  Punch

Finally, SubBoomBass replaces Blade in the Urban Synth Bundle. As the name clearly states, this synth brings some serious sub to the equation! SubBoomBass features dual oscillators (each with sub-oscillation), pre-filter distortion, two filter stages, amplitude, envelope, LFO, a mappable modulation matrix, and of course, Papen’s full range of FX (if your bass isn’t quite phat enough). There are several different play-modes: mono, legato, poly, and seq. This brings us to the sequencer that seems to be the running theme of Papen’s suites. The 16-step pattern sequencer offers detailed control of each note, as well as “swing” and “slide”, to make your sub more slanky. This is perfect for building groovy bass-lines or rhythmic parts with some of the included sub-tuned percussion sounds.

Rob Papen, Urban Synth Bundle, SubBoomBass

The bottom line is all four of these instruments are seriously function deep. The sonic possibilities go way beyond my simple descriptions, but the way they are laid out makes everything intuitive. You can easily play around for hours just trying out different combinations, or start with the already great sounding presets and quickly fine tune them to your taste.

Both EDM Synth and Urban Synth bundles cost €199.00 EUR/$239.00 USD/£169.00 GBP (a combined savings of around 45%) and can be purchased online at

JACK Audio Connection Kit: FREE iOS Inter-App Audio MIDI & Sync

JACK Audio Connection Kit, Crudebyte, inter-app audio

Hot on the heels of Audiobus comes rival iOS inter-app audio solution JACK Audio Connection Kit, for iPhone & iPad.

JACK, created by Crudebyte, is a modular environment where you draw connections that can carry audio and MIDI between compatible apps. This is one benefit over Audiobus, which only delivers audio within a set framework. Another bonus is record/playback synchronization between DAWs and sequencer apps. Audio and MIDI data can also be routed from apps to compatible external devices.

JACK Audio Connection Kit, Crudebyte, inter-app audio

JACK is open source (like Audiobus is now), so developers can easily implement the SDK into their app. This is great news, since JACK lacks the 100+ community of apps Audiobus boasts. At this point, only 2 apps support JACK (CMP Grand Piano & MIDI Wrench, both also free and made by Crudebyte). Hopefully that will change soon. With any luck, the competition will drive iOS music to new heights at an even faster rate.

JACK is also available for Windows PC, Linux and Mac. Find out more on

Audiobus Author Releases SDK & Amazing Audio Engine

The Amazing Audio Engine, Audiobus, A Tasty Pixel, Loopy, Michael Tyson, ios inter-app audio

Since its release 3 months ago, over 100 music apps have joined the quickly growing Audiobus community (including the just announced Garageband). Now, that list is set to expand exponentially. Michael Tyson, Audiobus creator, has unveiled two surprises on the iOS music world. The first is The Amazing Audio Engine:

The Amazing Audio Engine is a sophisticated framework for iOS audio applications, built so you don’t have to.

It is designed to be very easy to work with, and handles all of the intricacies of iOS audio on your behalf.

Built upon the efficient and low-latency Core Audio Remote IO system, and written by one of the pioneers of iOS audio development and developer of Audiobus Michael Tyson, The Amazing Audio Engine lets you get to work on making your app great instead of reinventing the wheel.

The Amazing Audio Engine is the code on which Audiobus, Loopy, and Loopy HD were built. It includes Audiobus support (natch) and is free to download.

Also completely open-source is the Audiobus SDK. This makes it a breeze for developers to implement Audiobus support for their app. The Audiobus Developer Center is at

You’ll find extensive documentation, a developer community forum, and utilities to register and manage your apps so that they appear within the Audiobus app and on our site

These are some seriously great developments for audio app programmers (especially aspiring ones such as myself). The world of iOS inter-app audio is growing up fast! Onward!

Hear Depeche Mode Delta Machine Full Album Now

Depeche Mode, Delta Machine

I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the new Depeche Mode album (to be released March 26th), and now it’s streaming free on iTunes a week early!

Delta Machine has the classic DM vibe we all know and love, with a definite modern edge. It’s a really strong record; awesome sounds, and cohesive all the way through. Lots of gooey modular synth goodness, which we got a peek at in the studio teaser video they released last year. The album was recorded in New York City & Santa Barbara, was produced by Ben Hillier and mixed by Flood.

Here’s the tracklist:

01. Welcome to My World
02. Angel
03. Heaven
04. Secret to the End
05. My Little Universe
06. Slow
07. Broken
08. The Child Inside
09. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve
10. Should Be Higher
11. Alone
12. Soothe My Soul
13. Goodbye
14. Long Time Lie (Bonus track)
15. Happens All the Time (Bonus track)
16. Always (Bonus track)
17. All That’s Mine (Bonus track)

2013 Tourdates:

04/5 – Nice, FR @ Palais Nikaia
05/07 – Tel Aviv, IL @ Hayarkon Park
05/10 – Athens, GR @ Terra Vibe
05/12 – Sofia, BG @ Georgi Asparuhov Stadium
05/15 – Bucharest, RO @ National Stadium
05/17 – Istanbul, TR @ Kucukciftlik Park
05/19 – Belgrade, RS @ Usce Park
05/21 – Budapest, HU @ Puskas Ferenc Stadium
05/23 – Zagreb, HR @ Hippodrome
05/25 – Bratislava, SK @ Inter Stadium
05/28 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
06/01 – Munich, UK @ Olympic Stadium
06/03 – Stuttgart, DE @ Mercedes-Benz Arena
06/05 – Frankfurt, DE @ Commerzbank Arena
06/07 – Berne, CH @ Stade De Suisse
06/09 – Berlin, DE @ Olympic Stadium
06/11 – Leipzig, DE @ Red Bull Arena
06/13 – Copenhagen, DK @ Parken
06/15 – Paris, FR @ Stade De France
06/17 – Hamburg, DE @ Imtech Arena
06/22 – Moscow, RU @ Locomotive Stadium
06/24 – St. Petersburg, RU @ SKK Arena
06/27 – Borlange, SE @ Peace & Love Festival
06/29 – Kiev, UA @ Olympic Stadium
07/03 – Dusseldorf, DE @ Esprit Arena
07/07 – Werchter, BE @ Rock Werchter
07/11 – Bilbao, ES @ Bilbao BBK Live
07/13 – Lisbon, PT @ Optimus Alive! Festival
07/16 – Nimes, FR @ Antic Arina
07/18 – Milan, IT @ San Siro Stadium
07/20 – Rome, IT @ Olympic Stadium
07/23 – Prague, CZ @ Olympic Stadium
07/25 – Warsaw, PL @ National Stadium
07/27 – Vilnius, LT @ Vingis Park
07/29 – Minsk, BY @ Minsk Arena
08/22 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
08/24 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
08/27 – St. Paul, MN @ Minnesota State Fair
09/01 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Ampitheatre
09/03 – Montreal, QC @ Belle Centre
09/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
09/08 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
09/10 – Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
09/12 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
09/14 – Tampa, FL @ Live Nation Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds
09/15 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ BB&T Center
09/18 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
09/20 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
09/22 – San Diego, CA @ Sleep Train Ampitheatre
09/24 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
09/26 – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Ampitheatre
09/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
09/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
10/08 – Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky Pavilion

Pre-Order Depeche Mode Delta Machine

Squarepusher News

Squarepusher, Ufabulum, Enstrobia, LED helmet

I’ve been meaning to post about Squarepusher for ages.

Tom Jenkinson dropped his latest album Ufabulum last year, along with a wild new live show. Consisting of an LED helmet and fantastic visuals that respond to sound, the experience created by the venerable Squarepusher really takes his music over the top. As if it weren’t explosive enough already!

Nowadays there are plug-ins and apps (such as iZotope’s Stutter or Glitchbreaks for iPhone & iPad) that can produce similar effects to the inimitable Squarepusher’s sound. And of course there are generative video programs as well. What makes Squarepusher special is not just his technical wizardry, but that he is a truly innovative Artist. He doesn’t use the fanciest new equipment to create his work. He painstakingly programs things from scratch, and culls otherworldly sounds from his bass rig that are utterly futuristic. Jenkinson is a sculptor of sound – a visionary, mad genius.

Squarepusher has a new EP entitled Enstrobia available.

Originally released exclusively with the vinyl or double CD versions of his 2012 album Ufabulum, this is the first time the tracks have been available as a standalone EP.

Squarepusher says – “The Ufabulum live show has been constantly developing over the last year of touring – including using parts of Enstrobia at specific events. Although not originally part of the project, these pieces seem very integrated with it now and have triggered a lot of interest from fans who hadn’t heard them before.”

He also has a remix contest

Squarepusher, Ufabulum, Enstrobia, LED helmet, Remix,

Download stems here:

Here are some great interviews and live clips:

Catch Squarepusher at one of his very limited live shows this month:


Dave Grohl SXSW Keynote Speech

Dave Grohl, SXSW,

Today, Dave Grohl took to the stage at SXSW, donned drugstore hipster glasses, and delivered one hell of an inspirational keynote speech.

He talks about hanging with last year’s speaker, Bruce Springsteen (you know, no big deal, just THE BOSS), his humble beginnings as a young punk rocker in the DC area, demonstrates “multitrack recording” using two tape recorders, describes his life-changing years with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain (of course), recording Nevermind at Sound City (the studio he made a film about), changing the world, the again life-altering aftermath that resulted in Foo Fighters, and finally  becoming a cool dad. His mantra throughout the speech is that “the musician comes first.” He stresses the ultimate importance of the human element in music, communicating without words, finding your own voice, and screaming it out til it’s gone. Weirdly, though this is a tech blog, I share the same values and that is why time and again, no matter what toys come out, I always return to the guitar for inspiration.

Grohl is undoubtedly at SXSW this year to promote his new movie, and although he preaches the DIY ethos of his youth, he has become over the course of his astounding career too hugely successful to be considered ‘indie.’ But the thing is, he HAS followed the beat of his own drum and forged his path on his own terms, and is still the living embodiment of RAWK. He is today’s rock superhero, in a world where there may not really be any more on the way. Although he has entered the pantheon of  immortal ‘classic’ rockers, Dave is one of the last of these dinosaurs championing the rock and roll dream and telling you to pick up a guitar and start a band. So if you haven’t already, watch his speech and BE INSPIRED, punk!

Reason 7: New Features Keep This DAW in the Running

Reason 7, Propellorheads

Looks like music-software makers are all racing to push out updates these days, with the recent release of Ableton Live 9, followed by the announcement of Native Instruments Komplete 9, and now Propellerheads Reason 7 is on the way.

I must admit I haven’t used Reason in quite a long time. I moved on before they even added Record. That was the ultimate reason really: Propellerheads was too slow to add features which seemed like obvious necessities. However, I do remember fondly the ability to just whip up a track in no time flat. Reason is great for this. The ease and flexibility of connecting or rearranging devices is awesome, and the graphics are just adorable. I remember thinking that Reason would be an awesome tool to demonstrate the principles of electronic music technology quickly and comprehensibly in the classroom.

Reason has come a long way since the early days, and version 7 has added some interesting features, albeit rather late in the game. These include an External MIDI device, for controlling all your outboard gear (that maybe you don’t use anymore?), slice-able audio, for quantization or use with REX player devices (which Reason pioneered 13 years ago!), some age old mix features like buses, groups, and the new Spectrum (graphic) EQ. They’ve also added Level and Pan functions within Racks, the neat-o Audiomatic Retro Transformer, to give your tracks that vintage vibe, and a whole new bunch of sounds “from dubstep to even metal”! Not only that, but more audio file formats are supported, like mp3, wma, and aac!

Not sure if Propellorheads is being tongue-in-cheek with their copy (surely they must be right? “There’s a rack for that”???). I do think these additions bring Reason up to date though, making it a real contender again in the audio world. It just seems weird to me that they allowed themselves to fall behind in the first place, when they seemed so far ahead right out of the gate in the year 2000. In any case, I am happy to see them making strides, as users new and old will no doubt have countless hours of fun banging out tracks with Reason 7.

See all the new stuff in action:

Reason 7 is currently in beta-testing and will be released in the second quarter of 2013.

Native Instruments Komplete 9

Native Instruments, Komplete 9,

Turns out Native Instruments Komplete 9 is what was being hinted at with their recent teaser videos.

Those dazzling animations were ever so surreptitiously advertising the new Monark synth and Battery 4.Monark is what NI calls “the king of monophonic analog synths…the holy grail of analog modeling.” The Battery 4 Drum Sampler update has new sound library “tagging” for easy organization, and snazzy drag & drop effects, including updated Solid Mix effects EQ, Bus Compression, tape saturation, LoFi, and convolution reverb.

The basic Komplete 9 includes 33 instruments/effects in a 120GB+ package. But that’s clearly not enough, if you’re at all serious about making music! Komplete 9 Ultimate offers 65 NI products in a whopping 370GB, which comes on a USB hard-drive.

Included are:

  • SOLID MIX SERIES a complete studio effects suite for creating polished, release-ready productions.
  • SESSION STRINGS is an easy-to-use contemporary string ensemble for quickly adding modern arrangements to all styles of music.
  • THE GIANT delivers the immense sound of the world’sbiggest upright piano, plus an additional cinematic mode perfect for atmospheric textures and soundscapes.
  • FM8
  • TRAKTOR’S 12
  • KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE features all products included in KOMPLETE 9, plus the REVERB CLASSICS and PREMIUM TUBE SERIES studio effects, the essential cinematic strings collection ACTION STRINGS, the playable horn section SESSION HORNS, and the Rickenbacker®- approved SCARBEE RICKENBACKER BASS. Also included are the epic DAMAGE industrial percussion instrument, the 11-piece SESSION STRINGS PRO ensemble, the futuristic RAZOR and SKANNER XT synthesizers, and many more.

Komplete 9 ($599/update from $149) and Komplete 9 Ultimate ($1099/update from $399) will be available March 27th. Pre-order now at


Let’s Making Noise For One More 100 Years!

Luigi Russolo, Intonarumori, noise music, noise machine

I first got into noise music as a college student wandering the streets of New York City. The constant crush of sheer sound was both exhilarating and strangely calming, like the way white-noise is used to sooth infants and insomniacs. I remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to propel noise back out into the world. I couldn’t walk down the street without the screech of brakes piercing my eardrums, and I thought: this is war!

Nowadays I feel more attracted towards the idea of sound enveloping and coddling my poor rattled brain in a blanket of ambient comfort. I dream of throbbing pink-noise ecstactic transcendence. Warm waves of aural bliss.

Createdigitalmusic brought to my attention that today is the 100th anniversary of Luigi Russolo’s “Art of Noises” manifesto. A great reminder to finish reading 2 documents I have waiting in my Kindle app! One of which is the very manifesto I just mentioned, and the second being a very interesting book on Russolo and his dealings with the occult, Luigi Russolo: Futurist.

If you don’t know about Russolo:

Luigi Russolo was perhaps the first noise artist. His 1913 manifesto, L’Arte dei Rumori, translated as The Art of Noises, stated that the industrial revolution had given modern men a greater capacity to appreciate more complex sounds. Russolo found traditional melodic music confining and envisioned noise music as its future replacement.

He designed and constructed a number of noise-generating devices called Intonarumori and assembled a noise orchestra to perform with them. A performance of his Gran Concerto Futuristico (1917) was met with strong disapproval and violence from the audience, as Russolo himself had predicted.

(from wikipedia)

Coincidentally, (though I am cognisant of so much syncronicity on a daily basis that I’m not sure I believe in coincidence), my wife and I were taking an afternoon stroll and somehow got onto the topic of how Noise is the only thing still capable of effecting a world numbed to music. I’m not even sure that’s true. As this very blog post attests, noise is nothing new. Big-name noise artists like Merzbow, Prurient or Kevin Drumm have all taken the idea to the Nth degree. Sure, Russolo’s concert caused a riot a century ago, but what would the reaction be today?

What do you think? Listen to some of Russolo’s work at Ubuweb and decide…