Mira : Wanna Touch Max? Cycling 74 Has An App For That

Mira, Max, Max/MSP, Cycling74

Cycling 74 has made its big App Store debut with Mira, an iPad controller for Max.

Mira automatically connects to Max and ‘mirrors’ your patch in realtime over a network connection. You simply arrange supported UI objects on top of the new mira.frame object and they appear on your iPad. You can use several instances of mira.frame to create multiple tabbed patches in Mira. Alternately, you can connect several iPads to the same patch.

When I was first introduced to Max in college, my professor was using a Wacom tablet as a controller. At the time, this was way forward thinking. Not only did the pen controller offer an alternative to a mouse, it provided a valuable third element to be used as a parameter in Max – the Z axis. By tilting the pen, you had a whole other range of control. Now, with Mira, we are not only able to use touch control, but we can also take advantage of the iPad’s accelerometer!

What’s next? Air control? Mind control? Actually, these technologies have all been around for a while, and are all usable in Max. Touching your Max patch was first made possible with Lemur. Whereas Lemur requires mapping parameters to the interface, Mira offers a seamless, easily configurable connection to your patch – no MIDI, no OSC, no fuss.

Supported Objects

  • button, live.button
  • toggle, live.toggle
  • dial, live.dial
  • slider, live.slider, rslider, multislider, kslider
  • live.tab, live.text
  • comment
  • panel
  • fpic
  • message box
  • number, flonum, live.numbox
  • gain~, meter~
  • mira.multitouch, mira.motion

Features

  • Automatically control any number of patches from your device
  • New mira.frame objects create viewable regions in your patch
  • Use multiple mira.frames to create any number of tabbed views in Mira
  • Most UI objects in a mira.frame will appear in Mira
  • New mira.multitouch object allows for gestural control
  • New mira.motion object sends accelerometer data from your device
  • Zoom and pan to tweak views on your device
  • Multiple instances of Mira can control a single patch for collaborative performance
  • Works over WiFi or an ad-hoc network

Mira requires Max 6.1.3 (which runs on Mac & PC), a downloadable software set, and an iPad running iOS5 or later. It is also compatible with Max For Live 9. Price is $49.99.

Download Mira Controller

What Do You Think Of Apple’s All New Everything?

iOS 7, iPhone, WWDC, Apple

Apple announced some major product changes at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote yesterday.

iOS 7, coming this fall, has been completely redesigned, with a new typeface, icons, color palette, transparency effect, parallax planes (3D effect), and animations. It looks stunning, gorgeous, incredible – and also a little bit like Google/Windows to my eye… Anyone else think so?

It seems like Apple is trying to expand into enemy territory, incorporating more than just looks from its competitors. New additions to iOS 7 that smack of Android or Windows is a brand new control center, where preferences can be switched on/off, and multitask swiping between open apps. I think these are brilliant functions, and it’s about time Apple added them.

They’ve made the notification center accessible from the lock screen (day-at-a-glance reminds me of Google Now). The camera has new square crop & filters (Instagram-style) and moments (date/time organized photo collections). Airdrop allows file sharing to nearby contacts. Siri can now post tweets, search Wikipedia, and change settings.

The big iOS 7 news for the music world is iTunes Radio, which, like Pandora, has featured stations, user created stations, with the convenient ability to purchase music from the iTunes Store.

And for iOS musicians, the biggest news is built-in Inter-App-Audio. What this means for Audiobus and JACK remains to be seen.

For the old people still using laptops, there are new Macbook Air models, available now, with better battery performance (is it my imagination or is this what they say EVERY time?), and wi-fi that is supposedly 3x faster than before. Also on the horizon is OS X 10.9 Mavericks, named after the famous surfing competition, which features exciting developments like tabs in the Finder and searchable tags for files.

Not to be left behind in the past, the Mac Pro is getting a serious makeover, in which it is transformed into a strange black ashtray-like tube…

Mac Pro, Apple, WWDC, There are still more changes coming that I’m not even going to go into here. iCloud, for instance, will see new advancements that bring it up to date with web apps like Google docs. It’s definitely smart for Apple to absorb features from other successful tech companies, though it does seem like an admission that they are no longer on the cutting edge and are now trying to play catch up. The new Mac Pro could be seen as a continuation of the tradition of unconventional designs, or just a desperate ploy to make the desktop seem new and exciting again, in a world where PC’s are merging laptops with tablets. As an Apple lover, I’m not sure which is true. I try not to let my biases blind me to other possibilities. What do you think?

Cross DJ Update Now Lets You Share Your Mixes

CrossDJ, MixVibes, iPad DJ App

MixVibes has released an update for Cross DJ, its mobile DJ app for iPhone and iPad, that now allows you to record and share your mixes directly to Soundcloud. This gives it a leg up on Native Instruments’ Traktor DJ, which has recording but shares only to Dropbox. And at half the price, Cross DJ is worth giving a spin!

Cross DJ is the first app to record and share mixes on Soundcloud

Record, edit and share your mix on Soundcloud straight from your iPhone or iPad. No computer needed, it’s all built in the app.

Edit your mixes

Browse and play your recordings from the app. Edit titles and descriptions. You can even make it more personal by uploading an artwork.

Direct share to SoundCloud

Log in to your Soundcloud account from within the app and upload your mix. Share the Soundcloud link on Facebook / Twitter, or make it private. If you don’t have a SoundCloud account, a Facebook connect module pops up, enabling you to create one in seconds.

What else is new in this update?

Retrieve your mixes from a computer : plug your iDevice to your computer, open iTunes and go to the “Apps” tab. Hit “CrossDJ” to access your mix list.

(Record only works on iPad 2/3/4 and iPhone 4S/5)
iPad : Cross DJ for iPad is $9.99 / 8.99 € / £6.99 – This update is free
iPhone : Cross DJ for iPhone is a fully-featured free app.
Sharing and recording (under 5 minutes) is available in the free iPhone app.
To unlock the recording time, you have to buy an in-app upgrade.
In-app price for unlimited recording time is $0.99 / 0.89 € / £0.69


Cross DJ for iPad
Cross DJ for iPhone

App Music Seminar In Berlin

App Music, Mobile Music Making, Berlin Summer University of the Arts

Are you perhaps interested in mobile music making, like these cool kids?

The Berlin Summer University of the Arts is hosting an upcoming workshop that will explore ‘app music’ on a variety of mobile devices and platforms. Whether you’re already local or just dying to visit Berlin, this seminar offers a great chance to get tapping with your fellow touchscreen aficionado.

App Music: Mobile Music Making

With Matthias Krebs July 29th – August 2nd, 2013

For quite a while now, making music with apps on smartphones and tablets has been more than simply a novelty. Some excellent music apps offer innovative digital musical instruments to the users. The production of digital music has also started to change: These apps already allow the creation of remarkable musical results, as demonstrated by the first serious album productions (e.g. “The Fall” by Gorillaz) and professional stage performances (e.g. by Jordan Rudess or the DigiEnsemble Berlin).

The ’App Music’ seminar will be a composition and sound workshop in the form of an experimental laboratory; a creative space to explore music and make new discoveries. Participants will investigate perspectives and potential of “app music” through a collective ‘learning by doing’ approach. Enthusiasts, experts and interested parties from all backgrounds are therefore invited to participate in the collaborative investigation of and experimentation with new music, sound and performance. A range of different sounds and musical compositions will be developed in groups and discussed within the context of the workshop. Results of the interactive creative activities will be presented in a public performance at the c-base.

The workshop will begin with an overview of the different music apps, platforms, devices and interfaces. Project groups will organically develop performances, productions and/or composition pieces over the course of the following days. Additionally, a joint rehearsal with the musicians of the DigiEnsemble Berlin is planed. The (partial) results will be presented in the workshop by the end of the last day. The last two days will be used to prepare the final performance.

Possible open questions to be explored in the course of the workshop:

• Which musical forms, fields of application and performing practices can be shaped by music apps?

• What possibilities are offered by mobile sensor controlled devices (such as smartphones and tablets) for music production and for future use as musical instruments?

• Can you express emotion and meaning with mobile music apps?

Participants

The workshop is aimed at enthusiasts, musicians, sound artists and music technologists, but is fundamentally open to all who are attracted by making music with digital sensor controlled devices. This is a workshop for those who are seeking an interactive exchange with others with regard to new musical forms, new technology and innovative expressive methods of sound making, performance and collaboration. Interested parties of all disciplines are encouraged to participate; diverse and varied backgrounds often bring valuable eclectic elements into the collaborative mix.

The workshop is also relevant for composers and creative individuals (for instance from the field of marketing/media production), who are keen on creating film material and background music for media productions.

Participants may certainly play their own devices during the workshop, however a large and varied supply of additional devices, peripheral equipment and amplifiers will also be provided. All participants (veteran app-musicians included!) are encouraged to mix, match, integrate, collaborate and experiment with a multitude of devices during the course. One of the goals of the workshop is to make new discoveries and explore interesting new combinations of devices and apps.

Matthias Krebs is a professional app musician, physicist, opera singer and music educator. For many years now, he has also been active in theater production as a sound artist and composer. He founded the DigiEnsemble Berlin at the Berlin Career College in 2010. Today it is the first professional music ensemble that regularly performs mobile music on physical stages. Krebs also delves into the field of mobile music making in his blog as well as in several music article publications and his current dissertation. Additionally he has recently published a browsable online slideshow on “android as a music creation platform.” (http://de.slideshare.net/MatzeRak/androidmusicmakingapps-2013)

date: July 29th-August 2nd 2013

place: UdK Berlin, Bundesallee 1-12

fee: 400 € (from June 10th 2013: 420 €)

No. of participants: 12 to 15

language: English

application deadline: July 1st 2013

Online registration: www.udk-berlin.de/summer-courses

Website URL: http://www.udk-berlin.de/sites/sommerkurse/content/artistic_courses_2013/music/mobile_music_making/index_eng.html

Mind the Gap?

TwinFalls

You might have noticed it’s been rather quiet here lately. Did you miss me?

The reason for my silence has been a long stretch of travel. After spending some time in LA, I drove up the Pacific coast to San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. It was glorious. Then I traversed the country back east, stopping in Colorado, Chicago, and Detroit. Oh the wonders I could tell you about! But I suppose this is not really the time or place.

Now, back in NY, I return to you, dear reader, refreshed and renewed. I’m also in the business of once again seeking gainful employment. Multimedia remote work would be preferable, but I am open to anything really. I’m always looking to learn new skills and dreaming up business ideas. My path as a musician who does not wish to starve has lead me to jobs in all different facets of the entertainment business. In fact I might have spread myself a wee bit too thin. You see, when people ask, I have trouble describing what it is exactly that I do, since my skills are rather diverse. I try to fit them all under one umbrella: multimedia, or digital media, though that’s really two umbrellas now isn’t it? Sometimes I just say “computer stuff.” In any case, here is an outline of things I am proficient in:

Music Composition

Audio Recording/Editing/Mixing

Sound Design

Graphic Design

Web Design

Video Editing

Photo Editing

Marketing

Branding

Writing

Blogging

Social Media

Audio/Video Hardware & Software Installation

Computer Maintenance

Tech Support

IT

So if you know of a job that needs filling somewhere along those lines, please email toneluster@gmail.com. Thanks!

And now back to more music technology…

Pro Tools Goes To 11!

Pro Tools, Protools, 11, Avid, DAW

Am I the first to make this horrid joke? I don’t know, but Pro Tools now goes to 11, which means of course it’s more better.

All joking aside, this update might be a very necessary move on Avid’s part to stay on top of the DAW game. While fears have been circulating about Avid’s financial trouble, Pro Tools still remains the industry standard for audio production, though it might be losing it’s foothold. Although I still think Pro Tools is the best for recording and editing live music, I must admit I’ve come to appreciate some of the benefits of Logic and Ableton Live over the years. If Apple’s Final Cut software displaced Avid from it’s video world throne, the apparent lack of development on Logic Pro might allow Pro Tools to reign supreme for a while longer. Pro Tools 11 has a few very important new features that bring it up to par with its competitors.

So, what’s new this time? Well, everything really. Pro Tools 11 has a totally redesigned audio engine, promising loads more processing power. And who doesn’t want that?  Users who need MOAR POWER will be happy to know that the revamped Avid Audio Engine is now built on 64-bit architecture. All of this simply means you can run more plug-ins and virtual instruments, making Pro Tools a comparable composing environment to its adversaries.

Another amazing new feature is OFFLINE BOUNCING. Why we had to wait this long for something common to other DAWS is beyond me, but it has been a major point of contention, so it’s a very welcome addition.

Other improvements are new metering options and the ability to  playback HD video. These may not seem like a big deal, but it’s the little things that make all the difference you know.

Pro Tools 11 will be available sometime later this year at these price points:

  • Pro Tools 11 software (full version) – $699 USD
  • Pro Tools 10 to 11 upgrade – $299 USD
  • Pro Tools 9 to 11 upgrade – $399 USD
  • Pro Tools Express to Pro Tools 11 cross grade – $499 USD
  • Pro Tools HD 10 to 11 upgrade – $599 USD
  • Pro Tools HD 9 to 11 upgrade – $999 USD

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 http://www.robpapen.com

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 jackaudio.org.

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 http://developer.audiob.us

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!