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

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

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.

Ready To Go Pro Superstar iPad DJ? Traktor DJ Is Here!

Traktor DJ, DJ app, iOS DJ, Native Instruments DJ,

I remember when it all first hit me… I had in my hands the first generation iPod and I could suddenly see a future of scrubbing audio with the flick of a finger on a small white wheel… I dreamt of hacking the simple software on that pocket-sized music player. I wanted to create the future.

Of course I didn’t though. Steve Jobs did. And the whole world shifted.

Now Native Instruments has taken their beloved Traktor DJ software to the mobile level, and my dreams are fully crystallized. DJ apps have been around for a while, as well as the ability to touch waveforms and effect them in all the glorious ways the mighty iDevices afford. Traktor DJ incorporates all the standard pinch/swipe gestures, bringing NI’s solid reputation, and renown for creating truly awesome sound tools, to the tablet. In other words, it’s a pro move for the aspiring iPad jockey.

Traktor DJ gives you two channels, with 3-band EQ, filters, eight effects, looping and scratching functions. You can freeze a track and slice it into playable sections, for an easy, touchable remix. Most remarkably, Traktor DJ delves into your library and suggests tracks based on key and tempo information of the current track playing. Your tastes are secondary to Traktor’s vast algorithmic know-how! Submit!

NI suggests that you can cue tracks using “a simple headphone splitter,” though this would presumably mean you are working in mono. Better to hook up an audio interface with an Apple Camera Connection Kit and use separate headphone outs for cueing, while your Main L+R handles the mix.

Traktor DJ, DJ app, iOS DJ, Native Instruments DJ,

Traktor DJ is also fully sync-able with the desktop version of TRAKTOR PRO 2 (via Dropbox), so you can set up a mix in one then rock that party with the other.

Traktor DJ, DJ app, iOS DJ, Native Instruments DJ, iPad DJ, Traktor Pro

Or just do it up iStyle, like superstar DJ Richie Hawtin:

Traktor DJ works on iPad 2 and up and costs $19.99

Download Traktor DJ for iPad 

Download Traktor DJ for iPhone

Eventide H9 Harmonizer Packs Tons Of Classic Effects Into One Bluetooth Controlled Stompbox

Eventide, H9 Harmonizer, Bluetooth, guitar pedal

The trend of tech getting ever smaller is unmistakable. From Malekko’s super slim Omicron Series to the newly announced Dunlop Mini Fuzz Face, the guitar world is wisely following suit.

nano guitar

We’d better all start buying nano-machines like yesterday – this nano-guitar is already old news!

Eventide’s pedals have always been beasts – maybe a little TOO feature full and just a tad too big to fit comfortably on your pedal board.

The H9 solves the size problem, while only adding to the sonic mayhem. You see, Eventide has decided to go truly digital, pioneering the iOS-to-guitar pedal phenomenon and offering a true marriage of hardware and software. With its single knob, streamlined, HAL-esque interface, the H9 can run ALL of Eventide’s famous stompbox effects. All of the sound editing controls are still there – just tucked away into software. Connect wirelessly via Bluetooth with an iPod, iPhone or iPad, and you’re not only able to fully control the H9, you’re ready to download MOAR SOUNDZ (available through in-app purchase) to add to the already impressive collection included right out of the box:

THE H9 COMES LOADED WITH A SET OF OUR MOST POPULAR ALGORITHMS TAKEN FROM EVENTIDE’S AWARD-WINNING STOMPBOXES:

From ModFactor:

Liquid Chorus
Organic Chorus
Shimmer Chorus
Classic Chorus
Phase XO Chorus
Bias Tremolo
Opto Tremolo

 

From PitchFactor:
H910
H949
Crystals
Tuner

 

From TimeFactor:
Tape Echo
Vintage Delay

 

From Space:
Shimmer
Hall

 

Plus a new H9 exclusive:
UltraTap Delay™

 

While the H9 is fully controllable via its front panel, a free iOS app, H9 Control, can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad for live editing, creating and managing presets and changing system settings wirelessly via Bluetooth. H9 Control will also be available for your PC or Mac via USB.

The H9 features stereo audio I/O, MIDI I/O, Expression Pedal, and Auxiliary Switch inputs. All of Eventide’s stompbox algorithms and their associated presets are available for in-app purchase.

Eventide H9 Harmonizer will be available in March of 2013 through authorized Eventide stompbox dealers.

Korg iOS Apps Add Audiobus Support

Korg, iOS, apps, iElectribe, iMS20, iPolysix, iElectribe Gorillaz Edition, iKaossilator, Audiobus

Korg updated it’s iOS apps – iMS20, iElectribe, iElectribe Gorillaz Edition, iKaossilator, and the recently released iPolysix – and is now part of the fast-growing Audiobus family!

This is great news for iPad musicians, as Korg apps have been heralded as THE reason to get into iOS music. That is, until Audiobus came along. Now, together at last, these apps can all be combined in an orgy of touchscreen musical bliss.

Although Korg pioneered WIST (Wireless Sync-Start Technology), which allows two iOS devices within close proximity to sync compatible apps via bluetooth, (already mindbending), the addition of Audiobus capability will truly enable musicians to take their iKorg music to the next level.

Other exciting stuff included in the update:

• Retina (& iPhone 5 for iKaossilator) Display support
• Background Audio support allows to play other music apps
• iCloud data backup
• “Audiobus” enables audio streaming between iOS Musical Instrument Apps
• Virtual MIDI enables MIDI communication between iOS Musical Instrument Apps
• A few bugs have also been addressed, improving operational operational stability

There is one slight hitch Audiobus would like everyone to be aware of. First go update (or buy) Korg apps, then delete and re-install the Audiobus app. Says Audiobus:

“This is a temporary workaround until they add their apps to the Audiobus web database (which they probably omitted to keep things a bit more secret)… This workaround will (most likely) become unnecessary in the next few days as we work together with KORG to add them to our database.”

AAAANNNDDD finally, you should probably know that Korg apps are 50% off until Dec.31st to celebrate the release of iPolysix!!! Go Korg!

Buy Korg iMS-20 for iPad

Buy Korg iPolysix for iPad

Buy Korg iElectribe for iPad

Buy Korg iElectribe Gorillaz Edition for iPad 

Buy Korg iKaosillator for iPad

Buy Korg iKaosillator for iPhone

Buy Audiobus for iPad

Buy Audiobus for iPhone 

All Aboard Audiobus!

Audiobus, iOS audio, iPad audio, audio routing, iPad audio app

Since the announcement of its Dec.10th launch date, Audiobus has been the talk of the town in music tech land. And for good reason – it’s a true game changer. iOS music enthusiasts have long been waiting for a way to tie together all the promising apps they have bleeping away on their tablets, without having to resort to a computer DAW. You see, kids these days want to do it all on their mobile devices. Computers are for old people!

Audiobus allows internal routing of audio between apps, so you can combine several sources in a performance or send them all to a recording app such as Loopy. While only 12 apps are currently supported, Audiobus’ creators say 750 developers are lined up to receive the SDK so they can add this functionality to their apps.

Here’s an up to date list of supported apps: http://audiob.us/apps/

If you still don’t know what Audiobus is, watch this:

You can use Audiobus to filter audio from one app through effects in another. Here’s a less obvious usage:



Audiobus was created by Michael Tyson (a.k.a. A Tasty Pixel, maker of Loopy HD), and Sebastian Dittmann, (maker of Soundprism). Read the inspiring tale of how Tyson discovered the loophole that would become Audiobus over the course of thirteen months, while traveling through Europe in a motorhome http://atastypixel.com/blog/thirteen-months-of-audiobus/

Buy Audiobus for iPad

Buy Audiobus for iPhone

Mouse On Mars Wretchup, Wretch Dubbed, WOW

Mouse on Mars is on fire with three bits of exciting news.

First of all, congrats to them on achieving the crowd-funding goal on their iPhone app Wretchup. Created in collaboration with createdigitalmusic.com‘s Peter Kirn, Wretchup lets you instantaneously warp live audio input with the flick of your finger. Watch this video to get a better idea of what Wretchup can do:

While MoM has already used this custom app extensively in their work, both in the studio and onstage, Wretchup “relies on a now-defunct player app called RjDj, and lacks some features that make it something anyone can use.” The purpose of the campaign is “to build a standalone app with a richer set of functionality, and make it easy-to-use for novice and advanced users alike.”

In addition, since “Wretchup is built with libpd, a powerful open source library based on Pure Data,” they plan on making the source code available for programmers to learn from and incorporate into their own creations.

Although they’ve reached $5,000, if they manage to double that figure, they have promised to make an Android version as well. There are still 9 days left to support the project at http://www.indiegogo.com/appwow

Second news bite is that if you decide to contribute,  Mouse on Mars has made a special “Wretchup-remixed’ album exclusively for backers called “Wretch Dubbed.” Here is a taste:

Physical handmade copies are already sold out, but downloads are available for $15, which includes the app.

Lastly, Mouse on Mars very recently released a new LP entitled WOW, which has Wretchup all over it. Stream here:

Apple announces new iPhone, iPod, iOS, iTunes

Did someone say iPhone? Wait, can you say it again?

Today’s biggest news is certainly Apple unveiling its new line of iProducts. No doubt you’ve already been bombarded by live blogs of the event, summaries of what you need to know, updates, and ecstatic exclamations of gleeful abandon about the wonderful new iPhone. Maybe the world’s ever growing faction of Apple fandom makes you a bit queasy. Or maybe you just can’t get enough. So that’s where this blog comes in, dear reader, let’s plunge deeper into the rabbit hole of iPhun together shall we?

First the recap – The iPhone 5 is thinner, wider, faster, and downright sexier than its predecessor, of course. The screen is now a 4-inch 16:9 full sRGB completely redesigned touchscreen technological breakthrough. The camera now shoots panoramic images with a mere swipe through the air, image capture is quicker, and you can take stills while recording 1080p video. The battery life is longer. The new A6 CPU processor is twice as fast. It operates on 4g LTE. It has a new smaller, tighter port, called ‘Lightning,’ which requires a separate $30 adapter to use with all your old accessories. Why? Don’t ask questions, just consume! It’s better. Trust me. Why are you still using that crappy old iPhone for God’s sake?

Now what might really concern us audio-minded individuals are upgrades to the microphones, built in speakers, and earbuds. With the new iPhone you get not just one, not even just two, but THREE microphones, located on the front, back and bottom, to improve call and sound recording quality. Surprisingly, they’ve even thrown in noise canceling technology, so you (hopefully) won’t have to struggle to hear the person on the other end over the din of the coffeeshop or rock club anymore. Voice calls (if supported by the carrier) will also be boosted by “wideband audio,” using more of the available bandwidth spectrum to deliver your buddy’s voice straight into your earhole. The speakers are packed with 5 magnet transducers, up from the previous 3 (see Apple didn’t even stop at upgrading to just 4 because they care, they really do care about you). Finally, the new earbuds are now called EarPods, because they are made out of microscopic iPods assembled by chinese factory worker fetuses to make your listening experience better. Because we are Americans and we deserve nothing less.

Pricing is the same as past releases, $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB (with a 2 year contract of course) and is available in black or white. The good news is that the 4S model’s price has dropped to $99 and the iPhone 4 is now free. You can start pre-ordering iPhone 5 this Friday 9/14 in the US.

Apple has also revamped the iPod Nano to look like a tiny iPhone, and added Siri to the now multicolored iPod Touch. iOS 6 will see some changes as well, most notably a new Maps app (Google and Apple broke up a few months ago) with turn-by-turn directions (FINALLY!), Facebook integration, and  a redesigned iTunes store, among other amazing technological advancements like finally allowing Facetime to operate over cellular networks instead of WIFI only. The new iOS will be available 9/19. An iTunes update was released today and there will be a totally new version in late October. What fun! No word on the rumored iPad mini though…

Now I am as much of an Apple addict as the next fool (although I have been growing more attracted to the PC laptop’s junky charm lately) but one thing I cannot abide is the fact that the most “valuable company in the world” can’t afford to treat its workers humanely. That is a whole other story that should be considered alongside all the hoopla of this iPhun frenzy. Educate yourself and sign this damn petition here.

So obviously there is a lot of lust surrounding this little gem, but what does it all mean for music technology? The iPhone and its millions of apps have undoubtedly revolutionized the world of composing music. I fully intend to write about music apps I enjoy, a plethora of which I haven’t even begun to fully “tap” into yuk yuk. What are some of your favorite music creation apps?