Miselu Kickstarts C.24, A Unique Keyboard for iPad

Miselu, C.24, iPad keyboard

I’ve had my eye on Miselu since their flagship product Neiro, an Android-based, compact keyboard running software from Korg, Retronyms, and Yamaha. While it was certainly interesting, Android devices haven’t really taken off in the music world the same way as their Apple counterparts have. No one can really argue that the iPad rules the mobile music scene. After former Apple hardware designer Jory Bell joined the Miselu team, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened.

And so it seems Miselu has discontinued Neiro in favor of the C.24 – an iPad keyboard with some unique twists. First of all, it is an iPad case, attaching magnetically to protect your precious screen. When called upon to produce magical musical masterpieces, C.24 folds out elegantly, showing its pearly white and black piano teeth. The iPad then settles comfortably into the seat of its chariot, connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The two octave keyboard uses anti-polarity magnets to give a semi-weighted feel. MIDI and aftertouch information is transmitted using optical key tracking. What makes the C.24 really exciting is the ribbon controller running along the top of the keys, with LEDs for visual feedback. On the left side are eight buttons for quick octave switching (presumably these can be configured for other functions too). On the right is a continuous controller for pitch bend. Above this lies a gaping hole, which will be filled in the future with any number of imaginable modular expansion modules, such as knobs, faders, XY pads, and who knows what else? Fleshy squeeze boxes?

For more details, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/miselu/c24-the-music-keyboard-for-ipad and give them your damn money!

Arturia iMini Review + Demo [Video]

Arturia, iMini, Minimoog, iPad, synth

When Arturia first released iMini, it was already quite impressive. To have a faithful, rich sounding Minimoog emulation running on your iPad for just $9.99 should have been a miracle for most. But of course, it is just our over-priveledged nature to hold an amazing human achievement in our hands and still cry about what it lacks. No Audiobus? Wahhh!!!

Arturia was quick to respond to this oversight, adding the inter-app audio capability in version 1.1, along with a few other bells and whistles. Now, there is truly no reason to complain. You can plug iMini into Audiobus, you can even plug external audio INTO iMini for God’s sake! And that’s not all:

“background audio advances mean that iMini is always live, yet will still respond to MIDI and be able to run its arpeggiator when working as a background app. And on that very note, whenever iMini is making no sound itself its CPU usage drops dramatically — another neat touch that helps keep things running smoothly when running multiple music apps.

Moving onwards and upwards, expanded MIDI support lets those up-to-date iMini users pick and choose from multiple sources; moreover, inter-app MIDI support — which establishes MIDI messages that enable two iOS devices to identify and enumerate each other — makes it much easier for cool controller apps like Audanika’s SoundPrism Pro advanced MIDI controller for iOS to individually control multiple iMini instances while running in the background on the same iPad, for instance. Let’s talk, in other words!” – Arturia

Yeah yeah, that’s all well and good, but what ELSE does iMini do, you say? Let’s take a more in depth look…

Arturia, iMini, Minimoog, iPad, synth

iMini has three tabs: Main, Perform, and FX. In the Main tab, you see a wood-panel framed, familiar synth layout. Choose from a large library of sorted presets, tune it up or down 2 octaves, set the Glide (Portamento) amount, adjust the Mod-Mix (between Osc.3 & Noise), and you’re off to the races.

The Oscillator Bank contains three oscillators, each of which can be tuned over several octaves. If you hold your finger on oscillators 2 or 3, further coarse tuning is revealed. You can also choose a separate waveform for each, from triangle, saw-triangle, sawtooth, square, wide rectangle, or narrow rectangle. Set their volumes in the Mixer section, along with Noise and External Input. The Modifiers section offers a tasty 24db per octave filter, with Cut-off, Emphasis (Resonance), and a Contour setting that controls how the filter responds to the Envelope Generator. There is also a Loudness Contour with amplitude envelope controls. In the Output section, you set the main level, volumes for the Chorus & Delay effects, or switch to Polyphonic mode.

The Keyboard is pretty straight forward with pitch bend and modulation wheels. But that’s not all: if you hold down the small settings icon next to the iMini logo, you get some additional controls, including the ability to change the octave, scale, and key.

Arturia, iMini, Minimoog, iPad, synth

The Perform tab is really where the action is. Here, you have the Arpeggiator and two XY pads. Get that sound throbbing, then give it the two-finger attack tweak. The default filter and contour controls are pretty fun, but you can set any of the controls from the Main page to the XY axis. Add a little Chorus and or Delay in the FX tab to fatten up your sound.

IF THAT IS STILL NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU, go ahead and fire up Audiobus, add some effects from your favorite app, and record that ish! While the sound of iMini is pretty rich and warm, I like to run my keyboards through guitar pedals, so the free GuitarTone app from Sonoma does the trick for me, (although it is a bit buggy with Audiobus on my iPad 2). Loopy HD, another invaluable offering from Audiobus’ maker A Tasty Pixel, is a cool way to lay down ideas on the fly and let them loop on top of each other ’til you’re dizzy.

Here’s a video of me making some noise with these toys:

Download iMini

“With all this talk of added support, it’s good to know that Arturia will make a donation to The Bob Moog Foundation for every iMini sold in recognition of the groundbreaking instrument to which it owes its very existence. In turn, this supports the dream of building the MoogseumTM (Bob Moog Museum), the convergence of The Bob Moog Foundation’s goals of inspiring and educating people through electronic music.” –

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

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.

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: https://bleep.com/release/42392-squarepusher-squarepusher-remix-stems#description

Here are some great interviews and live clips:

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

 

Arturia iMini: Migrating the MiniMoog to iPad

arturia, imini, minimoog

With iMini, Arturia joins the mobile revolution. It was the only thing to do, having all its other bases covered.

iMini is a faithful reproduction of the iconic Minimoog synthesizer, for iPad. It is based on Arturia’s TAE® technology which first brought the Minimoog to desktops with its Mini V software. iMini can share presets with its predecessor Mini V, and includes over 500 sounds created by “the top sound designers in the world.” Not sure if he was involved, but iMini already has the support of well respected sound artist Richard Devine.

On top of being compatible with Mini V, iMini supports CORE MIDI, allowing MIDI controller mapping, and WIST sync with compatible apps running on other iDevices. It is also part of Retronym’s Tabletop app environment. Through Tabletop, you can share sounds via Soundcloud, render to .wav, or Audiocopy/paste into another iApp. At this time, iMini doesn’t support Audiobus yet.

Not only does iMini pay homage to the great Bob Moog, but Arturia literally pays back to the Foundation:

To support Bob Moog’s legacy, we are donating a portion of each sale to the Bob Moog Foundation to support their work in science and music education via Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool, their work to preserve, protect and share Bob Moog’s archives, and their vision to build a Moogseum in the coming years (Moogfoundation.org)

Check out the awesome promo vid and tutorial:

Arturia iMini requires at least iPad 2 and iOS 6.0 or later, and costs just $9.99


 

If that’s not enough info to get you moist and/or downloading the app already, head over to Arturia.com  for the full nitty gritty (they always have tons of in depth product info).

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

Drums By Asrodot: Not Your Average iPad Drum App

Drums By Asrodot, drum app, iPad drum

If you’re like me, people have been telling you to “stop tapping!” your whole life. Trouble is, I can’t. I’m not even really aware I’m doing it. Table tops just bring it out of me. They lure me in with their subtle sonic nuances and before I know it, I’m tapping away.

Drums By Asrodot, a new iPad app, capitalizes on this behavior and takes it one step further. It’s not just another drum machine with squares for you to tap. The interface is a zen dream: just one wood grain rectangle for your hands to caress. So simple, it’s refreshing.

You get 6 different kits: Cajón, Xylophone, Jazz, IDM, Drum&Bass 1 + 2, tweakable with Gain/Distortion and Delay.

The sounds of each kit are spread across the XY axis, and change dynamically depending on where your fingers fall. Touch response is very quick and natural feeling.

Take a look at this video demo and you’ll see what I mean:

According to the app’s creator, Arno van Goch, “every pixel sounds just a little bit different.”

Get Drums By Asrodot