COMING VERY SOON

Quite a few music app reviews, been busy but am catching up fast!

Stay tuned..

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EXCELLENT MOBILE MUSIC JAM

I really like this artist “Gattobus”. He makes amazing ambient synthscapes.

Was surprised to find the following video which sees him using an iPhone, iPad and the revered OP1 by Teenage Engineering. He is using iDensity by Apesoft on the iPad and Xynthesizr by Yuri Turov.

Not sure what the black box is though,

Enjoy this great session:)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oeQq7eCi264

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SPARKLE BY APESOFT

Sparkle by Apesoft is a most welcome addition to the now legion fx filters and audiomanglers that we have on iOS!

Apesoft first captured my attention with their first iOS app “iDensity”, a granular audio scrubber par excellence..I spent many hours in awe of that app and was smitten with the fact that I could engage most intimately with the waveform:)

Based in Italy, Alessandro spends his days creating what can only be termed “Avant Garde software”, much of this we see, he is porting over to iOS.

He has released quite a few apps now, Stria, Apefilter and his port of the legendary synth EMS VSC3 (iVSC3). The latter likely being his most popular app to date.

Sparke is in essence an “advanced spectral hybridiser” according to the AppStore description. What that means is that there is a source and a target and they blend or morph.

You can grab the source from built in mic, external midi or from an audiobus input such as a synth or a drum app. That “input” then feeds into Sparkle and then blends with the target sound.

Things get really interesting then..the source will take on some of the characteristics of the target sound in a “cross synthesis” kind of way, and then both can be tweaked from inside and outside of Sparkle.

Likely for most users, this will be a very unique fx channel via IAA or AB. I just tried it a minute ago and was instantly stunned by this unusual technique.

There is quite a lot of automation and adjustment to be done with this app, to craft many many, perhaps unlimited ways of serious mashing up an input, but as this is an experimental app, I suggest you go grab it and get on with it!

Apesoft is a unique developer who is highly committed to his apps and audience. If you want a unique approach to processing and altering audio then his apps are certainly for you!

Happy mangling:)

More Ape madness can be found here:

densitygs.com

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A FEW WORDS ABOUT RETRONYMS AUDIO COPY APP UPDATE

Those that know me understand I’m an old school veteran of iOS music. Few active today were around when the original “audio copy and paste” or ACP by Sonoma Wire Works overnight changed how we made music on iOS.

For the most part, ACP is still more useful for my “sequenced” projects than any new school app routing method. Of course ill route if I need to add extra fx to synths and such in an ambient session..and I’m not disputing the validity and excellence of routing apps as and when needed.

But it’s not the last word, or the standard for making music on iOS.

A few hundred people who are fanboys of a certain routing app cannot dictate to the many thousands that use iOS music apps exclusively for their productions.

There are now many kinds of users, and many different kinds of workflows too, and ACP is still very much in demand.

iOS 7 broke the original Sonoma ACP and Retronyms took it upon themselves to fix the issue by creating ACP2. A new app was even dedicated to it, a free app..

Some users reported things such as battery drainage even while the app was running in the background and dissed Retronyms for many reasons. Highly likely they were upset because to this day, these developers refuse to add Audiobus to their apps.

That’s up to them, they have their own Tabletop integration and feel interapp audio is more stable and less imposing, and they are not alone in that view.

I installed the free Audiocopy app yesterday as it was updated with a loop/ one shot store and I wanted to check out the quality as I’m a sound designer myself.

I launched the app and realised I had to finish cooking something, so I left my device on with the Audiocopy app launched.

Returned about an hour later and less than 10 percent of my battery was drained..

So I don’t know if that issue existed at all or wether it has been fixed. I’m using an iPad mini retina and it was left online, with Audiocopy running AND quite a few music apps going on in the background.

Anyway, I decided to check out the sound packs and was immediately impressed with the way they are presented.

For signing up, you get a free techno pack and you can then listen to the demo tracks of each sound pack, or listen to some one shots and loops individually. Important to note that you can actually change the bpm of the loops to see what they sound like at different speeds.

Nice touch, but it gets better..

Loopmasters are the company behind these packs and top artists such as Phaeleh and Chris Octane are providing some great loops and one shot samples here!

I rarely use loops these days but have a fondness for them as that’s what I started with back in my desktop days. Piecing together loops on Sony Acid pro. And I do see a place for them in the iOS arena.

Loops can be used as fills or extra layers.. They can also be used to create complete tracks if one has an original approach and gets experimental with them.

A lot of iOS artists would do well to use some of these loops because at present, the real underground dance music has not yet shown its face in the iOS music community as yet.

So, some of these sounds will benefit new and seasoned iOS artists and its a very good initiative by Retronyms and loop masters!

They are a bit pricey at £6.99 but you get a lot in each pack- between 1-1.5gb actually!

I’ve a mind to get the Phaeleh sound pack as it sounds very very good. Lots of deep atmospheres and garage beats, the latter are extremely hard to craft actually.

As far as the other features of the Audiocopy app are concerned, I have not had the time yet to check them out, but I will.

The iOS music app scene goes from strength to strength and developers really are providing truly pro tools of all kinds to make a complete track from start to finish..

Speaking of the “finish” , I’m realky impressed with one app “Audio Mastering”. Such a powerful tool..

You can get the Audiocopy app for free at the AppStore, you know what to do:)

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MITO SYNTH-MY APP OF THE YEAR 2014

Long time iOS developers Wooji Juice surprised me the other day with an email saying “Happy Xmas” and a promo copy of their Mito Synth.

As I’m still playing catchup with the latest apps and getting to know my iPad mini retina, I’ve not had a chance until now to check Mito Synth out.

Veterans of the iOS music scene know full well that Wooji are quality developers, having given us such great apps like Hokusai and Grain Science.

Wooji take their time developing their apps and a great amount of care is taken to ensure they are ideally suited for iOS devices.

There are now so many synths for iOS and a large portion of them are kind of claustrophobic and unintuitive..however, true to form, Wooji have succeeded in delivering a unique looking and sounding synth.

My focus these days as a producer is mostly ambient and atmospheric based music, with and without beats. As such , I need synths that are able to create deep, luscious, multilayered sounds without me getting a headache sculpting patches.

I never use presets, I like to craft from scratch using the init..and to be honest, most iOS synths will get in my way, thus me having to resort to using more fx than usual to take my patches to the depth level needed.

Not Mito though, this app has a very intense yet easy to use sound engine with very intuitive settings and a brilliant automative system.

The 4 XY pads can really assist in transforming “sound in motion ” and are a joy to assign parameters and movements to. Again, most iOS synths will get you lost in translation with that!

Like Wooji say themselves in the AppStore description -“Synthesis without spaghetti “, which echoes my earlier statement about these developers knowing how to tailor tools correctly for the iOS platform.

Mito really is designed very well, and sounds even better.

You can later many many sounds together and mix them into one sublime patch..I could go on, but most will have already read gargantuan amounts of so called tutorials and nerdy techy reviews as this app has been around since June this year.

But if you did actually miss out on this app due to the sheer deluge of synths and beatboxes, fx apps that come out every month and chose another, then you have truly missed out on a very sublime and unique tool.

Mito does bring an original and refreshing approach to the iOS music app world and as is deep as any other synth out there.

I have been using this app less than a day and already have 12 self made presets that in my opinion, far excel any others I’ve made on other synths.

Mito will certainly bring more depth and character to my soundscapes and is really a joy to use. Within second of launching an init patch, I can intuitively start designing unique sounds and shape them with ease. Yet these new sounds I make, actually feel like those that take hours to process..

Go check out the many YouTube videos of this app, go on! Treat yourself or a friend to it for Xmas…I assure you that it’s a must buy..

I was very impressed with Grain Science and gave it my “app of the year” slot back in December 2011, so likely Canis wants me to do it again!

Well, of course I was going to do that again and I didn’t take much convincing either:)

For sure we have seen some fantastic apps this year and will continue to see more next year, but hands down for me- as far as design, depth of sound, sheer usability and unique approach- what to speak of usefulness to my own work, I have no choice, indeed I’m duty bound to say:

My app of the year for 2014 is certainly Mito Synth and I wish the developers and you all a merry Xmas indeed:)

Go here for more Wooji, and if you didn’t know, they do some great photo processing apps too:

http://www.wooji-juice.com/

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OSCILAB BY 2BEAT

Oscilab by developers 2beat, is an astonishing “groove box” type app that I’ve had the pleasure to check out today.

Most groove box apps tend to be a little restricted, clumsy with cluttered UI and very limited in scope. However Oscilab brings functionality, good looks and sounds and some visual treats.

It is primarily a real time live tool- think Figure with actual tweakable synths, a visible step sequencer, better fx and the ability to get close up and personal with the waveforms.

You can actually draw the fx live and use the XY pads to get your automation on if you like.

I cannot stress enough how a lot of developers keep repeating the same old apps that get cluttered on devices, bringing stale approaches that would do well to stay far away on antiquated desktops!!

2Beat have clearly had a serious vision to bring the visual element to the iOS music app world, and have done a great job.

Oscilab is almost unprecedented as a serious live tool for electronic artists. It flows very well and you can get some serious grooves going fast.

There is a lot of editing that one can do with this app, the usual ASDR, fx amounts ( non automatable though, but live automations WILL end up on session recording though).

The synths are very good and you have different oscillator types and waveforms to choose from.

I think this app is about an 8/10 so far because it does have a lot going for it, but it does need the ability to load ones own sounds via audio copy and paste into the drum sequencer and even better, into a dedicated sampler. A few more fx types and more filters would be welcome too.

Fx should be automatable and export of set bars could be an attractive addition too.

But Oscilab is definately a straight up techno banger of an app and at the price of a coffee, it’s highly worth it.

The fact that its so visual definitely makes it stand out above other apps of this type!

I look forward to more updates and apps by three developers.

Go here for more, including videos:www.2beat.io

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UPCOMING APP REVIEWS

In the process of reviewing Oscilab and Photophore Synth.

Reviews for both will be up later today..

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