Gig Performer 3 debuts at NAMM 2019, update adds Setlists, Chord Pro & more

Deskew Technologies Gig Performer V3

At this year’s NAMM show, Deskew Technologies will be debuting version 3 of Gig Performer, the VST/VST3/AU live performance plugin host for Windows and Mac. Renowned for its rock-solid stability, low CPU usage, ease of use, and flexibility, Gig Performer 3 adds a bevy of powerful new capabilities, especially to the program’s control features. The […]

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IK Multimedia expands iKlip range with new iKlip 3 series

IK Multimedia iKlip 3 feat

IK Multimedia has expanded its iKlip range of iPhone/iPad and smartphone/tablet mounting products with the iKlip 3 series. This new line-up, which includes the iKlip 3, iKlip 3 Video, and iKlip 3 Deluxe provides secure, flexible support for a wide range of iPad/tablet sizes during live performance, image and video capture, presentations, and more. The […]

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AudioKit Pro’s Digital D1 iPad Synth update comes with 200+ new presets

AudioKit Pro Digital D1

AudioKit Pro has launched version 1.0 of Digital D1, the 64-voice hybrid virtual analog/PCM synthesizer for iPad. The update comes with over 200 new presets in three sound banks and new per-voice filter-key tracking knobs. Recommended if you like classic digital synths like the D-50, JD-990, 01/W, Wavestation, and more. This app does not sample […]

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Fieldscaper Controller von Synth-Project macht handgreiflich, was sonst nur berührt werden kann …

Synth Project FieldscapeSynth Project Fieldscape

Mario Jurisch ist schon länger bekannt für sehr aufwendige Controller-Projekte. Das neueste widmet sich dem iPad und da genauer der Fieldscaper Controller App, um direkt Hand anlegen zu können.

Viele überfordert es, einen halbwegs schönen Controller zu bauen. Außerdem sind nicht alle Apps mit MIDI-Controllern versehen, sodass manchmal eine Unterhaltung der Entwickler stattfinden muss, um das zu implementieren. Oder es ist schon implementiert und man muss einfach nur wissen, welche Controller-Adressen genau was tun.

Mario macht das nicht das erste und auch nicht das zweite Mal, er ist schon seit Jahren bekannt für extrem aufwendige Controller mit schöner Optik bekannt. Und nicht selten sogar mit dem Look von Vintage-Synthesizern, um entsprechende Software damit zu „vercontrollern“.

Apps auch?

Auch eine App war schon dabei, genauer gesagt sogar mehrere. Ob Animoog oder EMS VCS3, es sieht immer gut aus und hat sehr bald den „Will ich haben“-Faktor. Die meisten der Controller sind Einzelstücke und daher auch „nicht billig“, sondern liegen eher so im Bereich Selbstkostenpreis plus Entlohnung, weshalb man keine simple Preisliste an all die vielen Controller kleben sollte.

Fieldscraper Controller

Fieldscraper Controller

iPad steuern

Mit solide Tastern und „Moog“-Drehpotis zur Steuerung des Fieldscaper-Synthesizers mit Sampling bedient man beim Fieldscaper Controller das iPad. Und besonders, wenn man die „Glasplatte“ auf der Bühne benutzt, ist man um so eine haptische Eingabe sehr dankbar. Auf dem Display findet man blind sicher nichts, denn nur durch das „Nicht-Hingucken“ wird es ein sinnvolles Live-Instrument.

Mehr Information

Mystical music for midwinter, with SO of Tokyo’s Labyrinth, more

The Northern Hemisphere’s darkest days make a good scene for music, whatever your spiritual/religious persuasion. So here we have some gorgeous sounds in this holiday week.

First, this mix sets the mood for your end of December about as well as anything could, I think:

I will write about the ongoing Dimension Series of mixes shortly – it was an honor to make the first episode of that myself, and ever since Oscar Gonzales and Static Discos have delivered a steady flow of some of my favorite musical inspirations of the year, with mix after mix from delightful friends.

This particular mix is the work of Satoshi Aoyagi, aka SO, Tokyo DJ and tastemaker of The Labyrinth.

Electronic music has this connection to the club, but that space can so easily become claustrophobic – literally, as well as aesthetically. It can be limiting, and the music can sound trapped. So it’s wonderful that Satoshi takes us outside of that trap, and rewires techno from industrial cliche to a deep trip into the woods. In his words:

After traveling some music styles, I found some good point in between Techno and House this year.

I had an inspiration from nature for this DJ mix when I was driving in the deep forest. At the time of sunset, it was cloudy and there was a lot of mist that day, which was so mystic, but a few kilometers later… the sky had got slightly clearer and in the end, I could see it full of stars, it was a beautiful moment.

Since I prefer to play outside more than a club, this kind of experience always gives me an inspiration to think about what I play. Usually, I play more melodic stuff but this mix is showing the dark, hard side of the point I found and tried to make one big smooth flow from beginning to the end. In the beginning, I started from atmospheric Dub-Techno and slowly changed to straight clear techno to the later half and got more energy.

I think that this piece could translate the image I had that day through the music. I hope you can enjoy the journey.

I also like what Static Discos’ Oscar has to say about this mix:

So gave us a special christmas labyrinth mix. i think that this one is really beautiful and profound in some way and the kind of recording you want to save and listen to years down the road… Jeez! the last track is soooo epic…

well, i’m really not sure if i can fully convey in mere words how powerful what the labyrinth means for many of us, but without a doubt, it’s a place where nature, sonics, people and artists come together to create something genuinely wonderful. so not much more to add… that’s it. a merry christmas to you all
big thanks to Satoshi Aoyagi for taking the time to produce this beautiful mix. also i just want to thank Russell, Yasuyo, and all the rest of the crew that created labyrinth. keep up the good work.

this mix is dedicated to my dearest friends Daniel, Mike, Joshua, Abby and Li: ¡Gracias por su amistad, amigxs! Also to my pals Hugo, David, Joy, Jenus and Javier.
Have a lovely time in the company of your beloved ones.

You can download the mix and listen offline:

http://staticdiscos.com/dimension/so/

Traveling from Japan to the United States…

Chris Stack of ExperimentalSynth.com has always connected his love of synthesizers to deep-rooted musicianship on those instruments with both keys and strings. (Of course it’s a myth that synth love and instrumental love need to be separate.) So I really quite enjoyed this medley he’s made for his family – perfect if you’re resting off big Christmas dinners or holiday drinks with friends or whatever:

More on the pagan side of things, Chris and the local synth nerds of Asheville North Carolina played this far-out Solstice Jam to “send signals to the moon” – animistic space scientists, go…

Far out…

“That’s Geary Yelton’s hand on the iPad at the beginning,” Chris tells us, and “there was a Haken ContinuuMini just off camera.”

The black-and-white piano keys, alongside the continuous axis of the Continuum:

Photo (CC-BY-SA) LastHuckleBerry / “Dreamy Textures.”

Previously, in our December music listening lineup:

Ethereal, enchanting Winter Solstice drone album, made in VCV Rack

Download a free two-hour Panorama Bar mix from nd_baumecker

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NanoStudio 2 music production app for iPad now available

NanoStudio 2 Song Editor

Blip Interactive has launched NanoStudio 2, an update to the powerful music production environment for iPad. NanoStudio 2 adheres to the same design principles as its predecessor, but has been completely rewritten for a new generation of mobile music makers. With six years of development behind it, NanoStudio 2 builds upon the same design principles […]

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Download X Drummer from Positive Grid for FREE this weekend only!

Positive Grid X Drummer FREE

Positive Grid has announced it is giving away X Drummer, its artificial intelligence drum app for iPad. X Drummer turns any iPad into an easy-to-use, hassle-free drum track building machine. With cutting-edge AI technology, X Drummer quickly learns any song and then automatically finds the grooves and drum sounds that match the user’s playing style […]

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AmpliTube iOS 4.7 adds new gear models from Seymour Duncan, Morley, Carvin, Jet City, Dr. Z, and more!

IK Multimedia AmpliTube iOS update

IK Multimedia has announced version 4.7 of AmpliTube iOS, adding new branded amp and stompbox models for the iPhone and iPad version of its guitar & bass tone studio. IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube and AmpliTube CS apps for iPhone and iPad now offer ten new officially licensed models that are available for in-app purchase. Users of […]

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Sugar Bytes releases Aparillo FM synthesizer for iPad

Sugar Bytes Aparillo iPad

Sugar Bytes has announced the release of the iPad version of its Aparillo synthesizer instrument. Aparillo is an advanced 16 voice FM synth tailored for complex sound structures, majestic motions, moving and evolving soundscapes and atmospheres that are perfect for film, TV or games. Aparillo is an advanced 16-voice FM synthesizer, tailored for majestic sonic […]

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The new iPad Pro has a USB-C port – so what can it do, exactly?

The iPad finally gets a dedicated port for connectivity, as you’d find on a “desktop” computer – and it’s loaded with potential uses, from power to music gear. Let’s break down exactly what it can do.

“USB-C” is a port type; it refers to the reversible, slim, oval-shaped connector on the newest gadgets. But it doesn’t actually describe what the port can do as far as capabilities. So initially, Apple’s reference to the “USB-C” port on the latest iPad Pro generation was pretty vague.

Since then, press have gotten their hands on hardware and Apple themselves have posted technical documentation. Specifically, they’ve got a story up explaining the port’s powers:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209186

Now, keep in mind the most confusing thing about Apple and USB-C is the two different kinds of ports. There’s a Thunderbolt-3 port, as found on the high-end MacBooks Pro and the Mac mini. It’s got a bolt of lightning indicator on it, and is compatible with audio devices like those from Universal Audio, and high-performance video gadgetry. And then there’s the plain-vanilla USB-C port, which has the standard USB icon on it.

All Thunderbolt 3 ports also double as USB-C ports, just not the other way around. The Thunderbolt 3 one is the faster port.

Also important, USB-C is backwards compatible with older USB formats if you have the right cable.

So here’s what you can do with USB-C. The basic story: do more, with fewer specialized adapters and dongles.

You can charge your iPad. Standard USB-C power devices as well as Apple’s own adapter. Nicely enough, you might even charge faster with a third-party adapter – like one you could share with a laptop that uses USB-C power.

Connect your iPad to a computer. Just as with Lightning-to-USB, you can use USB cables to connect to a USB-C port or older standard USB-A port, for charge and sync.

Connect to displays, projectors, TVs. Here you’ve got a few options, but they all max out at far higher quality than before:

  • USB-C to HDMI. (up to 4K resolution, 60 Hz, with HDMI 2.0 adapter.)
  • USB-C Digital AV Multiport. Apple’s own adapter supports up to 4K resolution, 30Hz. (The iPad display itself is 1080p / 60Hz, video up to 4K, 30Hz.)
  • USB-C displays. Up to 5K, with HR10 high dynamic range support. Some will even charge the iPad Pro in the process.

High end video makes the new iPad Pro look indispensable as a delivery device for many visual applications – including live visuals. It’s not hard to imagine people carrying these to demo high-end graphics with, or even writing custom software using the latest Apple APIs for 3D graphics and using the iPad Pro live.

Connect storage – a lot of it. Fast. USB-C is now becoming the standard for fast hard drives – USB 3.1/3.2. That theoretically allows for up to 2500 MB/s data access, and Apple says the iPad Pro will now work with 1 TB of storage. I’ve asked them for more clarification, but basically, yes, you can plug in big, fast storage and use it with your iPad, not limiting yourself to internal storage capacity. So that’s a revelation for pros, especially when using the iPad as an accessory to process video and photos and field recordings on the go.

Play audio. There’s no minijack audio output (grrr), but what you do get is audio playback to USB-C audio interfaces, docks, and specialized headphones. There’s also a USB-C to 3.m mm headphone jack adapter, but that’s pretty useless because it doesn’t include power passthrough – it’s a step backward from what you had before. Better to use a specialized USB-C adapter, which could also mean getting an analog audio output that’s higher quality than the one previous included internally on the iPad range.

And of course you can use AirPlay or Bluetooth, though it doesn’t appear Apple yet supports higher quality Bluetooth streaming, so wires seem to win for those of us who care about sound.

Oh, also interesting – Apple says they’ve added Dolby Digital Plus support over HDMI, but not Dolby Atmos. That hints a bit at consumer devices that do support Atmos – these are rare so far, but it’ll be interesting to watch, and to see whether Apple and Dolby work together or compete in this space.

Speaking of audio and music, though, here’s the other big one:

Work with USB devices. Apple specifically calls out audio and MIDI tools, presumably because musicians remain a big target Pro audience. What’s great here is, you no longer have the extra Lightning to USB “Camera” adapter required on older iPads, which was expensive and only worked with the iPad, and you should be free of some of the more restrictive electrical power capabilities of those past models.

You could also use a standard external keyboard to type on, or wired Ethernet – the latter great for wired use of applications like Liine’s Lemur.

The important thing here is there’s more bandwidth and more power. (Hardware that draws more power may still require external power – but that’s already true on a computer, too.)

The iPad Pro is at last closer to a computer, which makes it a much more serious tool for soft synths, controller tools, audio production, and more.

Charge other stuff. This is also cool – if you ever relied on a laptop as a mobile battery for phones and other accessories, now you can do that with the USB-C on the iPad Pro, too. So that means iPhones as well as other non-Apple phones. You can even plug one iPad into another iPad Pro.

Thunderbolt – no. Note that what you can’t do is connect Thunderbolt hardware. For that, you still want a laptop or desktop computer.

What about Made for iPhone? Apple’s somewhat infamous “MFI” program, which began as “Made for iPod,” is meant to certify certain hardware as compatible with their products. Presumably, that still exists – it would have to do so for the Lightning port products, but it seems likely certain iPad-specific products will still carry the certification.

That isn’t all bad – there are a lot of dodgy USB-C products out there, so some Apple seal of approval may be welcome. But MFI has hamstrung some real “pro” products. The good news as far as USB-C is, because it’s a standard port, devices made for particular “pro” music and audio and video uses no longer need to go through Apple’s certification just to plug directly into the iPad Pro. (And they don’t have to rely on something like the Camera Connection Kit to act as a bridge.)

Apple did not initially respond to CDM’s request for comment on MFI as it relates to the USB-C port.

More resources

MacStories tests the new fast charging and power adapter.

9to5Mac go into some detail on what works and what doesn’t (largely working from the same information I am, I think, but you get another take):
What can you connect to the new iPad Pro with USB-C?

And yeah, this headline gives it away, but agree totally. Note that Android is offering USB-C across a lot of devices, but that platform lacks some of the support for high-end displays and robust music hardware support that iOS does – meaning it’d be more useful coming from Apple than coming from those Android vendors.

The iPad Pro’s USB-C port is great. It should be on my iPhone, too

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