Audionomy has released version 1.6 of its DM2, a drum machine synthesizer instrument for iPad. The update includes a new “Drone Machine” mode, turning DM2 into an instant Ambient machine. All 9 tracks play continuously regardless of what the sequencer plays. Switch it on and drive a powerful Dream Machine at the tips of your […]
Jérémy Pinat has released Ton: Drum Machine, a free drum app for iPad. Ton brings a circular step sequencer and an advanced audio engine to your iPad, enabling you to create rich and modulated rhythmic sequences. Its sound-sculpting capabilities are simple yet incredibly deep and will make even the most basic samples sound unique to […]
Igor Vasiliev has released version 1.1 of SynthScaper, a soundscapes synthesizer app for iPad and iPhone. The update brings support for Audiobus 3 and Ableton Link. New features include a one shot sample mode, pitch shifting automation, and a convenient option for packing scenes and samples to a single file for portability. SynthScaper is a […]
VirSyn has launched Bark Filter, a critical band analyzer/filter/compressor app for iOS. The multi band filter in Bark takes the approach to match the reception characteristic of the gate where all sounds must pass through: the human ear. The ear behaves as if it contains a bank of filters, each filter passing frequencies within their […]
Fred Anton Corvest has released version 1.1 of FAC Chorus, a versatile chorus effect emulation designed to simulate the characteristics of the
Over the weekend, PPG mastermind Wolfgang Palm let slip his latest creation: PPG Infinite. In previews for iPad, we see an innovative touch synth full of morphing and wave shaping tools.
There are two videos. The first one … uh … well, mainly involves hearing some sounds and staring into the void of space. (True fact: this is what normally happens inside my brain when I look at my to-do list on a Monday.)
But the second video actually reveals plenty – way more than just a teaser. And even from these screenshots, the “Infinite” name suggests that PPG took basically everything they’ve ever done and built a fresh synth around it.
There’s vocal synthesis (à la their Phonem app and plug-in).
There’s wavetable synthesis, with fingers gliding through representation of waveforms, as per the original PPG Wave synths and PPG’s first app, WaveMapper. (Palm is the inventor of wavetable synthesis.)
There’s also the new functions of their follow-up synth WaveGenerator, with more ways of generating and navigating and shaping waves.
And then it seems there’s more.
If you blinked, you may have missed something, so let’s get some frame-by-frame replay. Infinite sees synth wizard Palm teaming up again with designer Cornel Hecht (who also provides the spacey background music for these videos).
Here, we get a unique-looking synth architecture, one that adds loads of touch-accessible morphing modes for combining sounds, as well as something called the “noiser” – which appears to be a spectrally-shaped noise source.
And at its heart, there’s the functionality that made the first PPG app such a breakthrough on the iPad, the ability to “touch the sound” by scanning and morphing wavetables with 3D and 2D views. That visual seems now greatly expanded as a central user paradigm, and it seems to me that it could be reason to see iPads running this app alongside beloved hardware synths in the studio or onstage.
Of course, the other Palm apps have also now been available as VST/AU plug-in, so I hope we’ll see that for this, too. (No reason to choose, either – you might use your iPad to shape presets, then loads those into the plug-in when it comes time to track and arrange and finish tracks. I need to research whether multi-touch computers on Windows can support touch gestures for plug-ins – not sure on that – but even with a mouse, this looks fun.)
Let’s have a look:
Touch is central to the UI. These morphing options look especially nice and accessible, even if you aren’t ready to delve into every nitpicky detail of the architecture and sound design:
A glimpse of the architecture, including simplified oscillator controls and these morphing and noiser options:
The oscillator interface really appears to shine via touch interaction:
A closer look at those controls:
The presets are suggestive of the combination of two or three of the previous instruments from PPG – and indicate some diversity of possibilities with this one, from vocal-ish presets to percussion to pads, bass, leads, and all that business:
For those so inclined, it appears you can get really deep with mapping by key range and matrix-style modulation:
I love the LFO interface, both for its advanced parameters (for going deep) and clever touch adjustment (for quick play):
Stills don’t do it justice, but as in the other PPG apps, it’s really getting your grubby fingers on the 3D waveform view that looks like fun. Combine that with some new vocal synth options, and … sold.
It’s about time for an exciting new soft synth, especially with Alchemy having disappeared into Logic and most of the headlines covering hardware. And for all the depth and diversity on the iPad, this could be one that stands out on that platform – not least if it’s paired with desktop plug-ins so you don’t disrupt your workflow.
Ready, Wolfgang. Watching for this one.
Stay tuned to CDM for this one, with team coverage by myself and Ashley (Palm Sounds).
The post PPG Infinite’s touch morphing could make it soft synth of the summer appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
BeatMaker 3 is set for release this weekend for the iPad. And it could win over more than just mobile die-hards. Here’s why:
A lot of what makes a DAW a DAW derives from what makes a PC a PC. The particular grab bag of functions for editing and performance is designed around the capabilities and interface of conventional desktop computers and notebooks.
Many, many attempts to redefine what a DAW is have tended to wind up morphing back into the same thing.
Now, forget for a second whether the iPad has really replaced your PC or not. One thing it has done is to finally reboot the discussion around what a workstation is. And some really interesting stuff has happened as a result.
The funny thing is, this can take some time. (Hey, you probably spend months or even years on a piece of music; it makes sense the software would also evolve over longer spans of time than those throwaway venture-funded apps do.) So, Intua was one of the very first developers of any kind of mobile workstation. Its flagship BeatMaker app now is almost as old as apps on the iPhone are.
This weekend, though, is set to be a major landmark in its history and in iPad music making in general. Everyone I’ve talked to has asked me the question: have you seen it?
Set to launch on Saturday with a 7-day US$19.99 intro price, BeatMaker 3 builds on the basic ideas of the previous installments, but it’s something new. It can act as the center of other gear, as a mobile recording tool and MIDI hub or the glue that holds the rest of your studio together. It’s also a high-powered sampler/workstation, one in which each pad can become a different instrument.
It’s sort of, then, the love child of a DAW, an MPC, and all the best mobile apps.
There’s a huge feature set, and that’s worth checking out. But let’s cut to the basic elements of what makes this special – with pictures, natch.
It looks pretty. I was going to say that in a fancier way, but – yeah, this. The redesigned UI makes you want to use this. It looks like a futuristic piece of software, not something stuck in the past. It looks at home on mobile. And that makes it easier to see what you’re doing and get stuff done … and to enjoy the process.
It acts as a hub for all your other stuff. Audio Units V3, Inter App Audio, MIDI, and all that buzzword compliance is important, yes – but also the fact that you get powerful pages for controlling MIDI assignments and modulation and audio mixing brings all those things together.
It does real-time time and pitch stretching and slicing. Frustratingly often you get some of this and not all of this… this does all of this.
It’s a hugely-powerful sampler. This also works with plug-in and inter-app support, so this could be the best way to grab interesting and weird sounds from other apps. From there, it’s really a powerful sampler inside, with all the mapping and modulation you’d expect from a fairly expensive desktop tool.
There’s an 8×8 mode. Hey, this deserves special mention – and is weirdly uncommon. But since it’s software, not hardware, you can switch between the two at will.
You can still arrange stuff. Instruments and audio tracks mean the MPC-style workflow still lets you finish tracks.
It might not be an end-to-end production tool. Okay, this could be weird to say. But the assumption of a DAW was always that you start, work on, and finish a track in one environment. The very nature of a mobile device suggests that doesn’t have to be the case. You might start an idea in a standalone environment, then sample it, then sequence with it, then bring that into a desktop environment. Or you might take a desktop DAW idea you’ve got that needs some new level of focus, and rip it apart onto your iPad. The extensive app integration and file sharing features here, then, become make-or-break.
Intua have been obsessive about giving users everything they want, so odds are if you’re asking about a spec – it’s there. What’s impressive, and what makes me want to try playing with this more this summer, is that you at last get all of that kitchen sink approach in an elegant, attractive, coherent package.
In other words, this could be the killer iPad Pro app. I wasn’t in on the beta like my various colleagues, but I’m keen to get up to speed.
The rest we can see more clearly in pictures:
Interestingly, staking out similar territory but with a very different philosophy is Modstep, which is also a hybrid of many of these but emphasizes steps sequencing and flatter, centralized user interactions. And likewise, the desktop software and hardware that most changes the workflow of how to produce new ideas also focuses on MPC-style, sampling-based work – think Native Instruments Maschine, the software/hardware hybrid new Akai MPCs, or even the reduced feature set you see when working with Ableton Push.
All of this is about focusing on actually creating the sound, and less on the linear, arrangement-focused DAW of the past. It’ll be interesting to see how these categories shake out.
Padbangers (oh my) has a nice hands-on review (h/t Synthtopia, thanks!):
Full features / mark your calendars:
The post This weekend’s BeatMaker 3 could change your mind about the iPad appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
Version 1.3 of the Modstep MIDI sequencer app offers AUv3 improvements, several bugfixes and complete Audiobus 3 support including MIDI and audio.
We’ve come a long way since the early days of apps on iOS, which brought a handful of interesting experimental noisemaker toys and some simple standalone tools. Now, you’ve got powerful DAWs, full-blown synths and effects – basically, the same sort of virtual studio you get on your desktop.
What you tend not to get is the selection of plug-in tools that would complete your desktop arsenal. And that’s too bad, both because it’d help you to finish tracks, and because plug-ins might be really useful in a live situation – even if you aren’t quite set to ditch the desktop/notebook in studio workflows.
Apple introduced Audio Units for iOS, bringing their desktop plug-in architecture to mobile, but developers haven’t been terribly quick to embrace it.
That makes it news that Audio Damage is making a big plug-in play. On Friday, Audio Damage rounded out their offering by adding Dubstation 2 to the list, following up Rough Rider 2 (compressor), Grind Distortion, and Eos 2 (reverb).
You can use these as plug-ins in other software (like Cubasis or Modstep), or fire them up standalone. And note that they’re significantly cheaper on iOS than desktop – $5 for most of these means you’re basically taking off a zero from the end.
Rough Rider is free on both desktop and mobile.
Audio Damage’s Chris Randall tells us he intends to port all your favorites over, instruments and effects alike. Next up: Phosphor, the alphaSyntauri clone.
You can also expect a couple of iOS exclusives.
With apps like AUM, AudioBus, and various live performance tools, iOS badly needs a tempo-synced live looper for live performance – and it seems we’ll get that from Audio Damage. That would be some terrific news for live iOS use, so you can bet we’ll be watching for this one, as looping is essential to how a whole lot of people play, irrespective of genre or instrument.
It’s also worth observing that Audio Damage’s path may be one for the future – modular hardware, desktop software (plug-ins), and mobile (plug-in/standalone) are all parallel pathways for development. That doesn’t mean every tool is in every place; that wouldn’t make much sense. But for something like the Eos reverb, you now see the same algorithms and code reused on all three. (Yes, Eos is Eurorack.)
There’s a lot on iOS to keep up with, of course, and watching the App Store every day is a chore.
If only there were a way to stay on top of the news.
Well, we can keep dreaming. And… you might… want to refresh CDM, too. Like, this week, for instance.
Here’s a look at those lovely interfaces, made with the care we’ve come to expect from Audio Damage:
Kudos to Chris for clever technology adoption, keeping quality high, and staying attuned to musicians’ needs – as well as remaining engaged with that community online.
The post Audio Damage are bringing their plug-ins to iOS – and more appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.
PreSonus has announced it has released Android versions of three free applications that provide wireless control over some of the company’s most