"One of the big reasons I decided to do this painting was to inspire other budding artists to embrace digital art. A friend of mine who is a school teacher explained to me recently that whenever he plays one of my painting videos in class, his students become noticeably more engaged and excited about creating art. The idea that more people are engaging in art because of something that I have created is amazing to me."
Andy Ellis is an Illustrator who loves using Procreate to capture ideas and pre-production sketches on his iPad. Andy recently posted a review of Procreate on his blog telling us why he prefers using it over other apps, which is an interesting read.
The video above is one of Andy’s recent illustration sketches but to see more of his work be sure to visit his portfolio site too.
This one stopped us in our tracks this morning whilst browsing the iPad Creative Flickr Group. Paul Vera-Broadbent's style is futuristic, polygon-based and awesome!
While you're there, be sure to give some consideration to the rest of our super talented group members and feel free to add your own iPad created artwork to the group.
We try and feature new images whenever we can, but it is definitely worth subscribing to the Group's feed.
Well, if you really fancy trying BIAS but haven’t yet splashed out on the app yourself, we have one free copy to give away.
All you have to do is:
2) Leave us a comment below that includes
a) Your favourite feature of BIAS (hint: check out the BIAS homepage)
b) Your email address in the comment form so we can contact you if you win (don’t worry, we are the only ones who see your email, it isn’t made public)
That’s it. You must meet both criteria 2a and 2b above or, in fairness to other entrants, we cannot consider your entry.
We’ll randomly select one of the commenters below after 1900 GMT on the closing date Wednesday 20th November 2013.
Congratulations to our winner Pat! Your email is on the way.
Thank you to everyone who took part, it was great fun seeing your comments and our thanks too to Positive Grid for letting us give away their BIAS app to one of our readers.
It is always fascinating for us to view and examine the creative process and how others use apps like Procreate on their iPads. With that in mind, we enjoyed this video by Danny Glasgow, we hope you do too.
Artist Ryan J. Rhoades (aka @iAmAHero613 on most social networks) offers a couple of useful tips in this short video. For us especially, using taped together boards, as our initial tests hanging a sheet of material have been less than professional to say the least. We hope it helps you too.
“…We threw out convention and focused instead on how to create the most delicious tone in as many flavors as possible. The result is BIAS...” - Calvin Abel, BIAS Product Manager
In our last post we told you about the upcoming release of BIAS and what amazing tone control was promised by the team at Positive Grid.
Well, we were invited to be in on the Beta program for BIAS and Wow! BIAS really does live up to that promise.
BIAS has now been officially released and we think Guitarists are going to love this app, especially those searching for the perfect tone,.
If you care about your guitar tone and want professional results right there on your iPad, you will run out and get BIAS now. Here's why you should:
As the above video demonstrates, BIAS makes your guitar tone infinitely tuneable to the finest degree possible. You have complete control over every part of your tone including:
- tone stacks
- power amps
- panel controls
- mic selection
- mic placement
The great thing is you don’t need to be a sound tech or audiophile to understand this app and dial in your perfect sound. We found it intuitive and easy to drag/tap our way to a sound we were happy with.
You can do things with this app that would take a long time to do or that would cost you a lot of money in the real world. For example, you may not bother to change a whole set of tubes or be able to switch to a different head or cabinet setup to fine-tune your sound, but you can do that in a couple of seconds with BIAS, all whilst constantly monitoring the sound as you make even tiny adjustments.
To get you started, BIAS comes loaded with 36 amp presets (28 guitar, 4 bass and 4 keyboard/vocal), including a lot of the most popular and well loved amps. These sound fantastic as they are, but they are also a perfect launchpad for building your own sound, especially as they are categorised so you have an idea of what to expect. Here’s the categories you get:
- Hi Gain
The quality of these amp models is very impressive. Positive Grid’s USP for us is the warmth that their sound engine produces in comparison to the often harsh, digital, sound of some other iOS amp sims.
The clean amps especially sound beautiful as long as you pare down the input from your guitar, but with our Epi Les Paul (no we can’t afford the real thing) the Metal and Insane amps ripped apart our speakers with the lovely, screaming yet smooth, distortion that you would hope to hear.
It is a bit embarrassing to admit, but there was a massive smile on our face as we heard these amp models for the first time, even excitedly chuckling at how awesome they sounded. BIAS really does sound that good.
It’s not just about the way your unique amp sounds either. You can completely customise the look of your new unique amp setup. You have control over every aspect of your amp’s design whether you want that traditional Marshall rock stack look or a classic Fender Tweed blues vibe, or a mash-up of both, you can do it with BIAS.
You can even change the panel style (behind the controls) and add your own custom image as the bezel for your amp head.
Once you have found that killer tone and designed your amp’s look, you can tell everyone else about it by sharing it with them on Facebook.
This is what it looks like when you share it on Facebook:
When your sound is finalised and ready to go Positive Grid have made it a one-tap operation to send your whole amp (including its unique look) over to JamUp XT (Free) or their Pro version to jam live with.
BIAS is also Audiobus compatible so you can use your unique amp sound in any app that integrates with the fantastic Audiobus platform, including GarageBand which you may already have for free if you have a new iOS device, an essential but still very welcome interaction.
Getting the Sound In
Of course, BIAS is compatible with pretty much any manner of iOS instrument input device, not just Positive Grid’s own JamUp Plug. A full list of the compatible iOS audio interfaces can be found at the bottom of the BIAS webpage.
We had no problem using it with iRig, Apogee Jam, GuitarJack 2 and of course the JamUp Plug. All gave great results with only the difference between the devices themselves affecting the input levels (but that has nothing to do with BIAS).
Recommendation and Win
We could go on, but it will come as no surprise that we are highly recommending BIAS for iPad.
Yes, it is on the expensive side for an iOS app at $19.99, but at the price of one decent tube for your amp BIAS will open up a world of easily achievable tone and we don't think you'll ever regret purchasing it.
Plus, stay tuned over the weekend for your chance to win a free copy of BIAS - more soon.
It is hard to imagine how the crowded Guitar Effects / Amp Simulation field could be improved upon, apart from perhaps the realism and authenticity of the sounds or tone of the amps. Quite a few of the current batch sound very ‘digital'.
Now they are on the verge of releasing BIAS which promises “Tone revolution on an epic scale”. A bold claim indeed!
We hope to be getting our hands on a copy of BIAS very soon and we will be giving it a thorough run through, but in the meantime check out the teaser video above.
Check out the above demo video for new app Green Screen from Do Ink. We think it will be a massive bonus for iPad content creators, especially in the Education field.
We have covered several times already Do Ink's brilliant iPad Animation app widely used by Educators. They released Green Screen a couple of days ago for just $2.99 / £1.99, we think it is going to be a big hit.
We are downloading the app now and will be roping in the iPad Creative kids to test it this weekend. More on that soon!
In the meantime, grab your copy of Green Screen and be sure to share your results with us in the comments.
It isn’t going to satisfy ‘proper’ photographers or HDR proponents we realise, but the latest version of Snapseed (now offered for Free under Google’s ownership) has a new tool in its arsenal, known as HDR Scape.
Now iOS photographers can have a stab at HDR photography whilst editing their photos in one of our favourite iOS Photography apps.
Grey card test
To show just how powerful this new tool is we took out our iPad 3 on a very dull and grey November day here on the South Coast of the UK, and we grabbed one of the dullest photos we could, without giving it too much thought.
Then we brought that photo into Snapseed on the same iPad and ran it through the HDR Scape tool to see what happened, recording it as a little screencast for you at the same time.
Whilst the results are far from great, we think it is pretty amazing what Snapseed was able to pull out of this dull, flat iPad photo and the potential is clear. Check out the video and let us know if you have achieved any results with the HDR Scape tool in Snapseed that you would like to share with us (links to any examples would be nice too).
For a long time we have been extolling the iOS Amp Simulation apps as a viable, more portable, alternative for gigging/recording musicians and we think iRig's BlueBoard takes a big leap closer to that reality (and it also works with your Mac!).
Switching it up (and down)
One of the most essential requirements of any guitarist's pedal board is the ability to switch effects on-the-fly and, to be honest, this was the least practical element of using a touch device in a live situation.
Changing effects just before a solo in a darkened room was a hit-and-miss affair at best, especially when trying to quickly switch from a rhythm to a solo sound.
We haven't been able to try it ourselves yet, but we are hopeful that the BlueBoard, as seen in the video above, will enable us to do this with any MIDI compatible iPad app, including GarageBand, AmpKit, JamUp as well as all of IK's own apps.
Likes and dislikes
We like the small and portable sizing that makes it likely to slip into a cables bag. The adjustable backlit pedals are going to be really useful in a live situation and we are fond of the blue too.
If we were being picky, the pedals themselves look a bit small, especially if you tend to wear clodhopper boots on stage. We would have liked twice as many footswitches really (e.g. one row to switch Banks and another row for the effects switching) but the BlueBoard may have been less portable with 8.
As it is, with some forethought into the patch setup and ordering of the Banks plus the use of one or two external expression pedals, e.g. a Wah, this will suit most guitarists.
Bluetooth 4.0 is supposed to be more efficient but we are not sure how long a set of 4 AAAs are going to last, although they should see you through at least a few gigs if not several more.
What do you think?
Are you a guitarist or other musician looking to use Amp Sims or iPad Instrument apps live? Would you use the iRig BlueBoard in your live or studio performances? Let us know in the comments what you think.
We have a suspicion there's going to be lot's of new toys (hardware and software) for creative iPad owners to play with after tonight's show. Be sure to tune-in.
New iPads are a given, but we are also expecting updated iLife apps, plus some kind of iPad cover which could be a bit special given that Apple alluded to it in the teaser invite.
Apple TV fans will be hoping for a serious update to the Apple TV software and perhaps new hardware. A full blown App Store of its own plus game controller support would open up a brand new market for Apple and please many iOS gamers.
Only a few hours until we find out!
This is just such a great sound! Some really impressive work here, especially from around 4:20. Catch all of Sensadark's work over at SoundCloud.
Further Reading: Tune-in Tuesday
We are just one week away from finding out what Apple will do to persuade current iPad owners to upgrade. Here's a look at what to expect.
iPad mini 2
For iPad mini owners that answer is pretty simple, a Retina display.
Many prefer the more manageable size and weight of the mini, but there's no denying that the full sized iPad has a far superior display. It's not yet clear if it's Apple's intent to quadruple the pixel count of the mini's display, hence making it a Retina display, but we certainly hope it does. Going back to a standard display after spending many months with a high DPI display is quite jarring.
If the new iPad mini gets a Retina display it's mostly certainly going to need to move to the A6X chipset. We don't want a repeat of the iPad 3 problems with its underpowered GPU.
We have already mentioned that we expect the new iPad to include a slightly faster version of its new A7 chipset, but it seems likely that it will also include a fingerprint scanner and a more capable main camera module. The iPad 4 is still a powerhouse, so the move to the A7 chipset may not seem like much of an upgrade, however we would contend that readers of this website may well be the ones that benefit most from just such an upgrade.
There are a whole host of apps that could do with a two times speed increase. In fact any application that handles large quantities of photo, video or audio data will be much more usable running on Apple's new 64-bit chipset. Imagine rendering an iMovie project in full 1080p in less that half realtime, that and much more will be possible with the A7X. Apple is calling the A7 chipset 'desktop class' silicon. It most certainly doesn't belong to the desktop class of 2013, but it's right up there with the best of 2009. Not bad for something with a 10 hour battery life and measuring just a few millimetres thick.
Can Apple improve the quality of the screen without increasing the resolution? Yes, we are expecting a slightly brighter, more vibrant display. No extra pixels though, perhaps they'll make an appearance on larger iPad Pro?
Thinking beyond technical specifications, a slimmer, lighter iPad would be most welcome. A 10% weight decrease would be handy, we think Apple will deliver on that front.
Twin speakers to provide some kind of stereo separation would be nice, but not essential. The same can be said of the camera. The current 5MP camera does a sterling job, but if Apple can upgrade it to match that of the iPhone 5s we certainly won't be complaining.
What would you like to see in the new iPad and iPad mini? Let us know in a comment below.
Rovio just released the first gameplay trailer of it's upcoming kart racer Angry Birds Go!. It looks like a great combination of Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing and Wacky Races, which is no bad thing. It's got the usual power-ups and kart customisations that one would expect from a Mario Kart clone, plus all the great characterisation of the Angry Birds franchise. Look out for Angry Birds Go! on December 11th.
Being the huge Susan Murtaugh fans that we are, we just couldn't resist featuring this fruity creation. There are 11 in the series so far, be sure to check Susan's Flickr stream to feast your eyes on the other faces.
Further Reading: The art of Susan Murtaugh
Further Reading: Olechka
Note: Flickr's video player uses Flash, hence the reason why we didn't embed it here.