Entries in iOS (21)

iRig Mix for iOS Opens Up a World of Portable Audio

IK Multimedia are throwing their considerable weight firmly behind the iOS platform with their latest round of product announcements ahead of this year's NAMM show, starting next week.

The first of these we wanted to tell you about is the iRig Mix. Here's the trailer video which got our heads in a spin with the sheer potential of this device for the mobile musician.

Be sure to watch through to the end to see the multitude of ways iRig Mix can be used.

Check out the iRig Mix page for more demo videos of the device in action and details.

Needless to say, we are very excited at the prospect of this new device, what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

'Start the Show' - An Entire Rock Album made on iOS

Ignoring for a moment that this album was created on an iPhone (3GS no less!), not iPad, we are really impressed by the production values of this new album from rock band One Like Son (Facebook link), even more so since it was recorded entirely on iOS.

We've never managed to get anything close to commercial sounding results in our brief attempts at music making. 

We realised we have heard a lot of electronic music created on iOS, but not really any full on rock tracks, which is surprising given the plentiful supply of guitar and bass effects emulators out there on the App Store.

One Like Son are inviting everyone to listen to the whole album when it is released next Tuesday 17th January on their Bandcamp page. If you go there now you can here two of the tracks from their album already, or pre-order the whole album for just $7.

Here's a teaser trailer the band have posted to YouTube, which is a bit of a masterpiece in-itself.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and especially if you decide to buy the album.

Tune-in Tuesday - New iOS Made Music Picks

Here's this weeks trio of tracks from the creative bunch over at SoundCloud. We are kicking off with:

'Balls - the game' by Sloman

A 2-for-1 deal from Slomen in Norway. The first part was made with the iMS-20 app from the lovely people at Korg and has some great riffs and stereo pans (try listening with headphones).

The second part was made with PixiTracker (an app we keep coming back to for experimentation) and is more of a retro arcade track.

'Big V In The Sky' by Tonwelle

Totally improvised in the wonderful Animoog app, this mesmerising spacey sounding piece by Tonwelle from Bonn in Germany is one of our big favourites this week, time to chill out for a bit.

'Bright Among the Faded (Light the Way)' by Christian Pratt

When we heard this track by Christian from Ottawa in Canada we were blown away by the audio quality and songwriting. The vocals are excellent and rich with a sparse but superbly produced musical arrangement. Most of this was recorded on an iPhone! It is one of the best iOS productions we've heard.

We want to hear your picks and productions

If you have joined the SoundCloud community you can submit your tracks to our iPad Creative group, from a computer by clicking on the 'Send us your sounds' link on the right of the screen, or on the SoundCloud group page you can click on the 'Share a Track' button.

If you have found an iOS (preferably iPad) created track on SoundCloud you think we should know about, leave a link in the comments below and let us know why we should check it out (fine to do this if it is your track too).

Video: Breakout for iOS Teaser

If you spent many hours of your youth bashing a load of multi-coloured bricks with a ball in Breakout or additionally shooting them with lasers in one of its more notable clones like Arkanoid, then you might enjoy this new one from Atari.

The teaser trailer below shows the iPad version, but we're a bit puzzled as to why they haven't used the whole width of the iPad's screen. It looks a little cramped to us. Perhaps the gameplay benefits from a smaller area to swipe across?

As long as it is not overpriced we'll probably be downloading Breakout for iOS when it's released anyway for pure nostalgia. What do you think?

New iOS Music - Plus Send Us Yours

Now that we can embed iOS playable tunes from the prolific bunch of creatives over at SoundCloud (a bit like YouTube for audio), we thought we would try and share a few of the iPad-made tracks we come across over there, but there's more.

New iPad Creative SoundCloud Group

We are watching new additions to the various iPad and iOS groups on SoundCloud to see what musicians are creating with their devices but we have also created our own iPad Creative group.

Now you can send us your tracks directly at any time (from a computer) using the SoundCloud 'Send us your sounds' link under the Social section on the right hand side of this page -->

A Few Discoveries

We are really looking forward to hearing what sounds you create on your iPad and featuring them here for everyone to listen to. In the meantime, here are a couple of tracks we enjoyed listening to this week as we were browsing around SoundCloud: 

'Mizu Ryu' by Keiran Klaassen

This one takes a while to warm up, but give it a minute or so and we think you might like where it goes. All the synth sounds you hear are made in the awesome Animoog app.

'Chill by Fire' by Li$hus

Made in GarageBand for iPad, this is described as a "A relatively unpolished ditty…", but we still enjoyed it.

'Funny Hearts' by Rumbleheyner

This one made us smile, it sounds like the soundtrack to some sort of manic cartoon. Made on the iPad with Ampkit+, iSequence and StudioTrack.

Over to you

Plenty of iOS apps now have SoundCloud export built-in so it is easy to share your audio creations with the world.

If you're on SoundCloud already please join our group and if you have anything to share post your sounds.

SoundCloud Release HTML5 Widget that works on iPad 

After we complained on Twitter this morning about the hassle we had trying to get a SoundCloud embed working on the iPad (well Safari for iPad really), SoundCloud tweeted us straight back and basically said, "Wait til later today!", and they have delivered.

They have just gone live with the announcement of their new HTML5 Widget, it's now an extra tab on the 'Share' pop-up and it works great. If you are reading this on your iPad, check out the lovely HTML5 widgetyness below (sorry about the tune, I didn't have much to use). 

Expect lots more audio goodness from SoundCloud on your iPad now that this widget is finally live.

One Man iBand (Video)

We mentioned before Neil Johnston (Store Van Music) and his super creative iOS projects when he was working on a music education lesson with Kids and iPads.

His latest venture is another iOS affair, using an iPhone to record the video below, plus iOS apps like GarageBand to record and even play the theme tune for new game Tiny Invaders, which looks like a lot of fun.

If you really like the tune you can download the track as an iTunes Ringtone for $0.99 (69p). Check it out:

iRig MIDI & SampleTank for iOS: Hands-on Review

Ok, let's get straight to the point: If you don't already have a MIDI input device for your iPad/iPhone, if you want one and can afford it, go and order the iRig MIDI right now!

We can't think of any major reason why you wouldn't. But if you want to know a bit more about iRig MIDI, why we think you need it and IK Multimedia's new SampleTank for iOS software, be sure to watch the video below and then read on for the inside scoop...


iRig MIDI Hardware

Setting up and using iRig MIDI really is as simple as the video above makes out!

In the box, as well as the iRig MIDI, you get:

  • 2 x 5.2' standard MIDI cables - DIN to 1/8" jacks
  • 1 x very short USB to Micro USB charging cable
  • Quick Start guide

The iRig MIDI has 3 MIDI ports: In, Out and Thru with two Red LEDs which reasurringly light up to indicate throughput in and out.

Setup is very straight forward. We had no trouble at all using our M-Audio Oxygen 8 test keyboard controller with any of the CoreMIDI compatible apps we had installed on our iPad.

We tested the iRig MIDI with a fairly simple setup but the Thru port also allows some more complex setups and a few alternative use cases are detailed on IK's site.

Little Shorty

The only real problem we had was the ridiculously short USB charging cable. This cable connects your standard iPad/iPhone charger to the iRig MIDI and charges your iOS Device while in use, which is handy and very useful.

But because the cable is so short we had to leave the iPad on the floor to be close enough to the charger and this meant we couldn't control the apps or use the touchscreen as it was out of reach.

In the end we used a 4-gang extension cable and had this sat on the desk, which took up precious work space and got in the way a bit, but it's not the end of the world and the extra sockets were handy.

Update: We heard from IK Multimedia after posting this review and apparently they wanted to include a longer cable, but doing so would not meet Apple's power rating requirements to charge the iPad and so they had to go with a cable of this length to get approval. Still, as they pointed out, at least you do have the option of charging the iPad with iRig MIDI and they supply the cable in the box.

Flawless Operation

This issue aside though, the iRig MIDI worked flawlessly with our MIDI Keyboard and apps like GarageBand, Addictive Synth, Animoog and NLog Pro, all recognising the Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels without any further setup (as you would expect with Core MIDI) and there are over 100 apps that are compatible with iRig MIDI listed on IK Multimedia's site.

The iRig MIDI is highly recommended by iPad Creative. For us, it certainly lives up to the promise. Go and get one.


SampleTank for iOS by IK Multimedia

If you want to start using multiple MIDI Channels or layering with your iRig MIDI, then you will probably need to use IK Multimedia's own SampleTank app, which comes in a Free version (available now from the app store) with a limited sample set initially.


In-app purchases can be made for different sample packs as you need them. The range of options for upgrades and add-ins is a bit complex to be honest, but it does give you the chance to add what you want if not everything suits your musical or playing styles.

The best value seems to be the upgrade to SampleTank for $9.99 (£6.99). Upgrading to the whole lot will set you back around £30 ($39.99) though, making it a more considered purchase for many of us.

Professional Sounds

All the samples are taken from IK's well respected desktop version of SampleTank which has been used in many professional and commercial projects.

The app has been designed for live use and its design allows you to switch between one of the four instrument banks, play over riff loops and/or presets using a midi controller and the onscreen keyboard simultaneously. 

The samples sound really good for the most part, just take a few minutes and give them a listen in the video demo below.

The main features of SampleTank for iOS are:

  • 4-part multi-timbral live sound module
  • Over 900 MB on-board sound library with over 400 instruments in 16 categories
  • Huge selection of melodic and rhythmic patterns for accompaniment or groove creation
  • Instruments are processed using 20 different insert FX with up to 4 simultaneous inserts per part
  • Master reverb effect with individual sends

The full set of samples takes the app up to just under 1GB, which meant a bit of app juggling on our 16GB iPad. This gives you a great range of sounds with a nice batch of Presets to get you started. The presets cover a good selection of styles from Pop through Reggae to Rock and a few Thrashy ones. There are also 3 pages of empty Presets for you to save your own customised versions. 

We were especially impressed by the quality of the samples in the Woodwind sections such as the Sax samples and also the Piano and Keyboards sounded great.

A Few Issues

As impressed as we were with the sounds in SampleTank for iOS, we thought we should mention the two issues we had: 

  1. We know the app was designed with live performance in mind, but we really missed a recording function. (Update: IK Multimedia have said that a recording feature is on the wish-list but there is no timescale as yet)
  2. The app is currently not Universal, so on the iPad we have to use it in 2x mode. It isn't the ugliest app at 2x we've seen on the iPad, but the text and keys do look pretty fuzzy and the lack of clarity gets annoying after a while, especially for those of us that rarely use iPhone apps on the iPad precisely because of this. But, an iPad version is on the way according to IK and hopefully it won't be long. (Update: IK Multimedia have confirmed to us an iPad version "is on  the way and it WILL be Universal", plus it will be a Free upgrade for those who have already paid for SampleTank for iOS)

These issues are not deal breakers, and we know that both of them can/will be addressed in future updates.

Final Thoughts

Because SampleTank for iOS is initially a free download and includes a selection of IK Multimedia's professional sound samples we would definitely recommend you download the app and have a look.

Because of the onscreen keyboard you don't need to have an external controller, so SampleTank for iOS stands alone.

Combined with iRig MIDI and an external controller though we think IK Multimedia have provided live performers with a fantastic way to incorporate their iPad and favourite Core MIDI compatible app into their setup.

iRig Midi Promises New Kinds of iOS Awesomeness

IK Multimedia are at it again, throwing their considerable weight behind the iOS device platform as a viable tool for Musicians and Music Producers.

iRig Midi looks awesome, just watch the video below! More soon...

Sporting iPad Art by David Kyte

David Kyte is a very talented artist, mainly painting sports cars in both 'model' and action poses. He is also a fine iPad and digital artist, having posted a good number of images to the iPad Creative Flickr group. We found this video portfolio from David on YouTube and thought we would let you know about it here.

We like David's work a lot and hope you do to, enjoy the video:

You can see more of David's iPad art (and buy prints) on his website, on his YouTube channel and see more iPad paintings in his iOS Flickr set.