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Entries in music creation (35)

Audiobus 2 Has Arrived and It Is Fantastic

Launch day

The much anticipated update to Audiobus has been released today and it is very exciting news for the iOS musician community.

We are sure Audiobus needs no introduction to most of you and Version 2 has some great new features as well as a newly designed interface (looking a lot flatter than before).

Audiobus 2's New Features

  • Multi-Routing (In-app purchase for $4.99 / £2.99 and well worth it!) - this introduces parallel pipes for multiple inputs via different processing apps into multiple (or one) outputs - very impressive and from our initial testing it works really well, even on our older iPad 3rd gen.

  • Presets - saveable and shareable (via email, Twitter and Facebook)

  • State-Saving - for compatible apps, no more setting your apps up every time you want to reproduce a sound you crafted before. We are expecting this feature will be more widely supported very quickly

Slight Technical Issue

Just a small issue for Version 1 users with the In-app Purchase for Multi-routing. The Audiobus team are aware of it and have already submitted a fix to Apple, but is awaiting approval.

If you do make the $4.99 / £2.99 purchase you will probably experience crashing of the app (we certainly did), but it is easily fixed. This is from the Audiobus forum post on the issue:

***IMPORTANT FOR EXISTING Version 1 USERS: If you're encountering a crash when purchasing the In-App Purchase, please delete the Audiobus app, reboot your iDevice and then install it freshly again. You won't be charged twice. We're submitting a bug fix right now. ***

Since we followed the above advice we have had no issues at all.

The Future of Music Creation is Bright

With this Audiobus 2 update we think the creative possibilities of the iPad and other iOS devices has been massively expanded and with faster iPad hardware on the horizon we can't wait to see where iPad musicians take this new functionality.

App Store Link: Audiobus Version 2

Video: Building an Orchestra with Music Studio

At the moment we are battening down the hatches here in the UK whilst a massive storm is on it's way in - so we are stuck indoors.  This is a perfect time to get creative with your iPad and try out those projects you've been meaning to have a go at for a long time.

Enter this very impressive video demo from Xewton on how to make a stunning orchestral soundtrack on their Music Studio app for iPad.  There is even a free Lite version you can try out first.

At the moment Music Studio is on sale for 33% off at $9.99 / £6.99 and the in-app instrument packs are also on sale at 50% off, so if you like the Lite version grab the full app now during the holiday period.

Video: James Cobb Shares An Original iPad Made Song

James Cobb created 'Proud', an original track, entirely on his iPad using Apple's brilliant Garageband for iOS. James used Smart Instruments to lay down his track (although he says he plays Guitar and Piano anyway) and recorded the vocals using his iPad's built in mic.

This is the first track James has shared on YouTube but it sounds like he has more in store as he says in his profile:

"All of my music is created on iPad, mainly GarageBand at the moment but I'm excited to use other apps like nanostudio and iKaossilator in my future songs."

Sounds like a good start to us, nice one James:

Is Griffin Making a Move on Alesis with StudioConnect?

As you probably know already, Griffin Technology have announced a range of products at CES, many of them aimed at iOS devices. The iPad gets some special attention in the form of the StudioConnect.

What is it?

The StudioConnect basically incorporates Griffin's MIDI connect (coming soon) and Guitar Connect Pro, both available as separate input devices, into a charging dock with some audio outputs.

StudioConnect Front Sml

StudioConnect compared to the iO Dock

Initially it looks like the StudioConnect is moving in on the iO Dock's territory, and it is, a little bit. But if anything, the StudioConnect is a cut down version and seems aimed more at the consumer level audience rather than Alesis' Pro-musician aspirations with their iO Dock.

Although it doesn't offer the outer case protection of the iO Dock, or quite the same range of in/outs that the Alesis' device does, Griffin's StudioConnect is nearly $50 cheaper on the RRP. The street price will be the key thing of course, because we have seen the iO Dock for only $159.99 on Amazon.

The differences

What's missing on the StudioConnect may be the clincher for the more ambitious musician: XLR inputs, extra unbalanced and balanced ¼" inputs, phantom mic power and USB.

In addition, the iO Dock has video out (although we are not sure how much that is being used) and another ¼" input for a footswitch or controller.

StudioConnect Back Sml

How good the StudioConnect sounds remains to be seen and we will be closely watching the reviews when they come out later this year, but for the more casual musician, or those who don't need all the extra inputs, the StudioConnect's lower price tag could attract a lot of attention.

The StudioConnect is scheduled for release in 'Spring' this year, but until then, here's the specs from Griffin's press release. We have included the iO Dock's specs below so you can make a comparison:

Audio In and Out 

  • Audio In – Complete with its own gain control. Plug in your instrument through a mono 1/4" jack or plug a mixer into StudioConnect’s stereo 3.5mm jack.
  • Audio Out – Left and right line-­‐level RCA plugs. Also a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with its own volume knob helps monitor what's going in and out.

MIDI in and out is equally straightforward: 

  • MIDI In – Connect your MIDI controller through a standard 5-­‐pin DIN MIDI-­‐in port.
  • MIDI Out – A second 5-­‐pin DIN connector accepts a sequencer, sound module or other MIDI gear, allowing your iPad and favorite MIDI apps to act as a MIDI controller.

Alesis iO Dock Specs:

AUDIO INPUTS

  • 2 x XLR-1/4" Balanced TRS
  • Individual gain controls
  • Phantom power, switchable
  • Guitar (high-impedance) switch on Input 2 

INPUT SENSITIVITY

  • Balanced XLR Mic
    • Max -45 dBV
    • Min -3 dBV
  • Balanced 1/4“ TRS Mic/Line
    • Max -27 dBV
    • Min +16 dBV
  • Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Mic/Lin
    • Max -27 dBV
    • Min +16 dBV
  • Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Guitar
    • Max -38 dBV
    • Min +4.5 dBV

AUDIO OUTPUTS

  • 2 x 1/4" Balanced TRS Main
  • 1/4" TRS Headphone
  • Individual level controls

VIDEO OUTPUT

  • RCA Composite (requires compatible apps)

CONTROL I/O

  • MIDI In (DIN)
  • MIDI Out (DIN)
  • USB MIDI
  • 1/4" Footswitch (function assigned by apps)

What do you think? Does Griffin's StudioConnect tempt you? Or are you willing to spend a bit more for Alesis' iO Dock? Let us know in the comments.

'Start the Show' Making of Video

Want to know a bit more about that rock album made entirely on an iPhone we told you about a few days ago?

Stephen Poff, the man behind 'Start the Show' has posted this video showing the apps and equipment in use. Here's a list of them as posted with the video:

Apps/Hardware used: AmpKit, FourTrack, Multitrack DAW, GuitarJack, Pocket Organ, Thumbjam, AC-7 Core Mini. Drums composed in Drumcore by Sonoma Wireworks.

Tune-in Tuesday: More iOS Made Music

Here's this weeks trio of tracks from our trawl around the SoundCloud universe, all made on or with iOS apps and devices.

Unstoppable by janogarcia

This track was arranged and recorded in GarageBand for iPad by Jano García from Spain. We love hearing what people are doing with GarageBand and this slice of brassy Electronica is a great example, we especially like the way it builds up towards the end of the first minute and into the rest of the track.

Bad Fun - 2AM by Bad Fun

Mike from San Jose in California created our second helping of Electronica, this time made entirely with Korg's iMS-20 app, a solid piece Synth Pop.

Randgrid Redux by Jim Straynge

Tagged as 'Industrial Techno' on SoundCloud, this short track by Jim Straynge from Washington, was made with the Randgrid iPad app (which we hadn't heard about before) and JamUp Pro on iPad for the guitar parts. There is something dark about it we like.

We want to hear your sounds

If you have already 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. There are also a whole host of apps that can upload to SoundCloud directly. Finally, if none of that works, just leave us a link in the comments below.

However you get them to us, we can't wait to hear your sounds!

'Just Go' by Vincent Vermeulen

Here's a track we found on YouTube, created by Vincent Vermeulen completely on his iPad with NanoStudio.

It's quite chilled, so take a few minutes out of the pre-Holiday madness, sit back and have a listen:

Falling Stars - Create Fresh Soundtracks

Creating sounds on the iPad is obviously one of our favourite pastimes. It's even more fun when that 'music' creation comes by way of some sort of experimentation or discovery.

When we started experimenting with the free app Falling Stars from Trident (yes, the super-minty chewing gum people!) we found that we could create some interesting and organic soundtracks that had the potential to be quite meditative (and occasionally manically unnerving).

Get creative

In Falling Stars you draw on the iPad's screen with a sort of elastic vine material of differing types that represent different elements of a song, such as various percussion and melody parts.

After drawing these on the screen, the falling stars start to drop onto them, slowly at first, but you can repeatedly tap on each of the five stars at the top of the screen to increase the rate with which the stars fall.

This can create some manic compositions as the rate and attack of the notes being played intensifies with the increased velocity of falling stars.

The random nature of the interactions between the vines as things heat up is what makes this simple app so fascinating to play and experiment with.

Kids and Sharing

Kids love the Falling Stars app too and it can help them to find and play with sound creation in a way they may not have encountered before.

You can share your creations with other users of the app via Facebook, Twitter or email. They need the app installed on their iPhone or iPad, but when they click the link it will open up in Falling Stars and start playing your track.

Here's an example of what the resulting share looks like, but it will only work if you have the app installed on your device, or install it from that page.

Wishlist items

You have to bear in mind that this is a free app, but it would be really useful if there were a way of recording the tracks you make, support for ACP (Audio Copy & Paste), sharing with SoundCloud and background audio compatibility.

As it is though, Falling Stars is still a fun and often fascinating app to play with and for the price, more than worth it.

You can see the app in action in the video below from Trident:

App Store Link: Falling Stars

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.

"Subtract" - Video for Original Track Performed on iPad

We like this short track posted by electronic music artist alfonsemusic on YouTube. If you like it too you can download it free from SoundCloud and you can hear of Alfonse's music on his site.

Alfonse describes how he made the track using two great iPad apps from Korg

All parts were performed using Korg's iElectribe (beat) and iMS20 (synths) for iPad and each take was videoed as it was played. The parts were then mixed in Logic, adding some side-chain compression and overall mastering goodness.

Thanks for sharing this track Alfonse!