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Entries in Retronyms (6)

Tune-in Tuesday: This Week's iOS Made Music

Creating music on an iPad is one of the most enjoyable things we (try to) do and it is a real joy for us to hear what other people are making on their iPad.

If you don't know already, SoundCloud is a place where you can upload and share your sounds, a bit like YouTube for audio really.

We have a group set up on SoundCloud where you can submit your tracks or you can send us a message on SoundCloud with a link to your track if you prefer.

On to this week's finds then:

Nisalt by Rednaj

A gentle ambient track to start things of this time by Rednaj (a.k.a. David Jander from Austin in the US). Rednaj has shared several iOS made tracks on his SoundCloud account, but we chose this one as it was his first track created entirely on the iPad. He used Studio.HD, Thumbjam, MoDrum, BassLine and DrumTrack HD

Pinus Strobus by tsouzer

This track by Thomas Souzer of Butler, US, was made with Retronyms TableTop app. We picked it because it has a great groove and a slightly edgy feel that we liked.

Meltdown by Tobias Miller

A driving track with shades of Daft Punk mixed in there somewhere we really enjoyed listening to this one by Tobias Miller from Joplin, US. He made this track in Korg's iMS-20 on the iPad, we are loving the sounds we are hearing around SoundCloud from this app.

Be sure to listen through to the end though as it changes up a little in the last minute, we wish there was a bit more of this actually. Nice one Tobias.

Over to you

Would you like to see your track featured here? We can't promise to include every track we get here, but we do listen to everything we are sent or that is submitted to our SoundCloud group, so please send us your sounds. We look forward to hearing from you!

Tune-in Tuesday: iOS Made Music Picks

After taking last week off over the holidays we are picking up our regular series again this week, highlighting iOS created music tracks found on SoundCloud. This week we have got quite a mixture of tracks and we are kicking things off with:

Fluid by The Plastic Band

We are absolutely loving the Gorillaz-esque feel of this track from Italy's The Plastic Band, described as a "Virtual Tabletop Band" in their SoundCloud profile. Whoever the person/persons is/are behind The Plastic Band track they have done a great job with Retronyms' Tabletop app and the track is very well produced, as are all of their tracks. Impressive stuff and now one of our favourite SoundClouders.

2012 by Landero

This track, created by Julian Neumann from Mexico, with Korg's iMS-20 app, has a fast running almost U2, sound to it. We like it a lot.

Hope (For The Lost Boy) by TheOxfordAmbientCollectiv

David Smith from Oxford here in England, created this track in GarageBand for iPad. Recorded as a live improvisation using the on-screen Piano in GarageBand, based on his reflective thoughts of that moment, David has created a loose but emotional bare bones track. Check it out:

We want to hear from you

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.

We look forward to hearing your stuff.

Retronyms Tabletop: Gridlok Tutorial Video (and Free Samples)

Got Retronyms Tabletop app on your iPad and want to know more about using custom samples in the Gridlok module? So do we!

Helping us out is Retronyms themselves who have published the video below, showing how to use the free samples they are giving away to celebrate 1000 Likes on Facebook. Click that link to download your free samples and follow along:

Act Now and get Retronyms' Amazing Tabletop App at a Bargain Price

From the video above you can see that Retronyms' new iPad app Tabletop does something pretty special. As soon as we purchased this app and started playing around with the demo sessions we were really blown away and our minds are now racing with the potential this app offers musicians.

Modular Power

Created exclusively for the iPad, the modular device approach and simple interface design belie the power that this app has in store for musicians, both pro and amateur. We think it will become especially useful when linked up to other iPads, extending the workspace or syncing with apps like iElectribe or similar, especially for live performances.

Great Introductory Pricing

The app is currently enjoying some keen pricing under Retronyms' launch promotion, you can get the app with 9 of the 15 modular devices included for only $4.99 in the App Store. These devices together would normally cost you $50, so it is great value.

In addition, most of the extra modules are currently on sale at $0.99 to celebrate the launch (usually $2.99) as in-app purchases. Act quickly to get your discounted copy of Tabletop!

Here is what the pros are saying about it:

Huge Potential

We have only just begun to play around with Tabletop and, although we are far from professional musicians, even we know this could be huge. As more people experiment with Tabletop and start creating songs or live performance recordings with it we think it is going to be one of the more significant app developments in the iPad music scene.

The video below illustrates just one way Tabletop can be used, in this case for creating samples from the Turntable using the recorder and incorporating them into a live mix. It is nearly 7 minutes long but stick with it as the end result is really interesting. Enjoy, and get experimenting with Tabletop.

Have you purchased Tabletop? What do you think of it? Sound off in the comments below.

Synth. One of our favourite apps gets a solid update

Synth from Retronyms is a superb synthesiser app for the iPad. It's one of the very first apps that we show to iPad objectors - just try replicating that on your £199 netbook! Our only grumble is that Synth is missing a few key features that make it an essential purchase. A recent update has gone someway towards bridging the gap between fun and essential.

Version 2 new offers a Pitch-Bend wheel, and an in-app purchased upgrade path that provides much deeper control over the sounds of the instruments, in fact you can pretty much create your own instruments from scratch.

We'd like to see Retronyms add basic recording features before we wholeheartedly recommend the in-app upgraded version, but it's a great little app even in its current incarnation.

Making music with the iPad - Keyboards

One of the key creative areas taking the iPad app space by storm is music creation. We are not talking full blown songs written on the iPad necessarily, but that's not out of the question. In the few weeks since the iPad’s US launch we have seen a proliferation of synthesisers, piano simulators, DJ apps, stringed instrument emulators, drum kits, an Accordion app and even a Cat-voiced Piano (we kid you not).

Interestingly, Music Creation now has its own link on the US iTunes Store, so we are not the only ones who think this area of iPad app development is noteworthy. So with that, we present the first in an ongoing series of key app roundups for music creation on the iPad, first, we are looking at Keyboard/Synth apps.

 

Pianist Pro

We have already posted about Pianist Pro, we thought it looked great and we were really impressed with the app’s features, especially with the built-in drum machine and Appregiator, but in the last week MooCowMusic have added MIDI export capabilities to Pianist Pro (so your musical creations can be sent to Garageband for example and enhanced and built upon on your desktop machine), data file export to Mac or PC, and fixed a few issues, so it is worth another look, or get the upgrade for free if you already have the app.

Check out the video below for more on Pianist Pro’s features, we think it is a viable alternative for those without an external keyboard, or who want to experiment and get their ideas down, even if you are not going to use it for actual recording of performances in your DAW.

 

 

Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD

If you don’t want, or need, all the features of Pianist Pro, you could try out the more straightforward Virtuoso Piano Free 2 HD, made for the iPhone originally, and now optimised for the iPad in this version, this free app is fine for playing around with ideas, practicing or learning the notes on the keyboard, or for children to pick up and play with straight away. This link will take you to the app store where you can download the free app now. 

 

Magic Piano

You have probably heard of Magic Piano by Smule made specifically for the iPad, from the creators of innovative iPhone apps such as Ocarina and Leaf Trombone. We mentioned it yesterday and there are lots of videos on YouTube with people playing a variety of songs in the app. Magic Piano takes a slightly different approach to music making on the iPad.

What blew us away is the creativity and imagination that has gone into the app. There are different ways to play the tunes including a circular or spiral keyboard, or users can play along with preloaded songs by tapping along with ‘beams of light’, a little bit like TapTap, but more elegant.

There are different difficulty modes so that, even with no musical ability, you can start tapping away on the screen and create a pleasing sound with the ‘No Fail’ mode. We think this is brilliant, a way for anyone to create ‘music’ on the iPad, have fun, and impress their friends, without the technical barriers of making a reasonable sound that could be presented by a straight forward keyboard simulator.

If you are a bit of a keyboard wizard already, you can challenge yourself with the ‘Game Mode’, where you have to tap the screen in the correct place, or your song sounds out of tune.

But the really unique and creative function of the app is the Duet mode. The Magic Piano app can hook you app with another user from anywhere around the world, and you can play a song together in a virtual duet. Or if you want to, you can just browse the globe and listen to other people playing duets.

Whilst it is not a serious music creation app, the fun factor and accessibility for those who are not musically trained, and the capability of the app to provide challenges to the more advanced user, makes this a recommendation from us. Even better, Magic Piano is on offer at the moment for just $0.99 (or 59p). A genuine bargain!

 

Synth

When we were kids we loved that scene in Ferris Beuller when he used the synth to make coughing, sneezing and snoring sounds to fool his (extremely gullible) parents that he was ill in bed.  We even talked about doing this on our iPads before the launch.  Now we can, with our final app in this brief round-up.

Synth by Retronyms (the people that brought us StudioTrack the awesome multi-track recorder for the iPad, amongst others) is a polyphonic synthesizer for the iPad based on a simulation of the traditional midi keyboard.

This sits on top of the sample database from the DopplerPad app that Retronyms made for the iPhone/iPad. There are 40+ instrument sounds supplied, Delay and Distortion knobs to tweak and a Mod wheel for some funky effects whilst playing. Of course, the most exciting thing about this app for us is the Sampler.

When we were younger, these synthesizers cost thousands of pounds and there was no chance we would ever be able to see or touch one, let alone own one, so to have this on the iPhone with DopplerPad and now the iPad with Synth means a great deal of retro fun for us.

At the start of the video demo below, if you listen carefully, you can hear the Sampler in action, and it makes the purchase of this app a given for us.

Whilst not a full blown Synthesizer that a pro might use, for getting the creative juices flowing and exploring sampling of real world sounds, we think this is a brilliant app, and at a price of just $0.99, it can’t hurt to download it now and start playing around with it, even if it is just to renact those Ferris Beuller nostalgia moments.

 

We hope you enjoyed this roundup and find at least one of the apps useful, but if you are using another keyboard app to create music on the iPad let us know in the comments.

In future posts we will be looking at Loop apps, Guitar apps, Drum pads, and others too, so if you have any suggestions for these or any other music creation apps, again let us know in the comments and we will consider using them in our roundups (giving you full credit of course).