Impaktor

Impaktor is an iOS drum app. Very simply you put your device on a table and then hit the table to play drums. When this came out a few weeks ago everyone said it was amazing but since I’m not a drum circle kind of guy I overlooked it. Big mistake. This is a wicked app! There are two things that make it so great. First your drum taps and strikes are picked up by the iPhone/iPad very sensitively. Very light brushes of the hand and extreme punches to the table make the sound quite different. Next the drum synth is very good. There are some really futuristic synth sounds and metal clangs to play with. You can record your performances and more. This is one of those oh wow cool apps. Use with microphoneless loud headphones.

“Impaktor is a drum synthesizer with a vast sonic palette, that turns any surface into a playable percussion instrument.” – beepstreet.com

For more info: beepstreet.com/impaktor

Qneo Voice Synth

Qneo Voice Synth is another good audio app to have in your iOS music making arsenal. I’ve been using it quite a bit adding an extra vocal bit here and there on my tracks. The app is pretty slick and the audio is good. Try having this and Samplewiz’s audio plugged into your DAW. You will get some different results rather than simply resampling ITB.

“Voice Synth is a specialized synthesizer for creative voice sculpting, for endless fun and serious productions. Speak, sing, hum and beatbox in the mic, tweak the controls and turn your voice live into a human from baby to tenor, a popstar on AutoPitch, a robot from Cylon to iDalek, a church or close harmony choir, animals from birds to dogs and lions, musical instruments from organs, guitars and a groovy bass to percussions and rich 70?s vocoders, ambient, lush string/storm soundscapes. All effects applied simultaneously, polyphonic and live in real-time with low-latency. One app, two interfaces: dedicated interface for iPad, and a compact interface for iPhone and iPod that includes all features” – qneomusic.com

For more info: qneomusic.com

Weekend Studio Fun

I decided to stay home this weekend. I stopped by Control in Williamsburg and picked up a new module for my Eurorack system. I bought a Toppobrillo Multifilter. You can hear it in the above videos filtering a Wiard Oscillator, Make Noise Echophon and a iPad Police Scanner. The clock and drums are from a Korg Rhythm 55. An Analog Solutions Telemark is providing some LFO modulated white noise snares and a Korg Monotribe is joining in with some resonant rides and a synth line. Both the Telemark and Monotribe are being pinged by an Intellijel uStep. There’s also an Intellijel uVCA and Pittsburgh Modular ASDR doing some utility work. There’s won’t end up as songs as sometimes it good to just play around.

“The so-called state-variable filter has a long history in electronic music- traditionally the most versatile voltage-controlled filter at any analog synthesist’s disposal. there were several classic design examples and variants produced throughout the heyday of analog synthesis, such as those implemented in the Oberheim SEM, the EDP Wasp, and the fabled,albeit lesser known filters such as the famous Serge filters and Arp 1047; the classic SVF configuration is simple and versatile- with several different filter responses available simultaneously ‘for free’ by nature of it’s design with no elaborate mixing schemes. traditionally there have been some considerations when designing a wide-range filter with variable Q using this topology, for instance, relative instability/ generally poor sound and behaviour at very high Q, many designs get around this by limiting the maximum Q available, among other things. those that are designed to allow for self-oscillation will often become unstable at the threshold and have inconsistencies initiating or mantaining oscillation across the entire audio range. The Toppobrillo Multifilter is a new/ traditional state-variable design based on a great modern quad VCA chip, the SSM2164. this, in part, helps make the Multiflter what it is, a clean, quiet, stable and very controllable filter at it’s core, without limiting its palette, well suited for processing anything you can run through it.” – toppobrillo.com

For more info: thehorrorist.com and toppobrillo.com

iOS6 and AudioBus

iOS6 will be released today. While I still do the bulk of my pro-audio work on my iMac or Macbook Pro I am using my iPhone and iPads more and more. Yes the previous sentence shows my fruit company addiction. Nevertheless just recently I was recording some female vocals and to lead the chorus in I grabbed a sound from the iPad app Samplewiz. I did it without thinking much… it’s just part of my workflow now. iOS6 brings some nice new features as far as audio is concerned. Sonicstate has a good write up (here) on what’s coming but here’s three things: Audio and Video Sampling During Playback, Inter-app audio and Multi-route audio. These additions plus the recently approved AudioBus spec along with more powerful iOS devices mean you will soon be working with multiple audio apps at the same time in a big way. It’s going to be great to see what innovative apps are going to take advantage of all this.

“Live, app-to-app audio streaming for iOS. No hardware required.” – audiob.us

For more info: iOS6, AudioBus and Sonicstate

WaveGenerator

Wolfang Palm the inventor of Wavetable synthesis has released an app for the iPad called WaveGenerator. Mr. Palm’s synthesis has been found in synths such as PPG, Waldorf and Sequential Circuits, Ensoniq and Korg. I’ve always lusted after an original PPG, used the plug-in software versions a few years ago and adore my Wavestation. $19.99 and available now.

“PPG WaveGenerator is the latest development from the inventor of wavetable synthesis, Wolfgang Palm. It is a next generation synthesizer, building on the heritage of the PPG Wave keyboards. The PPG WaveGenerator comes with a multitude of wavetables. The sound material contains the typical sounds from the original PPG wave models, as well as many new sounds generated by versatile analysis tools and also hand edited waves. This app enables the user, to create his own wavetables in a playful way, and to hear the result immediately. Also you can construct the waves by adding harmonics very precise. Another way is to transform a picture into a wavetable. You can load photos from your album or even shoot a picture with the camera. The waves are collected in a grid of 256 fields, to which the 3 oscillators of the synthesizer have arbitrary and independent access. In a 3D display you get a visual impression on how the sound evolves. You can turn around the 3D object and zoom in and out,” – Wolfgang Palm

For more info: itunes.apple.com/wavegenerator and wolfgangpalm.com

Vinylizeme

Here’s a fun little $2 iOS app called Vinylizeme. Go through a few steps and it will help you create a vintage and if wanted worn 12″ vinyl album cover. There’s enough options that I could see this “maybe” useful for a real project.

“VinylizeMe is a cool new app that puts you and your favorite people, pets and places on the cover of your very own vintage record cover. This user-friendly app puts you in complete control to deeply customize every part of your cover.” – vinylizeme.com

For more info: vinylizeme.com

photo credit: bluesparksm

Feed

Feed – Official Release Promo Video from djgunn on Vimeo.

Here’s another new iPad music app with a wicked interface. This one is called FEED (iTunes link). It’s a sampler/looper. The waveform is circular. You can loop any parts of it. The circle size controls volume. You can scrub and more. $1.99 USD.

“Feed enables complex, rich manipulation of a “live feed” of sound. Record, playback, loop, pitchshift and modulate the live feed in a variety of ways to spontaneously create compositions from musical sources, spoken word or ambient sound.” – theincidental.com

For more info: theincidental.com/projects/thefeed

SpaceWiz

Jordan Rudess has released another music app. Spacewiz is similar to Synthpond however with galaxy graphics and space sounds. This app maybe too Yoga/hippie for me. I need a Darth Vader mode with some minor note lazer zaps or something. I do like the interfaces of the Rudess apps. $9.99 USD.

“Immerse yourself in the wonders of a visual/audio experience like no other! Take the role of viewer AND creator in a galaxy where you reign.” – Jordan Rudess

For more info: itunes.apple.com/us/app/spacewiz

Musaico

Musaico is now Universal on iOS. I haven’t yet tried this one but it does look like an interesting sketch pad. I think this App like a few others like it really rely on you prepping a few great samples in your own style to get the most out of them. Let me know if you have used this one. $3.99 USD.

“Musaico re-imagines the musician’s early creative process. Designed and optimized for the iPad, the interface enables artists to immediately capture ideas. Record, loop, layer, and remix sounds in real time, from layering guitar parts to looping rap beats. Pick it up and learn to make a quick sketch in a matter of minutes.” – musai.co

For more info: musai.co

via synthtopia