iLike lets you create your own artist iPhone App.


I’ve been considering the ways to create an iPhone app for my own music as The Horrorist. iLike is has a limited time offer which will take all your content from your iLike artist page, turn it into an app and get it onto the iTunes app store. They charge a one time fee of $99 and after that they split the profits with you. The one time fee is a limited offer until next week. I can’t find anywhere what happens pricewise after that. “I like” the idea and may jump on it this weekend.

We just launched our turnkey service so you can create and distribute your own iPhone app. It’s simple to customize your app and program it with content using the iLike Artist Dashboard. Learn more by watching the video overview. Get started – customize and launch your app now. –

What do you think? Is this a deal worth going for? Am I missing a better offer from a competitor? Is this an idea who’s time as past?

Related post: The Death Cab for Cutie iPhone application

Nice demo video of the iTM Pad from Torley.

If you have an iPhone and don’t already own iTM Pad this video will probably make you jump to the iTunes store to grab it. I wish I didn’t sweat so much on stage (see: here) otherwise I would be using this live.

“I was on the iTunes App Store looking at iTouchMidi Pad by Silicon Studios, and reading the few-but-strong reviews, I bought it. It was mere moments afterward that I was firing up drum loops in Ableton Live, having a lot of fun mapping iTM Pad to various settings and mangling sounds. The logical conclusion, since clear demos of things like this can be hard to come by, was to make a video review.” – Torley

Torley’s blog is filled with the kind of tech geek content I like (WordPress, social media, Ableton) so if that’s your thing check him out:

Apple Computer Midi Training from 1987

I just finished two weeks of training at my new job. I came across this video while reading my loved RSS feed from the super synth blog Matrixsynth. I can only imagine if this were my training video. At 4:17 you get a look at an early version of Motu’s Performer software. In 1987 I was seventeen years old and just starting out with an Atari 520ST and Dr. T’s KCS.

Anyone know how much this Mac set up cost back then?

Related post: Dr. T’s KCS Keyboard Controlled Sequencer

iTunes Pass serves Depeche Mode superfans first.

Depeche Mode - iTunes Pass

There’s a new feature in iTunes called “Pass” and it’s being launched with one of my favorite bands Depeche Mode. Basically, you pay some cash in advance and are delivered new songs, remixes and videos in run up to the new album release which at release time you get the album too. I have to be honest that if I saw this concept and I didn’t like the band I would have immediately thought it was a lame idea. However, because it’s Depeche Mode and their first single “Wrong” is great my finger is hovering over the Buy Pass button. It seems someone at iTunes knows what they are doing.

A funny side note to this story is the Engadget coverage of Pass (link). They don’t like Pass and the author Joseph L. Flatley certainly doesn’t like Depeche Mode:

“Of course, what we’d really like to see is this sort of a deal for a band that didn’t peak twenty years ago. In the meantime, we’ll be catching up with Depeche Mode the way nature intended — during the weekly spin of Personal Jesus at 80’s Night.” – Joseph L. Flatley, Engadget

I’m happy to report that in the post’s comments section DM fans tell Mr. Flatley that he’s clueless. I agree.

Depeche Mode, Sounds of the Universe: iTunes Pass

Be prepared to have your live show video displayed.

Considering most computers come with video editing software I think it’s a requirement bands should have a nice video show going along behind them as they perform. I don’t think it matters if it’s HD footage shot with a new Canon 5D Mark II, a Flip or even a built-in cell phone camera. As with audio it’s the content that counts. Last year I did a post titled, “The best codec for video in Ableton Live on a Mac.” in which I discuss which codec will tax your CPU the least. My finding was a bit surprising and there is a good discussion in the comments so check it out: click here

Most of the time I bring my small but powerful Casio XJ-360 LCD projector with me. I also bring a scrim which is essentially a see through cloth that doesn’t have any wrinkles when pulled tight. An advantage of getting a proper scrim is I can shoot back towards it or I can place the projector behind it (aka reverse projection). You could put a projector in your rider and rely on the club to have one for you. However, I’ve found that most of the time the projectors they have waiting are ancient and the bulbs are dim. Another issue with using the club’s house projector is many times their units are attached to the ceiling in front of the stage so you would have to run a long cable to your computer.

“A scrim or gauze is a very light textile made from cotton, or sometimes flax. Its light weight and translucence means it is often used for making curtains. The fabric can also be used for bookbinding and upholstery. Scrims have also seen extensive use in theatre. The variety used for special effects is properly called sharktooth scrim. However, in theater a scrim can refer to any such thin screen, and are made out of a wide variety of materials. Scrim has a rectangular weave that is similar in size in its openings to a window screen.” –

When I play huge events I leave my projector at home. When there is more than 20,000 people in a stadium my own set up is pretty useless. I do come prepared though bringing with me two types of adapters allowing the visual crew to hook into my system. My Macbook Pro came with an Apple DVI to VGA Display Adapter connector and I also purchased the Apple DVI to Video Adapter. With these two adapters my computer has inputs any proper video crew should be able to utilize.

Here’s a bonus tip: If you want a cheap fast way to have a slick video produced for you head over to, upload a bunch of photos of your band, pay $3 and viola they shoot you back a pretty good looking video.

photo credits: goodrob13 and jimmyroq

My family loves the Smule Ocarina.

Alex plays the Ocarina from wiretotheear on Vimeo.

For the past few days I have been in a suburb of New York City called Rockland County. It sits about twenty minutes north of the city and is a nice typical suburban area. Trees, malls, cars and dogs are all normal sites you will see here. My mother’s house has been like Grand Central station because of Thanksgiving. My brother, his wife, her sister and baby and many aunts and uncles have been coming and going. Of course whenever I spent time with my mother that means within 24 hours I also have to meet up with my father and his wife too. I’m happy to see everyone and the only real damage done is to my stomach.

My brother recently got an iPhone 3G. I’ve used them a few times before but because this iPhone was my little brother’s I was able to snatch it from him and really spend time with it. As I was wowing myself with the device I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and went into “this is so cool you have to see this” mode with all the relatives. Without a doubt flicking through photos was the early winner for the most “ooohh that’s amazing” gasps.

Then I remembered my profession and placed a few bucks in my brothers hand and bought some music apps. The moment I blew into the Smule Ocarina app my mother’s Boston Terrier’s ears stood straight up and he did that cute tilt the head thing. At the same time the baby (Noah) freaked out smiling, screeching, and reaching for the iPhone. As I kept playing I looked up and noticed everyone over 50 was just staring at me in disbelief. None of them could understand how I was blowing into the phone and playing it like a flute. It’s been two days since we installed Ocarina and it’s happy sounds have not stopped since. I wake up to someone playing it downstairs and fall asleep to my brother complaining about all the slobber on the phone. I have to say he’s been a great sport about the entire ordeal. The best part of the entire weekend has been when he discovered you could make the Ocarina produce sounds by rubbing it on his boob.

The iPhone is done so well that you quickly begin using it as a tool. You focus on the content and forget your using some new futuristic piece of consumer electronics. I’m heading to the mall and getting mine today.

For more info about the Ocarina app visit:

The Dubreq iStylophone.

Come on now tell me an iPhone/iPod Touch is not getting more and more tempting every minute?

“The Very Cool Software Company, a U.K.-based Mac OS developer, recently announced its first iPhone application: Dubreq iStylophone. Dubreq Stylophone is an electronic musical instrument, originally invented by Brian Jarvis in 1968 and manufactured in the U.K. by Dubreq. The Dubreq Stylophone, also known as “the original pocket electronic organ,” was sold by the millions in the early ’70s and used by artists including David Bowie, Brett Domino, Erasure, Hexstatic, Krafwerk, Marilyn Manson, Orbital, Pulp, The Raconteurs, and They Might Be Giants.” –


Apple to introduce interactive albums.

One of the things I miss the most about vinyl records is the nice large artwork, inner sleeves and lyric sheets they came with. Compact Disc booklets forced us into reading lyrics in font sizes only really meant for legal fine print. When the MP3 took over on the original iPod we were left with nothing to look at all.

I’ve always said that technology will save us. Man will end up using solar power, curing cancer and inhabiting other planets. Technology will also bring back album art. Next month Apple will release an interactive album application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The application will add artwork, lyrics and behind the scenes goodies to music.

“The new app also highlights an important point: CDs may lose one of the advantages they have clung to in their losing fight against digital downloads. Now that iTunes albums will offer the extras already found in CDs, the latter is quickly becoming even more irrelevant.” – TechCrunch

I know your thinking that, “Oh wow that’s nice but an iPhone is only 2.5 x 4.5 inches. That’s way smaller than my old 12″ albums!” You know where I’m going with this right? Time and tech will fix this issue too. Surely you can bet multi-touch tablet computers with large screens and nice speakers will be in our hands within 48 months. If someone makes a 12″ square tablet my credit card is done for! I can imagine tablet computers will get as thin as old 12″s too.

I hope independent artists will have a way to add their own interactive album artwork. Tunecore are you working on procuring that deal for us? So musician friends it’s time to start brushing up on your Photoshop skills!

photo credit: ntr23

via MusicWeek

Get ready for the iPhone music app offensive!

By the end of today Steve Jobs will most likely announced newer, better, cheaper iPhones. In addition to the hardware the iPhone application store will launch. Being a gorgeous hand held device with a touch screen makes it perfect for music software. I suspect over the next few months we will see dozens of touch screen sequencers, synths and drum machines. Will we see any power players like Ableton jump on board early on? I doubt it but you never know.

Today a company called Intua announced BeatMaker (what a unique name!) which will be one of the first “for sale” apps. It’s a “Sampler Interface” which leads me to believe it can’t sample via the iPhone yet but I could be wrong. BeatMaker is also a sequencer and has eq, delay and bit crushing capabilities. Here’s a screenshot:

Another music app for the iPhone ready to launch is Moo-Cow-Music’s “Band” (oh god another great named app!), This has a virtual band of drums, bass, guitars and keyboards ready to play. The key feature of course is, “Multitouch – press up to five keys at once for complex chords.”. Here’s a video of “Band” in action:

photo credit: tnkgrl

Doing a remix on an airplane. Am I crazy?

United Flight

I am about to jump on a nine hour flight. I have an important remix due in about ten days. I have not even opened the files to hear the song or the parts I was given to work with. Given M-Audio IE-30these facts I plan on making the most of tomorrow’s flight and see how much remixing I can do in coach!

I used this challenge as an excuse to go on a little shopping spree. I bought some M-Audio IE-30 in ear headphones and an extra Macbook Pro battery. I guess I should do an official review of the IE-30s when I get back. They certainly feel a lot nicer than the Apple earbuds I have been using.

With laptops we have full recording studios where ever we go. But do we ever really making music in the park or on a flight? I will tell you my answer soon!

photo credit: caribb