iOS Music Weekly (2/25/13 – 3/3/13)

by chip on February 25, 2013

Did you miss the latest happenings in the iOS world throughout the last week? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered here at iOS Music And You. Every Monday we’ll be filling you in on the most recent news, new app releases, and the on-site happenings. You can get a taste of everything that’s fueling iOS music making and catch yourself up to date. If you want to get your iOS music news fix on a daily basis, LIKE the iOS Music And You Facebook Page!

iOS Music News Around The Internet:
I spent this past week doing some great interview for future podcast episodes and I just wanted to share with you how excited I am about the show at this point.  I’m learning so much from talking with all these smart folks using iOS devices and I’ve been getting so much meaningful feedback from listeners; it’s all so inspiring.  We’ll be putting out episode #7 this week, so I wanted to encourage you to subscribe so that you don’t miss any of the great stuff coming your way.  It’s free and it means that you get the shows delivered right to you – just hit the subscribe button in iTunes HERE.  If you’re a regular podcast listener, you might be using something like the Apple Podcast app, Instacast, or Downcast – you can subscribe there too!

The App Store ecosystem has certainly spawned a new culture around software, changing our expectations in big ways.  One of the things that we have come to expect from every purchase is a regular stream of updates, keeping our music apps relevant over the long haul.  Unfortunately, some apps don’t follow our expectations and remain the same, falling into the useless category.  Over at Music In 2D, Clif Johnston has nailed this issue on the head with a great article entitled “Endangered Apps List?”  He calls out a number of apps that he places in the “pro” category, including apps like Geo Synthesizer, studio.HD Polychord, and SampleWiz.  In addition to the list, there’s some nice analysis of the situation and how it effects users, not to mention the long collection of comments that are simply golden.  This is a great read that tackles an important issue in the iOS music world in a very thoughtful way – you can check it out HERE.

Over at the iOS Music And You Facebook page, reader Matheus Barros posed a great question: which MIDI sequencer would you recommend – Genome MIDI Sequencer or MIDI Pattern Sequencer?  These two apps serve much of the same function and they cover a lot of the same territory; fortunately, they’re both built with a lot of care and detail, benefiting musicians.  In general, I think that most folks would agree that Genome has a bit of a leg-up; it’s been around for a while and has benefited from a long stream of regular updates.  MIDI Pattern Sequencer seems to be on the same path though, and the folks at iMusicAlbum have been putting a lot of time into updates.  This is a solid app and if it continues on the same path, it’s going to be a serious contender.  In fact, its got a great update on the way with lots of new features, here’s what’s on the way:

  • MIDI presets include Bank/Program change and list of CC/RPN/NRPN controllers that can be sent at start of playback patterns and song, when select song/pattern or can be sent manually.
  • Export patterns and songs into MIDI files (include automation) and sharing MIDI or entire project files through iTunes or Web access. Using web access you can copy files through any web browser to computer and exchange (or backup) project files between iPads.
  • Added new Hotkeys panel with operations that can be used in any mode (play, stop, send presets, clear track, clear automation).
  • Also some others additions (copy/paste measures, increase number of patterns and song pages in the project) and small bug fixes.


  • Writing so much music during the month of February really made be appreciate having an abundance of presets at my disposal in different apps; I love creating my own patches, but it really helps keep the focus on music when you can just load a great sound and put it into play.  When you’re looking for great iOS presets, there’s no better place to watch than Sunsine Audio – there’s a constant stream of amazing sounds coming from these folks.  This past week, they just released a collection of 64 new patches for Cassini Synth entitled Casino 2.  There’s a variety of basses, leads, pads, and much more; it also comes at a price that can’t be beat, costing $2.49.  If you’re a big Cassini Synth user, you’re definitely going to want to check this out – you can get a sense of what the patches sound like in the video below and then you can pick up the patches HERE.

    There are some apps that hit your iPad and grab your musical heart right away – for me, the classic 80s sound of the Korg iPolysix resonated with me quickly and it became one of my go-to synths, along with Sunrizer Synth, Magellan, Animoog, and more.  As a result, I’m always inspired to hear this app put to good use, and fortunately the folks at Korg are quick to help us hear more iPolysix.  The Polyshare feature allows users to send compositions built completely in the app to a SoundCloud community where the Korg folks are collecting them.  They’ve been regularly compiling the best of these tracks into playlists that can really pump some inspiration into your soul.  The latest compilation, iPolysix Featured Tracks, Vol. 4 contains work from Mee Zanook, A7r, New Fangled Gadget, < href = "http://soundcloud.com/jimaward">JimAward, Swooze, and Ben Pest.  There’s some quality music here that will send you right back to the iPolysix - check it out below!

    A very cool music app hit the App Store this past week, that should sit alongside guitarism as a fantastic option for virtual guitar on iOS, as well a nice tool for guitarists to create tabs of their work.  Jam Maestro offers the option to put some very high quality guitar, bass, and drum sounds into play, record them into track, and if you choose, create some tablature of your work.  In addition, this app is set up in a way that should make a lot of sense to a guitarist – the layout is just logical and functional for anyone who’s spent any time with the instrument.  If you’re intrigued at this point, developer David Baker has made it really easy for you to dig a bit deeper and fall in love with this app.  He’s developed a very thorough tutorial video that walks you through all the main features in the app and teaches you how to make the best use of it.  Jam Maestro is a powerful app that holds a lot of potential for folks hoping to put guitar into their work – check it out in the video below!

    A lot of folks were quite excited this past week when the fantastic iOS DAW BeatMaker 2 updated with Audiobus integration, making this a total solution for creating complete songs on your iPad.  There were some early issues with the effects slot, but Intua turned another update around within a day, solving this problem and sending everyone into music making mode.  They’ve done some great work making sure that we all understand how to use  in conjunction with BeatMaker 2, providing a wonderfully complete tutorial on their site – this is a must-read, you can find it HERE.

    Speaking of fantastic BeatMaker 2 & Audiobus tutorials, you’ve got to check out this video below from Nekron99.  He’s been providing some fantastic video tutorials around this powerful app for a while now and this one hits the nail right on the head.  He’ll walk you through using Audiobus to record and some of the fantastic ways that you can use those recordings in BeatMaker 2.  He’s consistently turning out great videos, so after checking out the tutorial below, I’d suggest subscribing to his channel.  If you’re using BeatMaker 2, there’s certainly a lot to learn there!

    I think that sometimes in the iOS music world we get caught up with the technology and tools that we use and tend to forget that there’s a lot of musical background that forms the real meat and potatoes of what we create.  Fortunately, the folks over at Audanika have our backs.  The developers behind SoundPrism Pro launched the Audanika Harmony Theory Blog this past week, a site that promises to become a major resource for the iOS music community.  The first post “Three Basic Models To Describe The Western Tone System,” provides some great foundation material that is definitely worth a read.  They’re promising weekly posts, getting into the depths of harmony, and showing us how it relates to iOS apps – you’ll definitely want to bookmark this site!  You can find the Audanika Harmony Theory Blog HERE.

    It’s always a great idea to start the week off with inspiration to keep our musical minds active, and as we move into March this week, we’ve got some great ones to fuel your creativity.  Those of you that checked out podcast episode #6 heard a great interview with iOS musician Jinx Padlock, where we heard a fantastic track “Playground Rules” and got the info on his new EP Colonisation.  This week, Jinx Padlock released a new track that’s got a killer acid feel to it – “Pinhead Safari” was put together with Audiobus, NanoStudio, DM1, Korg iPolysix, Animoog, and Addictive Synth; more great stuff from Jinx Padlock!  The next track really shows us how iOS devices allow for spontaneous creation, which can often be the best kind.  In “lugaru,” Sneppid spends about 15 minutes jamming out with Figure and Audiobus, which was all captured in MultiTrack DAW - there’s some funky goodness in this one that you’ve got to hear.  The last track has a wonderfully dramatic feel to it with some great piano work and impressive synths.  ”Lost In Time” from Peanut Gallery brings together a lot of great apps into a fantastic piece – Figure, Audiobus, Korg iMS-20, MultiTrack DAW, NanoStudio, Magellan, bismark bs-16i, Alchemy Synth Mobile, NLogSynth, and ThumbJam all come into play here.  There’s so much great iOS music floating around these days – can’t wait to hear what you’ll make this week!


    Recent iOS Music And You Posts:

    Connecting SoundPrism With Sunrizer Synth, Magellan, & Animoog Through Virtual MIDI


    iOS Music And You Podcast 006: Jinx Padlock Interview


    Connecting SoundPrism Pro & Sunrizer Synth Through Virtual MIDI


    iOS Music Tunes: What I Want by Maxton Barber

    Recently Released Music Apps:

    Traktor DJ


    Jam Maestro


    Super Manetron


    PixiVisor


    Droner

    Major Music App Updates This Week:

    BeatMaker 2


    iFretless Bass


    bleep!BOX


    Loopseque


    Caelestis


    TANSU Synth


    Pocket Beats Drum Machine


    Step Sequencer


    VoKey

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