iOS Music Weekly (5/27/13 – 6/2/13)

by chip on May 27, 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 just wanted to start things out my saying how completely awesome the iOS Music And You community really is. In the latest episode of the iOS Music And You Podcast, which featured a fantastic interview with Pete Plural, the iOS musician behind The Clocktoys, I asked if anyone out there could be kind enough to leave a review for the show on iTunes. The reviews certainly help the podcast show up more easily in the iTunes search, helping more folks discover it. At that point, we had eight reviews, and I was hoping to reach ten reviews by the end of May. Here we are at May 27th, and now the show has twelve 5-star reviews! I’m honored to have all the kind words about the show and just so thrilled to be a part of so many amazing musicians. A HUGE thank you to everyone that has left a review – you’ve made my month. I’d love it if anyone out there who hasn’t left a review on iTunes could take a minute to do so, I’d love to reach 15 reviews within June – if you’re up for it, you can leave a review HERE.

We’ve been hearing about the Artiphon instrument for a while now – it seems that every time it comes out at a show, there’s a big write-up on it somewhere . . . but most of us can’t get our hands on the thing. Well, that’s all going to change this summer, as the folks at Artiphon Touch Sound release their first instrument to the public. It certainly holds some promise and the applications are truly intriguing. The instrument release this summer will be a limited run, nut if you’re interested, you can get your name on the list now. Artiphon is taking reservations for summer purchases now – just put down $10 and you can pick up one of these instruments; it doesn’t lock into buying one, it just gives you the option. If you’d like to get your name on the list – you can get the details HERE. If you just want to see what the Artiphon Instrument 1 is all about, you can check out the video below!

We got a big, big update to guitarism this past week, bringing us a whole new look that’s much easier to manage, making this amazing app even better . . . but the biggest thing that came in guitarism version 3.1 was MIDI compatibility. That’s right, now you can get that fantastic guitar sound within the app or use guitarism to trigger any number of synth apps. Just think of the combinations – strumming chords through Animoog or plucking individual guitar strings through Magellan. In fact, why imagine it when you can actually hear and see it in a cool video? These two videos from Ryan Hemeon demonstrate guitarism as a MIDI controller, and they really make the feature look pretty good. The first video finds Ryan using guitarism to trigger Animoog, while the second video uses guitarism to trigger the Magellan arpeggiator and more. It’s a whole new world of possibilities, and you can see them right here!

Auria and Audiobus are both awesome apps that have taken the world of iOS music into the next level of professionalism, but they certainly present an issue to some users – their heavy processing requirements. For folks that have a fourth generation iPad, this isn’t too much of a problem. If you’ve got a third generation iPad, you’ll certainly see some issues. Musicians with an iPad 2 can be in serious trouble . . . but not out of luck. In this video from The Sound Test Room, we get a wealth of tips and tricks that will help users with an iPad 2 get the most out of Auria and Audiobus. It’s nice to implement these tips; as a musician with a third generation iPad, I’ve found some things here really practical as well. I’d recommend checking it out and then try to get the most out of Auria and Audiobus . . . they’re both certainly worth the time and effort.

Speaking of Auria, it’s a good thing to note that this app is not only processor intensive, but it’s also pretty user intensive – if you haven’t spent time with a full-fledged DAW before using Auria, there’s going to be a serious learning curve. Fortunately, the folks at WaveMachine Labs realize that we’re not all sound pros, and they continue to provide some awesome information on their blog. There’s a massive article entitled “Anatomy Of A Mix” from Simon Hughes, that walks through the process of cuing in a mix on Auria – you can find it HERE. This is a great article that’s actually reprinted from Simon’s blog, which you can find HERE; it’s also information applied to a specific track, which you can hear below. There’s also a nice article on the WaveMachine Labs blog that finds sound engineer Butch Jones putting Auria In Action on the road. While it’s not really a tutorial, it’s a great story that highlights the practically of a professional tool like this for the traveling musician – you can find it HERE.

One app that really has been changing the way things sound in my music is the recently released Audio Mastering, which really has the potential to take your mixes to the next level. It’s great to see that the developer behind the app, Igor Vasiliev, realizes that this is a powerful tool for musicians, and so he’s supporting it with a string of updates. He recently posted a list of upcoming features that you can expect to find in versions 1.1 and 1.2 of Audio Mastering HERE. He sure works fast too – we got and update to version 1.1 already this past week! It’s good to know that there’s more progress for Audio Mastering in the near future – I’ll be looking forward to version 1.2!

I’ve been a big fan of Arpeggionome Pro for a while, so much so that I recommended it as my App Pick in episode #5 of the podcast and used it quite extensively on my tracks for the 2013 RPM Challenge. So you can imagine that I was quite excited to try out Arpeggionome for iPhone, an app which I have really come to love. So it’s great to see it put to good use, and this video really shows the potential of this app. This clip shows electronic musician Deceptikon using Arpeggionome for iPhone to trigger an MS-20 mini, while running everything through Ableton Live. The results are pretty awesome, and honestly, they make me want to use Arpeggionome for iPhone even more!

In many ways, iOS music production really lends itself to the creation of electronic music; you can certainly do other things on iPads and iPhones, but we certainly don’t see as much acoustic musics working in collaboration with iOS. So it’s always exciting to hear things like this composition by classical pianist Conrad Tao called “iridescence.” Tao uses Reactable mobile on an iPad to trigger synth lines and process his piano playing in real-time, using the microphone within the device. The results are gorgeous and decidedly different from what we’re used to hearing from the iOS music world. That’s exciting and shows some room for future expansion . . . check this out and see the endless possibilities ahead!

We all know that iPads and iPhones are opening up a whole new world of music creation to many folks around the world, but they’re also becoming an important part of music education. Since many app interfaces include innovative designs and are often created with the general public in mind, they are the perfect inroad for a student wanting to learn more about music. At the same time, many music apps are massively powerful, letting the same students quickly jump into the professional realm with their music. This is exactly what happened in the State Vocational School Of Weimar, where students used iPads to create a very cool composition using SoundPrism Pro and ThumbJam. The process was outlined on the Audanika Harmony Theory Blog, and it’s a fascinating read – you can find that HERE. It also resulted in a pretty cool song that you’ve got to hear – you can check it out in the video below!

It’s always a good idea to start the week off with a healthy dose of iOS music – I know that sometimes the beginning of the week can be a bit overwhelming and some inspiration can be just the thing to get me writing. Our first track this week is a thought provoking and touching piece from Mandrakonian entitled, “My Son Is My Light.” This piece, put together using MultiTrack DAW highlights his son’s struggle with ADHD and really focuses on the emotional side of synth work; truly some great stuff worth a listen. The next track is a fun and calming tune from Jesper Jones called “Relaxed,” which appropriately enough, was put together during a recent vacation in Turkey. Jesper used a variety of apps in this song, including Alchemy Synth Mobile Studio, Vio, SunrizerXS Synth, BassLine, and NanoStudio; it’s also worth noting that this was Jesper’s second attempt using Audiobus! Our third track is an epic bit of moody music from the wonderful iOS musician Apapdop called “Verwöhnen Mich,” full of what he describes as his “childlike delight in echo and whooshy noises.” He used quite a few apps to put together this very effective soundscape, including Alchemy Synth Mobile Studio, Stria, Auria, and Turnado. Our last track is another collection of moving sounds, this type with a orchestral edge – “Lost In Emotions” from Galaxy Explorer. This is a beautifully effective ambient work, put together using a number of iOS apps, including Alchemy Synth Mobile Studio, ThumbJam, Audiobus, Magellan Jr, and NanoStudio. There’s lots of different music here that will certainly get some creative juices flowing; so give them a listen and then make some music of your own!

Recent iOS Music And You Posts:

iOS Music And You Podcast 011: The Clocktoys Interview

Modifying Instruments In ThumbJam

iOS Music Tunes: You Should Be Afriad by Stacy Puckett

Recently Released Music Apps:

8bit Drums Pro

Major Music App Updates This Week:

Audio Mastering


MIDI Designer Pro


PixiTracker 1Bit

Novation Launchkey

Novation Launchpad

Sonic Logic

Step Sequencer




The Oscillator


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