Using Cubasis and the new Waves Plugins to Edit My School Choir Concert Recordings on my iPad

Steinberg just released version 2.3 ofCubasis Logo Cubasis which is on sale for 50% off! This update includes IAP’s for some awesome Waves Plug-ins. These Waves Plug-ins IAP ($19.99) do require iPad 4 or higher, iPad mini 2 or higher models.

• Waves AudioTrack Channel Strip (in-app purchase) — Get a mixing console’s channel strip including compression, EQ and gating in one convenient, intuitive plug-in.
• Waves L1 Ultramaximizer (in-app purchase) — Make your tracks sound professional, with proper loudness levels that will let them stand out.
• Waves Q10 Equalizer (in-app purchase) — Use the pro’s first choice and enjoy surgically precise equalization for mixing your tracks.

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Waves Q10 EQ

There are also some other nifty features like being able to save presets inside of these plug-ins! Awesome news – thank you very much Steinberg! You can also record automation of parameters inside of audio units! This is SO SWEET! (Just not sure how many music educators will make use of that feature though – unless they are getting creative and not simply recording their ensembles performances!)

So I thought I’d put the plug-ins through their paces and edit our choir concert recordings from just the other evening.

At the concert I used our PreSonus StudioLive soundboard to easily record the 6 microphones and the piano we were using for the choir. We had 3 mics right in front of the choir and 3 hanging overhead. Now, the overhead mics were NOT used for the audience and they were a little offset from the choir but I recorded them anyways just to see what they would give me. Ended up adding a bit of a natural reverb effect or maybe a doubling effect to the recording and I kind of liked it.

By using the Waves plug-ins I was able to very quickly go through the recordings and bump up the levels using the maximizer.

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Then I added EQ using both AudioTrack Channel Strip plugin as well as the Q10 EQ.

Waves Channel Strip.jpg

I did make good use of the presets Steinberg already created as well as creating my own to use later after tweaking theirs.

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I also added some reverb using the builtin reverb from Cubasis along with the VirSyn AudioReverb audioUnit app. I LOVE LOVE LOVE audioUnits by the way! But that is for another post later.

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Of course I did a couple of other quick edits like cutting out some sniffles, trimming the ending and adding fade ins and outs.

All in all it took me under 14 minutes from the point I started importing the audio into my iPad until I was done. By the way…. I LOVE iOS11’s Files app! I use the ability to sync my Desktop on my Laptop to iCloud ALL the time! I used it here to take the audio recordings from the thumb drive, I put the audio into a folder on my iCloud desktop and then simply imported those files using my iPad into Cubasis. At the end I did a mix-down of the final edited track and pushed that from my iPad out to iCloud and my laptops desktop folder again! No WIRES!

I was pretty proud of the job the choir kids did on this piece – we are a small school and as you would expect, the choir is small too. The choir kids also do not tend to do more than just one or two trimesters of choir either. Which is sad but as we have no middle school choir program to build on this situation will not change I’m sure.

Anyways – I recorded the entire process so you could see and hear how easy this is. This will allow you to hear why you should absolutely be doing this yourself – it is EASY! I did find out that Apple at some point took away the sound from the videos when you use screen recording on iOS11 – that meant I had to quick grab a cord and my handheld recorder to hook up to the headphone jack on my iPad. That cord did give me a bit of trouble so please excuse that!

I did have to give you some funky background music for the start and end of my video – I didn’t want you to get bored while watching me load the audio files into Cubasis. I used Novations GrooveBox apps for creating my background music. If you haven’t tried this app yet you really need to download it and start playing with it!

GrooveBox from Novation – FREE

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Kaspar Released (No, not Casper the ghost so relax! and make music!)

Kaspar IconKaspar – $9.99 (for now)

Kaspar is an outstanding new synth from Yonac that will get you inspired to start making some music and start fanning that creative spark inside of you that you’ve let die out a bit through the last six months!

This app, like many new releases is on a limited time intro price. I’m not sure for how long but I do know the app was released July 20, 2017 so…

What is really cool about this app is embodied right in the description on Yonacs website – “Multi-Engine AutoMorphing Supersynthesizer”

8 fully featured polyphonic synths with the ability to layer, modulate and morph between each! See the XY pad below – yeah… that’s the morphing, modulation goodness of the app at work just to warm your heart with delightful sounds!

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Do you REALLY need to know more?

This IS one of those apps that comes fully equipped with built in presets for your extensive musical explorations. It is ALSO one of those apps that you could spend a TON of time in just messing around building and designing your own sounds!

I WILL say that if you don’t like the color yellow then don’t buy the app because they USED ALL the yellow paint the paint store had in stock when building the app!

Here is a video to get you even more interested!

 

New and Exciting Apps Just Released for Music Makers!

Beat Maker 3 IconBeat Maker 3 – Intro Price of $19.99 only good until June 22

Intua released BeatMaker 3 this past weekend and if you want the intro pricing you will have to hurry! I’ve been enjoying my summer with my family and have not had the time to write anything here since the app came out!

If you are unsure what Beat Maker 3 is join the club. In short it is the long waited for upgrade to an app that has been a standard iOS app for a long time!

Here is the official intro on the App Store –
“BeatMaker brings unmatched efficiency and depth in an intuitive audio and MIDI workstation.
Look no further, the power of traditional desktop software and real hardware is now united into one single production studio”

Here is the header from Intua’s website –

Beat Maker 3 Splash Header

From what I’ve seen and read and watched here is my take on what Beat Maker 3 is – It is a disruptive entry into the world of what a workstation/DAW has traditionally been called. Beat Maker 3 is an app, currently only for iPad but an iPhone version is on its way, that allows you to sample sounds/instruments/music and then manipulate those samples in remarkable new ways. Beat Maker is also a center to you hardware and will control outboard gear as well.

Beat Maker 3 is for sure one of the most beautifully designed apps to come out in awhile! The design is just gorgeous! Look at this mixer view….

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The traditional grid of pads like you see on a drum machine for instance is getting smashed to smithereens with this app. You know have 8 banks of up to 8 pads each. Each pad can be assigned its own individual sample. The ability within BM3 gives you the ability to “Record and chop live, assemble, mangle and resample: our state of the art sampling engine will sculpt your ideas, giving life to your instruments with a full modulation and layering system. With ZPlane’s Elastique live stretch and pitch shift, adjust your loops and instruments to match the tempo or go experimental. You can even integrate your favorite synth & effect apps with full AUv3 and IAA support.”

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There is a Sequencer that has the classic timeline recording features as one would expect in a DAW but there is also a very flexible Scene Mode which is a nod to those who have used and enjoy Ableton Live sort of workflows.

The mixer gives you an insane amount of control over every detail of the mix – right down to each individual pad in each and every bank!

Beat Maker 3 has been designed to be used to record, create and produce full projects from. The app is also meant and built to be used in live performances easily giving you the ability to record, chop, mangle and alter to your hearts content even in a live setting!

I will say that Beat Maker 3 is NOT chock full of built in samples waiting for you to start messing around with. There is a basic set and it is up to you to import further material. There is a healthy selection of IAP purchases from their content store already available. There are plenty of free sources online. The fun of course is when you start sampling other apps and your self playing your own instruments. Then you get the ability to start arranging those samples into something amazing using tools not so easily available before now.

(That paragraph is the long winded version of – this app is awesome but be ready to invest some time into it!)

Here is the intro trailer to get your intrigue even further….

 

KRFT – Modular Instrument for Music Production (and Performance)

KRFT is one of the apps that I have just been begging to dive into for the past 6 months but with school still in progress and a ton of other projects already on the front burners I haven’t had time. Now school is out and I get to play some!

img_1818KRFT – Modular Music Production  – (Discounted 33% until June 22nd!)

I really like to try to find alternative ways for my music students to perform. I like to perform using interfaces/instruments that do not fit into the traditional mold as well. We ARE trying to teach music in the 21st century right? In the past I’ve always had some grand ideas of being able to have this pre-recorded music that I could instantly play various sections of and still be able to tweak in various ways as I felt fit in the moment. The traditional DAW has not allowed this flexibility and neither have simple looping apps. Now with KRFT I can have a great deal of flexibility, and spontaneity all in a layout that fits my method of creating/performing.

The idea is simple you have a layout of squares, triangle, and circles combined with buttons and knobs that control the music. (The cool glasses and espresso don’t hurt either!)

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The app runs on iPhone as well, giving you even great flexibility in where and when you create and play.

KRFTout-iphone

When editing your layout you get a blank screen and from there start to build up your musical creation. You add these things called Musical Cells to your blank canvas. Inside of each of these cells you add either you music that you records, audio loops or you use the cells to morph and transform your music.

Recording some loops into some cells are probably the best spot to start – there are bass, drums and lead synths built into the app with quite a hefty list of possible sounds to choose from! From there creating a few fills loops might be next and then moving on to adding in some audio triggers. Then you get to start messing around with the buttons that tweak the sound – allowing you to control things like Volume, Tempo, Swing and Filter on the Master side of things. On each individual channels you get to set up morph triggers that affect individual channels – these are Filter Frequency, Pitch, Attack, Gate, Distortion Level and Mix, Level, Duration of Delay, Chorus Mix, and Channel Volume/Pan/Reverb. So you can see how involved you can get with the control of and morphing of your performance!

 

KRFTpink ipad keyboardWhen entering in your music you have two methods of entering – the first is a grid of pads that allow for some creative input depending on where you tap the cell. The sound can be affected in several different ways – you can set Gain, Filter, Attack, Pitch and LFO to change depending on how high or low you tap on the grid. There are three rows of these pads to play that funky music on. The Master Tuning section decides that scale that gets used out of the 8 choices – Major, Minor, Harmonic, Doria, Mixolydian, Lydian, Phrygian and Lochrian.

OF course for this of you who simply want a piano roll/step time entry there is that possibility as well.

KRFT PianoRollipad matrix

CONNECTIVITY

KRFT has quite a bit of versatility built into the app and could easily be an app that you use by itself. But, where is the fun in THAT?

As I mentioned, you have three different types of synth sounds built into the app each with a large variety of sounds to choose from. You can add multiple channels of each type too – so if you want several lead sounds simply add a new channel and away you go.

For those of us with other apps we want to tie into KRFT though it is easy to do. Simply add a MIDI channel, select the other app and away you go.

For those of you who want to take connectivity a step further than go ahead… feel free to incorporate your desktop DAW like Ableton Live or Logic as well! Any other app that is MIDI enabled is good to go here! In fact, any hardware that you have connected to your iOS device, that can be controlled via MIDI can be controlled with KRFT! Take a minute and let THAT sink in!

oh…. KRFT does Ableton Link too so everything will stay tightly synced together! AudioBus, CoreMIDI, both are there as is the capability of using the app in AUM!

The developers are two brothers based out of London. I feel like they are onto something exciting here with the flexibility they are giving us in KRFT. It is more than just the flexibility though, it is also the fact that KRFT is pretty simple to figure out. IT doesn’t take long and even us adults can figure it out! Give a few students the task and time in class to figure this app out and they will catch on quickly as well. If they don’t though, there is a nice set of YouTube tutorials they have put together to help guide us through the process of getting going.

KRFT Videos – 

Of course what kind of guy would I be if I didn’t let you see the app in action? Here is a nice jam using the app to give you an idea of what all is possible. I do have to say that when Studio Amplify came out with their app NOIZ, I wanted so bad to be able to set up my very own creations instead of being held back by what someone else had created – Don’t get me wrong NOIZ is a blast to play but being given the ability to set things up as I wish, with my own music is like Christmas Morning!

INSERT VIDEO HERE

 

 

 

What do you think the name of this app is?

I’m very curious to know if you can tell the name of this app from the icon! I’ve got two sons who are graphic design majors and we have these sort of discussions all the time. 

I’ll say up front that I like the design and I like the app even more but I am VERY interested in knowing your thoughts. So leave your answers/thoughts below. 

GoodNotes 4 for a Buck!

Boy oh boy this must be the season for dollar app sales!

goodnotes4-iconGoodNotes 4 – Only one dollar currently! (Normally this is like $8!)

I had a discussion with my principal a few years ago. She was asking about where I wanted my brand new whiteboard to go… I was amazed that I was even being considered for one! But then we discussed about what I would use it for since I had an iPad and a projector. As I had no experience with an iPad I asked what the other teachers were using theirs for. I held long discussions with other teachers. I searched the internet.

The end decision was that I did not find a good reason to waste the schools money. I had an iPad and apps.

It is apps like GoodNotes 4 that gives me some great versatility in my class rehearsals. GoodNotes allows me to quickly hand write anything I would normally write on a whiteboard/smartboard but with so many added advantages that I can hardly imagine NOT having the capability!

First of all the app has a wonderful feature that only shows my content and NOT the user interface!

Secondly all my notes are synced in the cloud! I can access them from my iPad or my iPhone.

Thirdly my HANDWRITTEN NOTES are searchable! yup… read that again… I’ll wait…. Check it out in the picture below. My crappy handwriting even gets recognized! Amazing! You can see that after writing my notes I did a search and GoodNotes did it! Now if that’s not cool I don’t know what is going to impress you!

GoodNotes 4 Screen Search.PNG

Fourth – I can organize my notes how ever I wish!

Fifth – I can write, type, insert images, draw shapes (that get auto-magically recognized and cleaned up!), I can even bring in PDF’s and annotate them! Think about being able to work on a worksheet with your students while walking around the room allowing THEM to write in the answers on your iPad with your Apple Pencil and having those answers show up on the projector screen up front!

Sixth – There is even music manuscript paper built in! Along with a healthy dose of other templates and graph paper and awesome covers for your notebooks!

Seventh – as you can see in the screen above there is also a zoom feature that works wonderfully! It will allow you to write and then will auto-magically move over as you write! Such a wonderful thing!

Eighth – It’s a buck right now! With an update coming right around the corner with some great features I’m sure in that update! (OK – I’m guessing on the great new features one as I am NOT on the beta for this app and if I was I couldn’t tell you about what was coming anyways!) (But why put out an update unless you have something great to share!)

 

Due – Reminders app on sale!

due-iconDue – Reminders, Countdown Timers – (Only a buck if you act quick!)

You Due have a To-Due app correct? If not you are Due to buy one before Due goes off sale….

All right enough non-sense talk! Seriously though, if you do NOT have an app to help you keep track of your important items that need to be done then this is your lucky day! Put something into this app and it’s going to keep reminding you until you JUST DUE IT! (ah man… sorry but I couldn’t resist!)

Hey, even better is the fact that this will even do countdown timers!

Even better is that there is an universal for iPad/iPhone/Apple Watch and then you can even purchase the Mac app as well!

This is a great app for those things you need to be reminded of that are not full fledged calendar type of events.

KRFT – Sound Inspired – Wonderful app to create alternative playing interfaces

If you are at all into using the wonderful touch interface of an iPad to create music using alternative playing interfaces then this app is for you!

KRFT – Sound Inspired  allows you to use loops, dials, and effects to create a musical playing surface totally inspired by your imagination!

If you act fact then you might catch the intro Sale ( I just ran across this so it’s gonna have to be FAST) considering the possibilities though that this app offers it is worth every penny of the full price!

This app could be an entire 6 weeks in an electronic music class! Take a look at some of their videos to see what is possible. 

OneSafe 4 Has Arrived – THIS IS IMPORTANT! You NEED a password app.

Ok people listen up because this is important! If you don’t have an app to take care of all you passwords and vital information like card numbers, bank numbers and everything else you can think of then you are in dire need of clicking the link below and buying OneSafe 4 NOW! It is only $0.99 for one day!

oneSafe Icon.pngoneSafe4

That’s all I have time for. If you REALLY need more info on why a password app is needed then you are one of the people that needs this probably!

oh… hey…. nice little tis bit for you AppleWatch people is that there is now an Apple Watch app that goes along with the normal app!

VirSyn Releases a Great Sampling App for iOS

Yeah, if you are on top of all this news then this is a few days old!

BUT…

If you have been busy with things like Music Conferences for a bunch of music teachers that truly want to make a deep and lasting impact on their students lives then you may have missed this! 🙂

VirSyn has some amazing apps out already and now they have taken the best of several of those other apps and put them into an audio sampling app to add a nice new twist to the possibilities of music music making!

ReSlice – Audio Slice Machine for iPad and iPhone – $9.99 (an introductory price so grab it now!)

ReSlice Screen.png

THE IDEA – Record live or import audio from clipboard or AudioShare to break it up into its rhythmic components. Then you slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or the touch of your fingers.

THE BONUS – You then get to do things like use the polyrhythm Arpeggiator that redefines the art of creating new loops from the extracted slices. Apply the intelligent slice parameter and Arpeggio randomizer for instant creation of the unheard.

NOT SURE WHAT THIS MEANS? Watch this video then go get sampling and slicing!