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!)

KRFTout-ipad2

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!

Auxy for iPhone free! Tell your students to download this! (Teachers should too)

Auxy for iPhone is a great app that is very similar to Abelton Live – create and trigger a bunch of loops. 

Now…. For those of you iPad users who don’t usually download iPhone apps…. This app is one of the rare ones that look great on an iPad! So go get it!

Lots of built in sounds that are really sweet to listen to, some great EFX, an even sweeter method of adding transitions to the EFX for each loop and ease of use puts this app righ up there into the category of go to apps to create music with. For students and teachers alike this is going to be a ton of fun!


Moog Releases Another Outstanding Synth For Your iPad

If you have had ANY contact with the synth world you know immediately about the Moog keyboards. You also have an inclining of the legacy of Bob Moog – His legacy goes back to the starts of the synth world. He got his start in 1954 by building and selling Therimins with his father. In 1963 Bob built his first modular synth. Bob Moog is a legend, his synths are legend and now those of us using iPad for creating music can enjoy THREE Moog apps on our iPad! Animoog was the first professional synth released for iPad and is still one of those apps we go back to constantly! Filtatron came next and just this past week they released Model 15!

Model 15 is the first modular synth created for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch. Not only is it meant as a performance app but for the educational world it is also meant as a tool with which to educate students about modular synthesis.

“Each facet of the Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer has been meticulously recreated in this application to ensure the power and transcendent sound quality of each module remains intact. The character, harmonic complexity and mystique of the Moog Model 15s modules, from the legendary Moog 921–series oscillators and 904A Low Pass Filter, to the coveted 907 Fixed Filter Bank have been painstakingly preserved.”

Even better is the fact that we get MORE than what was originally offered because we are using this on a touch screen interface running modern processors – “Also included are extended features which expand the capabilities of the app beyond the traditional offerings of the hardware Moog Model 15. These include total MIDI integration, assignment for external control, use as a MIDI controller, dedicated Audio Bridge and MIDI Bridge modules, looping recorder module with overdubbing, a master ping-pong delay module and a new extension cabinet that includes additional amplifiers and voltage-controlled reversible attenuators that can be used for effects like ring-modulation.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

What this means in normal words is that this app is a very sweet way to introduce today’s students to the amazing world of modular synthesis without having to spend $10,000 for the hardware synth! I mean, what music department has THAT much money? (And if there is a job opening please let me know because I am interested!)

It also means that the latest music tech is all included giving us all sorts of connectivity. Plus the app is developed using Apple’s latest Metal Technology which gives us an immersive interface that previously was unable to be developed! Of course since this uses Metal that does eliminate older devices that are not 64 bit.

Look at this list of supported music tech – Inter App Audio, Audio Bus, Audio and MIDI Bridge, Ableton Link and MIDI over BlueTooth LE! 3D Touch and the Apple Pencil are even integrated giving us after touch! AudioCopy, AudioPaste and AudioShare are integrated as well!

These sort of technologies all coming together into an already impressive array of available music apps is because of the outstanding developers Moog has working for them. These developers have been on the cutting edge of music technology for years. People like Geert Bevin work there – Geert has also recently been working with Roger Linn (yup, the inventor of the drum machine) on the innovative LinnStrument (go google it!) Geert and the rest of the team are users of iPad music apps. They perform with it, play with it, create with it and enjoy the new possibilities it brings us!

Model 15 comes in at the high end of app pricing at $29.99 but considering that to actually buy the hardware we would have to cough up 10 grand $30 seems like more than a bargain. Once you listen to the sounds coming out of the app you will not be sorry you spent the money either. In fact you will probably find yourself spending more money on the IAP’s of additional sound banks. Even though Model 15 comes with 160 presets you will be wanting more because it’s kind of like a well made Apple pie except non-fattening!

Here is a video introducing you to the app…