Apps on Sale – Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2018 Week

Oh man…so many apps and music things on sale this week!

AirTurn Pedals, iPad Holders, and Stands are all 20% off!

PreSonus Notion is 50% off as is StudioOne for the desktop. No iOS sale yet.

Below is a collection of apps that I have found to be amazing music performance apps/music education apps. All high quality and now is a great time to purchase!

  • SynthMaster One
  • Xequence
    (Plus the IAP’s!)
  • Brusfri
  • Grand Finale
  • SampleTank
  • Neo-Soul Keys Studio
  • BeatHawk
  • Animoog
  • Model 15
    (AU)
  • Model D
    (AU)
  • Zeeon Synth
  • Sunrizer
  • Impaktor
  • Patterning 2
  • Wizibel – Add some sweet effects to music videos.
  • VirSyn Apps
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SynthMaster One for iOS – Oh My!

If you are even possibly considering performing, recording, creating or just simply playing around with making music on your iPad then this app has so much to offer you!

SynthMaster One for iOS – $9.99

The best news is that it is on sale until December 1st for only $9.99! (70% off)

Released in 2017 and heralded as one of the years best synths this is chock full of synth sounds that will make the hair on your neck stand up in excitement! 500 factory sounds to be precise. Features galore will keep you connected with other iOS apps to your hearts content… AUv3, InterApp Audio and AudioBus connectivity means it’s all there!

This is almost the same app as their desktop version in fact! On iOS you only get 16 voices vs 32 on the desktop and only 500 vs 800 sounds. Otherwise it is a full blown synth app worthy of anyone’s music making abilities! Along with a 16 step Arpeggiator/Sequencer it also has Microtuning capabilities. It will even support the MPE controllers like ROLI’s Seabord Blocks.

You will need an iPad Air or higher if you really want to take full advantage of what it offers though.

Of course what good is reading about music without actually hearing It? Listen to these demos on SoundCloud….

https://soundcloud.com/kv331synthmaster/sets/synthmaster-one-factory

Gestrument Pro – Performing on iOS with alternative interfaces

If you have followed this blog at all for any length of time you will know that one of the quests I’ve been on is using iOS to perform in ways never before possible.

Gestrument Pro is going to be released on Sept. 25 and is currently available for pre-order at like half price. $8.99 vs. $16.99!

PerplexOn has access and has posted a wonderful video of him jamming out by the fire! This is the video that convinced me to pre-order.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PerplexOn/status/1043936739142881281

The developers, Jesper Nordin and leading iOS developer Jonatan Liljedahl (Kymatica), are amazing musicians and outstanding developers. So I am holding high hopes for a very useful alternative that will allow for some interesting music making. I am not holding my breath for an instrument that is one of those “pick-it-up and understand it now” sort of instruments.

Here is their description off their website…

Gestrument Pro takes everything we loved about Gestrument and improves on its original functionality while introducing a host of new features such as multi-touch, recordable automations, advanced scale editing and our unique system of highly tweakable modular generators that define the pitches and rhythms.

With Gestrument Pro you can Play, Improvise and Compose music with deeper levels of personal expression than ever before.

To wet your appetite even more, before you go hit the pre-order button, here is a YouTube video…

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.

Waves Q10.jpg
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.

Waves Maximizer.jpeg

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.

Cubasis Presets.PNG

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.

VirSyn AudioReverb.PNG

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

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….

IMG_0198

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.”

IMG_0171

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….

 

Notion is on Sale!

I feel REALLY bad for not sharing this here –

Notion LargeNotion is on sale right now! Save like almost 50% off! It’s $7.99 which is a steal. If you are a music educator you need this! Even if you don’t own Notion for your regular computer it’s a no brainer…

  • Start work on your iPad.
  • Use your iPad to hand-write the music
  • Use your iPad to photo-scan sheet music in using something like Sheet Music Scanner and transfer it to Notion to clean up or add to it and then transfer it to your computer via XML to use in Finale/Sibelius/Dorico/Notion or whatever you use for music notation on the computer.
  • Enter Percussion parts via the nifty percussion features on your iPad (Trust me, this is WAY easier than on a desktop!)

The list goes on and on….

If you are a musician you need this app….

  • Compose your own music
  • Arrange a flute part for you to play on your trombone
  • Find music on the internet and import it into Notion for you to play (and take with you everywhere!)

Yes, there is a bit of learning of new software but if you have used music notation apps then you know what is possible and it will not take you long!

Touch Notation from Kawai is On Sale!

If you are looking for an app that allows you to create music notation by handwriting it on your iPad then today until April 16 might just be a good time to get one such app on sale!

Touch NotationTouch Notation from Kawai is normally $12 but is on sale until April 16 for $7.99!

 

Touch Notation Free.pngTouch Notation also comes in a free version so you can try it out

This free version is a great way to get started!

 

Here is the cool thing too – The app is available for iPad as well as iPhone! This means many of your students should have this on their devices!

Check out their demo video to see how easy this is. As I wrote a sort while ago, when you are able to handwrite music on an electronic device the technology in many ways just gets out of the way and you are able to create without having to “figure the app out”. (well you will still have to figure it out but maybe not struggle with it quite as much.)

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!


Session Band Apps still On Massive Sale! Don’t forget bundles!

If you ever have worked with Band In A Box then you are familiar with the concept of the Session Band apps. These things are pretty crazy fast to get a background for a piece of music you are working on. Pick the Session Band app that best fits the style you are going for, type in some chords and hit play! Boom…. Instant fun!

There is at least one HUGE difference here in these apps from some other apps like Band in a Box the loops you find in Session Band are actually recorded by real people! This means even better and more natural sounding loops. The loops all allow you to adjust tempo to your liking. The loops are also copyright free which means you can use the genius results from your explorations in your next big CD release!

There are 12 apps available covering Jazz, Blues, Rock, Piano, EDM, Acoustic Guitar and there is even one that's just plain Drums. There are several volumes of some of these with plans to make more volumes. They are all at $1.99 ( not sure for how much longer though)

Here's another thought too…. BUNDLES!!!! I love bundles of apps but really wish they were easier to find! Here's the fun part…. If you have already purchased one or two of the apps then when there is a sale going on the bundle becomes cheaper too! So in my case the bundle of Sessin Band Apps has 10 of their apps included and costs $12.99 currently. I've bought 2 of those apps before so through “Complete My Bundle” my price now is $6.01! Now THAT is a deal!

The Jazz Bundle has three volumes and is $3.99

The Acoustic Bundle has two apps in in and is $2.99

The big bundle of all ten apps is at $12.99

 

These apps are a great starting point for some people, for other people they actually can serve as excellent accaompaniment tracks for performance. Other people will get inspired by them and others will spend hours in these things.