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

 

 

 

ME&T Podcast #8 Featuring The Developer from Sheet Music Scanner is now out!

Chris and I have had a busy first part of 2017nso it has been a little while since we have found the time to put a new podcast out. But we had a great talk with David Zemsky, the developer of Sheet Music Scanner – an iOS app that is pretty disruptive to our workflows as musicians. Using this app and your devices built in camera it is simple to turn a static sheet of music into digital music that you can do many things with. One of the most important things is that you can listen to what the music is supposed to sound like allowing for quicker understanding of that sheet music. I love these chances to sit and find out more about the developers who have a passion to help change the face of music education, the developers who want to change the capabilities musicians have through the use of technology. David is a great person whose desire for developing his app is evident in our discussions.

Chris and I discuss quite a few other current topics current in the world of music, education and technology. Check out the show notes on our METPodcast WordPress page

Here is the podcast from our SoundCloud page which is sponsored by UberChord

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!

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. 

BlocksWave – FREE – GET IT!

If you are a musician and like creating music with your iOS device then this is the deal of the day for you!

Blocks WaveBlocs Wave is FREE – Not sure for how long and I’ve got to go rehearse so this is just a copy and paste from the App Store. I will say you may have to spend a few seconds to figure it out AND I will say they want you to buy their IAP’s . The reason I’m saying download it is because YOU can put your OWN content in their! Create loops and perform with loops!

Think Ableton Live but not at that level BUT one of the closest apps you will find on iOS.

Blocs Wave is a powerful and beautifully designed music app for making and recording new music quickly. For songwriters and electronic music makers alike, it is an on-the-move portable music studio.

Start new musical ideas by discovering new sounds across genres. Make your tunes unique by slicing and rearranging your sounds. Play with beautiful touchable waveforms and build up loops in real-time by recording your voice or other sounds, and build bigger ideas using song sections. Blocs Wave is also great for live looping, thanks to its real-time stretch and pitch engine.

Features
• Find ideas quickly – Combine sounds across genres
• Chop up sounds – Use Slice Mode to make every sound unique
• Play with sounds – Beautiful, touchable waveforms
• Record new sounds – Capture your own vocals and instruments
• Explore a huge sound library – Find amazing sounds across genres from electronic to indie, EDM to songwriting, and more
• Expand your collection – Download more sounds from an ever-expanding soundpack library
• Export your music – Create a mixdown or export individual tracks
• Launchpad Soundpack sharing – Get hundreds more genres and styles through our Launchpad for iOS app

Advanced Features
• Real-time stretching – Change tempo while playing
• Real-time recording – Build up live recorded loops in real-time
• Export and Import – Bring in your own sounds from other apps, or export to them
• Key aware – All library sounds stay in-key with each other
• User library – Manage your recorded and imported sounds
• Works well with others – Supports Audiobus, AudioCopy/AudioShare and hardware input
• Jam in sync – Supports Ableton Link

Compatible with iPad 2, iPad (3rd Generation), iPad (4th Generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Pro (12.9 inch and 9.7 inch), iPhone SE, 7/7 Plus, 6/6s Plus, 6/6s, 5/5s/5c, 4s.

Supports iOS 8, 9 and 10.

Music Making Apps On Sale

Want to MAKE MUSIC with your iOS device? Here are some sales for the weekend!

MUSIC THEORY APP
Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro – $11.99

BIG NEWS RELEASE

I am about two weeks behind in writing about the AudioBus 3 updates so if you have heard of Audiobus 3 and Midiflow I’d not be surprised! I will write more about these apps but suffice it to say that these new apps and technologies are changing the workflow of musicians all over! Jump to the bottom of this post to see a couple of YouTube videos that help explain the excitement around these app! One of the reasons I think music teachers are going to use these is the fact that there is so much capability built into ONE place! This translates into easier to use!


AudioBus 3 Icon.pngAudioBus 3 – $9.99

Midiflow Bundle.pngMidiflow for Audiobus 3 (The whole bundle of 6 apps) – $8.99

Midiflow Keyboard Icon.pngMidiflow Keyboard – $2.99

Midiflow Limiter.pngMidiflow Limiter – Velocity Curve – $1.99

Midiflow Splitter.pngMidiflow Splitter – $2.99

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 1.07.53 PM.pngMidiflow Transposer – Free

Midiflow Randomizer.pngMidiflow Randomizer – $1.99

Midiflow Scales.pngMidiflow Scales – $1.99

APP SALES FOR MUSIC CREATION

Because of the AudioBus 3 update many of the following apps have been recently updated with the capability to take advantage of all the goodness now offered in AudioBus 3 and the newly integrated MIDIFlow.

RECORDING APPS
MultiTrackDAW – $9.99 (This is NOT on sale but has just been updated! If you want the most straight forward DAW for iPad that is quick to use and easy to understand then this is it!)

iMaschine 2 – $4.99

Quantiloop – $5.99

reSonare Recording Studio – $1.99

SYNTH APPS
Poseiden – $11.99

DRUM APPS
ElasticDrums – $5.99

iMaschine 2 – $4.99

VOCALISTS
VocaLive for iPhone – $13.99

VocaLive for iPad – $13.99

LIGHTING APPS (Get some smart bulbs by LIFx or Phillips Hue and have easy lighting for your next concert!)
Lightbow for Phillips hue/ LIFx – $1.99

Light DJ Pro – $4.99

 

AUDIOBUS DEMO

 

MIDIFLOW DEMO

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.)

Klimper is FREE!

Do you teach composition and music exploration and scales and chords to your music students? Do YOU like to explore chord progressions and different types of scales? Then go download Klimper – Explore, Improvise, Compose by Tobias Suellhoefer – its free and packed with all sorts of ways to do exactly what the title says – explore musical sounds. 

Apps on 50% off Sale that Musicians NEED!

Currently I am on Spring Break so I am not going to write a ton here because it is WAY more fun to spend time with family, learning to code and playing on the ocean front.

If you want to get started on making music with your iPad then there has never been as good of a time as now!

Korg has released the desktop version of Korg Gadget. That means they are also having a nice sale on their iOS apps right now too!

Korg Gadget – $20

Korg iM1 – $15

Korg Wavestation – $20

Korg Arp ODYSSEi – $20

Korg Module – $20

EVEN MORE EXCITING….

Cubasis ($25) has just been updated to version 2.1 and now takes advantage of the soon to be released AudioBus3, has a newly reworked MIDI Editor and has RoomWorks SE in there too! There are more improvements but you will have to dig a little deeper to find all those goodies!

 

Now my computer battery is going to die and I’m tired so time to go!