Auria Goes PRO! Now THERE is some news worth reading!

Auria Header

Over at the Auria discussion boards it was announced today that one of THE big DAW apps for iPad is going to be going to a new version which will be called “Auria Pro”.

If you are not familiar with what Auria is currently here it is…. Auria is one of the leading Digital Audio Workstations for iPad offering 48 tracks of digital audio playback from iPad and 24 tracks of simultaneous recording! I’ve said it before… when the concept of Auria was first introduced people could not believe that this would ever happen!

Now Auria is taking the next step…. of course we have heard rumors that this was going to happen but now it is official with the first public showing happening at the upcoming NAMM show! Here is the run down with some screen shots of the new and might I say much improved UI….

Some of you who are still using older iPads are going to want to start thinking about upgrading to an iPad Air or iPad Air2 because it is my guess that these new features are not going to do so well on much less – iPad2 is gonna be out as the current version of Auria won’t run that well on it.

Another thought – for those of you who are freaking out at the $49.99 price tag because you have never spent more than $1.99 on an app….. This is a pro app, this gives you functionality that has only been available on desktop apps in the past and those apps have cost $200 up to $500!

New Features: (I have bolded the items that are the main head liners……)

– Comprehensive MIDI capabilities including:
– MIDI sequencing
– Tempo and Time-signature tracks
– Piano roll editor
– Real-time MIDI parameters including quantize, velocity shift, velocity compression,
length compression, random, delay, legato and transpose
– Groove template quantizing with built-in DNA grooves (additional grooves available for
purchase)
– MIDI processing functions including Transpose, Fixed Length, Velocity Gain, Fixed
Velocity, Delete Notes, Delete Controller, Restrict Polyphony, Optimize Controller Data,
Humanize, Delete Overlaps, Crescendo, Reverse, Pedal to Length, Velocity Rescale,
Velocity Range, Velocity Curve and Compress/Limit
– FabFilter Twin 2 Analog synth built in
– WaveMachine Labs multi-format sampler built in
– Powerful new audio routing with flexible busses
– Real-time audio warping using Elastique Pro v3
– Audio quantize feature
– Transient slicing
– Audio to MIDI conversion – WHAT!?! 
– Unlimited tracks
– 6 AUX sends
– Project templates
– Updated graphics and overall performance improvements

Auria Pro will be available Spring 2015 and will be priced at $49.99, and existing Auria users will also be able to upgrade to Auria Pro for a reduced price. I have no idea what the upgrade price will be but the full version of the current app is on a 50% sale for $24.99. Pricing for the standard Auria version will be staying at $24.99.

editor_detail editor midi_control mixer piano_roll warp_markers

Holderness Media Effects Apps for iPhone Released! (Sale price right now too!)

crystalline_perform_view_iPad_Air_854wOne of the great iOS Music Developers, Holderness Media, has had a suite of effects apps out for iPad for awhile now. The news of the week though is that on Jan 8, 2015, he released four of the apps for iPhone! Now our little iOS friends can take part in the fun alongside the iPad!

This is going to be loads of fun especially since an iPhone6+ has the extra screen space but is still small enough to stick in your pocket! These effects can easily replace a guitarists effects pedals or work alongside of them! (Of course those pedals aren’t going to fit in your pocket very well though!)

stereodesigner_screen_sliders_2048x1536Just look at all the tweak-able controls you get in these apps! X-Y Pads to make fast easy adjustments, then there are the sliders on the next screen that allow even more tweaking, morphing, echoes, swooping and all sorts of fun on the fly! You do not even have to have any idea what you are doing to have fun with controls like these available at your fingertips!

These apps allow you to apply the effects a live input, like a guitar/drum module/keyboard etc… or any app that is AudioBus/InterAppAudio compatible! I’ve included a video at the bottom of this post that will give you a little idea of what is possible with these apps.

It bears mentioning that I fully support Christopher Rice’s (the developer) decision to charge for iPhone versions of these apps. Many people may not like having to pay twice but when you have great developers who love the iOS community and work hard to give us amazing apps, they deserve our financial support! Plus, the are offering amazing deals on the app bundles! Buy the bundle and save a bundle!

Here are the four iPhone apps – Each is $1.99

Echo Pad - HoldernessEcho Pad (This is the only one of the Holderness apps that is actually an universal app. Which means you only have to buy one app that will work on iPad and iPhone)

Crystalline - HoldernessCrystalline mini

Stereo Designer Mini - Holderness MediaStereo Designer Mini

Swoopster Holderness MediaSwoopster Mini

Caramel - Holderness MediaCaramel Mini

Here are the links for the iPad Versions –

Echo Pad - HoldernessEcho Pad  (This is the only one of the Holderness apps that is actually an universal app. Which means you only have to buy one app that will work on iPad and iPhone)

Crystalline - HoldernessCrystalline

Stereo Designer Mini - Holderness MediaStereo Designer

Swoopster Holderness MediaSwoopster

Caramel - Holderness MediaCaramel

Here are links to the bundles –

Holderness Media Bundle – iPhone Bundle ($8.99) – 50% off currently

Holderness Media Bundle – iPad Bundle ($11.99)

 

Caramel YouTube Video – The other apps are kind of self explanatory but Caramel is a much deeper app with some amazing possibilities! Take a Look –

iMIDIPatchbay app on sale! (HUGE SALE!)

iMIDI PatchBay

iMIDIPatchbay Small IconiMIDIPatchbay is currently on sale for only $10! (That’s is down from the $29.99 it usually sells for and even more reduced from the release price of $49.99!) Plus it is now an universal app which means it will work on both the iPad and the iPhone!

If you have several different  apps on your iPad with great sounds in them and you are interested in using 2 or more apps at the same time then this app is for you!

If you work with keyboards then you probably know what a MIDI controller is. This app turns an keyboard into a master MIDI controller… set up any keyboard to have different splits for instance to have the left end play AniMoog and the right end to play Nave. In fact set up 4 splits! Make it so that your sustain pedal only sustains the sound from AniMoog and not Nave and your expression pedal only affects Nave.

List of features

  • Create split and layer configurations very easily
  • Support for up to 4 master keyboards
  • Send volume and other control changes to your sound devices
  • Send Program Changes to your sound devices
  • Transpose sounds in octave steps
  • Transpose the hole rig in half-tone steps
  • Filter controller data (sustain, pitch bend etc.)
  • Store configurations as songs for later recall
  • Switch songs of iMIDIPatchbay from another app or MIDI device via Program Changes
  • Switch songs while holding down keys or holding e.g. the sustain pedal without getting stuck notes
  • Play all your sounds even if you don’t have all your master keyboards with you: “master switches” allow you to make another master act as a substitute for it (advanced feature!)
  • Create setlists to arrange songs for your performances
  • Link multiple PDFs (e.g. sheet music or notes) from Dropbox to each song
  • Backup settings to Dropbox
  • UI which is optimized for live usage
  • Universal app for iPad and iPhone

If you are not sure how powerful this app is check out YouTube for a few of the videos that are easily found like this one from the developer….

iFretless Bass App Review

iFretlessIconThere are so many music apps available online that it is sometimes hard to filter through and find the truly inovative apps that will truly change the way we make music. Even when you do stumble on an app that you think might fit into this category it takes me several videos and a ton of reading to fully believe enough to actually pull the trigger and purchase the app.

iFretless Bass is one of those apps. I have been looking at this app for a while now and after seeing a YouTube video this weekend I decided it was time to make a purchase. Here are the two reasons I think this app is going to be a blast to start using;

  1. The interface allows for a new method of interaction not easily done on a piano style interface. This interface allows for so much more expression and access to a wider range than a piano does on iPad. Go watch a few videos on their web site and you will see what I mean.
  2. The app allows you to use MIDI to control other apps. This means that even though this app has amazing samples already included that are going to allow anyone to record some great bass lines, the sound options are endless with the inclusion of MIDI! Use iFretless to control Animoog or SampleTank or whatever other app you want. Even use it to control external MIDI devices!

Of course I would not even bring this app up on my blog here if it did not support AudioBus! One other technique I am going to try out is using this app along with Apollo, an app that allows me to use Bluetooth technology to wirelessly control a software synth inside of Logic Pro on my MacBook. I hope the latency is fast enough to use live!

Go watch a few of their videos, actaully go watch all of their videos! This app is going to be a nice addition to my live performance tools not to mention the apps I use to record my own songs! I love the new interface and possibilities it all opens up!

This is the app featuring iFretless Bass and Voice into iVoxel –

New iPad Synth App

cs_iconVirSynth has released their latest synth for the iPad called CubeSynth for iPad. Notice that it is named CubeSynth FOR IPAD – that’s because there is a desktop version of this app as well! Currently the app is on sale for half price – soon it will be selling at it’s normal price of $19.99 so purchase now if you are interested at all.

CubeSynth is another great example of what can be accomplished on an iPad in the world of music creation! Here is the intro paragraph from their website….

“Cube Synth is a groundbreaking new iPad synthesizer giving you the power and flexibility of
additive synthesis together with easy editing and morphing capabilities. Macro parameters
allow you to control this beast with unequalled ease.”

CubeSynth allows us to easily allow control of the app through things like breath controllers! So hook an EWI up to your iPad, put it in the hands of a capable woodwind player and all sorts of fun can be had! This is one of those “living sound” sort of apps – you know, the kind where the sounds are not static. The sound from this synth morph, change, and evolve in ways not possible with a traditional wind instrument! There is a built in arpeggiator as well as a pair of dice! The dice are great because they create endless variations of sounds at the push of a button – allowing for quick and easy custom sounds, arpeggio’s and effects! That means your students can quickly create their “own” sounds as they explore the app. Which in turn may lead them to start digging in and exploring what is actually changing so they can better understand synthesis.

CubeSynth fully supports AudioBus and Virtual MIDI – meaning that this app plays well with others. You can also publish to SoundCloud right from within CubeSynth. SoundCloud is a wonderful way for your students to create and share those creations! It is free so if you are not using it currently you should!

VirSynth is also the developers behind other amazing iOS app’s – Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 12.04.44 PMAddictive Synth (an aptly named synth app that will cause you to loose several hours as you play with it!) and Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 12.05.38 PMHarmonyVoice (For you singers – or maybe those who can’t sing so well – HarmonyVoice turns your voice into four!) to name several.

I will say that the videos VirSynth has posted on thier YouTube channel are not giving me sound – so as of today, if you want to see what CubeSynth sounds and works like simply do a search on YouTube for other’s videos.

 

(Disclosure  – I have started using the iTunes affiliate program. That means the links contained in this blog give me a small percentage back to help support this blog. It doesn’t cost you anything at all – you pay the same price for the apps but Apple gives back to those of us that take part in the program if you purchase the app by using the link contained in this blog post. Thank you for reading and supporting this blog!)

Creating Music with iPads

    

I was “One of Those” that said, “The iPad is more for consuming than creating.” Of course that was the first 6 months I ever owned my iPad (which was the first 6 months they were available – I bought the original iPad the day it came out. Go read my first blog post on this blog to find out my adventure THAT day!)

Now I would never even think that quote! Yes, I still use my iPad to consume plenty but I also use my iPad to do things my laptop used to take care of for me. In fact there are activities I don’t even consider touching my laptop for anymore!

One area that I don’t have time to explore very often during the school year is creating music on my iPad. It seems with all the day to day activities of teaching that I totally loose touch with musical explorations and composing. I’ve been taking more time lately to do this and I am floored at what I can do with an iPad and a few apps. I am not going to give you a history lesson here but I will say that at one time in my career I dreamed of creating a wonderful MIDI lab outfitted with computers, keyboards, speakers and mixers for my students to use. That dream never happened because of the crazy cost involved. My dream has been reshaped. Here is what I’ve found….

BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS
You have to have a multi-track recording app to start with in order to really have fun here. There are plenty of apps out there – the most obvious one is of GarageBand for the iPad, then the list goes on from there. On the cheaper end of things there is MultiTrack DAW from HarmonicDog, Meteor MultiTrack Recorder from 4 Pockets Audio, Music Studio from Xewton, and NanoStudio from Blip Interactive. If you really want to get serious then there are a couple of big players (read as expensive for one thing!) – Cubasis by Steinberg and Auria App by WaveMachine Labs.

Cubasis Logo1st Block – All of these apps will allow you to record multiple tracks of audio. You play, it records – simple! In fact, Auria was one of those apps that blew everyone away when it was first publicized because many could not fathom the iPad being able to record 48 tracks of digital audio! We all held our breath hoping this dream would come true and it finally did come true. It works very, very well too!

Many of these above apps will also allow you to use the synths built into the app in order to record multiple tracks alongside the audio (MultiTrackDAW and Auria strictly audio apps, no synths or drum machines built-in). You should be familiar with GarageBand, these other apps are much the same idea. Drums, Keyboards, Flutes, Bass, Synth… you name it they are all there!

I own and use both Cubasis and MultiTrack DAW. I finally bought Cubasis because of the added support for MIDI and AudioBus. AudioBus….. if you are not familiar with what AudioBus is you will be before you finish this post! It is the glue that takes the apps I just mentioned and intertwines those with other amazing apps. AudioBus is the 2nd Block

AudioBus2nd Block – AUDIOBUS
AudioBus is what brings apps together! Many of the above apps have synths and drum machines available along with the ability to record audio or MIDI but the real fun comes in when you can also take other stand alone apps and use them as inputs for the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Again, AudioBus was one of those apps that people could not believe would work when the press releases first came out. We held our breath and prayed that AudioBus would actually do what was being promised. I’m so glad to be able to say that it works wonderfully! In fact it works so well that Apple made and unprecedented move and built support for it into GarageBand. Apple doesn’t support 3rd party apps on a whim!

So if AudioBus is what brings our Apps together than why would we even need this capability? Well this brings us to the 3rd Block….

AnyTune Logo3rd BLOCK – STAND ALONE INSTRUMENT APPS
I use the word Instrument loosely here because I am talking about a wide variety of apps here. Synths, Drum Machines, Guitar simulators, Vocal apps, Looping apps, Arpeggiators, DJ Turntables apps and Sampling apps to name a few! Even apps that Band and Choir Directors should be using in rehearsals like AnyTune Pro+ from AnyStone Technologies and TonalEnergy Tuner from Sonosaurus – If you are a music teacher in anyway shape or form you really need those two apps by the way!

There are some $5, $10, $15 and $20 apps out there that are the equivalent of my Roland X8 keyboard that I payed $2,500 for!

This past couple of weeks has seen some outstanding apps released that have really raised the bar for what is possible on an iPad.
ThorThor is one and the other is Nave Nave. If you have not seen these two apps and watched some of the videos about what they are capable of you need to YouTube them, check out the companies websites and the tutorials listed there.

Here are some of the other outstanding apps that I use and enjoy.

Alchemy, AniMoog, Figure, Impactor, Magellan, Seline Ultimate, SunRizer, ThumbJam and DrumJam

One of the reasons I find these sort of apps so outstanding and fun is that they offer me ways to manipulate the music/sound that I have never had before. They also make working with different scales fun and easy! There are new ways to interface with the music too – no longer am I tied to a traditional keyboard! Impactor for instance lets me tap on my desk and have it turn into drum sounds!

NOW LET’S BUILD SOMETHING!
So with your multitrack app of your choice (I would start with GarageBand) and AudioBus and one of the Input apps (I would start with ThumbJam or AniMoog) get your creative hat on and start playing around! I would just start messing around with the different interfaces, like the smart instruments in GarageBand, until you found something “cool”. Use that as a starting block, record something! Then start adding to that until you have a song!

NOW SHARE
This we all learned in BEFORE kindergarten, Share with others! SoundCloud is a simple app and service that is free. In short, SoundCloud is your record company that will allow you to publish your work to the world! Their iOS app is wonderful! Below I have included the link to one of my songs that I uploaded onto SoundCloud which would give you a chance to try out and explore SoundCloud if you are not familiar with it. Listen to my song and leave me a comment! I use SoundCloud all the time with my High School Band…. we upload a recording of rehearsal and then they go evaluate the recording by leaving comments. The comments show up “in time” with the wave form as the audio plays, it is very slick! (This is an entire new blog post….)

ONE OF MY CREATIONS
This is one of my creations to give you an example of what is possible. I used Cubasis and AudioBus. I ended up with 13 tracks of recorded material – 2 of those were soft synths inside of Cubasis and the rest were all digital audio from another app. Here is the list of apps I used – Nave, Thor, ThumJam and SunRizer. I did all of this on my iPad2 sitting in my easy chair, my bed as I was getting ready to sleep, in the car on the way to town and in the public library! (why else would you go to the library right?)

I call it Sachabac because it is based off from the Sabach scale from Europe (of which I know nothing about so go Google it!)

FINAL NOTES (UPDATED)
One of the reasons I like Thor and Cubasis is that they also have desktop versions of their apps. That means you can start a project on your iPad and move to your regular computer later to finish it, change it and even transfer it back to your iPad! Versatility is wonderful.

I have had some issues with Cubasis – for it being the price that it is I don’t really expect to have issues like these. One of those issues showed up tonight for the first time ever – My melody line recording got moved ahead one measure in the mix down! It was only the last 3rd of the song that got moved ahead like that, very weird. The other issue I was having was that the app would crash when I would try using it with an external audio interface (an Griffin iMic). That is not listed on their web site as an interface that is actually supported so I cannot blame them BUT that interface worked just fine with Harmonic Dogs’ MultiTrack DAW! With that being said…. I am very glad I spent the money on Cubasis and have NOT asked for a refund!

One last warning – on my iPad2 the processor is taxed to it’s limits doing this stuff! 90% of the time it works fine. There are times though, with Nave especially, that the audio just stutters and I have to choose a different sound to use. When recording audio like this I wholeheartedly believe that you actually need to use the force quite function on your iPad! Quite every single app in your dock, in fact after doing that, re-boot your iPad! I never ever use the force quite capability any other time… go google it if you don’t believe me that it really is not neccesary usually.