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…

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Creating Music Where Ever You Are

So this weekend we went camping. While my wife enjoyed her time floating on her tube with her nieces in the lake, watching the little kids play on the big blow up lake toys…. I enjoyed a bit of toying around making music. It’s a ton of fun making music by the campfire sitting at the picnic table.

I used my ROLI SeaBoard Blocks and Roli’s Noise app. I am not comfortable with the whole loop based recording scene so I made myself use it.

I love the expressiveness and response you get from both the Blocks – the keyboard looking one and the new square Block. I like the touch and the feel of the little square Block but the lights need to be brighter!

Once done I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to share my creativity…. the Noise app doesn’t play well with others. No way to create a song besides tapping individual loops and “performing” the whole song live. I can not preset a sequence of the loops and then export and audio file. I could export all the loops into another app as individual recordings but I wanted one final mixdown of “The Song”. I couldn’t even use Noise in conjunction with another app to accomplish this. I ended up using the headphone out jack and my handheld recorder. That meant I had to wait until I got home to do anything else with the final recording because iOS doesn’t let you import audio from an SD card!

At home I opened the card on my laptop, imported the file, then AirDropped it back to the iPad. It felt like cheating… APPLE – you need to fix this issue!

Then I used Wizbel to dump some photos and effects on top of the audio. The photos are all from our summer trips. I wish I could put more photos in. The song is kind of long so the exporting from Wizbel takes a LONG time! In fact I typed all of this post up to here, on my iPhone while waiting for the export and it STILL was only part way done as you can see below….

In the Noise App you get a ton of different sounds that are created for the Blocks. You only get to use four per project though so that’s a bit of a bummer.

The other issue ROLI needs to fix is there is no way to edit your mistakes after recording. I KNOW the MIDI is there so how hard can it be ROLI to simply add a piano roll editor?

But… hey that fits my motto… play, create, share. Too many people worry about getting EVERY single detail right. Too clinical and too much time. I want to explore and I want to be realistic about what my students would end up doing too. Get them creating and then encourage them to share. Even if the final song is a “bit rough around the edges”.

I did discover that the Noise app is synced between your devices! So when I opened my iPhone up I had to download a sound or two before my project would open but there it was! Allowing me to work with either my iPad OR my iPhone! Nice touch ROLI!

So anyways… the final version of the song is both on my YouTube as well as on my SoundCloud. (Or it WILL BE once Wizibel gets done exporting!)

Here’s where the export process is at now….

Don’t expect to use this app in a classroom setting at the end of a class period. That should be understood for the processing of any video file though! Video takes awhile! I’m even using the first gen iPadPro 12.? Inch iPad so it’s a pretty decent processor!

So let’s talk about sharing your content…. did I mention that this entire blog post is being created and shared from my iPhone…. for free? Your students can do the same! Of course the final recording and video are NOT get hosted here on WordPress but instead I am using YouTube and SoundCloud for those items. So if you are not willing to mash up a few services then you would have to pay.

Here ya go….

SoundCloud – Rainy Lake of Dreams

YouTube Link –

Creating music with iPads

There have been some outstanding new developments in the world of music for iOS users this past few months!

First has been the actual release of AudioBus for iOS. As they say on the iTunes Store… This is a revolutionary new inter-app audio routing system allowing you to connect your AudioBus compatible apps together with virtual cables. In other words…. I can be playing a synth on my iPad, like Magellan, and record it into my MultiTrack DAW on the same iPad! This opens up very different possibilities of being able to record from a long list of currently compatable apps into other apps on one iPad instead of having to have two devices or using audio copy/paste. Check out their website for currently compatible apps as the list is changing almost daily!

In the late 80‘s I remember spending many hours programming keyboards for the ministry team at college that I was involved in. It was great fun to get inside of a synth patch and make all sorts of tweaks to it to come up with a new patch that was my own. Little did I imagine then, that I would be able to do this on an iPad with a color, touch screen! Check out the list of apps othe AudioBus page. I think there are some outstanding apps there that will make some outstanding music! Imagine if we could get these apps into the hands of our students in a non-traditional music class!

Audulus App
Audulus

Another major development is the development of apps that allow your creativity to fly to new heights! One of those apps that blew me away today is Audiolus. Audulud is a modular synthesis app that is available for the iPad as well as the Mac. This app allows you to create synth sounds from scratch, one step at a time! I can not begin to imagine the possibilities of this app in a music class combined with science concepts being integrated all in one mega fun unit! Your science teacher and you, the music teacher, could have a hay day with this app! You have got to watch the tutorials on their tutorial page! This tutorial in particular floored me when I started to get a grasp on what this app is capable of…. I love how it starts with a demonstration of the outcome and then it takes you back step by step to build the patch starting from absolutely nothing! (Wait…. isn’t that the model for a great lesson plan?)

Lastly, I would like to leave you with a couple of great examples of amazing performances from people who are truly creating amazing music using iOS and iPads/iPhones. Both of these groups have active YouTube channels that I would suggest you subscribing to

The first person is Rheyne – Rheyne uses live looping with analog keyboards, USB controllers and iOS devices. The videos on his channel are all performed live! The integration he has between all the apps and devices is stunning! His music is digital and does not attempt to re-create an acoustic instrument performance!

The second group is the DigiEnsemble Berlin – This is a group of professional musicians trying to turn mobile devices into instruments. This group has music of both the electronic nature as well as classical and everything in between. You can see them recreating a classical string ensmeble using iphones and ipads for instance or performing Starlight (from the alternative rock band Muse) and then performing a magical, musical interpretation of Silent Night.

This sort of musical creativity needs to be taught in our schools alongside the traditional Band, Choir and General Music classes. Of course that means new classes need to be created and staffed! The biggest reason we need these sort of classes is that our students would be forced to become the innovators, the ones creating and designing the final product. There are not many programs like these in place yet so the development of this type of course is going to muddy water and the learning process will be messy. Let’s wade in and get dirty!

 

Apps for Journaling, Keeping track of your memories…

I’ve never liked keeping a Diary, I really hated keeping a Journal while in college and I’ve never been good about keeping track of events in school that I might need notes on later. Now that I am older though I wish I would have actually kept that journal from my college days – the one with where I’d traveled to, places I ‘d visited and my thoughts on my life then. I think it might be a good idea to keep notes on interactions with students/parents throughout the school year. How is a good way to do this though? How do I keep my professional life separate from my personal life without driving myself crazy.

I want to list a few apps that are possible solutions to this… I also want to list some differences between all of these that I have found…

EveryDay.me  is a new iPhone app/website that has decided to throw it’s hat into a very crowded sea of possibilities. This app is meant to be just for you. It’s a personal app allowing you to write about your day, let’s you keep photos, videos, and even those little face’s saying you were happy or sad or whatever. All of this is only for you. It is all a private record of your life experiences. Right now users can link Facebook/Instagram and Twitter to their timelines. Posts to those services will be automatically pulled into your EverydayMe. You can also email a post to EverydayMe – use the same email account as your EverydayMe account and send an email to post@everyday.me which can be useful if your iPhone is not useable at the moment.

The web site Everydayme.com allows you to only view your entries and change a few settings. The web site is not meant to create entries.

The next release will allow Foursquare, Tumblr, FitBit and Nike+ integration. This daily record of your daily life is available online and of an iPhone app. Android and other mobile apps are supposedly in the works, as are printed “quarterly and annual reports” with highlights and statistics.

EverydayMe is meant to be only for you to keep track of what is going on in your life.

Path is another iPhone app (also Android) that allows you to create a timeline of your daily experiences that is shareable by up to 150 people. It is meant to be very personal still in that your timeline is not searchable online, in fact you can not even view your timeline on the web! The website allows you to adjust settings for your profile but that is it! Your default profile is set to Private.

Path allows you to check in to a location, post your thoughts of the day, post pictures or videos, share who you are with and while creating a Path entry you can also post to Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and Tumblr.

Path allows you to interact with your other friends. It also has options to indicate when you go to bed and wake up.

Path draws my attention because I do like sharing my social life with other – just not as many people as I would if I was using FaceBook. Path is much easier to control the privacy from as well. Path is a beautiful app to use, browse through your past history and it is the app I compare all others to for pure aesthetic beauty! I really am anxious for Path Developers to create an iPad version as well as allowing people to view my timeline form a web browser, IF I give the link to them of course!

Of course Path is not someplace where you should be posting about the latest problem you had at school with Johnny! These next apps are possible choices for that sort of instance though…. These apps are personal journals/diarys.

First up is another iPhone app – Momento – a quick and easy way to write about what is going on in your life. It is quick to write a post, insert a photo to go along with that post, tag it with the people involved, attach a location and even tag events or create other custom tags that are later searchable. What drew me to this app the first time was that Momento also brings in many of the social feeds you may already be generating on a daily basis. So as I post to Twitter those posts are sucked into Momento. There are a ton of these social integrations in Momento – Here is a section from their website. If you use social media and want many of those feeds integrated into your diary then this app may work well for you! The only thing to be aware of though is that this app brings IN social media feeds but it does not SEND OUT. In other words, if you want to tweet then don’t try doing it from Momento or if you want to check into FourSquare then use the FourSquare app!

This is the last app I am including in this post. I thought I would be very remiss if I did not include one app that was made for the iPad though. I tend to write my experiences from my iPhone because it allows me to include pictures that are better quality that are also GPS embedded. But if you are like me then you want apps that are made for iPhone, iPad and even having a desktop/laptop version of the software is a huge bonus!

I have not used this app but am thinking about trying it out because of the fact that mentioned above!

Day One is a journaling app that allows you to write your post, include a picture along with the weather and even lookup your location using the FourSquare API. You can share your entries via email, Twitter, Messages and Flickr as well as creating a FourSquare checkin. I wish it would also tie into Tumblr, FaceBook and Google+

This is the app that reminds me the most of an old fashioned journal with a good twist of modern included. It looks like it would be a great looking app. This would also be the best spot I think to keep track of daily interactions between students, parents and other school related activities. I don’t think though that there is a good way to keep all your school stuff separate from your personal activities.

I am sure there are even better ways to keep track of your daily life vs your school teaching life. Leave me comments below please about which apps you are using to fill this slot.