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So, what’s the black box?

Just a little teaser for a hardware thing, more about this soon …

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My 24 apps of Christmas: 8 – ThumbJam

This is another obvious choice. ThumbJam is an app I’ve been using since the day it came out. It’s excellent in its simplicity and elegance. I know for a fact that it is used in so many contexts in community music and in education too and it’s much loved as well.

It is one of the first and probably best examples of an app that is also a digital instrument in its own right. I use it often and it always works well and delivers great results.

So for so many reasons, ThumbJam is right up there in my 24 apps of this year.

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My 24 Apps of Christmas: 7 – Bleep!BOX

Another old favourite in my 24 apps for Christmas. I know that Bleep!BOX isn’t everyone’s favourite but for me it’s still a great app. Bleep!BOX has been around for over 4 years now. It’s had countless updates in that time. It is still an incredibly flexible app once you’ve got to grips with the interface.

I struggled to get to grips with it myself when it first came out, but I pushed through it and once I had it all made sense to me. Once you’ve got through that, it will make sense. At least it did for me.

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My 24 Apps of Christmas: 6 – Aurora

So it’s been a few days since my last post in my series of my 24 apps for Christmas. So number 6 is Aurora from 4Pockets. Aurora has been around for a long time now, and I’m not just talking about on iOS either. Originally Aurora was a Windows Mobile app, and that’s where I started using it.

I’m a fan of apps where you can do everything in one go. Single studio apps let’s call them. Aurora has a great and very intuitive interface. If you’ve ever used a grid based sequencer then it’ll make sense. Files can be moved between the iPhone and iPad versions of the app very simply too, although I’m not sure if you can move files between iOS and Windows Mobile. Maybe I’ll have to try that out soon.

What I really like about Aurora is how you can use it to build sounds and tracks very easily. It, and by that I mean both iOS versions, hasn’t had a serious overhaul in quite some time. I’d like to think that 4Pockets will update both versions at some point in the not too distant future. If they did decide to update it, then I’d love it if they could include a mutli channel export, or indeed multi channel feed into audiobus.

Aurora Sound Studio (iPhone) on the app store:

Aurora Sound Studio HD (iPad) on the app store:

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microSketch for iPad arrives

MicroSketch is a music app for playing and experimenting with equal divisions of the octave. The division can be anything from 7 to 96. The app is polyphonic up to the capabilities of your device’s processor (typically 24 voices) and multi-timbral with 16 ‘instrumental’ timbres. The instruments are all fully synthesized (no samples!) using subtractive, additive, frequency modulation, the Karplus-Strong string model, VoSim, and granular synthesis techniques.
The keyboard can have a variable number of keys arranged in a square from 5 by 5 up to 15 by 15. The keyboard is isomorphic, with the horizontal and vertical interval set independently for each instrument. Other properties of the instruments can also be set independently, like the pan position, amplitude, and reverb mix amount. The bottom note
for each instrument can also be set. Each instrument can be set in ‘Sustain’ mode, where a
key touch turns a note on, and another key touch releases the note. For some instruments,
the ‘Sustain’ mode gives you a variation on that instrument.

A simple metronome is included.

The app costs $4.99 on the app store: