Let me start by saying that I really love drum synths. I think that the first drum machine I ever owned was actually four drum synth modules and a sequencer running them. It was hand made too. Ever since then I’ve loved drum synths and iOS has its fair share of them. However, there are a few that really keep me coming back time after time.
The first of these was tweakybeat (App Store link), and I still think it’s a brilliant little drum synth. I’m patiently waited for the MIDI clock update which will make it even better, and I really hope that it won’t be too long now. The next, and in fact the app that is my current favourite for making drum sounds is SeekBeats (app store link). Seekbeats is incredible. What you can do with it in terms of sound design is brilliant.
So, enter Elastic Drums. I have to say that I’ve been completely impressed by this iPhone drum machine. In terms of sound, in terms of design, and in terms of functionality. It is amazing.
What’s so good about it? Well, for starters the range of sounds you can get from it. It is superb. Basically there are 6 drum sounds. Each one can be a different synth engine ranging from kick, hat, snare, clap, square, fm, fm4op, wobble, grain, or tom. Enough to be going on with? Then on top of that each engine has specific parameters for tweaking. Each drum sound can be panned where you want it, and send to two FX. But it gets even better, each parameter for each drum sound can be automated individually. This gives amazing possibilities for creating some really great synth drum tracks.
There’s more too, a good mixer and export options etc. It’s audiobus ready too.
I can’t praise this drum synth enough. All it needs next is MIDI clock sync, which is apparently coming in the next release and it’ll be perfect in my view.
If you don’t know it, then I urge you to take a look. It’s a great app.
I don’t normally go in for the ‘music as an app’ idea, with one or two exceptions, and this is certainly one. I’ve been listening to dreamSTATE’s Ephemeral City for a few days and I really love it. The music is gorgeous and evolves naturally and seamlessly and the visuals are excellent.
I can thoroughly recommend it as not only a good app, but a really high quality music and visual production.
Here’s the app store description for more detail:
dreamSTATE presents their new multimedia iAlbum of ever-changing ambient music and urban ambient art by Scott M2. A new infinite arrangement is created for you every time Ephemeral City is played. Lose yourself in the endless drift of the ephemeral, while walking through your own city, while reading, working, creating, thinking, relaxing or sleeping. This iAlbum can also play in the background while you read your e-mail or e-books or browse the net.
While Ephemeral City weaves a fresh musical arrangement for you every time, you can adjust the density of the mix from a rarefied atmosphere to a full-on flow or from the dark to the light. Set the Timer to define the length of the album. Adjust the speed of the visual transitions to reveal new fusion imagery.
Place your iPhone or iPad in your speaker dock to display the evolving visual art of Scott M2’s surreal cityscapes. Employ the mute button for a pure art experience or turn off your screen for a pure musical experience.
Trailblazing Canadian soundscape artists dreamSTATE (Scott M2 and Jamie Todd) created their first evolving ambient installation in 1996. Now, with the help of ReFla5h the Apptician, they’ve created an infinite multimedia ambient installation for your iPhone, iTouch or iPad (with iOS 5.1.1 or higher).
Welcome to a new paradigm for albums – experience Ephemeral City now.
- A Tour Guide page walks you through the controls – or just let the iAlbum play.
- The Control Panel gives you the option of adjusting the music mix and the speed of the visuals.
- A Timer can turn off the music after 15 minutes or up to 8 hours.
- Your Mix, Visuals and Timer settings are maintained between visits.
- A speaker icon mutes or restores the sound without adjusting volume buttons.
- The ambient art continues to evolve when the sound is muted.
- You can turn off the screen for long battery life during extended deep listening sessions.
- An Info section contains bios for the creators and links to more dreamSTATE music.
- Plays on any iPhone, iTouch or iPad with iOS 5.1.1 or higher.
- Headphones or quality speakers are recommended for the deepest immersive experience.
The app costs $2.99 on the app store
It appears that Skoog is not as over as we’d thought.
Here’s what they have to say …
Thank you so much for your contribution to our Indiegogo campaign. By now you will have received your refund and you may be wondering what’s next for Skoog 2.0.
The good news is that we’ve just received a massive boost to our campaign in the shape of a loan from our existing shareholders. This loan will cover the initial tooling costs, meaning that all that remains to start shipping SKOOG 2.0 is to find the funds to pay for our first production run and to complete the final CE/compliance testing process. This is where we need your help.
We are going to re-launch our campaign on Indiegogo this Friday, and with your continued support, Skoog 2.0 WILL be going ahead!
So what’s different?
Inevitably, we’ve had to change our launch plan to accommodate evolving circumstances and demand. We’ll still be offering some great value early-bird discounts, and we’ll make sure you get the same price as you paid last time. Here are the key changes:
Delivery deadline extended to May 2015
Initial tablet launch will be offered with Skoogmusic iOS for iPad only.
Mogo iOS (Synth app for iPad) will be delayed until September 2015.
Android versions will be delayed until 2016 (unless there is a significant increase in demand).
When the campaign is finished, the suggested retail price for Skoog 2.0 will increase from £179 to £279 (so this time you’ll be making an even bigger saving over RRP!).
So Figooroo has arrived. Below is the app’s description. One thing I’m hearing is that you can only use this with version 1.7 of Figure and not 1.7.1 because of the file output. I don’t know if that’s going to get fixed any time soon.
Figooroo is the Figure sidekick app you always wanted. With Figooroo you can:
- open up to 4* Figure songs at once
- copy instruments, patterns, tweaks (defaults & motions), mixer levels from one song to another
- join one song with another
- shift a song with or without wrapping
- resize a song by trimming/repeating bars or shrinking/stretching them
- convert rhythms to notes
- email a song or open it in other Figure compatible app at any time
By alternating between shift, resize, copy and join, you can combine songs in many ways.
Converting rhythms is a very useful function allowing you to alternate between different rhythms in the same song and also slowdown/speed-up a song keeping the rhythm intact.
8 bar songs are too short for you? In Figure you can simulate a 16 bar song by halving the tempo, but the rhythms are also slowed down, making them more or less useless. Now, with Figoroo you can take two 8 bar songs recorded at normal tempo (even with different rhythms), resize each of them to 4 bars and join them together. All you have to do is open the new song in Figure and halve its tempo.
Wanna get those perfect notes in, but the song is too long and you have to wait another 30 seconds for another chance to record them? Why not split the song into pieces, open a piece in Figure, record the notes and then go back to Figooroo to join the pieces together.
Recording really really fast arpeggios is not easy in Figure, but Figooroo can help you achieve that. Record a song in Figure and open it in Figooroo to shrink it to fewer bars, thus increasing its playback speed.
You can also loop certain sections of the song and do many other things that you’ll discover along the way.
* Figooroo has 2 slots (A & B) with each one able to hold 2 songs
Figooroo is free on the app store