Apple updates GarageBand to 2.1, brings AU instruments at last

Just to round off today (for me anyway), here’s what Apple have brought to GarageBand in version 2.1:

  • Use Live Loops to create music by triggering instrument loops and DJ-style effects in real time using Multi-Touch gestures*
  • Add a virtual Drummer to your song who takes direction and performs realistic acoustic & electronic drum grooves
  • Record adjustments of any Touch Instrument control knob in real time
  • Create and edit automation curves to control the volume of any track
  • Shape the sound of a Touch Instrument or audio recording using Simple EQ and Compressor
  • Plug in a bass guitar and play through vintage and modern bass amp rigs
  • Adds over 1,200 new Apple Loops and sounds
  • Record up to 32 tracks simultaneously**
  • Use third-party instrument apps in your song with Audio Unit Extensions*** (which is the bit we’ve all been waiting for right!)
  • Directly import or export GarageBand projects using iCloud Drive
  • Use 3D Touch to play keyboard sounds with polyphonic aftertouch****

* Live Loops is available on iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPad (4th generation), or later devices.
** 32 tracks is available on iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, or later devices. Multi-track recording requires compatible third party audio interface.
*** Requires compatible third-party Audio Unit Extension instruments apps from the App Store.
**** Polyphonic aftertouch is available on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

GarageBand is still $4.99 on the app store:

Quite unexpectedly Apple brings us Music Memos, and it’s free!


What a day it has turned out to be. Apple have brought us this app, and it’s free …

Music Memos is the easiest way for songwriters to capture and organise new musical ideas. Use your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to record acoustic guitar, piano, voice or any musical instrument as high-quality, uncompressed audio. Then name, tag and rate your ideas to start building a library of all your favourite new song parts and riffs. Music Memos automatically detects your tempo, rhythmic feel and chords and lets you instantly hear your musical idea accompanied by a rhythm section with realistic drums and bass. View the chords you’ve played, add comments and lyrics, or share your recordings with friends or directly to Apple Music Connect.* And it’s easy to take your favourite ideas into GarageBand to add more instruments and continue building your song.

Quickly capture musical ideas

  • Easily record any musical idea using a simple interface
  • Instantly listen to your recorded song ideas with a virtual drummer and bass player, who follow along like a live band in the room
  • Adjust the groove and sound of the drum or bass using simple and intuitive controls to hear your song idea in different ways
  • Tune your guitar with a built-in instrument tuner

Build a library of song ideas

  • Name any song idea, or delete unwanted recordings
  • Tag your song ideas to help you find them later using keywords like verse, chorus, mellow, energetic, or add your own custom tags
  • Rate your song idea 1–5 stars to help you identify your favourites
  • Supports iCloud Drive so your library of song ideas is always safe and available across all your iOS devices

View, edit and document your song ideas

  • Automatically analyses the music you played and displays musical measures and suggested chord names
  • Rename or provide further detail for any chord names throughout your song
  • The drum and bass performances adapt immediately to match any chord and rhythm edits
  • Trim away any unwanted parts from the beginning and end of your recording
  • Keep track of comments, lyric ideas, alternative guitar tunings or capo position

Share your new song

  • Use iCloud Drive to make your song ideas available across all your iOS devices
  • Email any song idea to a friend to share your music, or to collaborate with other musicians
  • Quickly open your idea in GarageBand for iOS to add more instruments and keep building your song
  • Export a song idea to the Mac so you can work in GarageBand or Logic Pro X as a full multi-track production
  • Share to SoundCloud, YouTube and Apple Music Connect*

*Requires Apple Music Connect account

Apple’s Music Memos is free on the app store now:

zMors Modular 1.4 brings Link and more besides

Yep, it’s a big day. zMors Modular 1.4 is here too, and brings us Link plus even more besides. Here’s everything new in 1.4:

new modules:

  • Ableton Link (clock generator)
  • Clock Divider
  • Euclidean Sequencer

a new cable properties editor allows define attenuate, offset, lowpass, quantizer and noise
on each output port (tap on connected output port)

changes on modules:

  • the low pass filter allows now self resonance without input connection

zMors Modular on the app store:

modstep is amazing, but version 1.0.2 is even more amazing

Sometimes you find an app that just does it all and is amazing, but when it gets better and better and better you just have no choice but to jump up and down and scream about how good this app is.

modstep is just such and app! In version 1.0.2 here’s what they’ve done …

New features:

  • audiobus support: added 8 audiobus output channels
  • AudioShare export and recording of all tracks (hit the new tapedeck button to record all tracks with internal instruments or IAAs, the files can be found in the /Recordings/ folder and exported to AudioShare or the internal Sampler via the file browser). The recordings are quantized to the current clip quantization.
  • improved Reverb
  • massively lower CPU usage – especially older iPads will run a lot more tracks now.
  • iPad 1 support is back (unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder to keep it that way!)
  • new parameter on Sampler ‘One Shot’ that disables the ADSR completely
  • Clips, Scenes and Arm, Mute, Solo, Volumes per Track are now MIDI mappable to external controllers.
  • Tempo Up/Down and Nudge are now MIDI mappable.
  • CPU meter is much more accurate now and only monitors the audio-thread.
  • Tracks will now correctly remember their MIDI setup and restore it upon load.
  • IAA Apps will now try to automatically setup the Tracks MIDI settings
  • lots of small enhancements


  • IAA Effects load the proper effect now
  • IAA Effects will delete/restore fine again
  • IAAs show the proper icons in the VST when used with studiomux
  • fixed a bug that would prevent tempo changes when Ableton Link was not activated
  • fixed a bug that would cause wrong IAA fx to be loaded
  • tons of enhancements and other bugfixes
  • fixed Clip & Track Import & Export
  • new externally recorded notes and CCs will be played back immediately now

If you don’t know modstep then you need to as soon as possible, check it out on the app store now!

The Strange Agency is back, with MegaCurtisBig


After a very long time dormant The Strange Agency is back, and it’s great! They’ve brought us MegaCurtisBig! Here are the details …

Turn any recording into a synthesizer! Now with support for Audiobus and MIDI.

MegaCurtisBig uses an unusual hybrid of wavetable and granular synthesis to create tones and timbres quite apart from the standard FM or subtractive synthesis fare. Add this app to your arsenal to create sounds you simply cannot squeeze out of any other synth, no matter how much you’ve twiddled its knobs.

Create a synthesizer from any recording, with endless tweaking possibilities. Play the sound forward, backward, or even at a single point! Unlike scratching a record, pitch doesn’t depend on how quickly you move through the recording.

You can load sounds through iTunes, record directly with your iPad, or paste audio from other applications. Try it with speech, singing, synths, jackhammers, or birds. Mangle your recordings or create soft, gentle textures.

MegaCurtisBig costs $2.99 on the app store today:

Using musicIO with Ableton Live on OSX: MIDI / Instruments / Effects

Sidecar Demo from Secret Base Design

Video description:

“Sidecar is designed to run in slide-over or split-view on the iPad, with iOS 9. It provides MIDI control over synths running in the background, and can take advantage of Bluetooth QWERTY keyboards and game controllers. It’s available now in the iTunes app store.”

Video published by Secret Base Design.

Sidecar on the app store:

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