SoundLab is a winner, and that’s a win for mobile music too

Last night I was luck enough to be at the ‘Music Teacher Awards for Excellence’ dinner in London. I was there because SoundLab, a project that explores ways of using cutting-edge technology to encourage people with learning disabilities to create sound and music experiences, was nominated for the ‘Best SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) Resource category. For those who don’t know, I’ve been working on this project for around 18 months now, and it’s a topic that’s very important to me.

I’ve been to awards events before, and I’ve always gone along thinking that it was highly unlikely that I was going to win anything, and this event was no different. We were up against some very stiff competition from the likes of Moog’s Theremini, AlphaSphere, Drake Music Scotland, and Skoog.

But guess what? WE WON!

No you might be thinking that whilst this is great, and very nice for me and the project etc, but what has this got to do with mobile music? Well that’s a good question, but also a simple one to answer.

Since the project started we’ve been using apps in lots of different ways. We’ve shown them in live events we’ve run at the Royal Festival Hall and the Liberty Festival. We’ve used them in workshops to see which apps worked well for people and which didn’t, and we’ve given feedback to developers on the basis of our research. Mobile is a very important part of accessible music making, and it is getting better all the time.

SoundLab has been recommending apps to people and encouraging them to make music for a couple of years now, and we’re not about to stop. In fact, just yesterday, one of our bands ‘Electric Fire’ we showing Head Teachers in Lewisham how to make music with their equipment.

Spreading the word is important.

But I can’t put it much better than my friend Lilly:

Heart n Soul and SoundLab will keep finding new ways to engage people with music making in ways that make sense for them, and I’m very happy to be a part of that.

Accessibility isn’t just a win for organisations like Heart n Soul, it’s a win for everyone. When we make technologies better for people with learning disabilities, we make them more accessible to everyone who wants to make music, and that has to be a good thing.

What we aim to do through SoundLab is probably best summed by Heart n Soul’s Artist Director Mark Williams:

“We are thrilled to have the recognition of the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence Best SEND resource award for how our work at SoundLab is opening up and sharing the creative possibilities of new and emerging music technologies to become more connected and accessible for people with learning disabilities and as a result of that, for everyone.”

If you’d like to read our press release you can find it below, please do share it, it’s important.

SoundLab MTA press release


Video: Blamsoft Viking Synthesizer for IOS AU – Overview and Sounds

Video description:

“In this video, I give you an exclusive first look at the new IOS Audio Unit Synthesizer Viking from Blamsoft. Viking is an emulation of the Moog Voyager Analog Monophonic Synthesizer. This new AU comes with 178 Presets which are accessible at the moment from Garangeband and AUM Mixer.

In this demo I give you all information about Viking and demo at the end some factory presets. For the video, I use the new AUM Mixer App from Kymatica.”

Video published by Synth Anatomy.

Viking Synthesizer on the app store:

IceWorks bring Mersenne, a Melodic Percussion Synthesizer for your iPad

IceWorks bring us another amazing app for your iPad. I love percussion so I’m really looking forward to using this app very soon.

Mersenne is a melodic percussion synthesizer with intuitive layout and characterful sound.

  • Tone A/B: FM Synthesis
  • Noise + Filter
  • Resonator
  • Chorus
  • Delay
  • Reverb
  • Programmable Arpeggiator (You can easily create your own pattern)
  • Inter-App Audio (You can stream live audio directly to other Inter-App Audio host applications)
  • Audiobus
  • MIDI
  • CoreMIDI / Virtual MIDI Input
  • MIDI Controller Mapping with MIDI Learn
  • External MIDI sync
  • Resizable Keyboard (You can change which octaves are shown by dragging on bottom of keyboard)

Mersenne costs $3.99 (£2.99) on the app store and is 30% off for a limited time. Click below to find it on the app store:

Blamsoft brings us Viking Synth, an AU instrument


We’ve all been asking for more audio unit instruments, and here’s a new one to add to your collection …

Viking Synth is an emulation of the famous Moog® Voyager monophonic analog synthesizer. It has three continuously variable wave oscillators, two ladder filters with a Dual Lowpass or Highpass/Lowpass configuration, a multi-wave LFO, and two modulation busses. Viking Synth uses state of the art DSP technology to accurately reproduce the sound of the hardware. The same algorithms are found in the popular Rack Extension for Propellerhead Reason. You get a desktop quality plug-in at an iOS friendly price.

Viking Synth is an Audio Unit Extension Instrument that works as a plug-in inside host apps. Just open up your favorite host that supports Audio Unit Instruments and select it from the list of available Audio Units. Compatible with GarageBand, Cubasis, MTS, and AUM.

The user interface of Viking Synth is designed for quick and intuitive control. Knobs and sliders expand during tweaking and are designed so the current value isn’t hidden below your finger. The six pages divide the synth into logical sections that can be accessed quickly. The filter display acts as an XY pad for controlling cutoff and resonance. Simply double tap a knob or slider to reset it to its default value.

Viking Synth comes with 178 presets in the categories Bass, Bright Lead, Electro Bass, FX, Percussive Lead, and Soft Lead. The synth excels at thick bass and rich lead sounds. The 50 Electro Bass presets were designed by renowned sound designer eXode. Note that Cubasis and MTS do not currently support Audio Unit presets. Presets work perfectly with GarageBand and AUM.

At the heart of Viking are three adjustable wave oscillators. The continuously variable waveform knob gives the oscillators a unique sound that can’t be achieved with the fixed waveforms found in most synths. A noise oscillator provides three types of noise, one specifically modelled after the hardware.

Two modulation busses and an LFO provide flexible modulation capabilities. All of the options hidden deep in menus on the hardware are immediately accessible with one tap.

The filters are classic transistor ladder filters modeled meticulously. Two DSP varieties are available allowing for either reduced CPU load or soft clipping plus three additional overdriven modes. The number of poles is adjustable for a wider range of filter sounds.

Compare Viking to the leading brand:

  • Viking’s oscillators are free running, not sampled, wavetable based, or generated from a zero point
  • Viking’s oscillators use advanced techniques to avoid aliasing
  • Viking’s oscillators have instability, which is controllable through the tuning drift control
  • Viking’s nonlinear filter uses circuit modeling and provides soft clipping

Viking Synth costs $4.99, which is a special introductory price throughout March. Find it by clicking below on the app store:

TouchOSC 1.9.7 gives iPad Pro support and more

TouchOSC 1.9.7 brings quite a lot to this long standing controller. Here’s what’s in the update:

  • Support for iPad Pro
  • Support for iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus
  • Support for iPhone 6s / iPhone 6s Plus
  • Improved layout scaling
  • Phone-sized devices no longer filter and hide tablet-sized layouts
  • Fix for crash when loading certain layouts
  • Minor improvements and bug fixes

TouchOSC Editor with support for new device sizes available at

Because of change of Apple Developer account, the application will lose access to its previously stored preferences once after applying this update. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Symphony for iPhone 4.0 is here

Here’s what Xenon Labs has to say about the latest version of Symphony for iPhone:

Symphony 4.0 brings many of the new features & improvements we’ve introduced in our version 4 update for iPad, including:


  • Note Adjust Menu to quickly edit note properties. Just tap once on a selected note to activate the menu in either editing mode.
  • Left & right arrows now appear above the main toolbar whenever a note is highlighted, allowing you to edit or transpose adjacent notes
  • Chord symbol & lyric tools optimized for iPhone


  • Updated for iOS 9
  • Updated menus and toolbars to improve workflow


  • Improvements to MusicXML/MIDI import & export, as well as .m4a (AAC) export
  • Improved instrument playback samples for strings and woodwinds

iMPC Pro 1.5 arrives

They told us what was coming in iMPC Pro 1.5 and it’s here now. This is what’s in it:

  • Overall Improved performance, stability and quality, bug fixes.
  • New Auto mode found in Slice Loop. This automatically detects your sample’s transients for quick slicing and provides a good alternative to Grid mode.
  • New BitCrusher effect called “W-Crusher”. Look for it under the per-pad parameters FX next to St. Louis Drive distortion and Ring-a-Ding ringmod.
  • Updated with AudioCopy SDK 3.2 which removes the need for you to tap AudioCopy notifications to complete copy. Other apps supporting AudioCopy SDK will need to update to 3.2 SDK to remove this tap notification to copy feature.
  • New MIDI Learn feature lets you easily map your MIDI controllers.
  • Updated Ableton Link to the most recent version.

Group the Loop 1.1.2 brings Audiobus Remote support and more

Here’s all that’s new in Group the Loop 1.1.2:

  • Audiobus Remote support.
  • New copy loop function.
  • New quick group select view.
  • Improved MIDI support.
  • Improved latency management.
  • Various other bug fixes and tweaks.

RS-08 | 8 Oscillator Ribbon Synth brings IAA and more

RS-08 | 8 Oscillator Ribbon Synth 1.1 only has a couple of updates in it, but they’re well worth it. Here’s what’s new:

  • Audiobus 2 support (Requires iOS 8 or higher)
  • IAA support (Inter–App Audio)

AudioCopy gets a small update

AudioCopy from Retronyms gets a little update. Here’s what’s new:

  • You can now slide to delete folders of sounds.
  • Improved stability.

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