SoundLab working with Blocs Wave, MiMu and AlphaSphere

So, last week was a really busy week for me, but one of the highlights for me was on Wednesday when we ran the first SoundLab session of this year. This was quite a different from the sessions we run before as we’re taking a different approach and one that we hope will be really useful to the music technology as a whole.

Since the SoundLab project started we’ve utilised a wide variety of digital technology for creating music. The first part of the project was all about understanding issues around accessibility in digital music technology, and that’s still a very big part of what we’re about. But now we’re adding something new, and this is what we were piloting with Blocs Wave, MiMu and AlphaSphere on Wednesday.

The latest iteration of SoundLab is about inviting in new and existing music technologies and working with those companies alongside our artists and participants so that we can provide useful feedback on how those technologies and products can either be improved to make them more accessible or can be presented in such a way that they become more accessible.

At SoundLab we have a unique perspective on music technology. Our artists and participants love making music and love trying out new technology. So we’re very able to provide good feedback. Whilst information and feedback on accessibility is important it actually has real commercial benefits, because when you can make music technology more accessible you can get to a wider audience, and that means selling more, which is really important if you want to keep you business going.

At SoundLab we want to provide real actionable and commercial feedback to developers and music technology companies, and that’s what we’re planning to do this year.

In this session we worked with some amazing companies, Blocs Wave, AlphaSphere, and MiMu, and they were all really interesting to work with.

MiMu Gloves ….

I’ve been interested in the MiMu gloves for a long time now and we were really lucky to be able to have Kris Halpin with us for the day to demo the gloves and work with us to show how they can be used.

I have to say that since I’ve seen these gloves for real I am just so impressed with how they can be used and how expressive they are. But the gloves are real instruments, not just a gestural toy. To learn to use them takes time and care. The gloves can deliver some amazing expression to an artist and we were only able to scratch the surface of their potential last week.

Blocs Wave …

When Novation announced their new Blocs brand and the Blocs Wave app I knew that this was going to be important for mobile music. I’m a huge fan of apps that democratise music making and Blocs Wave does just that.

So it was great to have Toby from Blocs with us for the day.

Blocs is such an immediate app for creating sound and enjoying it so it was really good to work with them for the day, and especially it being only a day or so after Blocs Wave added Ableton Link integration, which is excellent in itself.

Lastly we worked with something new from AlphaSphere ….


We’ve been using an AlphaSphere at SoundLab for quite some time now. Last week we were working with something quite new from them. In fact so new that I can’t even tell you about it at all! Even so, it was great to be able to work with AlphaSphere at SoundLab.

It was a great day and we made a lot of sound!

Bit it wasn’t just about those technologies. On top of all of that we had an amazing jam session using Link.

Link has been a massive step forward for SoundLab. It’s allowed us to integrate apps and hardware so easily now. In this session we used these apps:

As you can see above we also used a lot of hardware and Ableton to drive the MIDI out to all of the hardware. As jams go, this one was really awesome!

So that was last Wednesday and SoundLab. You’ll be hearing a lot more about what we do there over the coming months, and if it’s something of interest to you then please do get in touch.

Korg Gadget wins MIPA 2016 Best Mobile Music App

gadget award

Well this is great news, and, very well deserved to. I’m sure lots of you have already seen this, but I wanted to highlight this as it really is quite a big deal. My guess is that for a lot of people Gadget really is just the best Mobile Music app around. It’s struck that balance between being accessible to someone who can work their way around a sequencer and providing enough variation so that you can realise your ideas with the app.

But one thing I find interesting is that Korg hasn’t gone down the IAA and even the AU route as yet. Now this might well be on the roadmap, as no one knew that it was going to get MIDI treatment before it happened. I think that could make for quite an interesting ‘Pro’ mode or similar.

What’s certain though is that Korg’s Gadget is going to go from strength to strength and, on a personal note, I find it to be one of the best mobile music apps around.

Korg Gadget on the app store:

Korg Gadget is also available as an LE (limited edition) version for free.

Here’s the test from the original email announcing their award win:

“KORG Gadget wins MIPA 2016 Best Mobile Music App
at Europe’s largest musical instrument trade show, Musikmesse

Journalists from over 100 dedicated music magazines around the world have selected KORG Gadget for the best Mobile Music App for 2015/2016 at the prestigious MIPA International Press Awards at the recent 2016 Musik Messe in Frankfurt Germany.

This continues Korg’s great success at MIPA awards over the years where we have won many awards for Best product in many different categories including Best Synthesiser, Best Workstation and Best Arranger. This year’s award for best Mobile Music App is great recognition for the outstandingly successful Gadget, currently one of the bestselling music apps in the Apple Store.”

Video:Let’s Play with Shoom (Sound Design & Commentary)

Video description:

“Shoom is a unique 3-part synthesizer that can be used for ambient droning, and traditionally played performances. I use it for both in this Let’s Play! If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon:

Video published by discchord.

Shoom on the app store:

zMors Modular 1.6 arrived

Here’s what’s new in the latest version of this excellent modular app:

  • new audio units module
  • new equalizer module
  • new sample & hold module
  • new quantizer module
  • new gate/cv to midi module
  • new midi to 4 gate/cv module
  • midi sequencer gets reset Input port for Ableton Link sync
  • new 2 finger gestures on greater canvas
  • fix backgroundimages and bluetooth le midi support

Video: Vatanator

Video published by Pants of Death.

Vatanator on the app store:

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