10 Moments in Mobile Music History

As you will hopefully remember from yesterday, this May will see PalmSounds turn 10 years old, on the 25th to be specific.

I’ll be doing a lot of celebrating and a lot of looking back at the last 10 years. One thing I wanted to do was talk about 10 of the moments that made a big difference for me over years. 10 significant events people, events or apps that I want to remember, and that hopefully you’ll find insightful too. I’m planning to spread these reflections over the month so you’ll be getting them periodically.

I hope that you enjoy them.

Aleph Looper for iPhone arrives


It’s been a bit of a day for Secret Base Design, and now Aleph Looper too. Here’s the app’s description …

Aleph Looper is the iPhone version of Infinite Looper (which is universal).
From the stage to the studio, Aleph Looper will let you capture musical ideas, and can provide the framework for songwriting, all in a single integrated app. Loop MIDI phrases easily, control six different instruments, and quickly assemble loops into full songs. Visit the Secret Base Design web site for details and demonstration videos.

MIDI Looping
There are dozens of audio looping apps; Aleph Looper expands on this idea, allowing you to quickly select different synthesizers, and loop the MIDI to each with perfect synchronization. Each of the instruments can have up to eight simultaneous loops. The loops can be of different lengths, up to sixtyfour measures long.

Internal SoundFont Engine
Built into the app is an extensive SoundFont library with hundreds of instruments, and multiple drum kits. Pianos, strings, guitar, brass, synthesizers — it’s all there. Everything you need to get going right away.

Inter-App Audio
Aleph Looper can host IAA-compatible synth apps — take advantage of the wide range of innovative synths.

MIDI In and Out
The app recognizes MIDI from other apps, over Bluetooth connections, and from hardware controllers. Secret Base Design is the developer of the innovative Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth — the first Bluetooth MIDI solution for iOS. We’re also partners in the musicIO app, which allows both audio and MIDI to be sent over an ordinary iOS sync cable. The app is built using the excellent MIDIbus library — the Secret Base Design team has been at the forefront of MIDI on iOS for years.

More that just loops. Songs.
Built into the app is a loop sequencer — select different sets of loops for each section of a song, and the app will step through them automatically. You can build complex compositions, so that your songs evolve and breathe.

MIDI Export
The iPad is an excellent music sketch pad, but it’s not the end of the road. Aleph Looper will export a MIDI file for a song, which can be loaded into professional desktop DAWs. Use your iPad to put together a demo, and then bring in the full set of studio tools to finish your masterpiece.

Keyboards and Pads
The app features a responsive piano-style keyboard — adjust note velocity by touching towards the tops of the keys. And because on-screen keyboards can be hard to play, there’s also ten pages of programmable pads. You can quickly assign notes or chords to pads, making it easy to capture the progression for a song idea, and bring the whole thing into focus.

Quantization and MIDI Latency
To lock down timing, you can toggle on quantization — or leave it off, for a loose, natural feeling. If you use external MIDI controllers, there can be latency in the MIDI messages — the app can time shift slight to account for the delay of Bluetooth connections or WiFi. And if you use an audio-to-MIDI converter app like MIDImorphosis, latency compensation can tighten up the timing.

All the standards
Aleph Looper supports Ableton Link, making it easy to synchronize the app with other Link-enabled apps. There’s full support for Inter-App Audio and IAA MIDI, and Audiobus too.

MIDI Learn
If you’re playing live, your hands might be busy with a keyboard or a guitar. With MIDI learn, you can control the app with a foot controller. Toggle on and off recording, switch tracks, and more. Aleph Looper is ready to be taken on stage, and used live.

Import and Export
Easily share projects with friends using AirDrop, Dropbox, or by email.

Aleph Looper uses the Ableton Link library, the Audiobus library, and the MIDIbus library. Internal sounds are from the widely used SoundFont set by S. Christian Collins.

Aleph Looper costs $4.99 on the app store:

If you (like me) think you’ve seen all the Theremins you can, think again …


I’ve seen a lot of ‘theremin’ apps in the past, lots and lots. So I’m skeptical about a new one. However, this look quite interesting, especially the layering feature. So I’m keen to try this one out. Until then, here’s the app’s description …

This is a multitouch synth instrument. Press the screen and play with the options to create a plethora of scuzzy yet melodic soundscapes. Record, loop and add layers to your composition, then share or download your loop to continue its journey.

The original Theremin went live in 2014 and was one of Femur’s first projects. Over a million hits later and hundreds of requests for a record button, Luke the creator has redesigned it. Now the Theremin is ready for you to experiment with.

Happy playing!

  • Records, loops, overdubs and plays back
  • Multitouch allows up to 8 tones to be played simultaneously with your fingers
  • 3 sliders: delay, feedback and scuzz
  • 4 waveforms: sine, square, triangle and saw
  • No internet needed, works both online and offline
  • Download the loop as a .wav file
  • Can be shared with other apps e.g Facebook messenger, Mail, Message and more

gizmodo.com “Just mess around! Twiddle those faders! Swipe and click with reckless abandon! Turn the volume all the way up, give the dog a panic fit, and make your neighbours think the street’s being invaded by giant cabbage people from planet Zok. Trust me, this will never get old.”

dangerousminds.net “New online theremin simulator kind of sounds cooler than the real thing. Check it out and annoy your co-workers.”

To find out about Luke’s other musical app projects please go to femurdesign.com and share your loops with Femur Design on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: facebook.com/femurdesign
Twitter: @femurdesign

Theremin Synth on the app store costs $3.99:

Video: Before The Lights Go Out – Heatseekerrr | OP-1 & Axoloti Core

The Axoloti is one of those platforms that I’ve been meaning to investigate a bit further, Axoloti and Bela.

Video description:

“Created with an OP-1 and an Axoloti Core.

The Axoloti is being utilized as a stereo filter/FX processor. The Nanokontrol is controlling several parameters:
Knob 1 – LP resonance
Slider 1 – LP cutoff
Knob 2 – HP resonance
Slider 2 – HP cutoff
Slider 3 – LP/HP crossfade
Slider 4 – Bit crush crossfade”

Video published by Heatseekerrr.

DubFilter from Amazing Noises gets a long awaited update

DubFilter 1.1 is here. This is what’s new:

  • Ableton Link in integration, find out more about Link at http://ableton.com/link
  • New SYNC for LFO and Sequencer
  • New Input Spectroscope view
  • New iCloud Drive and Document Picker for Presets and Files
  • MIDI Clock improved
  • Improved Toggle Interaction
  • Audiobus latest SDK update
  • Midibus 1.35
  • Bluetooth Audio IO support
  • Bluetooth MIDI LE Support
  • Added Preset Manager ‘Open In…’ Support
  • Added Preset Manager ‘Sends the audio files used from the Bank’
  • Added File Manager ‘Send E-Mail’ Support
  • Audio Engine Optimisation

Secret Base’s Infinite Looper goes universal in version 1.1

Infinite Looper 1.1 brings universal mode and more:

  • Infinite Looper is now universal; use it on both the iPad and iPhone.
  • Incoming MIDI can now be filtered by channel.
  • The main user interface has been adjusted to provide more space for the play and record buttons.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause a crash during audio export.

Video: Improvising with Pocket Operators and Patchblocks

Interesting to see how people use their PO series device, and especially for me it’s good to see this with a patchblocks unit too.

Video description:

“Apologies for the length, I got a bit carried away. This is a little improvisation I put together with my newly acquired PO-20 and Patchblock.

Gear used:
Teenage Engineering PO-12 Rhythm
Teenage Engineering PO-20 Arcade
Patchblock running Jayrope’s Shattuh spring emulation patch available here:

This is largely unedited, except for a little cut around 11 minutes in where I accidentally paused the PO-20, oops!

For more of my melodic electronic music:

For more of my minimal techno:

Video published by pselodux.

Back in 2010: The Mobile Music Alphabet – B

There were a lot of things beginning with B and there are even more now, so the question is, what would your mobile music alphabet for B be now?

Here’s the original post if you’d like to see what it was back in 2010.

Back in 2010: A Palm PDA like you’ve never seen it before

I’ve seen and played with this PDA and it’s great for using live.

Back in 2009: Was this the new YUDO multitracker?

It certainly did look good back then, and even now I think it could have been amazing if they’d kept it up to date.

You can find the original post here.

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