It’s been quite a while since I mentioned the MIDI thing device that I’m part of. MIDI thing has been going through tests with a number of people for the last few weeks and we’ve got some very useful feedback on how it works and how people who’ve been testing it feel about it.
So I thought now would be a good time to show a little of what we’ve doing with MIDI thing, and, more importantly, what it actually does.
If you’ve not heard of MIDI thing before and this is all new to you then I’ll give you a little background. If you know all this already then feel to skip over it.
MIDI thing is a hardware project that I’ve been a part of with an old friend who’s done the design work. It came out of a bunch of ideas around open source hardware and software and making neat small mobile music devices which are ideally battery powered. That’s just what MIDI thing is.
There’s the battery now here’s what it does:
- Midi thing connects between the MIDI-out of a keyboard controller and the midi-in of a sound generator module or an iOS device that can run as a multi-timbral MIDI module.
- The MIDI thing has just one switch and this is for turning the power on and off. You control the looper by activating a “command” mode. Using command mode the note keys operate the various looper functions instead of producing sound.
- The “switch” to activate command mode is either a pre-selected note (e.g. unused note at the top or bottom of the keyboard) or control change (cc) knob/button; it is chosen when the unit is switched on.
- The loop can be 2, 4 or 8 bars long. It can run in 3⁄4 or 4/4 time. There is a tap tempo function or the looper will synchronise automatically to an external MIDI clock and respond to start, continue and stop commands. All midi information (on all 16 channels) can be recorded up to a maximum of 400 MIDI events.
- Each MIDI channel has a separate A/B recording zone which can be freely switched. Individual channel (and A/B) recordings can be quantised or deleted. A bi-colour led shows tempo and progress through the bars. A metronome (General Midi hi-hat) can be activated as MIDI-out on channel 10.
Hopefully that gives you a reasonable idea of what the thing does. Now we’ll have a look at it working. In this short video the MIDI thing is running multiple channels on Roland’s Sound Canvas app for iOS. The nice thing about the Sound Canvas app is that each sound can be assigned to an individual channel, just like a hardware module really, which wouldn’t be a surprise as the Sound Canvas was of course originally a hardware module.
What I’m doing here is laying down a series of tracks over multiple MIDI channels. Each of the channels has a different instrument assigned in the Sound Canvas.
Swapping between channels is actually very easy. All I do is use a pre-determined control key to change channel on the MIDI thing. I don’t need to fiddle with any controls I’m just using the CZ101. I’m going to do another video soon to show just how that works, so expect that soon.
Hopefully this gives a little idea of what the MIDI thing does, even with my terrible playing. There’ll be more soon.
Featuring an FM tone generator, FM Essential is a synthesizer app for the iPhone and iPad that provides for real-time synth performances and also lets you edit voices.
- Tone Generator: FM
- Part: 1
- Polyphony: 16
- Preset Voice: 271
- Arpeggiator patterns: 64
- Chord pads: 20
- Scales: 25
- Tone Generator: Audio
- Part: 1
- Drum Pad: 16
- Drum Pad Set: 3
- Plug into MX!
- You can play full 271 voices and voice store function if you connect your iOS with Yamaha music synthesizer MX BK/BU series.
- Effects/EQ edit
You can adjust parameters to edit effects and equalization.
- Touch and drag in ball controller to modulate the sound by simultaneously changing multiple parameters based on the ball position.
- We can store the ball position in the currently selected scene box.
Arpeggiator and chord pads
- You can play Arpeggiator and Chord pads in addition to keyboard with various scales.
- Compatible with Audio Bus、Audio Unit Extentions
- Compatible devices:
- iPhone 5S, 6/6 plus, 6s/6s plus and SE, iPod touch 6th Generation or later, iPad Air 1st Generation or later, iPad mini 2nd Generation or later,iPad Pro
FM Essential is a universal app and is free on the app store now:
This looks like a lovely FX app for giving you some awesome tape FX for your sounds.
Here’s the app’s description:
Lofionic Duplicat is a warm and lush tape delay effect for iOS, supporting AudioUnit Extensions, Inter-App Audio and Audiobus.
In addition to the Swell and Sustain controls found on the hardware equivalents, Duplicat introduces a tape Speed control, for fine tuning the rate of delay in realtime, and a tape Effect control which emulates the deteriorating effect of using worn tape by gradually introducing degradation to the feedback.
Duplicat is perfect for adding lush, organic sounding delay to your mixes ranging from trashy lo-fi grungy tones, through psychadelic swirls, to subtle slap-back.
And as always a great video from the Sound Test Room:
What’s more Lofionic Duplicat is only $0.99 on the app store now:
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a very nice surprise all in all. In fact it’s great that Electro-Harmonix have delivered these two apps (one for iPhone and one for iPad). I’m looking forward to trying them out.
Here are all the details …
Electro-Harmonix, a pioneer since 1968 in the field of sound effects pedals for musicians, has produced an app which is a faithful digital re-creation of their circa 1980 analog cult-classic, The MINI-SYNTHESIZER.
Available for iPad and iPhone (IOS version 8.0 or later), the EHX MINI-SYNTHESIZER accurately delivers all the vintage synth sounds of the original plus modern updates.
EHX President and Founder, Mike Matthews stated: “Fans of vintage synths will appreciate the apps ability to recreate the original’s warm analog sounds and deep funky bass, but because it’s so affordable ($2.99 for phone, $4.99 for tablet) and user-friendly, parents, educators and non-musicians will love it, too.”
The MINI-SYNTHESIZER app comes with 22 presets and the ability to store an almost unlimited number of user presets programs.
Intuitive, flexible and powerful control are provided by the MINI-SYNTHESIZER’s 12 sliders and nine switches. Here’s a breakdown of the user interface:
- PITCH slider lets the player raise or lower the pitch of the note by +/- 1 octave
- SUB-OCTAVE slider introduces a note one octave below what’s being played for extra bottom
- OCTAVE UP switch causes the note being played to jump up one octave.
- TUNE knob lets the player tune the MINI-SYNTHESIZER to other instruments and sound sources over a +/- 50 cents range.
- PHASE RATE slider adjusts the speed of the phase shifter
- FILTER START sets the start frequency of the filter sweep
- FILTER STOP sets the stop frequency of the filter sweep
- SWEEP RATE controls the speed of the filter sweep
- PHASE switch turns the effect on/off
- 2X FILTER switch changes how the audio passes through the filters (either in parallel or in series)
- Q switch sets the amount of resonance on the filter sweep
- RETRIGGER switch turns the filter retrigger on/off
- TIME slider adjusts the delay time up to two seconds
- FEEDBACK controls the number of echo repeats
- BLEND adjusts the mix of the original signal and the echo repeats
- DELAY switch turns the effect on/off
- AMOUNT slider adjusts the reverb effect level
- BLEND slider controls the mix of the wet and dry signals
- REVERB switch turns reverb on/off
- REVERB>DELAY switch lets the user place either Delay or Reverb first in the effects chain for a variety of cool sound effects.
- VOL (Volume) slider adjusts the MINI-SYNTHESIZER’s overall sound output level
- POLY/MONO switch toggles between polyphonic (four notes can be played simultaneously) or monophonic (only one note can be played at a time) modes
- PRESETS pop-down menu displays the presets available and allows the user to instantly select one
- HORIZONTAL slider lets the player adjust the keyboards sounding range over an expansive eight-octave range.
- RIBBON Interface lets the player perform portamento (glide up or down to pitch), vibrato and other expressive playing.
The easy-to-use Electro-Harmonix MINI-SYNTHESIZER App is loaded with great sounds and features and is sure to appeal to serious musicians and non-musicians alike.
MINI-SYNTHESIZER for iPhone ($2.99 on the app store):
MINI-SYNTHESIZER for iPad ($4.99 on the app store):