Fluxpad is due to arrive on the 6th of September

Announced this morning, Fluxpad is on the way to the app store on the 6th of September. Not long to wait at all now, although it has been a long time coming, as the app was originally set for an ‘early 2016’ release. However, these things happen right?

If you can’t remember Fluxpad, it’s a collaboration between MoMinstruments, who brought us WretchUp, and TeaTracks, who brought us Gliss and SQRT. I’ve added the videos about Fluxpad at the end of this post. Here’s the app’s main features too.

Fluxpad features …

  • 6 melody sequencers where you paint your melodies based on a sample of your choice
  • 1 percussion/drum sequencer where paint/tap your groove made of 7 samples of your choice
  • each sound has it’s own sampler settings with unique envelope, loop and start settings
  • quantize / unquantize functions for each sequencer or the whole pattern
    combine 6 pattern to a longer piece of music
  • ability to record your own samples with the build in microphone
  • huge sample library with high quality sounds/kits made by Mouse on Mars and others
  • lots of demo projects made by Mouse and Mars and others
  • ability to sync via midi to other apps, hardware

If you want to know more, then check out the other FluxPad posts here.

Will we see the iPhone 7 on the 7th? And will there be a jack?


So it looks likely that the the iPhone will be coming on the 7th if you assume that Apple is going to follow their previous patterns. What they’ll bring us with the 7 is anyone’s guess.

Will it be slimmer? I hope not to be honest as I just don’t think that I need that extra millimetre in my pocket. Will there be a better camera? It would be nice, but I can’t say I’ll get over excited about it. Will the camera be flush at last? Now that would be good, I’d like that, but not enough to be buy a new iPhone. Better battery life? That would be nice. An iPhone 7 Pro model? Maybe, that might be good depending on the specs of course.

The big one of course is whether or not Apple will remove the headphone jack. Now that could be a deal breaker for me. A real deal breaker. I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I’m also not sure that latency on Bluetooth headphones is good enough for me to use for making music as yet.

So if the jack goes, I think I do too. Not from iOS entirely, no, that would be a step too far, but maybe I won’t keep going with the iPhone. Perhaps now would be the time to move over to Android for a while. If Apple remove the headphone jack from the iPhone now I can’t see it coming back any time soon. Also, if they do remove the jack then it won’t stop at the iPhone. It’ll be the first step. At least that’s my view anyway.

But there’s only a few days to wait now before all is revealed. Of course I expect we’ll see iOS 10 at he same time. Although I would have preferred it to be called iOSX. That would’ve been nice. Secretly (ok, not very secretly) I’d still like them to call iOS versions after something like OSX (MacOS) versions. I’d like insects, but maybe famous electronic musicians or bands would work very well too.

So there you go. We’ll know all on the 7th of September. What do you think?

Aphera Music Instrument Suite

This is an interesting, and somewhat out of the blue idea. Whilst there have always been apps that do (or at times attempt to do) everything, apps like NanoStudio, like Aurora, Auxy, bleeep!BOX, and many more besides, this has quite a different feel. It’s starting small and promises to be adding new ‘instruments’ soon. I’ll wait and see what happens there.

What is intriguing to me is the idea that you can feed audio from one instance of this app into another instance. Now that could bring some really cool possibilities, and if anything I’d like to see that rolled out as an SDK a bit like Ableton Link. However, for now it seems that Aphera is somewhat unique.

Here’s the app’s description:

The Aphera Music app is a powerful suite of instruments. Play instruments alone or sync with your friends to play together! Expressive and intuitive, these instruments are for amateurs and professionals alike.

These instruments do not attempt to emulate existing instruments but instead create a unique and intuitive interface for the parameters of music, like rhythm, pitch, and timbre. No musical training is required, just a love of music and a desire to play! This app brings electronic music out of the studio and into your hands. Play anywhere and at any time!

Enjoy making music!


There are two instruments included in this first release: a drum machine and a slider synth. The drum machine may be more familiar whereas the slider synth provides an entirely unique way of generating melodies. Look out for additional instruments soon to be released!

The app includes a mixer and it allows control of tempo. Stack up several drum machines and synths to produce complex rhythms and harmonies!

Syncing is a breeze! With this app you can play in time with other musicians using the Aphera Music app or other apps and devices that have Ableton Link integration. Ableton Link is a new technology that synchronizes beat, phase and tempo of Ableton Live and Link-enabled iOS apps over a wireless network.

The Aphera Music app can even output sound through another device running the app. Enable wifi or bluetooth and instantly connect to other musicians using the Aphera Music app. This is useful when you and your friends are jamming and there is only one cable connected to the stereo.

Aphera Music Instrument Suite costs $0.99 on the app store now:

And then Positive Grid brought us GoBeats!

Well that was a little unexpected wasn’t it? I hadn’t heard anything about this coming from them, it just arrived. So I thought I’d take a look at the Positive Grid site for a bit more information. Nothing there. However, there was a lot about their upcoming A.I. Drums app, coming in the 4th quarter of this year. What the relationship is between GoBeats and A.I. Drums I’m not sure, but there’s definitely some similarities.

For now go grab GoBeats on the app store, it’s free! Here’s the app’s description:

Create full drum tracks with just a few finger taps! GoBeats has the most advanced artificial intelligence for drums – our artificial intelligence technology listens to your guitar playing and learns your song structure, BPM, time signature – it then gives you the best possible drum beats with the feel of a real drummer. It’s designed to help you create the music you ever wanted to, so now there are no excuses. GoBeats: Play. Tap. Ready.

Top Features:

  • Smart drums: it learns your playing and automatically generates the proper drum pattern
  • Easy to use: just tap on the recording icon and start playing, GoBeats will learn your playing
  • Thousands of drum beats: it comes with thousands of different drum patterns
  • Fully featured: you can adjust BPM, time signature, and drum feel

GoBeats on the app store (free):

And now there’s a 555 Punk Console app for your iPhone


To be honest it’s been a bit of a gap in the iOS world for some time, so it’s good to see that someone’s made one at last. Here are the app details.

The 555 Punk Console is a software-simulation based on the “Stepped-Tone Generator” circuit originally designed by Forrest M. Mims III; a favorite among experimental musicians and noise-enthusiasts! This simulator introduces a few minor modifications to the original circuit to facilitate a slightly wider range of sonic possibilities (see app info page for specifics).

Controls available in this initial release include:

  • On/Off Toggle (lower-right)
  • Volume Knob (small black knob – lower-left)
  • Astable Oscillator Pitch Control (large black knob – left)
  • Monostable “Step” Control (large black knob – right)
  • Info / Schematic Page (accessed via the input jack icon – upper right)

Check out the App Preview video to hear what the 555 Punk Console can do!

If you are interested in learning more about the 555 Timer and its utility for electronic music making, you can also check out a free and simplified educational version of this app within the App Store entitled: “555 Synthesizer.” Both apps generate similar square-wave tones, but the 555 Punk Console simulates extra electronic components in order to generate stepped overtones.

Get the 555 Punk Console for iPhone for $0.99 on the app store now:

zMors Modular 1.7 is another huge release

zMors Modular 1.7 brings a whole host of new features and updates. It’s huge, there’s no other word for it. Here’s the whole thing …

  • add a set of excellent presets from christian c. thompson
  • add a new audio engine with 8 input/output channels
  • add support for expert sleepers ES-8 module
  • add iPad Pro native display support
  • new ladder low pass filter module
  • new subpatch module
  • new monitoring option in oscilloscope,
  • euclidean module display pattern info
  • new monitoring option in wavetable
  • copy & paste function for module groups
  • auto add zmModulPolyLoop in console module channels
  • add ch2pulse programm to dsp module (output 1.0 when input signal is changing)
  • bugfix step sequencer module save pattern when > 16 steps
  • disable zoom/scoll when patch is locked
  • add attack,decay modulation inputs to slew module
  • cv sequencer hold current step when knob editing
  • when delay module clk input is connected knob using clock_multi as parm
  • 8Bit OSC with new defaults
  • ADSR2 will auto trigger when GT not connected
  • wavetable module in OSC-mode will render CV input in audiospeed (for fm stuff)

zMors Modular 1.7 is on the app store now, go get it if you haven’t already …

Ruismaker FM arrives so you can design synth percussion to your heart’s content

Bram Bos, the makers of Ruismaker have now brought us Ruismaker FM. A whole new app designed for people who want to design their own percussion sounds from scratch.

Ruismaker FM’s flexible synthesis engine lets you create anything from snaredrums, kickdrums and spacy toms to weird and unconventional percussive sounds and effects.

Works conveniently inside your sequencer and Audio Unit Instrument hosts so you can focus on making electronic music without app switching and screen juggling like before.

*IMPORTANT* Audio Units are plug-ins that need a compatible host app to work. Ruismaker FM has been tested to work beautifully with Steinberg Cubasis, Apple Garageband, Modstep and AUM.

  • Audio Unit Instrument (AUv3): making music on iOS doesn’t get more convenient
  • Use Ruismaker FM’s flexible FM synth engine to create thousands of sounds
  • Comes with loads of factory preset sounds as examples
  • Does not use any samples; all sounds are synthesized in realtime, on the fly
  • Light on the CPU, so you can run lots of instances simultaneously
  • Has an extra compact 4″ UI mode; especially for iPhone SE and iPhone 5S
  • Fully automatable parameters (requires host support)
  • Fully MIDI controllable using MIDI CC
  • Download the advanced guide on ruismaker.com for more details about parameter automation, available instruments and MIDI implementation

iOS Audio Units are supported on iPads (iPad 4, iPad Mini 2 and up) and iPhones (iPhone 5S and up) with iOS 9 and higher.

Ruismaker FM costs $4.99 on the app store now:

Everest : Audio Looper 1.2 arrives

Everest : Audio Looper is a nice app and a good looper too. Here’s what’s new in the latest version of the app:

  • Added new optional controls:
    • A musical pitch shifting Keyboard Control: Change the speed and pitch of any loop in real time in semi-tone steps. Two octave keyboard will appear underneath each loop, if there is enough vertical space.
    • Touch-able Loop History: Instantaneously jump to any Recording or Edit in any loop’s edit/undo history. Supports all 16 undo levels. NOTE: This new control also requires enough vertical space on your device.
  • Added customizable MIDI settings: Generate, edit and automatically load a custom JSON file with all current MIDI controls re-mapped to your liking. Easily restore original settings as well via a new MIDI Settings sub-menu. NOTE: To access the JSON file connect your device to iTunes and access Everest’s documents. Now MIDI NoteOn and MIDI Control Change (cc) messages can be assigned to any existing MIDI control.
  • Various Fixes:
    • Updated to latest Audiobus API.
    • Fixed random issue with incompatibility between Multi-Route hardware mode and IAA/Audiobus.

Check out Everest : Audio Looper on the app store:

It’s not long to wait now …

I’ve posted about it before and you’ll be hearing a lot more about it soon enough. The Beautiful Octopus club is coming on the 9th of September. I posted about it here before, and if you’re interested in showing your music technology there, read this then get in touch.

If you’re planning to come along then please say hi!

Why DJ’ing via a Pizza box might not be such a funny idea after all

A couple of days ago I was sent this video (below) of the a pizza box DJ set up.

Yes, that’s right. You might have seen it before, and you might have thought it was a bit of a gimmick too. That’s fine. I think that for Pizza Hut it probably was, but beneath the gimmick is a serious technology that has almost endless applications that we haven’t really thought through.

Some time ago I’m fairly sure that I shared this video …

I first saw this at Music Tech Fest in 2014 and then Novalia unsuccessfully brought their technology to Kickstarter, which was a real shame. They still have an amazing technology that could do some seriously cool things and I hope that we’ll see more of them in time.

But of course they’re not the only ones. Bare Conductive have their conductive ink and TouchBoard combo that is not only easy to use and very versatile, but entirely affordable too. If that wasn’t enough they’re also about to launch their PiCap too, in fact I think it arrives tomorrow.

Using inks to create your own MIDI interface can be amazing. I used Bare Conductive’s ink and TouchBoard back in November at an event with Heart n Soul in NESTA’s offices in London. I used two ink pads as proximity sensors to control volume and filter on a track in Live. It worked out really well, although it was difficult to calibrate to begin with.

But what it shows is that there are some amazing possibilities to use a conductive ink solution with MIDI. I probably haven’t spent enough time exploring what you can do with it enough. But it is on my to do list.

So I’m saying that whilst the pizza box is a nice gimmick, it shows that this can do a lot, a hell of a lot, and perhaps the gimmick will lead to something much better for controlling music.

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