4 comments on “Now there’s a real alternative to SoundCloud”

Now there’s a real alternative to SoundCloud

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked a lot about the issues I’m having with SoundCloud and I think it’s only fair to say that I’m not the only one too. Add to that the current rumours around a possible purchase by Spotify, which could generate some serious changes, if indeed it does go ahead.

I’ve also posted about a few of the possible alternatives to SoundCloud, but one that I haven’t really talked about in detail is Orfium. I’ve been watching Orfium for a while now. Looking at what they’re doing and where they seem to be going, and I’ve been very hopeful about their direction. So just the other week I decided to get in touch with them and have a serious chat about what they were about and about their proposition for a community like ours in the mobile music world.

I have to start by saying that I was more than pleasantly surprised. In fact I’d go as far as saying I was really impressed with not only what they’re doing, but also with what they’ve got planned too. On top of that, Orfium was actually very easy to talk to (not so with all services in this space), and also very open to ideas.

So now seems like a good time to talk in more detail about what Orfium has to offer for the mobile music community and why I think that it looks like one of the best options for mobile music people to switch to. Let’s start with why Orfium is worth taking a look at in the first instance. The simplest start point here is to check out this comparison:

orfium-brand-asset-6

Now of course you can argue that Orfium is a lot smaller than SoundCloud is right now and that without a significant user base there isn’t going to be the same level of community and possible interaction. True, I won’t argue with you there, but without people moving over to Orfium, or at the very least giving it a try that’s always going to be the case. Which is why I’ve now set up on Orfium, and as soon as they’ve got their groups functionality I’ll get a group set up for mobile music. Yes, that’s right, they’re implementing groups! One of the most recent issues that we’ve all had with SoundCloud, the removal of groups, is not going to be a problem with Orfium!

Now that’s got to be a good reason to take a look. But there’s more, lots more. Let’s take this one feature at a time and make a detailed comparison.

But before we move on let’s dwell for a moment on that issue of user base. Whilst it’s true that Orfium is just starting out and that we, as a community, should get behind them (in my view). It’s also fair to say that from a monetisation perspective their user base is not an issue. If, for example, you take YouTube monetisation then this is not restricted by Orfium’s size at all. It’s worth remembering that.

Let’s move on and take a look at some of the areas where Orfium really excels:

80% artist pay out
This is about as high as it gets and I don’t think that you can argue with it really, especially when you look at what others have to offer.

Remix monetisation
This is an unusual feature, but quite welcome I think, and one that will make sense and be useful to a lot of readers.

Distribution terms
It’s up to you the artist, you choose, free or priced all within the same platform without having to add links to out where you can buy the track. I like this a lot, and for me personally it works just the way I want.

Rights management
Now this is probably one of the most interesting parts of the platform. Orfium is actually is a digital rights platform built to facilitate a social network for musicians. This makes Orfium a real choice for someone looking not only to get their work heard, but also to get paid for it fairly. That’s a very powerful feature in my book. Add to that non-exclusive publishing, micro-licensing, sync-licensing and creative commons licensing service options. It all adds up to a very powerful service for hosting your music. Add to that the current issues in the world of licensing and it really is a better way forward.

So what else? There’s more …
For now Orfium has no iOS or Android apps. When I say for now I mean for now. Orfium has these in their plan and their working toward getting these out there and into the hands of users.

But it doesn’t stop there at all. There’s plenty more coming too. But that’s for another day, as I can’t tell you everything that Orfium are doing or have planned. But let me sum up by saying that I think that what they’re doing and where they’re going is right for musicians, iOS, mobile or otherwise and I think that it adds up to a real alternative that we should all take a look at and think very seriously about moving to.

To finish off it’s worth mentioning that Orfium offers unlimited free hosting, and they have special accounts for record labels and distributors (add to that they’re working on special accounts for publishers and curators). Orfium only take a percentage of revenue when the music actually generates revenue, meaning there are no upfront costs (as well as no long-term contracts).

In my view Orfium is a real alternative to SoundCloud and they’re moving forward with new features that truly serve the artist community. Go try it and tell me what you think.

0 comments on “modstep 1.1.4 brings iOS10 compatibility and much more”

modstep 1.1.4 brings iOS10 compatibility and much more

It’s only fair to say that modstep is a truly versatile app, and is also among the very few that still support the iPad 1. This latest update brings iOS10 compatibility and a lot more besides. Here’s what’s new:

  • iOS 10 support
  • “Autostart Plugins” allows you to decide whether you want to load AUv3 and IAA with the Session
  • “Load last Session on Startup” allows you to decide whether you want to load the last Session on Startup or start with a new Session
  • Preset support for AUv3 FX
  • State-saving for AUv3 (except for bassalicious)
  • new Templates for Ruismaker, Ruismaker FM, Korg Volca Kick, boom808, boom909, DM-2, bastl micro granny and FLUXFX (thanks to Tom Wies and Oscar South for the last two!)
  • updated Templates for Roland Boutique synthesizers

Bugfixes

  • fixed a bug that would cause mono AUx to play only on one side
  • improved AUx loading
  • improved IAA handling
  • fixed a bug that prevented state-saving of AUx
  • volume is enhanced
  • fixed a bug that could cause notes that are outside of the scale to be recorded
  • lots of additional bugfixes and improvements

0 comments on “Jussi – Vocal Synthesizer from Klevgränd has arrived”

Jussi – Vocal Synthesizer from Klevgränd has arrived

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As you probably already know, I do like apps that are a little further off the beaten track than most, and this really fits the bill for me. Jussi is pretty unusual. In fact, I’d say I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it before.

When I first launched Jussi I have to say that it was a surprise. Not quite what I’d expected at all. For the most part vocal synths often sound a little too robotic for my liking. Not that I don’t like robots or robot sounds of course. But it was a real surprise, a very different and very unique sound.

I’ve really enjoyed using Jussi so far, although I’m not sure quite where I’ll use this in my own music. Having said that, I might just have to make something special with it.

For now, take a look at the app’s description:

This synthesizer emulates male voice vowels in a unique way. Thanks to a set of powerful parameters you can make Jussi sing anything from soft and airy choir-like vowels to hard and angry shouting.
Formants are controlled by playing with different velocity, which makes it fun and easy to play using a MIDI keyboard.

Features:

  • AUv3, works with AUv3 compatible hosts like Garageband, Cubasis, AUM etc
  • ADSR with ”Turn-in” and ”Turn-out” option (Turn-in and Turn-out affects the pitch and maps it to attack and release)
  • Voice character XY pad (Intensity and Narrowness)
  • Legato mode (glides between notes and velocity levels)
  • Legato Hold mode (polyphonic legato when using a sustain controller, consult the documentation for more info)
  • Throat emulation XY pad (Grain and Tonality)
  • Built-in reverb

Note: Jussi in stand-alone mode does not support IAA, Audiobus or MIDI. You can play it using the keys at the bottom, but that’s it. We recommend using Jussi with AUv3 compatible hosts.

  • iPhone 6 or later is recommended.
  • iPad 4 or later is recommended.
0 comments on “n-Track Studio 8 arrives with amazing new features and a very different model for iOS music making”

n-Track Studio 8 arrives with amazing new features and a very different model for iOS music making

It’s been a big day today, firstly seeing the arrival of Cubasis 2 (plus the LE version), and now with n-Track Studio 8 arriving too.

This is a big and very significant shift for n-Track is a lot of ways.

  • Firstly, this is a big update with a lot of new functionality in it so it’s well worth reading all of the detail below.
  • Secondly, n-Track 8 is now an AU host, which makes it one of only a few in that category
  • Finally, and this is really different, n-Track 8 is free, but is using a subscription model for pricing. This is a real shift for mobile music and needs a little thinking about.

So what do we think about subscription models?

Well firstly I’d like to point out that this isn’t something entirely new. In actual fact when Sunvox first arrived on Palm OS is used a subscription model. Not many people will remember that at all (I’m looking at you Jo), but it worked like that for a while. Secondly, this kind of model is actually starting to gain ground in the desktop world, with Splice launching their ‘rent-to-own’ model recently.

Personally I think it’s a model that’s worth exploring. If you’ve got a project that demands the pro features in n-Track 8 you could use those for a month or two then scale back. If anything it’s probably more flexible than paying up front for an app where you’re not going to use all of the features, or indeed buying an IAP only to find that it doesn’t really suit you.

It’ll be interesting to see how this is accepted by the wider community, but I’m positive about it, and if anything, I’d like to see a few more apps go down this route. For now, take a look a the new app’s description, grab it (it’s free and universal) and tell me what you think of the model.

n-Track Studio 8, all the detail you could want!

n-Track Studio 8 turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a complete recording studio. Record and playback a virtually unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks, mix them during playback and add effects. Edit your song and share it with your friends, or join the Songtree community and jam with other artists.

HOW IT WORKS:
Record a base track with the built-in mic or an external sound card, add other audio tracks or create a melody using the internal keyboard or the built-in virtual instruments.

Import a groove or create it using the step sequencer, use the mixer to adjust levels, pan, apply equalization and add effects, save or share the recording directly from your device to your friends

MAIN FEATURES:

  • Stereo and mono audio tracks
  • Virtually unlimited number of tracks (max 11 tracks without in-app purchases)
  • Group and Aux channels
  • MIDI tracks with builtin synth featuring 128 General MIDI instrument sounds
  • Pianoroll MIDI editor
  • Step Sequencer
  • On-screen MIDI keyboard
  • EQ with 2D and 3D Spectrum analyzer + chromatic tuner*
  • Import existing tracks from your iTunes library
  • Reverb, Echo, Chorus+Flanger, Tremolo, Pitch Shift, Phaser, – Tube-Amp and Compression effects can be added to any track and master channel*
  • Automate track volumes and pan using volume and pan envelopes
  • Supports the new AudioUnit plug-in standard: open 3rd party effects and instruments inside the app, without switching to another app*
  • Audiobus input and output: you can send audio from other apps to n-Track, play your favorite instrument app and record the output inside n-Track alongside the device mic/line input. Each Audiobus app can be recorded to a separate track*
  • Interapp audio: receive audio from instrument apps, use other apps as effects or host n-Track inside another app*
  • Share your recordings on Facebook
  • Collaborate to create music with other musicians with the integrated Songtree online music making community
  • Quick one touch drums and bass grooves tracks
  • Built-in metronome

ADVANCED FEATURES:

  • 64 bit double precision floating point audio engine*
  • Internal audio routing
  • Support for multichannel external audio devices on the iPad: record 4 or more tracks simultaneously from pro-audio devices such as the RME Babyface, Fireface, Focusrite Scarlett etc.
  • Support for multiple audio output when using compatible USB devices*
  • Record 16, 24 or 32 bits audio files*
  • Set sampling frequency up to 192 kHz (frequencies above 48 kHz require an external audio device)
  • Sync with other apps or external devices using MIDI clock and MTC sync, master & slave*
  • Choose microphone on multi-mic devices and set microphone polar pattern (e.g. cardiod, omnidirectional)
  • Allows monitoring and processing live audio input with near-zero latency
  • AudioCopy 2.0 allows transferring audio files between compatible apps
  • Support for DropBox and SoundCloud

SUBSCRIPTION INFO*
Some features require one of the two available in-app subscriptions levels:

Standard edition:

  • Length: 1 month
  • Price: $0.99 for 1 month
  • What you get:
    • Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks (Free edition is limited to 8 audio tracks, 1 MIDI track and 2 step-sequencer tracks)
    • Unlocks all the available effects (Free edition has Reverb, Compression, Echo and Chorus)
    • Unlimited number of effects per channel (Free editon has up to 2)

Pro edition:

  • Length: 1 month
  • Price: $1.99 for 1 month
  • What you get:
    • 64 bit audio engine
    • Export in 32 and 64 bit uncompressed (wav) format (the Free and Standard edition are limited to 16 or 24 bit wav)
    • 3D frequency spectrum view

Get n-Track Studio 8 on the app store now:

0 comments on “And of course Cubasis LE 2.0 is here as well”

And of course Cubasis LE 2.0 is here as well

Not only does the full version of Cubasis get updated to 2.0, but also Cubasis LE moves up as well, so here’s what’s New:

New features in Cubasis LE 2.0

  • MIDI over Bluetooth LE – Connect compatible MIDI gear without any cables
  • MIDI Auto Quantize – Sync MIDI tracks with the beat while recording
  • A Refreshed User Interface – Enjoy profound usability by straightforward workflows
  • Ready for iOS 10 – Cubasis LE 2.0 is fully tested and proven iOS 10 compatible
  • New demo mode – Give all LE features a free check-out within a thirty-minute period
  • Maintenance and improvements – For the complete list of improvements, issues and solutions please visit www.steinberg.net/cubasisleforum

New features in Cubasis full feature set IAP (2.0)

  • Real-time Time-Stretch – Tempo match audio loops to your song’s tempo in a snap
  • Pitch shift with formant correction – Easily change keys of any tracks and tune them to perfection
  • A studio-grade channel strip – Reach true sound perfection for all channels
  • Spin FX – Tweak and mash-up your tracks with DJ-like breaks, stops and stutters
  • MicroSonic TAPE instruments – Perfectly recreate trademark sounds from the ’60s era
  • 76 new Micrologue presets – Lay down your tracks with cutting-edge modern synth sounds
  • Factory loops tempo match – Enjoy the freedom to use included audio loops at any tempo
  • Maintenance and improvements – For the complete list of improvements, issues and solutions please visit www.steinberg.net/cubasisforum

You can find Cubasis LE 2.0 on the app store by clicking below:

0 comments on “Cubasis 2.0 has arrived!”

Cubasis 2.0 has arrived!

Well that was unexpected, Steinberg have released version 2.0 of Cubasis.

  • A Refreshed User Interface – Enjoy profound usability by straightforward workflows
  • Real-time Time-Stretch – Tempo match audio loops to your song’s tempo in a snap
  • Pitch shift with formant correction – Easily change keys of any tracks and tune them to perfection
  • A studio-grade channel strip – Reach true sound perfection for all channels
  • Spin FX – Tweak and mash-up your tracks with DJ-like breaks, stops and stutters
  • MicroSonic TAPE instruments – Perfectly recreate trademark sounds from the ’60s era
  • 76 new Micrologue presets – Lay down your tracks with cutting-edge modern synth sounds
  • Factory loops tempo match – Enjoy the freedom to use included audio loops at any tempo
  • MIDI Auto Quantize – Sync MIDI tracks with the beat while recording
  • Ready for iOS 10 – Cubasis 2.0 is fully tested and proven iOS 10 compatible
    Maintenance and improvements – For the complete list of improvements, issues and solutions please visit www.steinberg.net/cubasisforum

And it looks like Cubasis is still $24.99! Go get it on the app store (if you haven’t already of course)

1 comment on “A belated happy birthday to Trackd!”

A belated happy birthday to Trackd!

If you don’t know Trackd (Create, Sing, Collaborate & Record Songs) then perhaps now is the time to take a look. It’s a pretty interesting and versatile app and I think that it’s just going to get better and better. For now I want to say a belated happy birthday to Trackd and the team behind it.

If you don’t know about Trackd, then here’s some information behind it.

“Trackd is the best new way to record songs and ideas to your iPhone. It is packed with simple tools that makes recording and mixing audio on mobile quick and easy on up-to 8 tracks.

Note lyrics, set a metronome, mix, pan and even import audio from Dropbox to kick-start new projects.

Trackd is also a place where musicians from all over the world meet to share ideas, message and collaborate. Follow your friends and collaborate with them as easily as sending a text.

You can quickly and easily share your music to Facebook, Twitter, and even save multi-track projects to your camera roll for video sharing.

Share your songs on socials @trackdmusic and #trackd for the chance to be featured, and mail support@trackdmusic.com if you have any queries, needs, or simply want to give us a pat on the back for making such a beautiful, lovely, and groundbreaking app”

And here’s what’s new in the latest version …

  • Faster navigation for the quicker-fingered amongst you.
  • Improved the tutorial so it’s a bit clearer how to delete things (just play it right the first time though!)
  • We still don’t want no drama, so we crushed more bugs.

And now a little bit about Trackd’s birthday!

“The other day we gracefully and silently turned a year old, so to celebrate our move into the awkward toddler phase here are some fun facts!

  • There has been over 250 days-worth of music recorded using Trackd. Get listening.
  • Over 115,000 musical projects have been created using the app.
  • Almost 10,000 songs and stems have been made public by the community and have got everyone all inspired and collaborating!
  • We’ve been nominated for awards all over the globe from SXSW, to San Fransisco Music Tech, to Midem in France! So many feels.
  • Major love shown by Apple, with a number of features over the year – thanks guys!

The best and most fun fact of all though has to be that over the past year we’ve seen a community of nearly 70,000 musicians come together and create some completely insane beats, jams and melodies both solo and through collaboration. Every day when we log in to see what you guys have been up to it still blows us away. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep creating, and enjoy every second!”

I think that Trackd has a bright future, and I hope to tell you more about that soon enough, so go check out Trackd on the app store now:

0 comments on “SoundScaper 1.8 has arrived”

SoundScaper 1.8 has arrived

The latest update of the excellent experimental app SoundScaper is here. Version 1.8 brings a completely redesigned “Morphing scene” feature which is the new instrument as a part of SoundScaper and is specially designed for live improvisation with existing scenes.

The morphing feature gives you ability of smooth switching between scenes in different modes and adding effects during the morphing process. With the morphing you can add a new dimension to existing scenes varying them in the real time. But the most interesting result can be reached with applying multifunctional filters and changing the oscillator parameters in transition state between scenes.

Also in this update:

  • New control pad of oscillators in the morphing interface.
  • Possibility to change oscillators parameters during the morphing.
  • Automatic output level control during the morphing.
  • Automatic return to zero option for parameters in morphing.
  • New MIDI controls for the morphing options.
  • Added very creative feature of feedback.
  • Improved morphing modes.
  • Two range of rate for main LFOs.
  • Added option of drift for main LFOs.
  • Added new presets for oscillators.
  • Updated description of the application.
  • Description available as PDF on application site.
  • Several minor bugs have been fixed.

If you’re interested in downloading the scenes used in the demo video above, just go to the SoundScaper site and follow the instructions towards the bottom of the page.

You can find SoundScaper on the app store here:

0 comments on “Unexpectedly Meteor Multitrack Recorder from 4Pockets gets an update”

Unexpectedly Meteor Multitrack Recorder from 4Pockets gets an update

A few days ago 4Pockets Audio put a number of their apps on sale, which was the first thing that they’d done with them since 2014. It was good to see that the lights were still on at 4Pockets as I’d all but written them off. That would have been a real shame as they’d made some really amazing apps over the years.

Today we see an update to Meteor Multitrack Recorder, their flagship DAW, and this is great news, really great news. My hope is that we’ll see some updates for their other apps too, like Synergy Studio, and the amazing Aurora and Aurora HD.

It’s worth pointing out that both Meteor Multitrack Recorder and Aurora were originally Windows Mobile apps, so these have some pretty amazing heritage to them, and that’s why it’s doubly great that there’s an update for Meteor Multitrack Recorder.

Let’s hope that this is just the first of a series of updates for these apps. For now here’s what’s new in Meteor Multitrack Recorder:

  • Upgraded the app to 64bit.
  • Fixed a bug which caused a possible crash when exiting the Online Shop
  • Fixed an issue with the MIDI output selection in the MIDI Editor
  • Added a new Ducking & Diving In-App Purchase
  • Added a positioning guide in the MIDI editor for placing & dragging notes
  • Improved the video handling capabilities using the Video Plug-In
  • Added inline popup Mini Mixer and Channel Effects panels

Meteor Multitrack Recorder on the app store:

0 comments on “Link goes beyond iOS, establishes a serious desktop presence aside from Live”

Link goes beyond iOS, establishes a serious desktop presence aside from Live

It’s only fair to say that Link has very quickly established a strong foothold in the iOS world, and has of course had a desktop presence from day one with Live. But the big question was always whether or not other desktop DAWs would take it on.

Now that’s happened with Reason. Here’s what Propellerheads say about it:

“Reason is the first third party DAW to add support for Ableton’s Link technology. Users of Reason 9.1 can effortlessly sync their music making apps across WiFi, and Link will keep all apps in tempo and time. Drop in or out of the Link at any time. Change tempo on one device and all the Linked apps follow suit.

Use the Link enabled Reason for Jam sessions with friends using Ableton Live or other Link enabled apps on desktop or mobile. Or use Link to record the sound of your favorite iOS apps to your Reason tracks in perfect sync.
How to use Link

Using Link is a breeze. Reason 9.1 adds Ableton Link as a new sync mode that you enable from the transport panel. You’ll see how many other Links are available and a graph will show timing information. When you hit play in Reason, it will start playing in sync on the next downbeat. When you stop, all other apps will keep playing. There is no sync master.

Reason 9.1 is a free update for owners of Reason 9. To update Reason 9, simply download it from Reason’s auto updater that will detect the update on launch.”

Make now mistake that this is massive, truly massive, and I hope that it isn’t the last. Quite frankly I think that we should see all DAWs take on Link, and I’d like to see some Android love for Link too.

What’s more, it’s great to see Jakob in there doing his thing!

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