POLYTIK modular synths arrive on Kickstarter

I’ve been waiting for this for a while now. It looks really great and it is from some of the people behind the Mute Synth (I and II), both of which are excellent (although I probably prefer II).

Polytik describes itself as a collection of beautifully designed hand-held synth modules exploring the border between play and sound. Which sounds right up my street.

Here’s what the Kickstarter page says …

Born out of a DIY ethos and the maker community, Polytik has been crafted into something very different – a series of beautifully designed objects in their own right.

Polytik is open-source hardware and encourages users to make new modules and hacks.

The brainchild of John Richards and Jack Featherstone in collaboration with Artists & Engineers, these hybrid analogue/digital devices can produce a palette of sounds ranging from angular rhythmic sequences to abstract noise, pads and drones. The synths are designed to be tactile, to be held and touched when playing.

Polytik comprises four separate, colour-coded, battery powered modules. Every Polytik system needs a Core module and at least one sound module. The sound modules connect to the core with ribbon cables, these carry audio and control data to connect the system together giving you a single audio output for all modules. You can have up to three sound modules connected at one time.

The Starter Pack comprises a Core module and a Combi module, which we think is a really good way to start using Polytik.


Core (Blue) – A sequencer, programmer and mixer. YOU NEED TO HAVE THIS MODULE TO START, you can then add any or all of the other modules to expand your experience.


Combi (Black) Voltage-controlled feedback, voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and filtering


VCO (Red) Voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)


Noise (Yellow) Noise generator, patchable feedback networks and voltage-controlled filter (VCF)


For more information take a look at the Kickstarter page.

Intua announce more about BM3

Which is excellent news! Here are the core functionalities and specifications of the upcoming Q2 release of BeatMaker 3:

BeatMaker 3’s digital audio workstation provides versatility ideal for both on-the-go production and more complex MIDI/audio studio setups. Suited for both amateurs and professional users, BeatMaker 3 emphasises the strengths of its critically acclaimed predecessors while taking the future of music composition to the next level.

BeatMaker 3’s ability to integrate with both MIDI hardware and the music app ecosystem makes it a powerful tool in any musician’s arsenal. In anticipation of launch, a series of screenshots of the soon-to-be-released app’s UI we’re posted recently on the company website. Additionally, a list of partial features confirmed in the forthcoming app includes:

Main functionalities

  • Compose with high quality instruments & loops, integrated in a powerful and streamlined DAW
  • Design your own instruments using a state of the art sampling engine with unmatched modularity (multi-layer, live slice mode, realtime time-stretching/pitch-shifting, Audio Units V3/IAA, full modulation system, …)
  • Powerful integration of MIDI hardware to control the app and its instruments in a unique way (MIDI actions, parameter macros, …)
  • Arrange songs with instruments & audio tracks
  • Play live, remix or sketch ideas with a powerful scene mode
  • Export, share, and expand your library with soundpacks designed by the best sound design companies


BeatMaker 3 has eight banks of 128 pads. Each pad is now a full-fledged instrument running a state of the art multi-layered sampler engine, with additional IAA/Audio Unit V3 hosting. Additionally, audio tracks and can be added to the mix, for recording and playback of audio clips. Up to eight aux tracks can be added for even more complex routing.

Per Pad

  • Multi-layered sampler
  • Optional Audio Unit (AUv3/IAA), used simultaneously with the sampler
  • Mixer channel, with volume, pan, mute, solo and eight sends
  • Unlimited number of effects
  • Link & choke groups
  • Audio output routing
  • Swing mode

Per Bank

  • Hosts up to 128 pads, with 16/64 pads mode
  • Sequencer track
  • Mixer channel, with volume, pan, mute, solo and eight sends
  • Unlimited number of effects
  • Output to the main mix or a specific audio hardware output
  • Up 16 macro controls with additional X/Y controller
  • MIDI input / output
  • Swing mode

The sampler

  • Multi-layered sampler
  • Per layer up to 4 voice effects
  • Per layer modulation of parameters, with ratio. Available modulators: AHDSR, LFO,
  • MIDI, Random S&H, 64-steps mod, and more to come
  • Per layer trigger mode: one-shot, hold, on release
  • Per sample loop type: none / forward / alternated
  • Sample cross-fading with bending control
  • Per layer 64 voices polyphony, with optional mono & polyphonic portamento;
  • Sample Disk streaming support
  • Live time-stretch & pitch-shift with Elastique v3 algorithm
  • Tempo detection
  • Slice mode for live chopping of samples, with transient detection, split, divide, different play modes, slice fading in & out
  • Reverse playback, semitone & fine-tune controls;
  • Gain, pan, saturation;
  • Full fledged sample editor
  • Intuitive mapping editor to create your own instruments
  • Host an external Audio Unit plugin simultaneously with the sampling engine;
    inline recorder that can record from any external audio inputs or from any BM3 internal buses (outputs, banks, pads, audio tracks, AUX tracks…), bringing easy and quick resampling.
  • Slicing exports to layers or pads (up to 128);
  • Internal recorder and resampler


Sixteen macros are bound to each track inside BM3. This means each bank, output, audio & aux track has its own set of 16 macros. This is particularly interesting for Banks because this means bank presets can be saved with a chain of effects and macros as well. Macros can control multiple parameters at once from banks, pads, layers, effects, etc

Focus actions

BeatMaker 3 can be controlled in an unique way by one or multiple MIDI controllers, using MIDI notes and CC’s.

Available actions

  • Trigger pad 1-16 (or 64 with optional 64 pads device mode);
  • Pad modes switching: select, scene, mute, solo, keys
  • Macro control 1-16
  • Bank select, prev / next switching
  • Octave up, octave down, page up, page down for pads pages, scenes, etc.
  • Transport play / pause / stop / record / backward / forward / loop / metronome;
  • Repeat mode

Focus actions templates can be saved, loaded and shared easily.


You will find the traditional, timeline based sequencer, exactly like BM2 with an improved workflow and set of tools. To extend the creation capabilities, we’ve added a “scene” mode, where you can quickly create, assemble and play with patterns. A scene hosts multiple track patterns that can be triggered at once, using a specified quantization. It is also possible to individually trigger a pattern from outside the currently playing scene.

The combination of both SONG and SCENE mode is pretty powerful and opens up possibilities for live performances and more traditional sequencing.


Access the effect chain of any track by simply selecting the track (bank, output, aux, pad…) from the user interface or by manually selecting it. If you want to lock the selection on a specific track, toggle the “lock” icon.

You can insert any number of effects on a track. Remember that you can use macro controls to bind multiple parameters at once, from the effects, mixer, or even the sampler.

Effects presets load/save. Move effect up/down the chain.

Available effects

  • external Audio Unit plugin (IAA, AUv3);
  • bit crusher;
  • filtered delay with optional sync mode;
  • dynamics processor (compressor/limiter/expander) with side-chaining;
  • one-band SV filter;
  • six-band (parametric) SV filter;
  • modulation delay (flanger/chorus/vibrato);
  • overdrive;
  • two reverbs;
  • slicer;
  • stereo delay with filter and optional sync modes;
  • stereo widener.

Audio export

  • Single or multi-track export
  • 16, 24 or 32bits
  • Normalization


  • Sharing to other iOS apps like Mail, Airdrop, Google Drive, iCloud and other compatible applications. You can even select multiple files and BeatMaker 3 will archive them for you.
  • Music library import, iTunes USB transfer.
  • Dropbox browser.
  • BeatMaker 3 files (ZIP files, sessions, bank presets, samples, MIDI files, etc.) can be opened from other apps.

Quantiloop 2 is pretty big so you need to take a look

Quantiloop 2 looks pretty big, and if you’re in the market for a looper app then you should probably take a look at this. Here’s what’s new:

  • Completely refreshed UI
  • 4 Tracks + Rhythm Track
  • New play mode: Serial Master
  • Assignable Instant Track FX (Fade, Tapestop, Reverse, Transpose, Reverb/Delay, Comp/Gate or any IAA effect)
  • Assignable Instant Input FX (Transpose, Reverb/Delay, Comp/Gate or any IAA effect)
  • Arm Mode enhances workflow dramatically
  • MIDI Slave support (E.g. slave Quantiloop to your hardware drum kit)
  • MIDI Program Change support for changing presets
  • Many stability improvements

FL Studio Mobile 3.1.17 is good and has a problem too

I’ve been impressed with how FL Studio Mobile 3 has been updated and improved. In fact this is the 5th update since November when FLS3 was released. Here’s what’s new:

DON’T UPDATE IF MP3 IS IMPORTANT! There is a bug with MP3 export. If you already have, a fix will be issued ASAP. Apologies for the inconvenience.

  • New save hub (will be expanded with more options in future updates)
  • Export projects to multi-channel MIDI file (first 16 Channels)
  • Crash when deleting tracks fix
  • Bugfixes and stability improvements

Audio Evolution Mobile Studio 1.0.6

Audio Evolution Mobile Studio brings its fourth update this month, and it’s a good one. Here’s what’s new:

  • Added support for AudioShare. For exporting to AudioShare, please use the ‘File browser’ and swipe your audio file left to reveal the AudioShare function. To import from AudioShare, simply select ‘Import from AudioShare’ from the Project menu
  • Added channel filter to MIDI input dialog
  • Fixed crash in the velocity editor for the drum pattern editor
  • Fixed crash in changing output of busses.
  • Moving automation points is now easier
  • Pressing cancel in presets dialog caused a crash. Solved.
  • The ‘Vocal Remover’ and ‘WahWah’ effect sometimes failed to load. Solved.
  • After setting the resonance or depth parameters in WahWah to 0, no sound would be produced anymore. Solved.
  • Pop-up menu with ‘Remove effect’ is not displayed anymore for empty fx slot
  • Solved issue with undo ‘Cut ripple’ in drum pattern editor
  • Cut and paste dialogs in the drum pattern editor now have a Cancel option
  • Choosing ‘Duplicate track’ when 3 tracks were present and the PRO IAP wasn’t done caused a crash. Solved.
  • Solved 32/64-bit issue that could cause a random crash

ReSlice 1.1 brings new features and fixs

Just 10 days after releasing their latest app, VirSyn brings us version 1.1. Here’s what’s new:


  • Export Slices (Audio / MIDI)
  • Tap long on slice move handle for zoomed display/edit
  • Keyboard on effx page
  • Key sync option: Arpeggio start with key down
  • MIDI Pitchbend control


  • IAA control bar position fixed
  • Trigger problem fixed ( tie was active with some arps )
  • Delay fx not working on load.
  • AUv3 solved some multiple instances UI problems
  • Cubasis freeze bug fixed

Aleph and Infinite Looper get to 2.1

Both apps getting the same update treatment from Secret Base Design. Here’s what’s new:

  • Added preliminary support for the Novation Launchpad.
  • Added unlimited loops on each track. Run out of space? Just add more!
  • Fixed a bug in the MIDI import; iRealB, ChordBot, and others, should import correctly now.
  • Fixed a bug with sending MIDI CC messages to external hardware.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause a crash on export of audio files.

Aleph Looper on the app store:

Infinite Looper on the app store:

Synergy Studio from 4Pockets gets a long awaited update

4Pockets has brought the first update to Synergy Studio in over two years. It isn’t a big update, but that’s not the issue. It’s just nice to see an update as it’s a real favourite app of mine.

  • Fixed a few issues with iOS10 compatibility.
  • Removed the WIST API due to lack of library updates.
  • Upgraded to the latest version of AudioBus

Is the Raspberry Pi the next mobile platform?

In case you hadn’t seen this it comes from NAMM where Tracktion Corporation announced the rename of the DAW to Waveform, and that it would run on the Raspberry Pi computer. Now that’s impressive I think. Considering what a Pi costs ($35) it’s a pretty amazing deal. There’s no pricing set for Waveform as yet, but currently Tracktion’s T5 DAW is free.

What’s more, if you watch the whole of the video you’ll hear that they’re also planning bespoke Pi audio hardware too. I’ll be keeping an eye on this as I think that the Pi has the ability to become a much more interesting platform in the not too distant future.

Drum Session 1.0.4 arrives

This is the fourth update since the launch of Drum Session, which is pretty impressive given that the app only launched last month. Here’s what’s new:

  • 6 new drum kits
  • stem export (each drum exports to its own audio track)
  • brighter pattern graphics for improved readibility
  • open in… export support for both MIDI and audio
  • allow IAA hosts to play, stop, rewind
  • many other bug fixes and improvements

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