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Intermorphic is 10 today

I’ve known about the work that Intermorphic have been doing for longer than 10 years, but today they celebrate their decade. That’s an impressive achievement. Ten years is a long time in the mobile world and not many people can lay claim to the same.

They’ve made some amazing apps, Mixtikl, Noatikl, Wotja, and liptikl. But I go back longer than that and remember where they started with miniMIXA for Windows Mobile.

I hope that Intermorphic have a long and positive future ahead. They already have big plans for 2017, and if you want to know more about what’s coming and also what’s gone before then you should read the interview I did with them at the very end of 2016.

Well done chaps, and all the best for 2017 and beyond!

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Troublemaker arrives, and apparently isn’t a 303 (but you should decide for yourself)

From the makers of Ruismaker, Ruismaker FM, and Phasemaker comes a new bass synth, Troublemaker! Apparently it is not a 303!

Here’s what to expect …

The legendary TB-303 has magical properties; it is filled to the brim with analog shimmer. Its output jack is a gateway to a parallel universe and when you twiddle the filter knobs an army of highly trained pixies chisel the square waves from freshly harvested unicorn souls. So if you want a TB-303, you should buy a TB-303. But if you’re after *that sound* Troublemaker will give you everything you need in spades.

Troublemaker sports a carefully crafted diode filter emulation and among the available oscillators are the typical raspy, nasal sawtooth and rubbery squarewave with its oddball shape and shifting pulsewidth. It also has the wow.

Troublemaker is fully Audio Unit (AUv3) compatible, so you can go wild running multiple instances in your favorite DAWs.

It also has:

  • Ableton Link synchronization,
  • MIDI CC mapping,
  • Core Midi, Virtual Midi, Bluetooth Midi input,
  • Audiobus support
  • Exports MID and WAV files from the standalone sequencer

And unlike the TB-303, it can actually sound like a bass guitar 😉

Note: Troublemaker requires iPad 4/Mini 2/iPhone 5S/iPod Touch 6 or higher

Troublemaker is on the app store and costs $9.99:

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Roli’s NOISE 2.2.2 brings new presets to your BLOCKS

Here’s what’s new in Roli’s NOISE app: 

  • Expand your preset library with the new Soundpack Store. 5 brand new packs available to buy, including Steve Aoki’s Neon Future and RZA’s Spoonful of Grit. All with ROLI’s 5 dimensional modulation.
  • Own BLOCKS? Be sure to register your hardware to download the free gifts found in the Soundpack Store.
  • Navigate through all your new sounds quickly and easily with the new Preset Selector. Simply tap the preset name in Instrument View to reveal.
  • Improved reliability and performance of NOISE
  • Improved reliability when updating BLOCKs hardware
  • Fixed bug where audio previews were distorted when uploading projects to NOISE.fm

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Some first impressions of the Artiphon Instrument 1

I promised that I would write about the Artiphon Instrument 1. I thought I’d start with some photos of what it used to look like as a prototype. Of course, it’s quite different now and doesn’t have a bay for an iPhone, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. However, it is essentially the same instrument.

The version that shipped from Artiphon’s Kickstarter campaign is a nice evolution of the original, and, on first impressions, is pretty easy to use.

What’s shipped may not look as beautiful as the original, but the shipped version is still rather lovely anyway. But more than that it works and works really well.

When I unpacked it and got it out of its box the first thing I noted is that it is really well presented. The packaging is protective and works and you’ll probably want to keep hold of the box just in case.

The instrument itself feels the right weight. It’s smaller than I’d had in my mind. It’s around the size of a ukulele or maybe slightly bigger. I’ve got the black one. The surface of the device is smooth and it feels nice to handle. Of course the most important thing is how it works and handles as an instrument and I’ll be coming on to that in just a moment.

What struck me first off was that it does actually feel like an instrument and not like a piece of digital technology that you’re going to have to learn how to use and isn’t immediately obvious. That might sound like a subtle distinction, but in my view it is an important one. It means that you feel, or at least I felt, like I could pick this instrument up straight away and get going with it, and that is exactly what I did.

So let’s move on to hooking it up to a device and getting going.

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The app that Artiphon have created to go along with their device is great for getting started, but if you’re a seasoned iOS music pro you’re going to get bored of these sounds very soon.

The app is very good for setting up how the instrument works though.

It gives you all the options for setting the tuning and layout of the instrument. Which is very useful in getting the thing to work how you want to.

Inside the app you can play with some basic instrument settings, although the sounds aren’t going set the world on fire, but the main thing is that you can set up MIDI here, and that’s where, for me, this instrument is going to be really useful. MIDI is very easy in the Artiphon app so you won’t have any issues I wouldn’t think.

After getting some sounds out of the thing I spent most of my time experimenting with playing with it and that’s what I’ll be sharing next.

What the ArtiPhon Instrument 1 is like to use:

I have to say, that even after just a brief time of playing with this instrument I can say that it’s a joy to use. It really is an instrument. I’m not much of a guitarist, but it does work well when you play it in guitar mode. In piano or keys mode it’s even more interesting and useful. I found that I could play and experiment with how the device worked with a variety of apps and sounds for ages as it was such a novel way of interfacing with apps.

I think that I’ve only scratched the surface with this instrument and it’s going to take a lot more interaction to get to a point where I can talk about where I think it really excels. However, I think it’ll be a lot of fun getting there.