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SynthScaper has arrived

Today Igor Vasiliev (creator of FieldScaper and SoundScaper) brings us another synth specifically for experiments and soundscapes, and I’m betting that this is going to be just as interesting in terms of sound design as his other apps.

Here’s what to expect from SynthScaper:

Synthesizer specially designed for creating and experiments with ambient soundscapes in wide range from noises to melodic instruments and everything in between.

You can construct melodic pads or atonal soundscapes from different kind of built-in or downloaded samples by using all power of multi-layered oscillators, chains of filters and effects, envelope generators and low frequency oscillators. Or just use predefined scenes and creating your own scenes from library of oscillators presets.

Very flexible settings of each module give you a great opportunity for creating unique and colorful sounding from usual instruments or natural samples and adding automated changes and spatial effects for an endless variations. Different ways of assigning screen and MIDI keyboards to the oscillators provide very advanced features to control the sound. The on-screen keyboard is adapted to create special effects and varying the continuous textures and drones.

Main features:

  • Three independent oscillators.
  • Three layers with own samples in each oscillator.
  • Six voices in each layer.
  • Six envelope generators.
  • Six low frequency oscillators.
  • Separate arpeggiator for each oscillator.
  • General processing of level, balance, LPF, HPF for each layer.
  • Three additional slots for filters and effects after each oscillator.
  • Set of different kind of filters and effect modules.
  • Spatial mixer with two different sound space.
  • Screen keyboard adapted for continuous drones and soundscapes.
  • Predefined set of keyboard scales and custom scales.
  • Full screen, double and split features for screen keyboard.
  • Options of screen keyboard for pitch, continuous, modify, velocity.
  • Supports for two virtual and two MIDI keyboards at the same time.
  • Flexible assigning keyboards and controls to the oscillators.
  • Two main effects controls can combine several parameters.
  • Uploading samples thru Dropbox, Web access, clipboard.
  • Auto and manual tuning of samples with frequency analyzer.
  • Set of predefined and ready-to-use scenes and presets.
  • Built-in library of samples of instruments, synths, noises, etc.
  • Detailed application description.
  • Inter-App audio compatible (with transport and BPM controls).
  • Supports Audiobus with “State Saving” feature.

SynthScaper will be constantly developed and next version will have even more sounds, effects and features.

Requirements:

Recommended at least iPhone 6 / iPad Mini 4 / iPad Air 2 and higher.

You can find more details about SynthScaper on the website:

http://motion-soundscape.blogspot.com

SynthScaper is available on the app store at the special launch price of $9.99:

 

Preview video:

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apeSoft bring us another unusual synth to play with … Mood has arrived

Absolutely in keeping with their other apps apeSoft deliver mood – A personal interpretation of the legendary Analog Synthesizer by Eugenio Giordani.

Jordan Rudess says:
“The Mood synth has immense sonic ability. It has captivated my imagination and sense of discovery. In usual apeSoft form, it also has all the features that one expects in a top notch IOS instrument app.”

Features:

  • Audiounit v3
  • Audiobus and Inter-App Audio Sender/Filter
  • Audiobus 3 MIDI support
  • Share Presets and Samples between App and AUv3
  • iOS Universal
  • 3 Oscillators
  • Noise Generator with own envelope
  • Sample WARP
  • FM Module
  • Input Source Processing
  • VCF Filter Ladder 24db per octave
  • ADSR VCA
  • Mono or 16 voices Polyphonic
  • Keyboard Tracking and Control
  • Keyboard Ribbon Style
  • XLFO 7 shapes + Sequencer
  • Classical/Vintage Reverberator
  • Stereo Delay
  • Ring Modulator
  • Distort Output
  • Full Parameters MIDI/LFO/Accelerometer mapping
  • Presets Interpolation Pad
  • MIDI Clock and Ableton Link
  • Record to .wav file
  • AudioCopy/Audioshare/Open In… etc…

Even an initial play with this tells me that this app has a lot of intriguing sonic possibilities and isn’t just a regular synth app (if indeed such a thing exists anyway). So if you’re into more unusual sound design then you might want to take a look at this app and give it a try.

mood is on the app store for $11.99:

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Welcome to 2017, and here’s something fresh from Brian Eno

Of course it was only yesterday that I posted about Intermorphic and their generative journey. Now Mr Eno has released REFLECTION. As an album on CD, vinyl, or digital. The album also comes as an app too. Here’s how it’s described:

REFLECTION is the most recent of my Ambient experiments and represents the most sophisticated of them so far. My original intention with Ambient music was to make endless music, music that would be there as long as you wanted it to be. I wanted also that this music would unfold differently all the time – ‘like sitting by a river’: it’s always the same river, but it’s always changing. But recordings – whether vinyl, cassette or CD – are limited in length, and replay identically each time you listen to them. So in the past I was limited to making the systems which make the music, but then recording 30 minutes or an hour and releasing that. REFLECTION in its album form – on vinyl or CD – is like this. But the app by which REFLECTION is produced is not restricted: it creates an endless and endlessly changing version of the piece of music.

Minimum requirements:

  • iPad 3
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad mini 2
  • AppleTV (4th generation)

Of course this isn’t Mr Eno’s first adventure into app world, although the first with AppleTV too. My complaint about his previous apps is that they’ve been left without update which really annoys me. I’m hoping that the same won’t be true with this app, especially given it’s price.

REFLECTION for iOS costs $39.99 (£29.99) on the app store:

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Quantum VJ HD arrives from Mr NightRadio

I’m a long time fan of all things from Mr NightRadio, from apps to hardware and on an esoteric variety of platforms too. Now he’s brought something from his hardware creations into the world of apps, which is an interesting move.

Quantum VJ HD is a simple glitch-style audio visualizer (video generator). It can receive sound from the microphone or from the Line-in port (depends on the system settings). Sound will be converted to the graphic elements byte by byte. The final video can be mixed with the camera stream in real time.

iTunes File Sharing and Wi-Fi can be used, if you want to upload your own codeset images to the app.

  • Multitouch control – pair of parameters for each new touch
    • 1st Touch – changing the Mode (horizontally) and the Power (vertically) parameters.
    • 2nd Touch – changing the Color (horizontally) and the Noise (vertically) parameters.
    • 3rd Touch – changing the Camera (horizontally) and the Resolution (vertically) parameters.
    • 4th Touch – changing the Brightness (horizontally) and the Speed (vertically) parameters.
  • Press on the top left corner to hide/show the control panel (fullscreen mode ON/OFF).

Limitations
Video export is temporarily not available in iOS version.

Quantum VJ HD costs $1.99 (£1.49) on the app store now:

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Bastl Instruments making things that all mobile musicians should consider …

I’m a fan of Bastl and I have been since I first saw them in Frankfurt in 2014. They’re makers of excellent hardware and ever since I first met them they’ve made more and more excellent devices.

I met them in Berlin this year at Loop, as they were running a workshop and I was using the space for a workshop directly after them. They were kind enough to provide me with one of their new Kastle synths. I posted about Kastle a few weeks ago. It’s an awesome little device and packs way more punch than you’d ever think from a tiny little micro modular.

Bastl’s latest video on Kastle gives a detailed walk through of the synth and is really worth watching. But be warned, you might not be able to turn back!

But of course Bastl Instruments do so much more, and in fact their latest foray into DIY is a cause for celebration in itself. OMSynth miniLab is a circuit development and performance interface designed to help inventors quickly build and experiment with creative circuits. It was designed with beginners in mind but is perfectly suited for seasoned builders and complex circuit development.

In many ways OMSynth miniLab seems like a likely successor to Teenage Engineering’s now discontinued OpLab, although in many ways a lot more hands on and experimental. This is a device that could get people involved in some real experimentation, which can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

If that wasn’t enough Bastl have also announced bitRanger ADDON boards, BITBOARD & SYNAPSIS. bitRanger in itself is an excellent experimental synth and these new add ons take it up to the next level. The BitBoard is a breadboard add-on module that allows users to build custom circuits and user interfaces for the BitRanger, and the synapsis is a 4×4 pushbutton matrix that offers performative control of the Bit Ranger.

When you add all of this up, what you get is a synth company who are really pushing the boundaries of modular, of experimentation, and of miniaturisation too. These are not easy boundaries to push. What Bastl are doing is hard, and yet they make it seem easy, effortless. That requires real skill and a generous helping of excellent design talent.

Personally, I think that Bastl have a very bright future. Who knows where they’ll go next, but wherever it is it’s going to be exciting and probably break some new ground. I’ll be watching whatever it is they do in 2017, and I bet it’ll be great.

I’ll leave you with this interview with Bastl after the workshop they did at Loop.

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Why I’m really getting into Studio Amplify’s KRFT

I saw this post from Discchord and thought I’d add a few comments and thoughts into the mix.

I only started playing with this yesterday, and only briefly, but I can echo the comments that Discchord quotes: “You start with a blank Surface and add your own elements to create up your jammable track or instrument. There’s no social, login etc; it’s purely for music making.”, Or as Klaatu puts it, “This is what they were talking about in the first place and it’s like lemur with synths and samplers built in. With the keyboards as well as piano roll and pads for the drums it’s getting there.”

KRFT is in beta right now, but as Klaatu puts it above, it’s like Lemur but without the complexity. It’s like building not only your music, but the way you want to make it at the same time.

I love the idea, and so far I’m loving the execution too. Well done Studio Amplify, From Junglator, to NOIZ, to KRFT. It’s good stuff.

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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: