If you’ve seen this post at CDM today, you may be wondering what’s happening. So I think I should explain really. As you might remember, this year saw PalmSounds hit the ripe old age of 11 years, which is a long time in anyone’s book. Right from almost the very beginning of that journey Peter Kirn was really supportive, and from there we’ve stayed in touch and on occasion I’ve written for CDM.
As of now PalmSounds is moving over to CDM, bringing mobile music and app news to an already great site. You’ll be able to find everything you’d normally expect at PalmSounds at CDM, right here, and of course, if you’re not a CDM reader already you’ll find a whole lot more to read there.
Of course you might be wondering what will happen over here. That would be a good question. To answer that you have to remember that PalmSounds started as my personal discussion on mobile music. It wasn’t really a news site at all, but that’s what it became. Now that I’m moving that part of PalmSounds to CDM, this site will really go back to its roots. It’ll be more about what I’m doing personally with my own mobile music rather than acting as a news site.
So please join me over at CDM from today for everything you’ve seen at PalmSounds and a bright new chapter for CDM too.
In years gone by I’ve done more to celebrate PalmSounds birthday, especially last year of course where we celebrated 10 years of mobile music. 11 doesn’t seem like such a big deal perhaps, but in some ways it is even more significant. In the UK 11 is an important age. It’s an age where you move up to big school, where things get serious. Perhaps that’s not the best analogy for PalmSounds, but in a way it’s a good way of looking at mobile music and how things have changed, how they’ve developed and progressed. I think that the world of mobile music has come of age in many ways.
I started thinking about that after MMM2017. That was not only an excellent event, but also pivotal in many ways. It signalled a coming together of so many different aspects and parts of the mobile music world that normally don’t intersect. It was also significant that it was opened with a key note by Peter Kirn from CDM and was closed with me talking about the future, something I plan to revisit in the next week or so.
So I think that PalmSounds turning 11 could be significant in many ways. We’ll see if I’m right.
PS. If you hadn’t guessed it, the cakes above spell “Palm Sounds 11”, if perhaps not entirely successfully. However, like many things with PalmSounds, it was a bit of an experiment.
If you’re a backer on this project you’ll already know about this, but if you’re not you might be interested to know that there’s some good news about the KDJ-One. After 2 years it seems that they’re making progress and there could be some light at the end of the tunnel. I really do hope so as I’m still keen to have one of these.
So if you’re a backer of the KDJ-One you’ll already know about this, but if not you might be interested to hear that even though the KDJ-One is so late, apparently it is still coming. Which is good news. I think I’ve lost track of just how late this product is, which is probably a good thing on the whole.
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:
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.
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
Hosts up to 128 pads, with 16/64 pads mode
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
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
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
BeatMaker 3 can be controlled in an unique way by one or multiple MIDI controllers, using MIDI notes and CC’s.
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;
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.
external Audio Unit plugin (IAA, AUv3);
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);
stereo delay with filter and optional sync modes;
Single or multi-track export
16, 24 or 32bits
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.
BeatMaker 3 files (ZIP files, sessions, bank presets, samples, MIDI files, etc.) can be opened from other apps.
Many people have asked me the question, “when is BM3 going to arrive?”. And why wouldn’t you ask. BeatMaker, both one and two have been stalwarts of the iOS music world since almost the very beginning. Both have been extensively used and relied on by artists all over the world. So it’s a good question, and one that Intua have now answered.
BM3 will be released before the end of this year. Intua say that they are confident of this on the front page of their site. It’s good to know. It’s good to look forward to as well, and I’m sure that it’ll be eminently worth the wait.