Studio Mini XL Review

There are a few 8 track recorders for the iPad, but not a huge number to choose from. Studio Mini XL, is the big brother to Studio Mini on the iPhone/Touch.

Studio Mini XL started off as an app called OctoPod (I believe), and I wasn’t terribly impressed with that as a 4 track, but since then both the iPhone app and now the iPad app have really come on. Apart from a name change which made a lot of sense the interface for both of these apps has been improved and they both now look like recording applications.

Studio Mini is 4 tracks and the XL version on the iPad is 8. Both apps have a loops channel in addition to this. Both a completely serviceable multitrack recorders that you could happily use for any recording project.

The iPad app has a tuner built in, wifi sync and iTunes import, and one of my favourite features, a notes section for your songs which I think is particularly useful.

Both apps have been consistently updated since launch and, in discussion with the developer there are more good things coming to both of these apps, so well worth a look.

StudioMini XL ♬ Recording Studio - Fantastocrats

O-Generator Acoustic Music Maker Review

I’ve been playing with O-Generator Acoustic Music Maker for a couple of weeks and getting into it in that time, so I thought it was a good moment to put down some of my thoughts.

O-Generator Acoustic Music Maker is a rotary sequencer. I like rotary style sequencers on the whole, but they don’t always work. Unlike the more standard grid a rotary interface can get messing very quickly. However, O-Generator Acoustic Music Maker’s interface doesn’t suffer in that way. It has been very well thought through and is very easy to work with.

On the right of the screen you select an instrument or sample, and on the left you select the point you want it played in the pattern. Couldn’t be simpler. Well actually it is. Whilst the large circles represent the layer you’re currently working on, the smaller ones tell you what you’ve placed in other layers.

It works really well actually.

So what’s this app like and how can I use it?
I’m glad you asked. If you’re after a synth app then don’t try this one. This is really for composition and sequencing and song writing. And, in the time I’ve used it I’ve found it good in those areas. If you want to start pulling together a rhythm and add a bass then some guitar, piano, etc it is very good at building up those layers.

As for how you might use this, I think it can be an effective compositional app for song writers.

How long will it take to get used to?
Again, this is an easy learning curve of an app. There aren’t huge numbers of pages to get through, most of what you need is on the screen above. The app is very usable.

What I liked about the app?
I’ve mentioned the interface, which was, in my opinion very well thought out. I also liked the volume control for each layer which is actually in the screen above and make sense from a usability and visual perspective. The app comes with some very good tutorials to get you going with the app, but you may not need them. As for exporting, at the moment it is a wifi export.

What would I like to see in this app next?
You can guess what I’m going to say can’t you? Yep, copy/paste. For me, if you could get it working with other apps I think it’d be really handy to work alongside other apps.

Aside from that I think some light effects could be nice too.

I think that for the price of just over a cup of coffee this app is great value. Straightforward to use, well designed interface and good high quality sound makes this a great app to work with.

O-Generator Acoustic Music Maker - O-Music Ltd Clip to Evernote

DrumtrackHD Review

You know you’ve got a great bit of software in front of you when you keeping finding things and thinking ‘wow, that’s really useful’, and ‘I didn’t know they’d put that feature in’.

Well that’s how I feel about DrumTrackHD. I’ve always like the iPhone/Touch version of the app and I was really pleased when the iPad version came out. The interface is very similar so the learning curve from one app to the other is quite short.

However there’s plenty of features in the new HD version of this excellent drum machine. I’ve really enjoyed the additional screen space with the iPad version. It’s made a big difference to workflow within this app.

One of the great things about DrumTrackHD is the level of control over each step in your pattern. Each step has individual volume, pan, pitch control and gives you just want to for you patterns especially with up to 16 tracks in the pattern too.

All of the export options that were there in the original, which makes it an easy addition to your existing workflow.

I also like the new FX in the app. Overall this is a great drum machine for the iPad and I hope that it will continue to get better and better.

Overall I like this app because it is simple to use with plenty of options to configure it

DrumtrackHD is priced at $9.99

DrumtrackHD - Simple Is Beautiful

iPads at the Apple Store Clip to Evernote

YUMI:synth for iPad first impression

When I first heard that there was another app coming from the maker of Jasuto Pro I was very interested. When heard what it was I was intrigued. When I had my first play around with YUMI:synth for the iPad I was hooked.

YUMI:synth is very different from Jasuto so don’t expect to get something like a modular. YUMI is an instrument, and even with only playing with it briefly I think it could be quite a versatile one for performance.

So far my main observation with this app is that the design fits very well for holding and playing this instrument and it seems to have a lot of potential for expression in the sound.

Once I’ve had a more thorough play with it I’ll write some more, but so far I’m impressed.

YUMI:synth - Chris Wolfe

iPads at the Apple Store Clip to Evernote

Sinusoid for iPhone: A first look

I downloaded this the other day as someone had said that it was a lot like NanoLoop. So I took a look and it is. In fact it is more tracker-esque in many ways. I’ve only played with it a little but it seems to pack quite a few features into a $0.99 app, so if Nanoloop is your thing it could be worth checking out.

I will take a more detailed look soon and write about it some more.

Sinusoid - Erik Sigth Clip to Evernote

Playing with Filterer for iOS

I’ve been playing with this app for a little while now and have really got to enjoy it. Filterer does what it says it will to. It is a filter app, so if you’re not looking for a filter then this is not the app you’re looking for.

Filterer has a low pass filter and LFO too, and will take audio in from either the microphone or line in.

I like the simplicity of the app and that it so straightforward. I also liked the visual feedback you get with the cutoff and LFO.

For $0.99 I think that this app is a complete bargain.

filterer - glidepro Clip to Evernote

More time with Chordbot is time well spent

I’ve had some more time to play with this little app now and I really like it. In some ways it reminds me of my old madplayer device although Chordbot isn’t really for generating random songs, but it just reminds me. Perhaps it is in the sounds.

Anyway, I’ve really got into this as a simple a straightforward way to start creating songs or tracks. The interface is so simple yet so responsive and options are immense. Add to that the fact that you can export either as MIDI (in a variety of ways), or as a WAV or via audioCopy makes this an app that is going to stay in my permanent collection of music making apps for a long time I think.

If you haven’t tried it it is really worth taking a look at, and there’s a lite version for free so you can try before you buy.

Chordbot - Lars Careliusson Clip to Evernote

iDJ reviews iMS-20

iDJ Blog reviews the new Korg iMS-20 app.

iPads at the Apple Store Clip to Evernote

Revisiting … PatternMusic

I keep a lot of music apps on my iPhone, in fact, since I got my iPhone 4 I’ve returned a load of apps. But over the last few days I’ve been going back to some apps that I haven’t used in a while and have been getting re-aquainted. Most recently I used PatternMusic.

PatternMusic was released almost a year ago now, and going back to it reminded me of when it first came out.

It is a very sophisticated step sequencer which has a lot of potential for making some very interesting compositions. The fact that you can get patterns running with different lengths all in the same composition always impressed me. I really like the idea of getting music working where different parts overlap and interact with each other in different ways.

One of the other strengths of the app is the ability to mix patterns using their position. I really like this option, and it is unusual in an app that is so focused on composition.

PatternMusic has a lot of depth to it, and if you’ve never tried it out before you should give it a try. There’s a version for iPhone, and a separate one for the iPad too, and what’s more, both are free.

Richard Clip to Evernote

Radarhead 19

This is a little video of Radarhead 19 from Franz Keller. It is quite a fun app to play with. You drop these little icons onto the radar and as the sweeper goes over them up the make a sound. Where you put them determines their pitch so you can get a little pattern going very quickly. In many ways it reminds me of SpinPad from miniMusic which was destined for the old Palm OS. Simple enough you might think.

But what’s really interesting about this app (well, interesting to me anyway) is that it was made in GameSalad, which means that it was made with a drag and drop tool and not using Apple’s XCode.I haven’t been following GameSalad lately, but it looks like their tool has some functionality that could be useful for making music apps.

Since Apple have removed their restrictions over what tools can be used to make iPhone and iPad apps I hope we’ll see more musical apps being made with alternative tools, and hopefully we’ll see some interesting apps like this one.

Anyway, as for Radarhead, it’s a fun app for making some fairly strange patterns, and 

RADARHEAD Clip to Evernote

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