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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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GridComposer for iOS arrives

As I’m sure you already know I’m a bit of a fan of more ‘unusual’ apps for making music, and from a first look this app certainly looks like that.

I haven’t had a play with this as yet, but here are the details, you can make up your own mind.

Create and explore musical phrases and rhythmic patterns with GridComposer, an experimental musical sequencer. Arrange blocks on the grid to create notes and combine them to short phrases. Experiment with the timings and harmonies to explore variations of your composition. No musical knowledge is needed to start playing.

  • Contains four build-in, polyphonic synthesizer presets.
  • Notes are automatically assigned from a global musical scale.
  • Save and load your compositions.
  • Ability to adjust the musical scale, key and octave on the fly.
  • Volume mixer to adjust your tracks.
  • Advanced options to create custom scales.
  • Set the tempo and individual trigger speed for each track.
  • Ability to add delay and reverb effects.
  • Output midi notes to your audio software via wifi.

GridComposer is universal and costs $1.99 on the app store now:

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I do like unusual apps, and this fits the bill for me

There’s plenty of apps around these day to do pretty much everything you could think of in musical terms. Sifting through them can be difficult, but this one caught my eye as it’s a bit different from the run of the mill.

Here’s the description of PicopicoSequencer …

Picopico Sequencer is a music sequencer that plays music in so-called picopico sounds. The Japanese word “picopico” refers to the primitive sounds such as sine wave. And in Picopico Sequencer you can “create” your own sound waves.

Characteristics:

  • Create music in MML
  • Create your own sound waves in JavaScript
  • It looks as though you can edit music with GUI, you can’t now.
  • You can define at most 32 tracks per a song.

PicopicoSequencer is on the app store now and is free:

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MIDI thing, Korg iM1 and the PlugKey

As you’ll remember from my post and video the other day we’ve been making good progress with the MIDI thing. I thought I’d share another video. This time I’m using the MIDI thing to control Korg’s iM1 app, which, like the Roland Sound Canvas is a nice multi-timbral app, so I can assign different instruments to different MIDI channels.

Whilst this is a bit more of an ambient piece it still shows that it’s pretty easy to use the MIDI thing to layer a track in real time.

I hope you like it.

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MIDI thing, Korg’s PlugKey and Roland’s Sound Canvas

It’s been quite a while since I mentioned the MIDI thing device that I’m part of. MIDI thing has been going through tests with a number of people for the last few weeks and we’ve got some very useful feedback on how it works and how people who’ve been testing it feel about it.

So I thought now would be a good time to show a little of what we’ve doing with MIDI thing, and, more importantly, what it actually does.

If you’ve not heard of MIDI thing before and this is all new to you then I’ll give you a little background. If you know all this already then feel to skip over it.

MIDI thing is a hardware project that I’ve been a part of with an old friend who’s done the design work. It came out of a bunch of ideas around open source hardware and software and making neat small mobile music devices which are ideally battery powered. That’s just what MIDI thing is.

There’s the battery now here’s what it does:

  • Midi thing connects between the MIDI-out of a keyboard controller and the midi-in of a sound generator module or an iOS device that can run as a multi-timbral MIDI module.
  • The MIDI thing has just one switch and this is for turning the power on and off. You control the looper by activating a “command” mode. Using command mode the note keys operate the various looper functions instead of producing sound.
  • The “switch” to activate command mode is either a pre-selected note (e.g. unused note at the top or bottom of the keyboard) or control change (cc) knob/button; it is chosen when the unit is switched on.
  • The loop can be 2, 4 or 8 bars long. It can run in 3⁄4 or 4/4 time. There is a tap tempo function or the looper will synchronise automatically to an external MIDI clock and respond to start, continue and stop commands. All midi information (on all 16 channels) can be recorded up to a maximum of 400 MIDI events.
  • Each MIDI channel has a separate A/B recording zone which can be freely switched. Individual channel (and A/B) recordings can be quantised or deleted. A bi-colour led shows tempo and progress through the bars. A metronome (General Midi hi-hat) can be activated as MIDI-out on channel 10.

Hopefully that gives you a reasonable idea of what the thing does. Now we’ll have a look at it working. In this short video the MIDI thing is running multiple channels on Roland’s Sound Canvas app for iOS. The nice thing about the Sound Canvas app is that each sound can be assigned to an individual channel, just like a hardware module really, which wouldn’t be a surprise as the Sound Canvas was of course originally a hardware module.

What I’m doing here is laying down a series of tracks over multiple MIDI channels. Each of the channels has a different instrument assigned in the Sound Canvas.

Swapping between channels is actually very easy. All I do is use a pre-determined control key to change channel on the MIDI thing. I don’t need to fiddle with any controls I’m just using the CZ101. I’m going to do another video soon to show just how that works, so expect that soon.

Hopefully this gives a little idea of what the MIDI thing does, even with my terrible playing. There’ll be more soon.

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It’s been a long time coming, MIDI Thing is on the way

Some of you may remember that quite some time ago I was posting about a new device that I’ve been working on. A thing called simply “MIDI Thing”. You might remember these videos, the first of Jo (Mr Concretedog) playing with the MIDI thing live on the South Bank …

And then this video showing the MIDI Thing being used with a variety of iOS stuff:

Well after a long pause and some time to change the design and firmware we’re ready to get some people to test our little box and give us as much feedback as possible.

So what is MIDI Thing? Put simply MIDI Thing is a MIDI looper that lets you layer up MIDI tracks over multiple channels to create any kind of music you want. It’s portable and battery powered and has a unique control interface that we’ve tried to make as simple as possible (there are no buttons on the box at all)!

If you’re interested in being a part of the process to bring this product to market then we’d really like to hear from you and hopefully get a device into your hands to test and give us feedback.

Click the link below to fill out a simple form and we’ll get back to you soon!

http://goo.gl/forms/OXXvvLafKg

Hope to hear from you soon!