A nice free addition to AC Sabre Motion MIDI Instrument. Here are all the details:
AC Central is a free auto-connection hub for the AC Sabre Motion MIDI Instrument (iPhone/iPod) and Bluetooth MIDI hardware. AC Central takes the hassle out of getting connected to your favourite synthesizers, samples and other sound machines. Plus, combined with Audiobus 3 (separate purchase, well worth it!), you can save and recall your complex multi-app setups and MIDI mappings with the touch of a button…
Zero-config, auto-connects to AC Sabre and compatible BT midi hardware
The International symposium MOBILE MUSIC IN THE MAKING 2017 was last weekend and I was lucky enough to get along to speak at it, to meet people, to catch up with long time friends, and to put some faces to names who I’ve known for a long time. As so often happens with events like this you don’t really know what to expect until you’re there, but MMM2017 exceeded any expectations I had by a long way, which is a tribute to Matthias Krebs and the team of the Research Center for Mobile Music Making and App Music and the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) that worked with him for months to make it such an amazing event for everyone involved.
Gathered there was a fantastic mix of developers, musicians, academics and more besides. The range of talks, demonstrations, and performances was excellent, and if anything I just wish I could have gone to more of it, but sadly I still lack the ability to be in more than one place at a time.
So for now I’m just going to pull out the highlights for me personally, and I’ll start with meeting someone who I’ve wanted to meet in person for a very long time.
Yep, it’s Mr Jakob Haq in person. It was wonderful to meet him on the Friday when I arrived (very late) and have a catch up. You can also see in the first picture Dr Ben Schogler from Skoog. More about him and about Skoog later. Jakob and I managed to catch up a few times over the weekend, but as you can imagine it just wasn’t enough so I’m going to have to get to meet up with him again I think.
The Saturday of MMM2017 was the big day for me. I was speaking a couple of times, but also there were some amazing sessions I really wanted to get to, so let’s go over a few of those.
Firstly there was AudioBus 3:
AudioBus 3 is coming soon. As far as I know it’s due to drop on the 28th (apologies, this should be the 27th) of this month, so there isn’t too long to wait. The big new features in AB3 are MIDI and a Mixer. Sebastian’s talk focussed on their journey to AB3 which was really interesting. You might wonder why MIDI is such a big deal, but as Sebastian explained, every app treats MIDI differently. Getting one single way to configure MIDI via AB3 is going to make a huge difference, at least in my view anyway.
Another interesting view from Sebastian’s talk was around the UI/UX approach they’ve taken with AB3. It’s very user focussed indeed and from I could see I think it will make the creative interaction when using AB3 a lot easier and less distracting.
Sadly we weren’t able to see the mixer in AB3 but as there isn’t long to wait now it’s something else to look forward to.
Next was Hari, the maker of the AC Sabre. Hari talked about the idea and evolution of the concepts behind the Sabre, which was really interesting even though I’ve heard him give a shorter version of this talk before. He was of course very entertaining and enlightening. The only downside was that I didn’t get to see Hari perform, which is always a joy.
As I mentioned before it was a slightly unexpected pleasure to meet Ben from Skoog at MMM2017. I’ve known of the Skoog for a very long time now although I’d never got my hands on one. I found it intriguing to hear Ben talk about the process that they went through to develop the device and how it got to where it is now. It’s definitely something that I want to follow up on and try out personally as well. I think that the Skoog has some really unusual potential as an instrument in a lot of settings. Expect to hear more about it in the coming weeks.
If you want to find out more about Skoog you should check out their web site and also they have a swift playground that you can use on your iPad too.
Next was Russell from Trackd. Trackd is a collaborative 8 track recorder / mixer for iPhone that’s getting some real attention. It allows users to collaborate with each other from anywhere in the world. I’ve mentioned Trackd before, originally when they pitched at Music Tech Pitch last year, and also around the work they’re doing with Dave Stewart and in education.
Russell talked through the background to the app and a little bit around where he wants to go next with this. Personally I think that Trackd has a bright future ahead and will be a very useful tool for a whole host of musicians from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences. Again, you’ll be hearing more about this soon.
With events like MMM2017 one of the most import things to do is just to be around. People are always showing new ideas, apps etc, and one such app is PolyJam. You can take a look at the app as it’s beta now, click here and scroll down.
I got a chance to try out PolyJam and was impressed at its immediacy, simplicity, accessibility and just how much fun it was to use. So I’m really looking forward to seeing it for real and hopefully bringing it into some of the work I do at Heart n Soul as well.
Peter Kirn gave a really good talk about libPd and reminded me of the original RJDJ apps and the origins of using Pd in mobile. I found this very inspiring indeed and he touched on apps like MobMuPlat and PdParty which I really need to revisit.
I was lucky enough to invited to speak at MMM2017 and I gave two talks. The first of which was around the work we do at Heart n Soul in digital music making with people with disabilities. This was part of the education strand of the event, which I wish I’d had more time to be a part of. I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before the videos of the event come out and when that happens I’ll be sure to share those with you.
I also gave a talk about the future of mobile music where I shared some themes and topics that I think are important to what’s happening in mobile and where we might go next. I’m not going to go through all of those here as I think that they deserve their own space. So I’ll do something separate on those soon.
At the end of the event there were a bunch of totally excellent performances. All very different, all made with mobile. I just wish there’d been more. I think there could’ve been a while day of performances alone.
Finally I’d just like to round off with how nice it was to meet people at MMM2017. There were so many people that I caught up with, either for the first time in person, or after a long gap. It was awesome.
Events like MMM2017 are so important for sharing ideas, for meeting and getting to know each other. I hope that MMM continues and that we see an MMM2018 too. I’d love to be involved. For now it’s worth taking a look the conference site and especially the ‘flashback’ page which will continue to be updated with photos and video soon enough.
I’ll leave you with one quote from an attendee right at the end of the conference, “It’s like finding a family that you didn’t know you had”. I think that’s spot on.
I’ve been a fan of the AC Sabre since before it came out. This is a truly amazing video from Hari, the maker of the app. It’s great to see it being used with another excellent iOS app, Moog’s Model 15.
What’s more, AC Sabre is on sale now, for just $4.99. Watch the video, grab the app …
I always think it’s difficult to tell you which were the best apps in any year, and 2016 is no different at all. What works for me as a great app won’t work for other people and vice-versa, so it all seems a little pointless. However, what I can tell you is which apps were important to me this year. I think that might be more interesting (or maybe not), and it’s certainly easier to do from my perspective.
So without further messing around, here are the apps that I used a lot, or found intriguing, or for whatever other reason, mattered.
Without a doubt Auxy is an app that I can’t do without, at least not currently anyway. I really love it. It works for me and just fits with how I think and work right now. I’m not saying that this will always be the case, but for now me and Auxy, we’re good. I also really like the sound packs that they’ve been releasing. I got them both and love them.
Moog’s Model 15 is on my list for a totally different reason than Auxy is. Model 15 is here because it’s one of those apps that I keep fiddling with and getting into and then leaving for a bit, then coming back to. I don’t know if you do that, but I certainly do. I like Model 15 and I’d really like to do something useful with it, but so far I haven’t. Who knows, maybe in 2017 I will.
NOIZ you’ll know from Studio Amplify. It’s a great app for making stuff even if you’ve no idea how to make stuff, and I’m all for that. Of course the nice chaps from Studio Amplify now have KRFT in beta and I’ve been playing with that recently. It is going to be awesome. I mentioned it not so long ago here, and I’m hoping to be able to tell you lots more soon enough.
I think that these apps are going to have a really bright future and are going to help users to make things in ways that they hadn’t thought about before.
I’m a fan of Mr HumbleTune’s apps, music, and design style. I think it’s great, and for good reason. His apps are amazing, and, pretty much everywhere too. I really like two of them though, nils, and frekvens. They really let you mangle sound, but in a good way, in a way that doesn’t hurt. I’m sure that other people find themselves coming back to the same FX apps over and over, and frekvens is one of those for me.
5. All things Korg
I can’t help myself but say that I do love Korg’s apps. They’ve done well this year. We’ve had good updates and new apps like ODYSSEi and iWAVESTATION. My personal favs are Gadget and iDS-10 though. Again I find myself coming back to these time and time again. I bet some of you do too.
I think that Sabre has been a bit overlooked and that’s a shame. The AC Sabre is an amazing gestural performance tool for the iPhone and hasn’t really had the attention it should have had. I’d like to do a bit more with it myself next year as I think I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what it can do for me.
I posted on ROTOR and the tangible controllers yesterday, but it also deserves a mention here. I like modular apps but ROTOR (and Reactable mobile before it) seem to provide a more accessible route into modular than a lot of other apps in that genre. Now that ROTOR has the tangible controllers with it I’m hoping to get a bit more time to devote to it soon.
Unusual apps and alternative interfaces are very important to me. So Fluxpad is assured a place in my list. It gives you a different way to interface with sound and that in itself is important. I like that Fluxpad is playful and easy to use and yet at the same time a highly capable and flexible app for manipulating samples.
There had to be a DAW in the list and it’s Cubasis 2.0. It’s been a big help to me on a project that I’m working on so it’s in my list. However, there was stiff competition from n-Track Studio 8 which arrived quite recently. It will be interesting to see how some of the big, and one or two little, DAWs survive in 2017.
I love drum apps. Patterning is another app that just fits with my workflow. It’s just intuitive and fluid and it makes perfect sense to me. I can’t say that about all drum apps I’m afraid, but Patterning is probably one of the few go to drum apps that stays on my iPad. I’d love there to be an iPhone version too.
You might find this one a little strange, but more will become apparent soon. For now I’ll tell you that I love Wotja’s ability to create an ambient soundscape from a few words. It’s simple to tailor and tweak to do exactly what you want too.
I’ve also found myself coming back to Mixtikl recently and really getting into that app again. I think that these generative technologies are so deep that it can be easy to get lost. However, I think it’s worth it to dive in and explore and I’d like to do more of that in 2017 with all of Intermorphic’s tools.
Last and by no means least is Skram from Liine. I’m a fan of apps that make the process of creating music simpler and more immediate. To me that’s really important. I thought Skram was great when it first came out and the latest update has made it even more usable. I hope that it keeps going and brings more and more people into making music, and I’d also really like to see an iPhone version of it too.
So that’s 12 apps (more if I’m honest) that mattered to me and continue to do so. I hope you found that interesting. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.
When the AC Sabre came out I raved about it, and I haven’t changed my mind about the app at all since then, it is amazing. It gives a performer incredible gestural control using just an iPhone. The range of expression that is possible using the AC Sabre is phenomenal. But don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at this video which shows Hari demonstrating just a tiny part of what Sabre can do.
Sabre has also recently been update …
“Hey! Nice to see you. We’ve fixed that annoying bug where the QuickPanels gets stuck halfway open. We also fixed an issues involving the Ribbons and MIDI Channel not acting properly. And we’ve updated for iOS10. More to come soon. In the meantime, might you help us with a nice rating?? Cheers! Hari Karam Singh, AC Sabre inventor”
It’s on the app store for only $12.99, and considering how useful this app is, and how much you’d have to pay for a gestural controller, it’s more than a bargain.
You’ve heard me talking about the AC Sabre app before. I’m a big fan, a really big fan. I first saw the Sabre back in November last year when Hari, the brains behind this performance app came to the SoundLab event we had at NESTA. He caught my eye because everyone who used the Sabre had an almost instant smile on their faces, and that’s been the reception it’s had consistently ever since.
If you haven’t tried it out then you’re now going to get the opportunity this Friday at the Royal Festival Hall from 7pm. The AC Sabre will be there, not only to play with, but also Hari will be giving a performance too.
Every now and then an app comes along that you really think is going to change how things work, is going to change how people perceive making music on iOS. It doesn’t happen often because it’s a big change, but I think that this is it.
Yesterday the AC Sabre launched on the app store. It’s an app, but that doesn’t really describe it properly at all. The Sabre is an instrument that gives you real control over your synths, VST’s and libraries. It’s one of those things that has to be seen to be understood, has to be used to be appreciated.
Let’s face it, gestural control has been around for a while now. There have been all sorts of approaches to it. Lots have used MIDI, back in the early days some used OSC. Lots of gestural apps worked well, but none really caught on as instruments in their own right. That is, not until now.
The AC Sabre brings truly instrument like control to an iOS device. It transforms your iPhone / Touch into a real instrument with emotional range and expressivity you won’t have experienced before.
You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the AC Sabre over the coming weeks, not just from me, but from lots of people!
Here’s all the app details …
AC Sabre is a revolutionary wireless MIDI instrument and motion controller for electronic music producers, composers, performers and DJs which brings the dynamic richness and performance energy of traditional instruments to your digital music library, in a way that is not possible with the existing studio and stage tools.
“A very unique and sophisticated virtual musical instrument” –The Next Web
AC Sabre reads your movements with the built in gyroscope and accelerometer and translates them into musical actions. It lets you pluck invisible strings in the air while controlling up to 7 additional parameters, intuitively with your movements, via MIDI CC messages.
“I had to check AC Sabre out and it immediately lived up to the hype…surreal and instinctive…like Augmented Reality” –Discchord
PLEASE NOTE: AC Sabre contains no sounds of its own. You’ll need a computer with MIDI compatible music software (Ableton, Logic, Cubase, FLStudio, Reason, Garage Band, Massive, Kontakt, Sylenth…), or other apps which support MIDI input (Animoog, Nave).
PUSH THE BOUNDARIES
Use AC Sabre to compose distinctive hooks that go beyond the MIDI keyboard
Conduct automation in realtime with human sensitivity instead of spending painful hours with the mouse
Add sophisticated musical elements without the need for years of theory and training
DJs & PERFORMERS…
Play electronic instruments without being shackled to your gear
Introduce spontaneity into your live digital performances
Infuse signature attitude and style into your performances
3 words: Live Bass Wobble.
RICH MUSICAL VOCABULARY:
Scale-synced, velocity sensitive note play
Harmonies, trills, arpeggios…
Note shift (for playing out-of-scale notes)
Circle of Fourths/Fifths key changes
Note range and octave shift
Legato and Portamento modes
A Drone for sustain and guitar “tapping”-style effects
HONED FOR PROFESSIONAL USE:
Low latency (<10ms), 50m+ range via Wi-Fi
QuickPanels allow realtime access to most common parameters
Save/load/export configuration Patches
Wi-fi/Bluetooth support + Bonjour auto-detect
Supports multiple devices running AC Sabre as separate MIDI inputs into your DAW
MIDI Learn wizard for quick CC assignment
MIDI channel selector for playing multiple instruments
POWERFUL EXPRESSIVE CONTROL:
6 assignable Motion Controls
Pitch, Roll and Yaw angles
Linear Shake & Shuffle
2 configurable Touch Ribbons
1 configurable User Button
Vibrato on Shake
OVER 150 MUSICAL SCALES
Major, Minor and Pentatonics
Jazz modes: Dorian, Phrygian, etc
Bebop Dominant, Octonic, Nine-tone scale and other exotics
World scales like Hungarian Gypsy, Hirajoshi, and Mississippi Blues
AC Sabre is a high performance application that requires iPhone 4s+ (iPhone 5+ recommended), iPod Touch 5th gen+, or newer running iOS 8.1+. Also, while playing is definitely tailored more for handheld devices, it works splendidly on the iPad.
Windows users: You’ll also need a (free) copy of rtpMIDI for connecting AC Sabre to your computer
AC Sabre is 50% off and on sale until the 19th of August.
I’ve really only known Hari for a short amount of time, but he is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. I had the great opportunity of working with him at an event that we put on with SoundLab at NESTA in November last year where Hari showed his amazing AC Sabre app.
So it was great to get this comment from him …
“PalmSounds is more than just a blog, it’s the hub of a whole burgeoning creative music genre. Ashley, who runs it, is a maven in the music tech world discovering and supporting new creators and companies and connecting them with each other and with the bigger industry players. The blog is the internet extension of his ever enthusiastic, knowledgable and friendly way of being. Happy anniversary PalmSounds! May you continue to grow and prosper….”
To give you an idea of what AC Sabre, although without seeing it it’s actually very difficult, this is a piece I’ve always been rather fond of which is a jam with the AC Sabre (then, SW Midi) and Omnisphere: