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Johannes Doerr brings a whole new range of MIDI apps for Audiobus 3

Johannes Doerr brought us the original MIDIflow app and now he’s brought a whole range of new MIDIflow apps specifically built to work with Audiobus 3.

Instead of giving you the details of all 8 (yes 8), I’ve listed them below together with links to the app store, and their current pricing. you’ll not that 2 of them are free and worth grabbing straight away.

So, there you have it, go take a look!

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FunkBox Drum Machine 4.0 is here!

Which is excellent news and a great surprise too. FunkBox Drum Machine is a solid favourite of mine and I’m so pleased to see it get updated. Here’s what’s new:

  • iOS 10 compatible
  • Ableton Link support
  • AudioBus 3 support
  • Improved AB state save support
  • Bluetooth MIDI configuration
  • Change between patterns in current bank with MIDI in notes
  • Use MIDI CC for tap tempo
  • Three new drum boxes, including the Ace Rhythm FR-6
  • Misc bug fixes and improvements

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It’s a big day in mobile music, Audiobus 3 has arrived!

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here at long last, with added MIDI and a mixer too! So it’s a big day. We’ve been seeing apps upgrading for AB3 for a little while now, and there have been quite a few today too, and I expect that there’ll be more and more over the following days and weeks.

For now here’s the app description for AB3:

“Open up new worlds of creative music making possibilities with Audiobus, the app that lets you use your music apps together, just like virtual cables.

Send live audio or MIDI from one Audiobus-compatible app to another: add effects on top of your favourite synth, use your favourite step sequencer to drive the whole lot, and record it all in your favourite DAW, sampler or looper. Plug in a MIDI keyboard, run it through an arpeggiator or a key quantizer, and record the result in your DAW, or drive several different sound generators with a keyboard splitter. The possibilities are endless.

Then save your setup in a preset to be restored with one touch later on.

With a completely new MIDI routing system, support for Apple’s new Audio Unit Extensions standard, a new built-in mixer, and huge new workflow improvements, Audiobus 3 represents a big step forward for mobile music making.

Audiobus has a rich community of over 900 great compatible apps.”

Audiobus 3 is on the app store now priced at $9.99

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Arpeggionome Pro 1.3 brings Link and so much more besides …

This is a huge update for Arpeggionome Pro as you can see!

ABLETON LINK SUPPORT!
Ableton Link is a new technology that synchronizes beat, phase and tempo of Ableton Live and Link-enabled iOS apps over a wireless network. It’s awesome. Go to Settings>Ableton Link Settings for more info.

AUDIOBUS 3 MIDI SUPPORT
Audiobus 3 brings MIDI support to Audiobus, and Arpeggionome Pro is good to go :]

64 LIL BITS
Arpeggionome Pro now supports 64 bit architectures. Yee.

DOTTED NOTES!
Arpeggionome Pro has a new setting called ‘Matrix Mode’, which adds dotted note values to the Performance Matrix.

To try it out, go to Settings >Interaction Settings and set Matrix Mode to ‘Halves+Dotted+Triplets’. You’ll notice the matrix now has two columns of squares, triangles, and dots.

  • Rows with squares play rates that are perfect halves of a measure — starting at 1/2 at the bottom row.
  • Rows with dots play rates that are the dotted values — i.e 1.5x the length of the square row above.
  • Rows with triangles play rates that are triplet values — i.e. 0.33x the length of 2 square rows below.

ALT INTERACTION SETTINGS
In Settings>Interaction Settings, you’ll also find a new button at the bottom of the list called “ALT Interaction Settings”. This is an alternative interaction state that I recommend trying. It’s a bit more difficult to control, but I find the results quite interesting.

Compared to the “Default Interaction Settings”, it uses the new Matrix Mode setting and disables Retrigger for all parameters.

BUG FIXES

VIRTUAL MIDI CLOCK BUG
In previous versions, when listening for MIDI Clock on the Arp MIDI In port, Arpeggionome Pro read the MIDI clock twice, and therefore went twice as fast as it should. Fixed now.

NOTES

ABOUT THIS UPDATE
Hey, it’s been a while! The last time I looked at the Arpeggionome Pro code base was over 2.5 years ago! Time is weird.

In any case, I’m really glad to finally get this long overdue update of Arpeggionome Pro out. And I’m especially excited about adding Link and the new Matrix Mode setting.

ON LINK
By supporting Link, Arpeggionome Pro has actually become more playable, and perhaps in a not-so-obvious way. I’ll explain…

As you may know, Arpeggionome Pro is designed to play super fast arpeggios. Further, it’s designed to be held in your hands in portrait mode, so you can quickly perform changes with your thumbs. Also, under the hood, all changes you make are quantized — allowing you to anticipate time by touching a parameter early, so the change happens at exactly the right time.

This is great, and works very well… However! It’s always been a challenge to start the sequencer from not playing to playing. You could press the play button and just let it run, but if you wanted to control starting and stopping in a more expressive way (which I very much prefer!), it gets a bit more complicated. That first touch would always happen the moment you touched, but every other touch would be quantized. Subtle difference for sure, but definitely weird.

Ideally, what should happen is that all touches are quantized, even that first one. So that, when you stop and start playback, it starts quantized, just like the other touches.

So, something exciting… This is exactly how it works now! And it’s all thanks to Ableton Link :]

ON MATRIX MODE…
Basically, at some point after releasing Arpeggionome Pro, I realized how I missed an opportunity to have dotted note lengths on the Performance Matrix — it launched with just halves and triplets.
Yes, I could have just updated the app… but since I try to be super strict about not changing UI after an application has been released, I just accepted it and moved on (see Fugue Machine and Link to MIDI).

However… now that I’m here and revisiting the project, I figured out a way rationalize adding it… by simply burying it in an optional setting. I think I’m ok with this :]

THANK YOU!
Ok ok, that was many words. Thanks so much for your support and interest over the years (over 4 now!) and please reach out if anything comes up.

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That was MMM2017 and it was pretty amazing

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.

IMG_2063

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.

IMG_2094

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.

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I’ve mentioned RandomBus before, but you might want to check it out again now …

You’ve probably heard me talk about my bot RandomBus that tweets random Audiobus set ups on an hourly basis. You may have checked it out and found it amusing, or useful or maybe you’ve never even heard of it.

Well I’ve made it a bit more useful now. RandomBus will now reply to you on twitter if you tweet it. At the moment it has a fairly narrow range of replies, but I think you might find them useful. As this is my first attempt at interactivity with a bot I’ve limited RandomBus’ responses to suggesting apps to you for now. Basically the bot can now suggest an app to you in a variety of categories such as, synth apps, bass apps, drum app, and FX. If you tweet it something it doesn’t understand it’ll let you know too.

So why not give it a try? Just tweet @RandomBus and say “Hello” to it, see what happens next.

As I mentioned, this is a start for adding interactivity to this bot, I’ve got more plans for it, but if you can think of any other interactive elements you think I should add, then please let me know.