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I don’t know what your favourite apps of the year were, but here are the ones that matter to me

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.

1. Auxy

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.

2. Model 15

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.

3. NOIZ (and KRFT)

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.

4. frekvens

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.

6. AC Sabre

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.

7. ROTOR

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.

8. Fluxpad

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.

9. Cubasis

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.

10. Patterning

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.

11. Wotja

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.

12. Skram

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.

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Hello fluXpad!

Right on time fluXpad arrives from MoMinstruments. It’s an app that we’ve waited quite a while for now, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. So here’s the app’s description:

fluXpad is the first sample sequencer that fully functions by simply drawing the sounds. In fluXpad it’s super simple to record your own sounds, to create different pattern and to jam with them.

fluXpad is a sample based groovebox/workstation with a highly original sequencer, where you “draw“ your music, which leads to completely different results, when compared to a traditional sequencer. The y-axis of your canvas controls pitch, while the x-axis controls the sustain of your notes. Sounds familiar, but drawing on a canvas without any grid is a totally new experience. Of course it is possible to quantize your notes, or you can limit your note range to major or minor scales.

fluXpad has been developed by Mouse on Mars and Jan Trützschler

Features:

  • 6 melody sequencers where you paint your melodies based on a sample of your choice
  • 1 percussion/drum sequencer where you paint/tap your groove made of 7 samples of your choice
  • record mode: either paint your sequence (on the top) or tap your notes (at the bottom)
  • each sound has it’s own sampler settings with unique envelope, loop and start settings
  • quantize / unquantize functions for each sequencer or the whole pattern
  • 7 patterns to jam with, for each preset
  • ability to record your own samples with the build in microphone
  • import samples via iTunes or AudioShare
  • huge sample library with high quality sounds/kits made by Mouse on Mars and others
  • lots of demo projects made by Mouse and Mars and others
  • ability buy new projects/sounds via In-App-Purchase
  • ability to export/backup your projects (including sounds)
  • Audiobus supported
  • IAA sync supported
  • Ableton Link supported
  • ability to sync via midi to other apps, hardware

Web: http://mominstruments.com/fluxpad/

Concept: Andi Toma & Jan St Werner (Mouse On Mars), Jan Trützschler von Falkenstein, Florian Grote
Development: Jan Trützschler (TeaTracks)
Visual & font design: Gabriele Trützschler von Falkenstein
UX design: Jan Trützschler, Florian Grote, Gabriele Trützschler, Mouse On Mars

fluXpad (for iPad only) is available on the app store for $7.99:

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It’s going to be a busy week this week, here’s what I’ve got on my list for this week

There’s a lot happening this week, so I thought it would be worth talking about what’s coming up so that you don’t miss anything. Here’s what I’ve got on my list for this week.

  • Tomorrow, the 6th: Fluxpad launches – I posted about Fluxpad the other day and you can expect it tomorrow, which is great as I think we’ve been waiting for this a long time.
  • Wednesday, the 7th: Apple launches the iPhone 7, and maybe we’ll see them say goodbye to the venerable headphone jack. Who knows. I’m sure all will be revealed on Wednesday.
  • Friday, the 9th: Roland have a lot in store apparently. According to them they’ve got 30 new products and services to tell us about on 909 day!
  • Friday, the 9th: Of course what’s more is that on Friday the 9th we’ll have the Beautiful Octopus Club and SoundLab at the Royal Festival Hall. If you can come along then I’d love to see you there, and do say hello.

So it’s a busy week, will it be good news or sadness on Wednesday? Who knows! Either way you can celebrate or commiserate with us on Friday at the Beautiful Octopus Club at the Festival Hall.

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Fluxpad is due to arrive on the 6th of September

Announced this morning, Fluxpad is on the way to the app store on the 6th of September. Not long to wait at all now, although it has been a long time coming, as the app was originally set for an ‘early 2016’ release. However, these things happen right?

If you can’t remember Fluxpad, it’s a collaboration between MoMinstruments, who brought us WretchUp, and TeaTracks, who brought us Gliss and SQRT. I’ve added the videos about Fluxpad at the end of this post. Here’s the app’s main features too.

Fluxpad features …

  • 6 melody sequencers where you paint your melodies based on a sample of your choice
  • 1 percussion/drum sequencer where paint/tap your groove made of 7 samples of your choice
  • each sound has it’s own sampler settings with unique envelope, loop and start settings
  • quantize / unquantize functions for each sequencer or the whole pattern
    combine 6 pattern to a longer piece of music
  • ability to record your own samples with the build in microphone
  • huge sample library with high quality sounds/kits made by Mouse on Mars and others
  • lots of demo projects made by Mouse and Mars and others
  • ability to sync via midi to other apps, hardware

If you want to know more, then check out the other FluxPad posts here.

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Video: Fluxpad session 2 by Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars)

Video description:

“This is a second demonstration of Fluxpad by Andi Toma. Fluxpad is a new app on MoMinstruments, that just entered beta test phase. It’s developed by Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma & Jan St. Werner and sqrt-developer Jan T V Falkenstein. In Fluxpad you “draw“ in your music, which leads to completely different results, when compared to traditional sequencer.”

Video published by mouse on mars youtube official.

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Video: Fluxpad intro by Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars)

Video description:

“Fluxpad is a new app on MoMinstruments, that just entered beta test phase. It’s developed by Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma & Jan St. Werner and sqrt-developer Jan T V Falkenstein. In Fluxpad you “paint“ in your music, which leads to completely different results, when compared to traditional sequencer.
More info: http://mominstruments.com/fluxpad/
News: https://www.facebook.com/mominstruments/

Video published by mouse on mars youtube official.