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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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Why I’m really getting into Studio Amplify’s KRFT

I saw this post from Discchord and thought I’d add a few comments and thoughts into the mix.

I only started playing with this yesterday, and only briefly, but I can echo the comments that Discchord quotes: “You start with a blank Surface and add your own elements to create up your jammable track or instrument. There’s no social, login etc; it’s purely for music making.”, Or as Klaatu puts it, “This is what they were talking about in the first place and it’s like lemur with synths and samplers built in. With the keyboards as well as piano roll and pads for the drums it’s getting there.”

KRFT is in beta right now, but as Klaatu puts it above, it’s like Lemur but without the complexity. It’s like building not only your music, but the way you want to make it at the same time.

I love the idea, and so far I’m loving the execution too. Well done Studio Amplify, From Junglator, to NOIZ, to KRFT. It’s good stuff.

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NOIZ 2.3 brings new features and easier music making

I’ve liked NOIZ from well before it arrived on the app store, and I still do. It gets better in every release, which is proved by the current release. It’s really going places.

Here’s what’s new:

  • We’ve added a brand new keyboard & drum machine. Easily record juicy basslines and phat beats to create your own EDM tracks in minutes.
  • Added a new toolbar with the Master Settings & Mixer exposed to make editing easier.
  • Now you can delete tracks that you don’t want anymore!
  • Improved the tutorial and added a video so you can see how to make a track in less than 10 minutes on NOIZ. Check it out on the profile page!
  • Improved sampling quality.
  • Fixed a bug that was unexpectedly logging users out.
  • Lots of bug fixes & tweaks!

So if you haven’t tried out NOIZ then it’s time that you did. It’s free on the app store so there’s no real reason not to give it a go.

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NOIZ 2.0 arrives, time to make some amazing music

NOIZ 2.0 arrives, and it looks great. I’ve seen this app grow from its pre-app store days and go from strength to strength, and it isn’t going to stop here either.

This is a major update! You can now make your own amazing tracks & share them with your friends.

  • Choose from 3 Surfaces, Dubstep, House or Trap to create your track
  • Powerful editing tools to edit, sounds, beats, melodies & more
  • Reworked Audio Engine for creating phat basslines and juicy leads
  • Record your performances and share them with friends
  • Listen and interact with tracks by upcoming NOIZ producers in the Stream

NOIZ on the app store:

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Video: NOIZ – Dirt & Soul by Dr Meaker

Video description:

“Mashup the title track from Dr Meaker’s new album Dirt & Soul with NOIZ 1.7!

Get Dr Meaker’s new album here: https://fanlink.to/Dirt&Soul

Video published by Studio Amplify.

NOIZ on the app store:

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Video: NOIZ – Staring at The Sun by Little Boots

Video description:

“Download NOIZ for FREE an on the App Store now and make your own REMIX! 
Get the original track by Little Boots – http://awal.lnk.to/ThdCF

NOIZ is a new way to play music that moves beyond listening and gives anyone the power to control, shape and mashup music live.

Touch and drag shapes on the beautifully designed interfaces to create intricate mashups. Feel the power as you trigger beats, fills and effects to create dramatic drops and dynamic build ups. No longer just a static composition the music becomes alive, exciting and full of tension – like an artist performing live.”

Video published by Studio Amplify.

NOIZ on the app store:

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Little Boots gets NOIZ(y)

Another great update to NOIZ. This time they’ve got a new surface to make electro pop with a new single from Little Boots, Staring At The Sun.

Of course, Little Boots is no stranger to the app world. Her first foray into apps was with RJDJ …

But now she’s with the great guys at NOIZ!