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.


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.

Video: Noatikl 3 – Modifying and mixing a Noatikl piece

Video description:

“This piece is quite a complex piece that use a number of techniques to create the arpeggiation, chording and also sounds. The piece has been provided as a Wotja Music URL for those that want to hear it live. For those who want to see how it is all done, and maybe even remix it, then from Wotja, export the Custom Backing and import into Noatikl 3! Wotja Music URL: https://twitter.com/wotja/status/704400793559035904

Some of the techniques used:

  • Voice of Fixed Pattern “Rhythm” type with chording
  • Following that voice with other voices and follow delays to create an arpeggiation
  • Global Delay FX for additional depth
  • Changing MIDI line for a voice, so as to use a different PSE Sound Network
  • DSynth network configuration and parameter changing for a melodic percussive sound
  • Drift for automatic mixing

The above only just scratches the surface….”

Video published by Intermorphic.

Noatikl on the app store:

Wotja on the app store:

Video: Noatikl 3 – Creating a Piece from Templates and Tweeting with Wotja

Video description:

“Video shows how to create a soft ambient Noatikl piece from scratch, recorded live, first adding two templates then changing things including: Wavetable sounds, envelopes, reverb, adding lfo modulation, filter cutoff, chording, blending. Then, when done, tweeting it via Wotja as a Wotja Music URL (WJURL).

If you want to hear the piece created in this video, just get Wotja FREE for iOS, and then click on this link to access the tweet created and click on the Wotja Music URL : https://twitter.com/wotja/status/7024

Video published by Intermorphic.

Noatikl on the app store:

Wotja on the app store:

Videos: Wotja, Customising a Noatikl Player, Creating & using Noatikl Custom Backing

Video description:

“Shows how to export a player from Wotja, import it into Noatikl 3, add some delay, lfo modulate it and then export from Noatikl and back into Wotja. Voila! Wotja then plays its melody through a custom Noatikl player and you can export this wotja. With this method you can then use Wotja as a generative music publishing system!”

Video description:

“This video shows how to create a custom Noatikl piece (in Noatikl 3 for iOS) starting from a template illustrating a number of techniques; then to export to clipboard and import into Wotja as a custom Backing; then how to tweet that wotja which can deploy a Wotja Player or not, as required. Finally it shows how that tweeted wotja can be played in Wotja FREE.”

Videos published by Intermorphic.

Wotja on the app store:

Noatikl on the app store:

Video: Wotja – Reflective Music System (iPad)

Video description:

“Add text and Wotja creates beautiful, personal, live reflective music. It’s a chilled-out creativity system for fun, ideas, thinking, relaxation, sharing and peace.”

Video published by Intermorphic.

Wotja on the app store:

Intermorphic turned 9 years old and I missed it!

So obviously I need to make up for that right! I just can’t let that pass. If you don’t know who Intermorphic are, they make the awesome Wotja, Mixtikl, and Noatikl apps for iOS (there’s Mixtikl and Noatikl for Mac too).

If you’re interested in what they have to say about being 9 years in the generative music business, then read their blog post.

I seriously think that this is worth celebrating today. So watch out for a little bit more about Intermorphic today.

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