Month: July 2011

Twisted Wave App Review: Ride The Wave

Review based on use and experience with iPad.
Need to do some waveform editing? Twisted Wave Audio Editor has you covered.

UPDATED 5-15-13

Twisted Wave had been my most used audio editing app for a while. Now it supports Audiobus and multiple sample rates. The addition of Audiobus support is what I’ve been waiting for.
The design of Twisted Wave is tried and true so no need to really change much of my original review. It does the job, and does it very well. Its still the first app I recommend to folks for editing.

With all the necessary editing functions and more, there’s a lot you can do to twist up those audio files in a number of useful and fun ways.
Thanks to copy paste, iTunes File Share, importing from iPod, bringing in those files to edit is easy, and convenient. You can also record audio directly using your device mic, or if you have an external mic that works too.

Thanks to a clean and easy to navigate interface getting your work done will not be any hassle. The work area shows the loaded, complete waveform and responds nicely to the touch. Cut, crop, loop, and apply effects in real time. Make a mistake? No problem you can undo it. Or redo it too if you wish. There is the option to create a whole new document as well.

Twisted Wave has a nice selection of effects like fade in or out, delay, compressor/limiter, pitch shifting and time stretching, Dynamics Processor and more.  If your file is too quiet or too loud you can adjust the levels in great detail, or amplify or normalize it to a level you choose. The filter effect adjusts high or low frequencies for nice effect. Playing with all of these in various settings can produce some cool new sounds on your file if you wish to really twist things up.
It all works well, and I find these functions to be deep and useful especially in various combinations.

Spec listings aside, and you should check iTunes app store for the complete list, it’s all about quality and results. Both are present in Twisted Wave. My experience with this has led to producing some great audio to use in my music. Ive been able to improve things and change others altogether in ways I hadn’t really given a lot of thought to before. If you want or need to, you can chop up a file with parts that are reversed, inserted silence, Dynamics Processor adjustments, FX, etc and piece it all together again. Then when it’s all done open it in another compatible app.

 It’s a great tool to have, and I don’t know how I got by without it? Having always relied on built in waveform editors in various studio type apps I never thought I’d need a single dedicated waveform editor. Until now. I’m glad I got this, and I recommend it highly.

I must point out that while Twisted Wave is very good, it’s not without faults. Copy paste doesn’t work properly on my device with the latest iOS update. I learned a work around by just turning off WiFi on my device. Occasionally I have heard unwanted artifacts, but this again may have something to do with my version of iOS (4.3.3) installed on my iPad, and I have noticed the artifacts are not present in the actual file. Just listen carefully, adjust things as needed and have fun.

5 stars.

SampleWiz App Review: The Wonderful Wiz Of Ahhs

UPDATED 7-19-2013

Wizdom Music has finally taken this (Including GeoSynth, and MorphWiz) fantastic app to the next level. Audiobus support is here! No more fussing with the time limited recording function. Sorry if you liked that. It’s definitely a very welcome update to a great app that has suffered in many iOS users dust folders of non-Audiobus supported apps. So get to it! Sampling and re-sampling is easier than ever.

Update!!! 9-7-2011
SampleWiz has just seen a nice update that brings us MIDI support, 12 new cool presets. Also added to Sample Wiz in this update is support for AirTurn Pedal to change presets, and function to disable animation, and finger vibrato.
Review prior to this update follows.

OK, corny title, I couldn’t resist.
Jordan Rudess of Wizdom Music brings us a new, fascinating and fun sampler in SampleWiz.
This review is based on use with iPad 1. But it is also compatible with 3rd generation iPod and up.

Right away you’ll notice a colorful and simple interface that is very strait forward and easy to understand.
The design looks cool with some unique visualizations, depending on what you are doing. It lights up under your fingers both literally and figuratively providing a very smooth work flow not to mention looking great.
If you are familiar with Wizdoms MorphWiz you will see right away that this was designed with ease of use in mind. Customers asked for less complexity, and they got it. SampleWiz looks easy but is also quite elegant.

The preset samples are a nice variety of sounds from leads to a friendly thank you from it’s creators. While there is no way to record a performance, there is however a resample feature which allows you to create all new samples created from the presets. Recording is limited though to 10 seconds. When I asked Wizdom Music about this, I received a very logical and satisfying explanation from one of it’s creators named Kevin. He said: “Jordan and I considered adding a recorder for longer performances, but we felt that it compromised the feel of the app and would lead to the unintuitive juxtaposition of the resampling option and another record option.”
Makes sense. It works fine as is. Sounds great to me. I would however like a little more than 10 seconds. Still, this is nothing to be overly concerned with.                            

The playing surface isn’t limited to just a keyboard. There’s 3 playing surfaces in all. In addition to the keyboard (which is adjustable) you can further express you creative juices using the Wave Edit screen, and or the ADSR window.

The sampler has three modes. Classic sampling which is the common method where samples speed up or slow down as you play over or under the samples original pitch.
Granular mode is fun, with adjustable grain size and speed. You can twist up and granulate your samples to your hearts content.  The notes retain the speed they were recorded in.
Last is Modern Mode. A new way to explore sampling  using “Dirac” technology, this automatically adjusts time and formant over a selected range.

For a full list of specs check out SampleWiz in the iTunes app store.

 You will find lots of control over your samples from playing to editing. All the features you expect like trimming, cropping, standard looping, forward or reverse, ping pong (plays forward and reverse in loop). Adjusting and selecting a wide range of scales, BPM selection and lots more. You can have one or two keyboards, and if you choose two both can be set to have it’s own different scale and range of your choosing.

Hold, is a neat feature that allows you to select and hold notes just as it says, and the held notes can have a different synthesis mode. This is very nice allowing even more expression and avenues to explore samples and new possibilities.

SampleWiz sounds very nice. I didn’t notice any compromise is audio quality during hours of use with all the various settings.
As far as FX go there is a solid delay. Really SampleWiz is a big FX unit in a way.
I would like to see some more FX. Adding Reverb, would be great.

Some users were experiencing low memory problems causing their first generation iPads to crash. I didnt experience any crashes myself but they already updated that with a fix. Nice to see such speedy action with a solution.

All in all if you’re looking for a nice, highly capable sampler with lots of possibilities to create unique sounds, instruments, or just have a grand time. SampleWiz delivers. It has appeal to pros and newbies as well. The ever important sharing capabilities are here with MAPI copy paste,(with compatible apps) and iTunes file share, both allow you to bring in (or out) new samples of your own and use them just as well as the presets. SampleWiz looks great, sounds great, and is loads of fun. At $9.99 US, it’s a good buy for all.

PS Occasionally I get various promo codes, so stay tuned. I’m all out of SampleWiz codes for now.

5 stars. Get it.