Month: September 2012

BitWiz Audio Synth Review

Created by Jonatan Lijedahl

Chomping At The Bit

Review Based On Use With iPads 1,2,3.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know the first thing about programming with C-like code
expressions. So my initial impressions of BitWiz were puzzling. Put some
oscillators, filters, envelopes etc in front of me and I’m comfy, but C codes?
Bitwise, Arithmetic, algorithms, operations….. say what now? Where’s theNo clutter
keyboard?

Well maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I really am not proficient in
programming codes. BitWiz, thankfully, makes it so I don’t have to be. After
reading the in app instructions, it’s really not so difficult. In fact, it is
simple to learn. After a little time exploring the included library of presets,
and messing with the codes, I was finding myself engrossed in a 8-bit synth,
world of generative musical wonders.

All the details

Click HERE to visit developer Jonatan Liljedahl’s website

With such an open world of code possibilities, a randomize feature, and creative
code tweaking I was making cool 8-bit stereo sounds. Feeling very retro, I was
playing it like an instrument with its spacious X/Y pad, and day dreaming of my
first NES console. Not so hard at all. Learning how to make evolving generative
sounds that seem to take on a life of their own is a real blast. It was like I
was in some 8-bit dimension where ghosts of Nintendos past took over
orchestrating a new epic cave adventure sound track.

Custom keyboard to make coding easy!

BitWiz is MIDI
supported, so if you’re thinking about piping in your programmed masterpieces to
your MIDI keyboard, you can.
You could also just record your sounds in app,
and audio copy to paste in other compatible apps. Or, open in other apps like
AudioShare to keep it safely cataloged for a project. Recordings and codes can
be uploaded to SoundCloud, emailed, or even Tweeted.

It seems to me that BitWiz was designed with ease of use in mind. Maybe
considering that a very streamlined interface would help ease some users
trepidation of all the C code involved? Well, it works and had that relaxing
effect on me. It has a consistent retro look all around and displays the
waveform responding and moving to touch input on the X/Y pad. All things
considered, my initial discomfort is but a memory leaving me to feel good about
recommending BitWiz. Check it out.

Click HERE to be directed to iTunes to purchase BitWiz Audio Synth

Scroll this screen to see the instructions and easy programmingMove them files

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AudioShare – Audio Document Manager Review

Sharing is caring.

Review based on use with iPads 2&3

Developed by:  Jonatan  Liljedahl

If you make music using iOS devices and apps,
you know how important it is to be
able to move sounds around in your various music apps without complication.
Having the ability to have them categorized and stored in a single place and
quickly move them around has not been much of a one stop option until Audio
Share.

AudioShare is not just a middle man for transferring audio
files; forever constrained to audio copy/paste. Yes, it supports audio
copy/paste in both Sonoma and General Pasteboard, inbound and outbound. It also
supports all the other current methods of transferring audio files (except
inbound from SoundCloud) beyond just ACP. Upload to SoundCloud, DropBox, Open In, email, iTunes File Sharing  and planned support for AudioBus, AudioShare
covers the sharing options very well.

Check out developer Jonatan Liljedahl’s website HERE

Sharing so smoothly is just half of it. It is a very convenient tool for
managing all those recordings that are (or were?) saved in individual music
apps. Now with Audio Share you can take all those recordings and create your own
audio library. All contained neatly in this one easily accessible app. Files
& categories can be named, renamed, and moved. Piece of cake.

AudioShare also has the ability to record sounds via device or external
microphone. All audio files can be played back displaying the waveform in a
window on-screen. You can manipulate the cursor by touch to rewind or move the
audio forward. It doesn’t scrub, and you can’t edit anything, but that’s not
what this app is about. Audio Share is all about making it easy and fast to
store, organize, and move sounds between compatible music apps. It’s all done in
a neat, single screen interface. No clutter, entirely intuitive, and…I wish I
had this last year. So simple it hurts.

AudiShare only has limitations
imposed upon it. Limits are not created by the app itself. Such as:  the list of
files available on the pasteboard is limited to 12 most recently copied sounds,
and “Open In” will display only up to about 10 apps. That’s problem for anyone
with more than 10 music apps. Which is probably nearly everyone.
Apple is to
blame for these limitations. Hopefully Apple will hear the cries of all the
developers and we end users soon, and lift these restrictions.

 I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m relieved to finally have AudioShare. No more
trying to remember what recordings are in which app. We finally have a single
app; a digital audio library to manage our iOS music sounds in a super clean,
easy to use application that just plain works!

If you make music with an
iDevice, you need this app. It just makes sense.

Highly recommended!

Get organized. Click HERE to be directed to iTunes where AudioShare can
be purchased.


FEED App Review

FEED Me Seymour

Developed By Incidental

Review based on used with iPad 2, & 3

Image

FEED is a clever app that allows you to feed audio synced via iTunes and or,
record live audio via your device or external microphone and manipulate it. It’s
very simple and easy to use, not to mention highly entertaining. With full multi
touch support it allows you to capture multiple brief recordings, loop forward
or back, pitch shift, and modulate as fast or slow as your fingers can move. All of which can be done simultaneously if desired.

The audio appears as a colorful waveform in a circle. Altering the position of the circle on-screen will
manipulate its effect. Pinch or spread to change volume, or use the new volume slider.

Removing a recording is done by simply dragging it off-screen. Holding the center of the circle will loop the audio back and forth. You
can also scrub the audio by dragging around the circles edge. All audio is
passed through a slider controlled delay effect.

For more about FEED please click HERE to visit Incidental.

It doesn’t get any easier than this.

The results can be very creative or even hilarious.
FEED also allows you to record a performance to then upload
direct to SoundCloud, share via iTunes, or send in an email. No audio copy paste
yet, but I’m told it is a feature that will also be added later.

FEED is a very interesting app that could really be used well to sample quick
bits of spontaneously recorded audio anywhere you and your iPad happen to be.

Light on user control, and features for now, but a very promising app at least.
It will benefit greatly from further development allowing more control,
features and options to take it up a notch.

As I mentioned already, audio copy is planned. FEED is off to a very good start.
I can imagine a group of people singing and capturing bits on their iPad together
making some wild mixes. That’s the best part of FEED, it’s got a lot to do with
freeing up your imagination fostering collaboration.  It’s a fun way to touch
sound and draw up some real creative stuff.

What would you do with FEED?

More FEED please.

Buy FEED HERE from iTunes!

Why Audio Copy? Because The Trees Don’t Have Outlets.

I hear from people all around the world fascinated with the iOS way of making music anywhere they like. Being able to make music anywhere is a big and appealing factor.
Not having to pack any computers, keyboards, or the wires to connect them is a compelling experience.
The devices are only part of the experience, it’s the music apps that make it or break it. Thankfully most developers understand how important it is to function without the need of any other gear or cables. Anywhere.
One thing I’ve seen in common with iOS music enthusiasts is they love to be able to make music where ever they want to. Perform a gig, record in a studio, or my favorite, go to a secluded park. It’s all under the mobility umbrella.
Being mobile and able to complete a project where ever you want is not without it’s basic requirements. One critical requirement is being able to record a melody or whatever, and easily move it from one application to another. At home or on stage this is very easy thanks to access to our daily technological connections. Just plug in, turn on MIDI, swap files over WiFi, or File Share. No problem.
When away from all the comforts of home or stage this is a different story. Without any of those other aids, wires, and connectivity how does one record and swap files all on a single device?
The band aid to the dilemma has been Audio Copy Paste. It’s far from perfect, is not the best solution, but it is the only option when in a secluded park, forest or on a mountain trail. Audio Copy allows the user to fully experience being mobile, and not needing any other devices, Internet connections, or wires. I’m not talking about 10 minute recordings, that’s nuts. I’m talking about brief recordings mostly under one minute, often much less.
In these scenarios audio copy becomes more important, and in my opinion a requirement.
Let me be clear, I do not love audio copy, I accept it. When I am away making music I don’t have any other technology access at all beyond my iPad and apps. It all must work wherever I go. Audio Copy as flawed as it may be, serves a purpose and up to now has been the only truly mobile file sharing option. As I am writing this I’m checking Twitter, and saw a comment about how well apps without audio copy are mobile and work very well on stage. That’s partially true, but a painfully narrow view of mobility. It neglects the point of choice and freedom. I suppose if going to another place with all the abundance of technological comforts was all one ever does, than sure. No problem, you’re mobile-ish.
Is that really mobile though? What if you have a broader definition of mobile freedom? Then what? Well, your only choice is Audio Copy if you want to swap files. Not the end all be all of solutions forever, but it works well enough when other options are just not options.
The future is likely to be very different as AudioBus appears to be on the visible horizon. A far better way to get things done while still not needing any other gear or connectivity. Of course that depends heavily on developer cooperation. All your apps need to be compatible using AudioBus without problems. I am very optimistic about that not being a problem. While I’m not a techy guy fully understanding it’s technical specifications, I do understand its importance. Frankly I don’t care about the tech aspects, I just care that it works well preserving audio quality. I’m just an artist using the tech, not a developer making it. I trust the developers to get it right and cooperate. Failing to do so would be tragic.
So that’s why, Audio Copy, at least for now. It’s flawed, but does the job when there are no other options. It fills a void that until AudioBus arrives fills it alone.
Music applications that neglect to offer Audio Copy are just not getting this point of view that defines true mobility. They are still good apps, but when I’m on a trail, in the forest, in the middle of nowhere, how am I supposed to use them? I cant. I dont. The trees don’t have outlets or Internet routers. It’s not a personal thing, it’s just about seeing things without placing obstacles in the way of the users.
I honestly do not understand why any music app developer would purposely ignore the fact that their definition of mobility is not universal. It’s not just about a few places the developer thinks you can go, it’s about all the places anyone would like to go. It’s about offering people the option to enjoy their music apps fully wherever they go. Its like an MP3 player without a headphone jack. Sure you can plug it in to a stereo or something, but you can’t use it on a hike, or visit to a park because the developer doesn’t like headphones and thinks you should only use it plugged in with speakers. Yes, speakers are better, but that’s not a realistic option if you want to enjoy it anywhere.
Well, that’s my point of view on the topic. Audio Copy has its uses, and works when no other options are available to do the job. Mobility, Freedom, Choice. That’s what makes iOS music great.

All users have a different idea of what mobility means to them. None right, none wrong, all equally important. I would never say that a person who doesn’t use these things as I do are not mobile. Not at all. I’m only suggesting that for my uses in some circumstances it’s nice to have the option to perform a task.

I can’t wait for AudioBus. Fingers crossed. I’ll be happy to never mention Audio Copy again.

DrumJam Review

A new flavor of jam

*Review is based on experience with DrumJam on iPad 2&3

By Sonosaurus LLC makers of ThumbJam
Featuring Pete Lockett

  
Sonosaurus, maker of the incredible ThumbJam, teamed up with award winning percussionist Pete Lockett to create DrumJam. A truly accessible drum and percussion application smothered in brilliance. We all know about ThumbJam and how great it is. You can safely expect the same excellence of DrumJam in a familiar, and clever user interface.
Everything in DrumJam is right on one screen with handy drop downs and buttons or sliders that expand, or change to another setting option, on touch. It’s a nice, strait forward design leading to a very snazzy level of fluid control and no confusion. Both of the main control x/y pads are on the same screen, the pattern based instruments on one pad above, and the solo instrument on the other underneath
It’s easy to feel comfortable with live performance, there is no jumping from one screen to the next interrupting the flow of your jam.
DrumJam has dozens of looped percussion instruments & drum kits to easily select by drag and drop to create multiple layers of varied rhythmic sound types. With an x/y pad type controller it allows full manipulation of individual instruments. Pan, volume, mute, solo, filter and are all easily controlled here.

Each instrument has up to 20 different patterns recorded by Pete Lockett himself, and are also controlled by this pad. With multi tempo loop recordings over a wide range of tempos, all can be changed easily without messing up the rhythm thanks to the time stretch function.

Reverb and Delay can be enabled by the touch of a virtual button.

Each looped instrument can be locked to prevent accidental pattern changes.
If you just can’t decide what to do, hit the randomizer for something totally unexpected. The randomizer can also be timed to change on its own periodically.
It simply flows like a comfortable stream of uninterrupted jamming jubilation.

For more on all the features of DrumJam click HERE to visit Sonosaurus LLCs website.
 The lower x/y pad allows control of the many solo instruments for you to play over the looped patterns or completely alone. Instruments here are placed in the same drag and drop way. It’s all designed very consistently.
With sensitivity control, and a full range of quantize, sounding great has never been so easy or fun.
The solo pad can have FX applied including Reverb, Delay, Pitch bend, LoFi, and Distortion. Go ahead crush it!
The instruments having been real recordings all
sound fantastic. Whether its a short beat or entire performance, all can be recorded at studio quality 44.1 kHz, 16 bit .wav and shared via multiple options. Sharing options include, audio copy, “Open In”, iTunes file share, and export to SoundCloud.
DrumJam is packed with a comprehensive menu of MIDI control options that support clock sync in or out. Virtual MIDI, and Background audio with a power save feature is included.

I’ve spent several hours lost in DrumJam exploring and enjoying everything it offers. I can attest to the fact that even a novice rhythm maker can have a joyous experience sounding like a pro. With all the tools necessary and quality of DrumJam all around I’m sure a pro would be hard pressed to argue the greatness of this highly inspiring application.

I just don’t have any complaints.

Thanks to the excellent reputation of its developer there’s no reason to think further development isn’t in the future pipeline. Some of the things I was able to confirm with Sonosaurus which are in that pipeline follow.
Here is the future road map of DrumJam

– support for playback of recorded loops in the app

– support for import of user samples for building custom solo kits
– additional sets of loops with alternate time signatures
– additional solo instruments
– additional loop instruments
The additional content may be a mix of factory-included and in-app purchases.
That’s strait from the source.

These days music apps are more than tools. Yes they are increasingly capable, but they also offer a way for everyone to enjoy them to their fullest. Randomize a fun experience, create original parts for a composition, practice, teach or learn with it. Its all there.
DrumJam is at the top of the iOS music heap among some very good company and should be on all music lovers iDevices.

It’s a no brainer click HERE to buy DrumJam from iTunes.