Month: July 2013

AUFX:Space – Review

AUFX: Space
A High Quality Reverb From: Kymatica
Available Now From iTunes App Store

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Reverb is one of those FX that is found almost everywhere. It’s used in so many settings. From ambient electronic to heavy metal, reverb is in most any music. It’s not just an effect for music, but also something that occurs naturally in seemingly mundane places. Basements, cathedrals, auditoriums, arenas, and caves to name a few. It is often equated to vast space. Sometimes outer space, which is ironic as sound doesn’t carry in a vacuum. Sure that’s not literal when referring to reverb in terms of space with stars and planets, but it does represent the vastness that reverb can convey.

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So “Space” is a good descriptive word when we are talking about reverb. AUFX: Space, is the latest and the first in a series of effects units being developed by Kymatica. You may know of Kymatica from their other highly useful and quality apps like “AudioShare” “BitWiz” and “Gestrument” among others.
What the rest of the AUFX series turns out to include remains to be seen, but “Space” is a great start. Reverb and iOS have not had a long running record of high quality offerings. “Space” aims to change that going forward. Finally a stand alone high quality reverb app is here.

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AUFX: Space is a high quality 32 bit DSP reverb unit with enough adjustable parameters to shape or mimic countless reverb types superbly.
All the standard reverb parameters plus a few more are built in to Space. Spread, Damping, Pre-Delay, Wet/Dry, Scale, Gain, Room Size, Color, and both LoPass and HiPass resonant filters with Cutoff. Very nearly complete. I say nearly because it’s missing a parameter I’ve been seeking for ages in iOS reverbs; “Swirl” or “Chorus” of sorts. Not like a full-on Chorus effect, which I suspect will be offered later in the AUFX series, but a kind that adds a dimension of movement with the reverberations. Maybe it’ll come, but it’s a lot to ask for since it would add more power demands to an already efficient app. No need to over do it, but it would be nice to see for once.

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The numerous highly adjustable parameters I listed from Space have allowed me to make some fantastic-sounding effects that nothing (Aurias Reverb Plug Ins are the exception) in iOS has allowed before. Space scratches the reverb itch.
Deep, rich, warm, and expansive to short, cold, subtle and every effect in-between sound really nice. Unlike most iOS reverb options, which by comparison to “Space” sound very thin, cheap, and like they’re coming from within tin cans. They have been improving slowly, but this is a significant and targeted advancement. AUFX: Space fills a void (no pun intended) I thought might never be filled. I wish I had this 2 years ago.

FEATURES

Process hardware input/output or other apps through Audiobus (input/filter/output slots supported).
Ready for the future inter-app audio standard.
Fully MIDI controllable, including Virtual MIDI.
Background Audio.
Save and load user presets.
Comes with several bundled presets.
Record the result directly in app.
Email recordings or export to AudioShare audio document manager app.
Access user presets and recordings through iTunes File Sharing.

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Using this app with Audiobus has proven to be problem free so far as I’ve experienced on my iPads 3 and 4. In case “clipping” were to happen there is a thoughtful “limiter” function which can be enabled from the menu. It says it adds 10MS to latency, but I haven’t noticed it. You can also save your concoctions to call up later easily from the menu.

The U.I. is simple and uncluttered making usage effortless. Its just you and Space with nothing distracting. The way it should be. With the ability to record directly, run through all Audiobus slots, and MIDI including virtual MIDI, its ready for any project. Not to mention its already built with iOS 7s “inter-app audio” standard in mind and prepared for when iOS7 releases.
When this releases (could be sometime in July) I would encourage anyone who wants a simple yet sophisticated and excellent reverb option to pick this up.

EDIT: 7-23-2013
I wanted to add that I have been using “Space” with my iRig Mic to capture audio recording directly to the app. It was not only convenient, but really sounded great even through the iRig. Just holding on the recording from the menu brings up a option to quickly move files to AudioShare.
The launch price of $3.99 is a steal! Low price compared to others, but by no means is this cheap. Sure you could go spend $10 $20 or more for other stand alone FX, but you won’t get anything better than this.

It will be very interesting to see what Kymatica offers next in the AUFX apps series. I for one am very eager to find out. At any rate, this is a really great start!

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SmiteMatter Interviewed by Bruce Gall

I was interviewed recently by Bruce Gall who hosts (in addition to his ARFM Sunday Synth) OneWorldMusic: “Atmospheres”.
A weekly electronic music radio show.
This interview was done via Skype and recorded near the end of June. I admit I was a little nervous. Being interviewed in the form of a written publication is one thing, but speaking is a bit daunting for me.

In this interview we had a nice chat about my music and iOS as a medium for creation. We talk about many things including how I started, apps I use, the technology and much more.

Check it out if you so wish by clicking on the following link: http://www.oneworldmusic.co.uk/atmospheres/4576642841

I hope you find it entertaining, useful, or at least worth your time.

Some things I mentioned. “Galaxy Explorer”, Waldorf Nave, Lazer Kat Records, iPadMusician Compilation Vol 2, Audiobus, Galileo, and more.

Missed the bus.

Its been several months since Audiobus was released, changing everything for a lot of people. Since then most every music app worth having has become compatible. Others have not. A lot of excellent music apps have completely missed the bus. Why is that I wonder? Are the developers done? Are the apps dead? What’s going on? Its like they just prefer to walk separate from the pack or are waiting for something else.
Some notable apps that have been quiet about their Audiobus plans are: Cassini, iSequence, StudioHD, Borderlands, and everything by The Strange Agency to name a few. Wizdom Music hasn’t yet made any of their apps Audiobus compatible, however they are working to support it in some of their apps soon. SampleWiz and GeoSynth first. I haven’t heard about MorphWiz and SpaceWiz, but seems logical they will follow.
Jaroslaw Jacek of BeepStreet (maker of Sunrizer, Impaktor, and iSequence) said recently that he will be revisiting his roots and develop a new app based on iSequence. He added that development will begin once iOS 7 arrives with its “inter-app audio” functionality. That wasn’t an exact quote by the way.
Now, I don’t know all the in and outs of the inter-app audio stuff coming with iOS 7, but it seems that it will be yet another major game changer for how we make music on iOS. If it does indeed provide an audio connection to and from our music apps, what becomes of Audiobus? Is this what the other developers are waiting for as well? Who knows? It sure is intriguing and there’s plenty to speculate about.
I have no reason to believe Audiobus will vanish into the night. It will probably go in a new direction and evolve into something else just as useful as ever if not more. Maybe it’ll (Speculating!) work over WiFi somehow sending audio and MIDI back and forth between separate devices? Now that would be very cool, would it not? Stranger things have happened.
So did some apps miss the bus on purpose, or are they dead? We probably won’t know for sure until iOS 7 is released and developers start talking more about their plans. Whatever the case, there’s much to be excited about in the coming months. Perhaps another revolutionary breakthrough will occur bringing loads of new possibilities, amazing new apps, better and more choices? Like most of you, I’ll certainly be watching closely as things unfold expecting iOS music to once again take us to the next level.

EarWizard

EarWizard
By Wizdom Music
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EarWizard releases July 11 2013

Wizdom Music has been designing music apps for iOS a long while now. Jordan Rudess is one of the more recognizable names in music to start with and even more so among those who enjoy iOS as a creative option. We are used to seeing innovative music apps we can use as instruments or controllers from the Wizdom Music team.
EarWizard is something different and, at least speaking for myself, unexpected.
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EarWizard is a fun learning tool that helps one become familiar with scales & keys using a take on “Simon”. This makes the presentation of EarWizard as a game of sorts immediately understandable. It is familiar and fun while being educational at the same time.
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I don’t think I need to describe how “Simon” works, but I will describe how EarWizard puts its own spin on things. The concept is simple: you can change the key and game speed from the settings or begin with a tutorial.
You start off in a particular scale and key. Then select a level. Instead of boring sequences of increasingly complicated tones that must be repeated perfectly, there are windows displaying a short video of Jordan playing a chord. Starting off slowly and then progressing to a more complex series of chords to repeat. Easy enough.
Each correct interaction is followed by a pleasant audible indication. Make a mistake and you’ll hear about it with out of tune chords. A clear indication an error has been made.
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As you play through it becomes more and more challenging. I found that along the way I had been learning to recognize keys. Such is the benefit of this game.
What really kept my attention other than just trying to concentrate on recognizing each key, was the videos of Jordan. He makes different facial expressions for each video where he strikes a chord on a piano. They range from benign to hilarious. I found myself a little distracted at times because I ended up laughing at the expressions he would make. I mean this as a compliment. It kept me interested and always looking forward to seeing what he would do next.
I really thought that was a great idea, and it works for me. You really gotta just see it for yourself.

EarWizard is a fun way to either develop or exercise an existing skill and have some fun while at it.

EarWizard was tested on iPad 3 & 4

Additional Screen Shots

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