Samplers

Samplers

Echo Pad – UPDATED Review V1.4.8

UPDATED REVIEW: 8-22-13

EchoPad V1.4.8 Will arrive with a whole new set of features, improvements, and tools.
I have had the pleasure of beta testing this app and watch it grow into what’s become a very capable Echo effects app. It started out great, but this new version is pretty much a whole new app.
Some of what you can expect to see (pending Apple Review, in a week or two) in includes:
The “Meazzi Echomatic 2” inspired multi-tap function of up to 6 individual delay taps!
Individual Multi-Tap delay controls for Time and Volume.
Manual control of master delay times with a max up to 3 seconds.
Tape Hiss and Tone Sliders.
Added. Tap, Sync and manual BPM controls.
For guitarists a new summed mono output for guitarists (tap the WHITE control ring to toggle summed mono output on/off).

Lots of cool new features. The Multi-Taps are a real blast. Great for creating some crazy effects and or beats. I learned of the beats by accident while experimenting with Multi-Taps.
There’s a lot going on and plenty that can be done with these new Multi-Tap tools. It can take a bit to figure out. No problem, there is also a new video tutorial to explain it HERE

The AudioBus control panel is loaded with options. Something we see little of with most FX apps. This really makes things much easier when using EchoPad in the FX slot. Easily select presets 1&2, mute, record etc. among others. There’s only so much room on the Audiobus remote, and some may think its too much, but I really appreciate the additional controls. Less time spent swapping back and forth between apps. All FX apps should take note.

EchoPad has really matured even further. Not to suggest it wasn’t mature to begin with but, clearly a lot of careful development has been done to add to its stunning capabilities. A lot of which came from end users input.
Not just features, bug fixes, and stability but also its appearance has seen lots of polish.

At the end of this updated, and the below original review are some new screen shots showing what’s new. Take a look at the Cassini Synth shot with EchoPads Audiobus remote on the right side.

With more and more stand alone FX apps coming lately its easy to forget about the existing ones. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting EchoPad. If you’ve enjoyed it as I have since its initial launch you’ll love what’s coming up. If for some reason you passed on this fine app, now would be a great time to take another look.

“Echo Pad was born out of love for tape echoes, sound on sound loopers and noisy, dirty analog delay pedals. Echo Pad excels at hands on warping delay tones and controlled feedback, and is not afraid to get loud.”
Echo Pad offers an array of creative options to create some unique delay effects in real-time on your iOS device. Initially I didn’t really consider just how useful an app like this could be. Nearly all iOS music apps have some form of delay, so why buy a separate unit? The answer for me is that this provides a dedicated environment to apply layers of sound specific to an echo, or delay effect. It’s not just one of a collection of effects, everything here is all about echos. Your entire device screen is a X/Y playground to apply the desired effect.
Record audio with the built-in device mic, iRig Mic, as well as several professional USB audio interfaces. Import and export via audio copy/paste, direct link to AudioShare, and iTunes File Share rounds out the many sharing options.

Getting started with Echo Pad is a snap. It’s a clean interface and very intuitive. If you find a need for more info, visit Holderness Media and you will find links to several helpful video tutorials.
“Who needs another whack, sterile digital delay to strum generic radio rock riffs with? No one.”
With 5 delay types; Tape/analog echo, 8-Bit, Rise, Fall, and Reverse you’ll have no shortage of unique delay effects. Add some LFO to the delay time to make cool modulated echoes. All the pieces can be individually controlled such as delay time, feedback, echo high and low pass filter via simple left to right sliders. Additionally there are slider controls for reverb decay and level. Layer on the delays, and modulations with the sound on sound looper quick and easy.
Along with the main looper are two “Scratch Loopers”. You control these two virtual turn tables with the same touch and drag input on the screen impacting audio playbacks speed and direction. It makes a neat scratching effect, and routes back through the FX.
You can imagine there are a lot of possibilities to make some very nice delays. The Fall echo type is a new addition ( along with the scratch loopers ) that makes a cascading echo that drops in pitch with each echo. Opposite of that is Rise echo, and just as cool.
This is not your run of the mill delay found in many of the apps effects suites. There is nothing wrong with those, but this is so deep with specialized delays you wont find anywhere else. I have been really happy with the results after many hours getting to know Echo Pad. I’ve come to appreciate its great use of multi-touch (with more gestures in the pipe line) control promoting a very hands on approach to crafting effects however you wish. You just wont find this much control over your delay effects anywhere else.
I cant help but wonder if this might start off a new type of specialized effects apps? Maybe a separate reverb app? I am sure many people have an opinion on this, what would you like to see?
Echo Pad is so innovative all around. I never knew just how much I needed this until I had it in my hands. I recommend giving it a try.
Buy Echo Pad HERE in iTunes
Universal app (will run on iPad 1, iPhone 3gs, and 3rd gen iPod touch but iPhone 4/iPad 2 and higher recommended)

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iPulsaret – Review

 
 
By: apeSoft
Visit the website for iPulsaret and more HERE

iPulsaret

Designed for iPad 2&3

apeSoft is well-known for its Density/Pulsaret Granular Synthesis programs for Mac/Windows. Having happily experienced their first entry into iOS with iDensity, it took little for my ears to perk up at the mention of iPulsaret joining the club.

iPulsaret is an audio sandbox where you can manipulate all the time-domain varieties of granular synthesis in real-time. Huh? Basically, you can take your music, audio files, and  audio recordings and create some great detailed textures from subtle to wildly dramatic effects.

 
All on one responsive screen

“microsound granular synthesis for iPad”

The interface is very familiar to those who have had the pleasure of using iDensity. Everything is right there on the screen. I found it to be similar in appearance, and extremely user-friendly. No confusing menus, or hidden functions that can’t be found intuitively. You can see from the screenshots various icons representing the many effects & tools, as well as the slider controls for the primary grain manipulations.

The many effects icons are not obvious at first glance as they are not labeled, but after a brief period of getting familiar with them, the waveform illustrations for each will make sense fast. Learning as you explore is always fun, especially here.

Take a snapshot of your sound “A snapshot is a photo of all parameters Granulator and FX values.”

As you go try taking “snapshots” ( just tap the camera icon ) as you progress with tweaking. They can be assigned manually but the first 4 snapshots are assigned by default to the snapshot pad. Bring up the snapshot pad (even to full screen) and a grid containing the 4 snapshots can be controlled by touch. Theres lots of math and complicated terms, but essentially moving from the center of each to and fro will control hundreds of parameters impacting what you play out on the keyboard. This is very cool!

iPulsaret is clearly made to be easy to use and understand. It’s perfect for spontaneous use. Since it allows you to record using your iPads built-in mic, you’ll rarely miss a opportunity to capture some interesting audio anywhere you and your iPad happen to be. Of course you can use a separate mic like the iRig Mic, and that would be recommended over the built-in mic. Ive been experimenting a lot with iPulsaret to see what new things it will allow me to do. I’ve found it to be very stable, for one thing. It also is amazing for taking a simple, mundane sound and turning it into a new playable synth sound. It appears what really separates iPulsaret from iDensity is its more synth-ish where iDensity is more drone-like. They are different nonetheless in that iPulsaret can generate thousands of grains dynamically. This is quite different from traditional synths with fixed voices or oscillators. I suggest for a more comprehensive explanation of granular synthesis to click HERE for the full skinny.

“Control and shape grains, anytime, anywhere with iPulsaret for iPad.”

Complex, and beyond my technical understanding as granular synthesis may be, as an artist using the software myself I can say that iPulsaret is extremely well made. It fits in perfectly to my workflow offering a great many options to create unique sounds you wont hear anywhere. I’m sure anyone would agree iPulsaret is a highly capable, useful program. I havent had it crash, or fail at all. Getting started with the included library of samples leads the way to inspiring user creativity. As I mentioned you can record directly with your iPad or other compatible microphone. Additionally you can easily add your own WAV, AIFF, files via iTunes File Share, Sonoma AudioCopy/Paste and Dropbox are also supported.  iPulsaret plays well with others and can be run in the background.

Saying “I dig iPulsaret”  might be an understatement. So far as granular synths go it has the greatest capabilities, and is very playable. They really put a lot into this making it very strong. The last update (1.0.3) increased its iOS compatibility back to iOS 5.1. Also added in that update was MIDI in keyboard support with pitch bend. There weren’t many to begin with but the bugs were fixed, and some more improvements were made improving the UI and routing. I certainly recommend iPulsaret highly, a truly 5 star app.

Buy iPulsaret in iTunes HERE and get grainy!

csGrain – Review

Grains Of Change

Review based on use with iPad 2&3

csGrain using the CSOUND software synthesizer and signal processor gives us a great set of tools to record and process audio in real-time.

Take a live or imported recording and dramatically morph them into whatever your imagination inspires. So much can be done using the powerful stereo granular sound processor and 10 professional audio FX simultaneously. Its cool!

A clean interface lets you get things done without any hassle or confusion. Everything is laid out nice and tidy right in front of you. Maybe a bit drab in appearance, but pretty slick nonetheless. No worries about trying to find anything here.

I’ve spent many hours enjoying the range of options tweaking various recordings I made resulting in some rather wild samples. I love that you can set each of the parameters to move within a predetermined minimum to maximum range or totally at random. A long touch on any of the knobs leads to the Random Settings where you can choose to have that particular function move within the selected range. If you can’t decide on what to set things at, just hit “randomize”.  The knob will darken so you don’t lose track of it.

 Overall the audio quality is really very good. I didn’t experience any unwanted noises. It all came out sounding clean, and just as intended. The 10 FX are well made. The Reverb is pretty thin, and leaves much to be desired though. Applying all 10 FX at once didn’t even cause me any grief, and csGrain just kept working away twisting up the samples for as long as I recorded them.

The included preset samples are nice, but of course its  more about playing with your own. Managing your audio files and recording is easy within the app. You can save your things in the “My Audio Files” section found at the bottom of the screen. From there you can also select and do a simple edit of the file. csGrain also is great for field recordings using (careful of feedback) the device mic, or better an iRig Mic.

Import supports AudioPaste, Dropbox, and iTunes. Export via Email, Dropbox, AudioCopy, and “Open In…” Sharing made easy, just how we like it.

Also included is a handy, detailed user manual complete with well written instructions, and sample photos. If that still doesn’t answer your question, you can Email Customer Support from the manual.

If you want something for manipulating recordings in subtle to crazy ways that sounds great, csGrain will do the job. This is a wonderful app loaded with tools, features, and functionality. This is where you go for special audio effects for your music or audio projects. If you want to have some fun, you can also mess up tunes from your iPod library. Why not? Pitch Shift, & speed up the latest viral hit from that obscure hippity hop artist that just wont go away. Whatever you want to do, in this app you can certainly do it with Grain Style!

 

  5 Stars – Recommended Highly!  Visit iTunes to purchase csGrain

NoisePAD Review

Developed By MediaGROE

Its Noisy

NoisePAD is straight forward “drum computer”, sequencer and beat maker designed for live performance.
NoisePAD has a very nice look. It’s elegant in appearance and quick to navigate. The design is streamlined, making it very easy to use and understand fast. A quick, to the point INFO page will easily answer any “how to” questions within the app.

Delivered with 5 preloaded sound-banks, each containing 12 samples, NoisePAD comes ready to get started.

The built-in sequencer is programmable up to 12 patterns each with its own length of bars from 1 to 99. Patterns flow seamlessly; one right into the next.

With some nice effects controlled via sliders, there’s some great sample tweakability at your finger tips. The included effects are: Pitch, Delay, Cut-off, Phase, Reverb, and Bit-Crush. They sound alright, and suit a party atmosphere very well, but have no real controllable parameters to fine tune the FX. Recording and performing on the fly are just a tap away. Mute, Solo, adjust BPM, and Swing without interrupting the flow. Same goes for selecting samples, loading new ones won’t disrupt the performance. Paste in your samples from the paste board and custom organize sample banks however you like. If you want more samples there is an option to purchase them via IAP additional sample banks. I have noticed some slight latency from the pads here and there, but really not very much or often.

The preloaded samples in NoisePAD range from good to outright absurd. I honestly cannot imagine anyone buying another sample bank that really anyone could make. I mean, some of the samples are just terrible vocals of some kid swearing, dropping F bombs, or no brainer one liners we have all heard a bazillion times, and whatnot. “Damn Girl” “Drop It” “Hands up,” “Party people” are some of the overdone hype samples you’ll hear. I get that it’s intended to be for fun, but they just aren’t inspiring to me at all. The drum samples are pretty good; but with only 12-36 samples per IAP they leave a lot to be desired with some wasted on vapid vocals. Seriously, these are popular “artists”? Can’t you just sample yourself shouting “Put your hands up”? There, you’re a popular artist.

Most of the drum or instrument samples are not really worth the expense as they are all easy to make yourself with the right apps.

To be fair I supposed plenty of people think these kinds of tired samples are great fun. I get that, and NoisePAD is fun, especially after you load it up with your own creative samples. It does make things convenient. That said, it falls a little short of professional.  It’s not something I would suggest using for a pro live set if you want to impress anyone.

It seems to me that NoisePAD is really a party DJ performance app intended to make adding samples to live sets fun and easy. It does that very well. If the FX, sample packs, and general quality  matures and improves, NoisePAD could contend for the attention of a more serious, artistic crowd. The future of NoisePAD could develop into something very special. Keep an eye on it.

                    3 out of 5 Stars

                            Available in iTunes.

FEED App Review

FEED Me Seymour

Developed By Incidental

Review based on used with iPad 2, & 3

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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!