audio processing

Audio Mastering – Review

Audio Mastering
Developed by: iMusicAlbum Igor Vasiliev

Available in iTunes App Store HERE

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UPDATED: 6-24-2013

Get on the bus! Audio Mastering now supports Audiobus effect & output slots. Very good news don’t you think? They also added a solo mode for EQ bands, record on signal start, fixed some minor bugs and so on.
The Audiobus effect & output support is probably what most folks will get excited for. Now after you do your mixing and have a song all arranged you can record it directly to this to then master. If you’re using Cubasis, NanoStudio, BeatMaker2, FL Studio, etc, then you need this app to make your mix really shine.

Original Review:

If you make music using your iPad, prefer to use one of the iDAWs other than Auria, then you probably would like to have a solid app to master your work?

There’s plenty of snobby purists around who will insist that mastering on an iPad is just not possible. They are right!
It is not possible for them to do it. With their eyes firmly shut and noses stuck so high in the sky, theres no way they could even see the screen. Sarcasm aside, the truth is; oh yes we can!
Admittedly mastering had in the past been a bit of a weakness in iOS music. Most of the iDAWs still have pretty lack luster or cheap tools with too many limitations to be taken seriously in the mastering department. Really only Auria has appropriate mastering tools, and the best plug ins to craft amazing sound. Those however can be very costly, and many people prefer other fine iDAWs for their work. Unfortunately those other iDAWs don’t have much to offer on this topic.
Now developers are taking this stuff seriously and some nice third party apps devoted to high quality mastering are becoming increasingly available, with more too come.

Welcome Audio Mastering!

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If you have good monitors, or studio headphones, all you need is the software to polish up your music. Audio Mastering is a very solid software choice. Based on the same algorithms found in professional, high quality plug ins for computer DAWs, this all in one audio workshop is ready to go.

Features at a glance:
24 bit audio processing, linear phase 10 band equalizer, 3 band stereo imaging, 3 harmonic saturator types, variable speed loudness (limiter) maximizer.
Sample rate converter from 96, 88, 48.4 to 44.1 KHZ
Dithering with noise shaping. 3 fade shapes in and out. Plus many more. Visit Creator Igor Vasiliev blog HERE for more details and app support.

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Currently Audio Mastering supports Audio Copy/Paste, and “Open In” making it easy to exchange files with numerous apps including AudioShare.
There is no DropBox support yet, which I’d really like to see added. No Audiobus support yet, but it is planned for upcoming versions.
No waveform editing, and shouldn’t be expected considering this is not that kind of app.
Although it wouldn’t hurt to have a basic trim, slice, and crop functions.
Worrying about those things would be missing the point of AudioMastering anyway.

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I’ve been happy with the results after using Audio Mastering. No complaints about the audio quality at all. It sounds fantastic! Excellent separation.

I really like how all the controls are on one page making it a breeze to use. Checking work on the fly is hassle free for comparing the mastered version against the original. Making all the fine tuning, & frequency adjustments in real time with instant results, all functions flawlessly. Use the sliders or for finer control, all parameters have +\- buttons to incrementally tweak the sound. If something goes terribly wrong or you just want to go a different direction tap “reset”. Do over!

When you’re all done and have the sound you are looking for just hit “process” and choose the file types to create new copies of your work. After a brief wait, or longer for large files you’re done. It is just painless.

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Audio Mastering has several presets based on music genres to get you started and build off of. You can of course make your own presets to call up quickly to use again. Name and rename them as you like.
Its all about the the sound, and you don’t always need fancy controls or huge amounts of features.
If you don’t feel the need for more than 10 EQ bands or zero latency, automation, or independent channel EQing, this will suit you quite well. All in all Audio Mastering is a bargain and with a high quality suite of tools makes this a powerful and serious option. If you want something that can take a good sound and make it great, then this is a must have app. The difference Audio Mastering makes compared to the limited iDAW mastering options is a no brainer and essential for having the best sound possible. This is a grand companion app to fill out your mobile music production studio.

* I used this app to master a new song I had made in Cubasis. This really added more depth that Cubasis simply couldn’t do. Check out Orbiting The Son for the mastered version. While on that same SoundCloud page scroll down to the un-mastered version called In My Sons Orbit (WIP) for comparison.

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Audulus for iPad – Review

Modular Synthesizer for iPad

Audulus is made by W. Taylor Holliday. Visit the website for Audulus HERE

Imagine, Create, Play.

“Audulus is a modular music processing app.”

I have tried all the other modular synthesizers on iOS. None ever really impressed me very much until now. Even though its not the first modular synth to hit iOS, it does perform well, and I like its U.I. in favor of the others. Audulus arrives and changes my whole perception of this kind of music application. I’ve known about the enthusiastic following of the Mac version, so like many of you I was pretty psyched about it porting over to iPad. I had been looking forward to finally give it a try. I wasnt sure what to expect? I am happy to report Audulus is a very clean, and extremely capable modular synth. Everything you need (and more on its way) to create your own synth is before you.

The U.I. is brilliantly designed with really just two primary buttons viewable on the screen at all times. Located at the top left of the screen are the two buttons. One is an info of sorts, button that identifies things on-screen, and the other is the main menu. The modules, nodes, tools, and all are neatly tucked away out of sight. All those functions are easily accessed by touching the main menu, function button with a second touch elsewhere on the screen. Making connections is as easy as drawing a line that connects the parts. A main circular menu made up of 8 smaller circles contains all the mods and nodes, each with its own sub menu to drill down to further, finer functions. It’s really quite elegant in appearance. Simply select the function you want, and it appears on-screen. It wont take long before you clutter up the screen with virtual wires and modules. Everything responds very well to touch and gesture input, so moving individual parts around is a simple task. Just touch and drag.

Creating your own synth from the many available tools is a lot of fun, and very satisfying. You can make pretty much anything you can imagine. Simple sounds to highly complex ones that move, breathe, and evolve can be achieved with a little effort and understanding of how everything interacts, or responds to others. It may be advisable to check out some of the Audulus video tutorials to learn the basics or expand on your existing knowledge. Only a few patches are shipped with Audulus, so checking their forum and looking at the downloadable patches other users are sharing will help get you on your way.

Audulus just feels right. Its like painting with sound. With Audulus you are set forth on a huge world of sound options. Choose one or several oscillators each with its own waveform. Set the routes however you like to obtain the sound you’re going for. Add effects like, delay, reverb, distortion, low pass filter and more. It’s just amazing when you think about how much can be done. It all flows logically.

Click HERE to see a brief video of Audulus basics.

“Begin a patch on your iPad while on the go. Load it onto your Mac. Even use it inside your DAW.
Then bring it back to iPad.”

For details, click HERE to visit the Audulus website.

Built-In Modules:

  • Virtual Analog Oscillator (4 classic waveforms)
  • ADSR Envelope
  • Noise Generator
  • Sample Player (coming soon to iPad)
  • Mathematical Modules: Add, Subtract, Multiply, Sine, Modulo
  • Random Number Generator
  • MIDI controlled Keyboard
  • MIDI assignable trigger
  • Delay
  • Distortion
  • Low Pass Filter
  • High Pass Filter
  • Pitch Shifter
  • Constant Value
  • Gain
  • Mapper Curve
  • Piecewise-linear Spline Curve
  • Sample and Hold
  • Crossfade
  • 4-Channel Mixer
  • Level Meter
  • Value Meter
  • Scrolling Waveform Meter
  • Input/Output
  • Polyphonic to Monophonic signal mixer
  • Global Time
  • Sub-Patch (Coming soon to iPad)
  • Timer
  • Zero-crossing Counter
  • Audio Unit Plug-in (Mac Only)

I have been quite impressed with the audio quality. Audulus really sounds amazing! The onscreen keyboard is very responsive, and I havent detected any latency at all.

Currently Audulus does not record, and you cannot share or move sounds without an internet or computer connection. Record, and AudioCopy/Paste are noticeably missing. That is a bit off-putting. From what I have read (I emailed to confirm but did not get a response) these are features that are a priority to be added. I sincerely hope sooner rather than later. For now we must get along with emailing our patches to each other or ourselves. Not great for those scenarios away from an internet connection, or computer.

Just two buttons?MIDI users will be pleased to hear that Audulus is fully controllable, and will detect a MIDI connection right away.

“Control everything with MIDI

Control Audulus with your MIDI controller keyboard or control surface.”

I’ve had some moments where a touch did not produce the response I was intending, or when trying to draw a connection the module moved instead. It got a little frustrating, but after some time it seemed that a lot depended on how far in or out I was zoomed. I got used to it. Really a minor gripe. Audulus looks and sounds professional. I think most people familiar with modular synthesis will appreciate this most, but really anyone who wants to have A powerful tool to make their own synths from scratch will also find Audulus to be a blessing. This is a sparkling addition to any iOS music app library.

I recommend Audulus, but until Record, and AudioCopy/Paste are added, I offer 4 Stars!

Buy Audulus from iTunes HERE *IMPORTANT- Audulus will not work on iPad 1. I tested it on iPad 2&3