equalizer

Convoluted Spectral Filtering

3 Incredible special effects apps combine to astound us!

Big tough words right? Well, I’m serious. I’ve had some time to really sit and dig in to 3 relatively new effects apps from 3 of my favorite developers. Time enough to discover that there’s not enough time to discover it all.
Individually, each is simply marvelous in their own right, but combine them and you have a massively exciting audio trilogy of sound effects goodness.

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apeFilter by http://www.densitygs.com

IMG_0570-0.JPG AltiSpace – Convolution Reverb by http://audio-mastering-ipad.com

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csSpectral by http://www.boulangerlabs.com/products/csspectral/

These incredible effects apps each have uniquely outstanding qualities that by themselves would be fantastically satisfying and hugely time consuming.
Plenty of joy will come from each one, offering loads of creative experiences.

It’s when they are placed together, working in harmony through Audiobus, that they stand together like a trio of god-like rock star band mates ruling the heavens of audio special effects. Special effects gone totally bananas.
Choose your Input > Effects > route and run them all into your favorite iDAW (or Output) app to capture the sonic sundae.
Typically I use AltiSpace in the middle, between aprFilter and then csSpectral, however this combo is not only excellent but also demanding on your device. I’d not recommend anything less than iPad 4 and preferably iPad Air. Depending on your device and needs, 512 latency should be fine.

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I load up my sample with apeFilter and make initial filtering adjustments. apeFilter has excellent sample and frequency control both backward and forward which can be manipulated in real time, any time.
The interactive GUI is perfect for controlling up to 36 peaks filters frequencies. Packed with high quality common filters (Lo/Hi and band pass, notch, and Hi or Lo shelf) and some post effects like delay and compression apeFilter is perfect for shaping your samples.

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Don’t forget the spectral grid where you can finger paint your way through the pitch space using the 4 compilers. Try it out and you’ll see.

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Next I have AltiSpace Convolution Reverb in the effects part of the chain. This is the first stand alone convolution reverb unit for iOS. In case you’re wondering what a convolution reverb is, it is a form of reconstructing the reverb effect of other reverb effects units. Taken from actual impulse response recordings or real world acoustical reverberations emulated digitally. It’s a lot of complicated math I won’t pretend to understand, it’s just really good. AltiSpace recreates some of the best reverb units made.

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Something you might notice that’s very different from algorithmic reverbs is the convolution reverb doesn’t have all those parameter controls you might be used to. Controls like tail, width, and swirl etc. Instead of tweaking various parameters, you just select a different IR or impulse response. With 250 loaded IRs there’s no shortage. Plus you still have basic parameter controls including some EQing and a super cool reverse option. I love the reverse part.

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In the last or output spot I use csSpectral. A Csound based multi effect processor. This thing is amazing. Nearly every parameter of each effects unit can be randomized and automated. There are 7 FFT (fast Fourier transform) based algorithmic spectral types. Including a Phase Vocoder, spectral blur, spectral re-synthesizer and more. There so much you can do with any one of these and you’re still only just getting started with this app.

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The 12 total variations of the DSP effects bring a truck load of sound effects goodness to the table. Basically there’s 3 variants each of the 4 effects units.
Multi-Mode Filter, Stereo Glitch Delay, Micro Cutter, Phaser Reverb, Modal Resonator, LoFi Delay, Bouncer (Cutter), Ball In The Box Reverb and more. Each have something special to offer. csSpectral is a big scary beast.
It’s just too much fun to play with sound in this.
Recording and editing the resulting samples are a cinch.

There is no rule you need to follow here. Like I said each app stands alone with its own greatness. I just happen to think altogether they make an impressive team.
It’s all going to be in how you use them, but the capability is there. Only the users themselves are responsible if they end up having a disappointing experience.

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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.