Arpeggionome for iPhone Makes Amazing Patterns in Arrays of Pulsing Circles [App, Music]

Out today, Arpeggionome is the iPhone follow-up to an iPad grid instrument, making lovely, elegant cascades of notes from a screen full of circles. The work of San Francisco-based electrical engineer Alexander Randon, it’s especially nice to see not just the app itself, but the music the developer makes with his own tool. Watch the video, and you’ll get a feel for how he makes his creation musically expressive. Evidently inspired by both the Tenori-On and the community of monome apps, Arpeggionome has a number of features that set it apart from other tools. It’s tough to find iPhone apps …


Keyboard, Plus iPad: iMIDIPatchbay Will Let You Set Up Live Keyboard Rigs Easily

Yes, the iPad can be its own synth or music tool. But here’s yet another example in which Apple’s tablet acts instead as a hub for other gear, a touchable window into your live music rig. For keyboardists, or anyone working with MIDI setups, it could wind up being more convenient, more immediate, and more portable than a computer. (Cue mental image of a laptop tumbling off a stage piano. Yeah, that.) iMIDIPatchbay is just about to enter beta, but the feature list looks promising. It solves one problem, but a common problem: a keyboardist wants to set up splits …


PPG WaveMapper for iOS, Sequel to Beloved Synth, Adds Graphical ‘Mapping’ [Coming Soon]

It looks like it might be some sort of synthesis board game. But the grid above is actually a way of using touch to design new hybrid sounds. And it could appeal to both newcomers and synth die-hards alike. Wolfgang Palm must really like his iPad. The digital synthesis pioneer, the founder of classic maker PPG and credited with inventing wavetable synthesis, has already had a thunderous debut on the iPad. His PPG WaveGenerator has been one of the best-reviewed synths for Apple’s mobiles yet. But, apparently not resting on his laurels, he’s already back with a sequel, the PPG …

An update to Moog's massively-popular Animoog synth now gives you Audiobus compatibility, if you purchase the Audiobus app. That means easier recording and processing, in combination with other compatible apps. Photo courtesy Audiobus.

Major iOS Updates to Korg, Animoog, Magellan – And Audiobus Support Spreads Fast

iPad and iPhone owners got a nice gift recently. Over the Christmas holiday week, a whole slew of new iOS updates rolled in, perhaps caught in the holiday rush. Many of the improvements centered on Audiobus, a proprietary technology that, via a host app, allows iOS users to connect different apps for input, recording, and processing. And with those updates, the picture on Audiobus has become significantly clearer. Magellan, Magellan, Jr. Since Moog and Korg get plenty of attention, let’s start with the dramatic improvements to Magellan. Earlier this month, Magellan’s industrial-strength iPad app got a hand-sized companion in the …


In Magellan on iOS, Warm Virtual Analog Meets MIDI Everything [Hands-on, Tech Details, Gallery]

Occupying some space between hardware and computer plug-in, the iPad synth is reaching a new level of maturity. We saw that last year with Moog’s Animoog (see various coverage), and, while I took some flak by arguing that it wasn’t equivalent to hardware creations from Moog and others, I think it is a beautiful example of some of the best of this “third category” of synthesizer instrument. Animoog, for its part, has grown in depth since then and attracted long-time users, along with a handful of other top-notch synths that rise above the crowd. Musicians using these instruments often blend …


Beatsurfing: At Last, a Controller for iPad That Lets You Draw Layouts Onscreen, “Surf” Controls

Beatsurfing – The Organic MIDI Controller Builder – Official Teaser from Vlek Data on Vimeo. There are already some exceptional touch controllers on iOS. But that means it’s doubly time for something new. Even among the best touch apps for iPad, there are some common themes. Layouts, if they’re editable at all, generally require a computer app for making and adjusting sets of controls. And (while Lemur is a notable exception), many restrict you to virtual simulations of conventional buttons and faders, rather than using a range of novel controls. That seems to ignore some of the potential of the …


Inside Phaedra, the Analog-Style MIDI Sequencer for iPad

I’m not sure how everyone who owns an iPad uses it for music, but I find myself strangely drawn, more than anything else, to analog step sequencers. With MIDI connections – via a special interface or a standard USB MIDI interface connected via adapter to the tablet – you can even drive hardware. For me, the app of choice has been Little MIDI Machine. Developer Chris Randall has a new application in the analog-style sequencing category, though, called Phaedra. If you haven’t grabbed it already, you have until the New Year to get it for US$4.99 before the price jumps …


IK Release iOS SampleTank, iRig; In Demo, Your Post-PC Future?

IK Multimedia this week is shipping both their SampleTank virtual instrument and iRig hardware MIDI interface for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s not the first software instrument for iThings, but it is arguably the first appearance of a major, conventional computer soft synth in mobile form. MIDI interfaces, likewise, would require a comparison of some competing gear, but it’s the combination of the two in IK’s demo video that I think might give someone pause. Music making tech has since the 1980s often involved some kind of computer. You might buy that computer in a piece of hardware that …


Your iOS Device Gets MIDI with Thru and Power – and 1 GB of Samples – from IK

For connecting music hardware from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and today, you can’t beat MIDI and the standard MIDI connector (5-pin DIN). This week, both IK Multimedia and Line 6 announced adapters that support Core MIDI. Previously possible on iPad via the Camera Connection Kit, the new adapters support the 30-pin dock connector for the iPad (no additional adapter needed), iPhone, and iPod touch. IK’s iRig MIDI has a number of features that set it apart from previously-available iOS adapters: It’s got MIDI Thru. MIDI Thru means you can route MIDI into your iOS device, so an external keyboard can …


Mixing and Audio Interface, in the $450 MOTU Audio Express

The competition for your audio interface dollar is pretty heated these days, but MOTU’s latest – the Audio Express – packs a pretty impressive feature set for something costing US$449 list. It’s both a 6×6 audio interface and a mixer, with standalone mixer functionality so you can mix signals from the front-panel knobs without a computer attached. It also has connectivity features generally seen only in pricier, physically-larger boxes. MOTU tells CDM the quality is equal to their higher-end offerings, and other rivals in the $500-800 range. MOTU winds up on my short list as far as hardware that makes …