iPhone Gets New Groove Boxes: Is it Live Synthesis, or is it Canned?

The iPhone has become an almost absurdly-popular platform for music apps this year, even given more capable, more plentiful PCs. But to those who don’t yet “get” the appeal, talk to a mobile music addict: having the ability to be creatively musically in corners of time that would otherwise go unused, like a cramped bus ride, can be a beautiful thing. (Now, you start talking about taking away my PC/Mac experience, and I will start screaming in agony – but that’s a topic for a separate post.) The question is, what form should that app take? Today, I’ve got an …

READ MORE →

Visual Control: TouchOSC + Modul8, Max + OSC + Resolume Chaos Mode

When applications are open to clearly-expressed control, it’s easier than ever – easier than with MIDI – to navigate their interfaces and make them express what you want. Using OSC (rather inaccurately named Open “Sound” Control), interacting with live visuals is getting a lot more powerful. Case in point: thanks to hacks, we’re getting affordable multitouch control of Modul8 with an iPhone or iPod touch, and even a new implementation of “chaos mode” on Resolume Avenue 3. There are free downloads for these projects, too – no super-secret special sauce; these visualists are happy to share. And while some of …

READ MORE →

Tiny Music: Xenakis Synthesis, Curtis Roads Granulation on iPhone

140 / curtis + thumb piano from m~fischer on Vimeo. Synthesis geeks are creating some fun sonic toys for the iPhone. There’s no reason you couldn’t plug in an iPod touch or your phone into a mixer and use them in live or studio creations for a little variety. And as mobile platforms grow in capabilities, other platforms should be close behind. (Not to mention, you can always rescue an entire iPod or PDA and run Pd, often for just the few dollars an app costs!) At top, the granular sampling app Curtis captures sound from a thumb piano. Curtis …

READ MORE →

Novation Automap, Ableton Live Clip Control, Coming to the iPhone

Novation’s Automap is coming to the iPhone – meaning a handheld device can provide interactive visual and textual feedback about what you’re manipulating in, say, an Ableton Live set. Our friends at Hispasonic (Spanish-language) bring us the news. (Thanks, Xavier!) Photo credit: the new blog SaM’s burrow: Novation Automap for iPhone in beta stage (first screen captures) That gives you a closer look. I’m not even going to try to wonder what happened to Novation’s NDA. (We seem to be getting mostly “D.”) But, Novation, if you’re out there, trust me – buzz already suggests this is a good leak …

READ MORE →

Handmade (and Handheld) Music in Brooklyn, Plus Online Stream, Thursday

The Gamelatron at the Chelsea Museaum Teaser Handmade Music hits Brooklyn again Thursday night with a terrific lineup: Robotic gamelan instruments with the Gamelatron, created by Zemi17 and the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots (LEMUR) – check the video above! Rescued PDAs and iPods making music, with the Linux-powered ReWare project (which even allows you to run Pd on an old iPod), by Hans-Christoph Steiner – expect a box full of handhelds making noise Gestural Android handheld music, as I demonstrate the possibilities of the Google Android platform and G1 phone for OSC The Arduino-based Hard/Soft synth, designed by …

READ MORE →

Save that Old PDA: Run Reware, Play Pd Musical Creations, Android (OFFF, NYC)

Reware your PDA from Hans-Christoph Steiner on Vimeo. Give a hoot – don’t pollute with your old mobile gear. Make musical creations with it instead, powered by Linux. Sure, there are wonderful things happening with mobile music applications on platforms like the shiny, new iPhone. But remember how technology was supposed to democratize access? Lots of us don’t have the money for a new iPhone or iPod. And how many of us have outdated Pocket PCs and Palms collecting dust? How many of these highly toxic devices get thrown away? Linux to the rescue. One of the biggest hits of …

READ MORE →

Jasuto Modular Synth for iPhone, Mac + Windows VST: Build Your Own Instruments

Jasuto envelope example from Jasuto on Vimeo. Imagine friendly creation of custom synths and sounds by dragging visual nodes. Now imagine you can do that on a mobile device and your computer – and eventually combine the two. That’s the vision of Jasuto, and while it’s not quite there yet, it’s incredibly promising. The laws of combinatorics predict that, on a regular basis, you’ll see countless soft synths that are slight variations of one another. With the iPhone/iPod touch gold rush in full swing, we’re starting to see the pattern repeat itself, just as it did in Windows and Mac …

READ MORE →

iPhone as Serious Instrument: New Synthable iSyn, Strummable Star Guitar

The iPhone and iPod touch are getting more in the way of playable software instruments that could ease its transformation into a handheld idea-capturing gadget. noise.io lays claim to being the first full-featured soft synth on the platform, with unusual FM synthesis control – and I still like the fact that it isn’t anything like most soft synths on your PC. And of course there have been beat machines like the surprisingly capable Intua BeatMaker drum machine/suite. On mobile platforms, though, the more the merrier – especially given the bargain-basement prices. So I’m pleased to see the likes of noise.io …

READ MORE →

Wireless MIDI on iPhone: Open Source Motion Control Talks to Nintendo DS, Computer

The Cupertino-Mushroom Kingdom gap has been closed: you can now mix and match DS and iPhone/iPod touch for wireless control of music and visuals. DSMI, the homebrew library that has enabled wireless and serial MIDI connections from the Nintendo DS, has come to iPod touch and iPhone. That means anyone building instruments and controllers on the iThing can now add wireless MIDI controllers that talk to computers – or other mobile devices, including the DS. It also means that DSMI’s acronym standing for “Nintendo DS Music Interface” has only one word that describes all the things it does. If you’re …

READ MORE →

Touch Mix iPhone deadmau5 DJ-Remix App, from Future Audio Workshop

Touch Mix is a simple music app for the iPhone and iPod touch that lets you play, mix, and remix ten exclusive tracks by producer deadmau5. Now, of course, you’re unlikely to grab this in order to DJ nothing but deadmau5. (The all-deadmau5, all-the-time approach?) But the app demonstrates that iPhone-only artist releases can be a whole lot more fun than just a few tracks and some static album artwork. And it also shows off what a handheld DJ interface could look like, with a pretty efficient one-screen-per-deck design that doesn’t overwhelm your fingertips. Features: Two players, two sets of …

READ MORE →