TC-11 Multi-Touch Synthesizer gets a big update!

The futuristic TC-11 Multi-Touch Synth just got a nice beefy update this morning!

New Features:
• 32 new presets!
• option to run audio while the app is in the background
• patch preview window in the Load / Save view

Improvements:
• AM depth starting volume (patch option)
• sequencers can lock steps between themselves
• sequencers playback buttons

Along with a bunch of fixes.

Buy TC-11 Multi-Touch Synthesizer on iTunes: $29.99


The Patch Preview window will be handy for keeping track of your patches! Things can get really deep in this one. Check out my video review if you're not familiar with, what is still, one of the best synths designed to make use of touch interfaces.

AmpliTube Fender gets a big update!

IK Multimedia has updated the Fender range of AmpliTube apps with a whole bunch of new features!

• New Mixer/Recorder section with loop points, visual metronome, tap tempo
• Digital audio in/out support
• MIDI support
• Audio Copy/Paste
• Retina display support
• Restore In-App purchases
• New export via SoundCloud and FTP

MIDI and ACP are always welcomed additions to any app! These are the same changes that were updated to the regular version of AmpliTube, a month ago.

The fact that this is splintered into 4 "Fender" versions, plus 5 unbranded "AmpliTube" versions is kind of crazy. I guess since the only IAP in this is 8-track recording on iPad, and 4-track recording on iPhone, that isn't too annoying. The normal AmpliTube has many IAPs, so if you use both an iPhone and an iPad you'd have to buy them twice! JamUp (still on sale), is their nearest competitor feature-wise and that is Universal. JamUp is also full of $10 IAPs though, so perhaps buying two versions of AmpliTube is cheaper.

I'm not a guitarist, so which is the better app/deal?

Buy AmpliTube Fender For iPad FREE: Free

Buy AmpliTube Fender FREE (iPhone): Free

Buy AmpliTube Fender For iPad: $14.99

Buy AmpliTube Fender (iPhone): $14.99

MIDI Guitar - Universal Polyphonic Guitar to MIDI converter

Reader marlow77 pointed out the recently released MIDI Guitar app. This Guitar to MIDI converter is similar to Audio MIDI Connect, offering WiFi MIDI, CoreMIDI and Virtual MIDI.

In fact it is so similar to Audio MIDI Connect, I asked marlow77 what he thought of the two. Here is his synopsis:

Audio MIDI Connect is great, but it doesn't have polyphony. Both are pretty comparable when they are in mono mode, except that Audio MIDI Connect does allow recording and then converting to midi and DSMIDI WiFi compatibility. Also MIDI Guitar has a great sensitivity control that helps control polyphony chaos under some conditions.

MIDI Guitar is most effective with 3-4 note chords. However it does seem to be pretty CPU intesive because some apps struggle in the background. Surprisingly, Addictive worked very well in the background with Midi Guitar on my Ipad 1.

The app is free. To actually use the MIDI it is converting though, you'll need to cough up for an In App Purchase. The current price of the IAP is $5, but the iTunes description says it is 75% off, so I assume that will go up to $20 in a hurry! Without the IAP it will only play internal Piano samples.

There is a brief demo video from the developer. He notes that it works best with a guitar interface connected to your iDevice.

Buy MIDI Guitar on iTunes: Free ($20 IAP to Unlock MIDI)

TMI Tim: An Analogue Analogy

I'm a lefty and often feel I must look at the world upside-down and backwards from the majority. Too Much Information (TMI) Tim will examine issues in music making that deserve a closer look from a different perspective. I've got a great one to start this off!

One of the most common questions I've been getting since I started Everyone Can Play Music, is from people who feel they are ready to stretch their wings and challenge themselves with hardware synths. These guys have read somewhere that hardware is going to sound so much better than software iPad apps, and they ask me if this is true.

Rather than retreading the old Hardware Vs. Software arguments, I want to give you an analogue analogy.

In the world of competitive video games there is a similar lust over keyboards. There are those who will tell you that you simply must own a "mechanical keyboard", with Cherry MX switches. These have a physical component to detect key presses, as apposed to the membranes common to most keyboards. In fact the holy grail for these guys is an ancient bit of IBM technology.

These "vintage keyboards" aren't even compatible with modern computers, but enthusiasts will use adapters to get them working. Musicians lust for a unique sound advantage in old gear, and gamers are looking at these archaic devices for a competitive advantage. Both are just marketing and hipster hype.

Hardware manufacturers play on the idea of mechanical (analog) keyboards being so much better than the convenient conventional keyboard that came with your computer. These mechanical keyboards are a premium, priced 5-10 times the amount of regular keyboard! The manufacturers want you to feel like the keyboard you have in front of you is shameful, but if you pony up for the premium you're going to be so much better in competitive games. Hipsters perpetuate this by bragging about their status symbols. They've bought and paid for the right to snobbishly say, "Oh you have a Dell, well... I guess that's fine for playing Farmville."

The truth is that the real Professionals in competitive gaming use cheap $30 keyboards! No shit, watch a game of the Global Star League in Korea. The guys making serious cash, playing for $100,000+ prize pools, are using $30 keyboards that are like any other (digital) membrane keyboard.

Pictured here, to the right, is the keyboard used by the guy who has made the most money from professional gaming. It's a $35 Qsenn DT-35. His team is sponsored by SteelSeries, makers of a keyboard that has "18K gold-plated mechanical switches" and retails for $150! SteelSeries would gladly give him one for free, just so it shows up on TV when he's playing, but none of these guys give a damn about mechanical switches.

This whole notion of some advantage to analog switches is complete bullshit. We have the same competitive advantage silliness in the music realm, from manufactures that release new synth models annually. Members of the community who fall for the marketing will then try to justify their investment on forums. This is a never ending cycle of nonsense, as more people buy into the hype and perpetuate it themselves to brag about their gear.

Ignore the hype. It doesn't matter which is better. It doesn't matter which is cheaper. Just learn to use what you have in front of you.

Griffin MIDIConnect is now shipping

If you've wanted to spend $70 on a MIDI adapter for your iDevice, but didn't like any of the many other options, Griffin has the solution for you! MIDIConnect is exactly like all of the rest, and at exactly the same price!

Features

  • MIDI in and out interface for iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad
  • Connect a cable from your instrument's MIDI-OUT port and play music into iOS apps like GarageBand
  • 9-inch dock connector cable; total length: 12 inches
  • Standard 5-pin DIN female connectors for MIDI IN and MIDI OUT

Technical Specifications

  • Total length: 12.5" / 32 cm
    Connectors:
  • 30-pin Apple Dock Connector for iOS devices
  • 5-pin DIN for MIDI-in
  • 5-pin DIN for MIDI-out
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