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Instamic - GoPro of Microphones

Mikme isn't the only portable microphone seeking funding on Indiegogo! This one looks slightly more promising, or at least more affordable. They've already exceeded their funding goal by more than twice what they were hoping for, but you can still get in on some of the early bird pricing. An Instamic GO is just $100, but the Instamic Pro (with stereo recording) is already sold out.

I've been waiting to report on this one until I heard back from the inventor on exactly what you can do with their mobile app. Their Indiegogo page shows off their Bluetooth LE connectivity and app, but I wanted to find out if you could actually stream high quality audio in real-time. The answer is no.

"Before replying to your specific question I need to do an introduction, because people are trying to compare Instamic vs Mikme or other microphones and I think they are missing the point. Since we’ve started developing our device, the main goal was to get the best audio quality from the MEMS mics.

That’s why we decided to design an array of 4 MEMS mics to achieve an higher SNR and record straight to a NAND Flash to an uncompressed 48khHz 24bit audio file. We are more than happy to say that we are able to achieve higher max SPL, dynamic range, sampling rate, etc, very soon.

The key point about Instamic, and I would say, the new approach on audio I’m trying to convey, is that it follows the subject for you, easy to place anywhere with the quick release clip + magnet, velcro, tape, and “hideable” (new covers coming out - colours / texture like denim, grass green, mimetic. etc)

That’s why we decided to develop a mobile app able to remote control one mic or multiple mics and keep the best quality possible onboard. Once you start the mics via app, you don’t have to be afraid of your mobile running out of battery and the Instamics too, cause you are streaming a compressed and maybe choppy audio file on your mobile phone. I’ve been working as a videomaker for 10 years. You cannot handle video, audio, lights, actors, batteries, grips, etc. I want to place 20 Instamics around my movie set, start them and forget about them. Also cause when your subject forgets to be recorded, gives his/her best. You can get really good content for your storytelling.

So our mobile app specs are:
  • scanning for available Instamics
  • pairing
  • start recording
  • stop recording
  • Level meter
  • recording time display
  • remaining recording time
  • battery level indicator
  • switch auto to manual input level
  • input level fader
  • select recording mode (Mono, Dual Mono, Stereo)
  • select sample rate
  • bluetooth signal level
  • standby mode on off (stops recording if nothing is captured under a specific threshold)
  • File list
  • File manager
  • transfer file to mobile device (aac)
  • share file on dropbox, soundcloud, and other file sharing platform
  • control multiple mics (we are also working on what we call Instaciak, it’s a marker on each file to be sure that all devices starts recording in sync)

We are streaming audio file realtime to monitor the audio level, but the recording is stored on the internal memory. Streaming drains the battery to fast since it is really small, same issue you have with a GoPro, and our goal now is to reach even longer battery duration and higher quality."

-Michele Baggio, Instamic Founder

I'm pretty sure he contradicts himself in that last paragraph. Streaming drains the battery too fast, but they're doing exactly that to monitor audio levels. Despite this I'm kind of tempted to grab one for my own uses, but I think I'll wait for the next version or whatever comes out with real-time high-quality streaming. It does look really handy for video producers though!

Conductr Transmissions #1: Cora Novoa

Conductr released this awesome live set by Cora Novoa, performing at their offices in Barcelona. This has been my soundtrack this morning! It's a fun combination of genres spanning Deep House, R&B, and Contemporary Disco.

Video Description:

'Transmissions' is a series of events hosted by the Conductr team at our office in Barcelona.

For 'Transmissions #1' we invited rising Spanish DJ, producer and Seeking The Velvet founder Cora Novoa to spin some tunes with her Ableton Live + Conductr set up while a few select fans tucked into some local tapas and Moritz beers.

Check more about Cora: http://www.coranovoa.com/

Buy Conductr on iTunes: Freemium

ToneStack Update

Both versions of ToneStack got an interesting update today, now allowing you to squeeze in Inter-App Audio effects and instruments anywhere in your signal chain. On the freemium ToneStack GO you must purchase the Starter or Motherload IAPs to unlock this functionality. The ABY splitter device also got some attention.

What's new in ToneStack (both):

ToneStack now lets you insert Inter-App Audio apps anywhere in your signal chain! Simply browse and add Inter-App Audio effects, instruments or generators installed on your device. Use Input/Output gain to control the signal levels going into and coming out of IAA effects. For IAA instruments, use output and ToneStack Input levels to balance the instrument's output and the signal from the main input into ToneStack.

In addition, you can unlock the ToneStack 8-track and start using Inter-App Audio apps as inserts in your ToneStack recording projects!

The ABY effect now comes with an awesome new "Separation" feature. Use it to achieve a stereo effect with busses A & B panned to different positions. Thanks to this new feature, the ABY makes your tone beefier than ever!

Buy ToneStack GO on iTunes: Freemium

Buy ToneStack on iTunes: $4.99 (On Sale, from $9.99)

gbXRemote for GarageBand

Harmony Systems has released a new iteration of their gbRemote app, a dedicated GarageBand remote control app. This new app supports the latest version of GarageBand, while the previous supports the version of GarageBand released in 2011. Neither version will work with GarageBand for iPad, this is only for the Mac version of GarageBand!

gbXRemote iTunes Description:

With gbXRemote, control record and playback from anywhere in your studio within WiFi range. Select a track, adjust its volume fader, toggle mute and solo, and more. The currently selected track name is shown. Untether yourself from the computer mouse and screen!

Standard transport controls are available on one screen. Real time bar beat and time displays let you know where you are in your song. Adjust pan and 2 sends (echo, reverb). EQ controls let you expand your creative options.

gbXRemote has 2 theme styles that you can change anytime in the iPhone Settings app. Choose black or silver.

gbXRemote uses OSC (Open Sound Control) control surface support to communicate with GarageBand. THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY SPECIAL APPS, FILES OR AGENT PROGRAMS TO USE GBXREMOTE WITH GARAGEBAND. All you need is a working Wi-Fi connection between the Mac running GarageBand and your iPhone or iPod touch.

Requirements:

  • iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 8.3 or higher
  • Apple GarageBand (version 10.0.3 or higher) music application installed on your Mac computer
  • Working Wi-Fi connection between the Mac where GarageBand is installed and your iPhone/iPod touch
  • iPhone/iPod touch Bluetooth must be set to OFF to insure reliable communications with GarageBand

Buy gbXRemote for GarageBand on iTunes: $2.99 (On Sale, Intro Price)

Groove Machine Mobile Update

Despite my own personal dissatisfaction with Image-Line's policies, I feel it is worth noting that the iOS version of their Groove Machine Mobile app now supports AudioCopy and Inter-App Audio. With AudioCopy/Paste you're now able to import your own drum samples.

What's new in Groove Machine Mobile v1.4.1:

  • Users can now load their own percussion samples (see manual)
  • AudioCopy/Paste is now supported
  • Included Inter-App Audio feature
  • Bugfixes

Buy Groove Machine Mobile on iTunes: $9.99

Buy Groove Machine Mobile on Google Play: $10.49

Buy Groove Machine Mobile on Windows Store: $9.99

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