Free Magellan Presets and Preset Design Contest!

Big news today for fans of synthesis, sound design, and Halloween! I'm proud to announce the first discchord preset contest, sponsored by Sunsine Audio! Sunsine Audio have also released a Free Halloween Pack of 20 presets for Magellan!

For the contest, your goal is to make your own scary sound for Magellan. If you don't already have Magellan, watch this review to see why you should!

The top 3, picked by readers, will be win a free Sunsine Audio preset pack of their choice. Make any kind of sounds you like, but keep them spooky and get them in to me by the witching hour on Sunday, October 28th.

Entries will be played, recorded and put up for voting on October 29th. Winners will be announced on Halloween! All entries will be playing the same notes to keep the judging focused on the preset and not the tune. For this one we'll be doing C3, G#2, F2; with each note held for a bar, the last note holding for a bar and a half. All at 66.6 BPM, which turns out to be a tortuously slow rate to maximize the terror!

If you'd prefer for your recording to be in a different octave, or you're doing some interesting synth-coupling with 2 presets, just let me know. Also include any special instructions like tunings, panning and volume!

Submit your entry and any special notes to contest@discchord.com with the subject Preset Contest.

If you are submitting just one preset, use the usual export function. If you have two presets that are coupled then you should use the Song export function; go to Seq and then save and export from the menu on the left. This will include panning and volume information, but not tunings! Please be sure to include those details in the email, if you have changed them. I won't be fooling around with the X/Y or Mod Wheel, so make sure you save your preset with them in the position you like, before exporting them!

Here is a little demo of my own scary sound, synth-coupled with the AfterDark Pad from Sunsine Audio.

Special thanks to reader DSWO for the suggestion to do preset contests, and Fletcher from Sunsine Audio for working out the details with me!

Touch Music Podcast - Episode 1: Audiobus

Touch Music Podcast is live! This is a project I've been working on with Sean from iOS Musician and Chip from iOS Music and You, to provide a new podcast for the community. This is the spiritual successor to the now defunct Touch Sound Podcast, so expect to hear from some of those hosts in the future, including Ashley from Palm Sounds.

In this first episode, we talk to the guys behind Audiobus. Sebastian Dittmann and Michael Tyson share some technical details, as well as let slip a new revelation about the much anticipated app. From there we get into the meta-economics of app pricing and the whole business of making apps.

Subscribe to the Touch Music podcast on iTunes

Animoog Custom Timbres Round-Up

In addition to my own timbres pack for Animoog, there have been several new packs produced by the community! I thought I'd round them all up for you here. For details on how to install these, see the original article on DIY Timbres.

First up was bbcp, who sampled a Waldorf Microwave II. He even made a pack sampled from another app, Virsyn's Addictive Synth.

Shortly there after BeatMakerTV sampled his Novation BassStation.

Mechetemirage dusted off his Korg Monotribe to put together his own pack.

Just last night Tony Kalt posted a new Set of 18 Timbres that range from gritty to eerie!

There is also a commercial pack of 64 professional Timbres from Sunsine Audio.

I'm really glad to see PPG WaveGenerator's release hasn't slowed down the enthusiasm for custom timbre hacking.


Buy Animoog on iTunes: $29.99

Official Unofficial Animoog Timbres, Plus How-To DIY

Early this morning reader DSWO sent me an email linking over to an interesting post on Moog's official forum. After poking around in Animoog to recover his presets, craig8128 found a bunch of samples and started to opine on how to add user timbres. This was pretty exciting stuff so I got into a full-on hackathon today!

Adding files to the directory suggested by craig8128 didn't yield any results. I was encouraged though and started looking around on my own. I realized I didn't see any of the Richard Devine or B.A.S.E. timbres in that directory, so I figured that wasn't the right place. I found both in the cache directory, and poked around in their for a while. I wasn't able to add new timbres there, but I was able to make the first 2 octaves of any factory timbre do interesting noises.

After about 4 hours I found the right directory! As you see by this screenshot here, I am now able to add my own Timbres!

I proudly present the first Official Unofficial discchord Animoog Timbre Pack! This pack includes 10 timbres, all on the general theme of abusing electronics. These are samples from a Reaktor project of mine that models a circuit bent TB-303. Here's how to get these, or any of your own, into Animoog!

  1. Download The Pack!
  2. Extract the .zip file somewhere you'll be able to find it.
  3. Using i-Funbox (jailbreak is not required!) find your Animoog directory.
  4. Under the Animoog directory look for: [Animoog Directory]/Documents/.data/samples/
  5. Copy all of the .wav files into there.

That's it! If Animoog was running you will have to force restart it, and they should all show up at the bottom of your Timbres list. If you want to make your own, just make .wavs that are 0.371 seconds long. They should also be 44.1, 16-bit MONO. If you give it anything else they will crash when you load them. Interestingly it will not crash Animoog just from having them, only when you load them up.

I've also included in the zip a little .preset that uses some of my timbres. You can import this in the usual way, through iTunes file-sharing and then under Setup tell it to import. Here is a preview of what that sounds like!

Update: The first reader Timbre Pack is out! bbcb has sampled a Waldorf Microwave II. You can grab his pack with 8 timbres and 1 preset here: http://www.mediafire.com/?4ps283a9v65z909

TMI Tim: Standards & Double-Standards

For those of you who managed to get Animoog's latest update running, you will have discovered a new In-App Purchase which will add MIDI Out for $4. I love Animoog's ribbon controller, and find it to be a great way to play with Polyphonic Aftertouch. This seems like a great deal, especially for the fortunate people who bought Animoog when it was $0.99, but Synthtopia makes some very good arguments that standards, like the MIDI Standard, need to come standard.

Artist Rendering
Self-portrait

Synthesists don’t want to have to think about whether a synth supports MIDI... In the long run, making MIDI work consistently on the iPad music platform should be beneficial to Moog and to all companies making serious music apps.

A wise sentiment, and one that Apple agrees with! Or at least they have in the past. Last March Audanika had tried to make MIDI Out an In-App Purchase for Sound Prism. It was rejected then on the grounds that it was charging to "access built-in capabilities provided by iOS", i.e. CoreMIDI. I checked this morning and that is still in the App Store Guidelines:

11.8: Apps that charge users to access built-in capabilities provided by iOS, such as the camera or the gyroscope, will be rejected.

Animoog isn't the first one to pull a fast one on this score. The app, formerly known as Fairlight CMI, did a similar IAP for MIDI functionality. Just a few weeks after SoundPrism was rejected! Instead of calling it a MIDI Tax they nested it in with a bunch of "Pro" features and charged $40 for a Pro upgrade IAP!

Moog has somehow managed to get past a hard prohibition in the documented review guidelines. At best this is just an example of the App Review team being over-worked and sloppy. At worst this demonstrates favoritism in the review process, when big companies like Fairlight and Moog are allowed to break the rules and charge for things smaller companies cannot.

Don't bother writing to Moog in protest, tell Apple to stick to their own guidelines.

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