Patchfield Audio Architecture for Android

Google's Peter Brinkmann is determined to make Android a viable platform for music apps! Back in May, Peter was at Droidcon talking about how libPd (a wrapped for Pure Data) can be used in cross-platform music app development. Today he has announced some exciting news specific to Android: Patchfield!

Essentially Audiobus or JACK for Android, Patchfield lets developers focus on specific tasks in much the same way we've seen on iOS! Many developers lament having to include a dedicated recorder in their app, or otherwise re-invent the wheel, but with these tools they don't have to.

Some of the best apps are those that specialize in a single task. With Patchfield, a new open-source audio library for Android, you can create highly focused audio apps (such as synthesizers and effects) and then combine their capabilities by connecting them to one another in a virtual patch bay. Inspired by JACK, the JACK Audio Connection Kit, Patchfield provides a simple, callback-driven API for implementing audio modules, a flexible API for managing the signal processing graph, and support for inter-app audio routing.

Running as a remote service, Patchfield allows audio developers to create interoperable apps that focus on a single task each, such as synthesis or effects or recording. The output of one app can be connected to the input of another, for a combinatorial explosion of possibilities. Running locally within a single app, Patchfield provides a powerful way of organizing the audio components of an app. The implementation resides entirely in user space and works on many stock consumer devices, such as Nexus 7 and 10.

Patchfield is available at GitHub, under the the Apache 2.0 License. The repository includes the core library as well as a number of sample projects that illustrate how to use Patchfield.
Happy hacking!

Thanks to reader Grey Burkart for bringing this to my attention! Here is a DevBytes video from Peter talking about the power and flexibility this adds to Android. This includes a preview of the control app, for connecting audio modules. All of this will only be of immediate interest to developers, but it is good news for users too!

CRUD

Twisted Electrons have released their 3rd app in the last 2 months; CRUD! An iPad bass synth for DNB and Dubstep.

CRUD iTunes Description:

CRUD is an earth shattering bass synthesizer.
50 patches that will make your DNB, Dubstep mixes crunch and growl!

Features:

  • 6 expression knobs that have different effect depending on preset:
    • Cutoff
    • Resonance
    • Lfo Speed
    • Lfo Depth
    • Bit Crush
    • Attack
    • Release
  • Audiobus to drop the horrors directly into your tunes.
  • Midi input
  • Buy CRUD on iTunes: $2.99


    I'm underwhelmed by the fact that you're locked into the presets, with limited "expression knobs" for sound design, but it's $3 and comes with Audiobus. thesoundtestroom on the other hand is having a lot fun with it in this demo!

    Novation Launchkey Mini

    Novation have announced a miniature addition to their line of Launchkey keyboards. For $99 you get 25-keys, 16 velocity-sensitive touch pads, 8 knobs, and 9 buttons. All of which can be plugged into PC/Mac or iPad!

    Here is a fucking terrible demo video that repeats the same basic song over and over again in different locations.

    Korg Volca Beats Review

    Sonic Touch co-host Nick Batt got his hands on the entire Korg Volca range of cheap analog synths. He'll be reviewing them all, and I'll be posting them here. Partly because at $150 I think these little devices fall under the wider purview of the site; offering affordable music making opportunities to the masses. Though the main reason I'll be posting them is because, of everyone out there, I think Nick does the best hardware reviews!

    This review has made me glad I skipped the Beats. I think I'd get better results out of DM1 WIST synced on my iPhone.

    Cubasis DIY Send Effects Using Audiobus

    John Walden from Music App Blog has a tutorial on how to setup Send Effects in Cubasis with Audiobus!

    Buy Audiobus on iTunes: $4.99

     

    Buy Cubasis on iTunes: $49.99

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