ChordFlow Update

ChordFlow, from Dmitry Klochkov, was updated with a new velocity automation tool. This will allow for variety and articulation in your notes. The update also adds a Track Mixer to adjust volumes, and pan each track.

What's new in ChordFlow v2.5.0:

- Velocity automation tool added. You can now adjust notes velocities in melody and arpeggio.
- Track mixer added. You can now adjust volume and pan of each track.
- Added an option to export a song as a single MIDI file.
- When you export a song as multiple MIDI files, one per section, each file is now prefixed with the song name.
- Bug fixes

OP-Z Live Session with iOS Effects

YouTuber Nathan D Farrell has produced the best soudning OP-Z session I've heard to date. He uses iOS effects apps to thicken it up.

Video Description:

Feeding OP-Z synths and samples to eos2 reverb and dubstation 2 delay effects on iOS, with sample drums going in dry with no effects added. Mixed in AUM and sequenced live.

ELECTRIBE Wave v2: New Features and Basic Tutorial

Developer Korg has released an official tutorial for the recent v2 update to ELECTRIBE Wave.

Video Description:

Watch the overview of ELECTRIBE Wave v2, and learn how to make a track.

0:00 Opening
0:28 Drum Section / User Sample Import
1:46 Synthesizer Section / Wavetable Expansion Packs
3:25 Making a Track
7:37 Exporting to Ableton Live
8:10 Closing

Learn more about ELECTRIBE Wave v2:

Music by Masaki Iwata

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New Web Server is Live!

The site swapped to entirely new servers last night! There were some issues, but I've been able to fix them as I find them. Big thanks to pantsofdeath for being my beta tester and alerting me to a big bug. Most people will hit errors and not report them. I'm begging you: Please report any bugs you find! Don't assume I know about it. As of right now I am aware of no bugs on the site. Seriously, please tell me if you find one!

Throughout its life discchord has resided on several hosting platforms. Initially it was just a simple Squarespace v5 blog. When I decided to write my own CMS this meant I had to get proper hosting, but I was pretty spoiled by Squarespace's reliability. I thought I'd find similar reliability on the mighty Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, especially for the price. I was mistaken. I got a very good deal on the web hosting from PythonAnywhere (a Managed AWS web host), but the database hosting from mLab (a Managed AWS database host) that went with it was quite expensive and not at all reliable. This site has a very large database of comments, articles, apps. It's not quite "Big Data" but it's hefty, and growing.

I'm just about to launch AppKaiju, my AppShopper killer. During its development I needed an even larger database that would include all of the apps on the App Store. mLab was going to charge me a kidney for a database of that size, so I decided to set out on my own. This turns out to have been a great move. I migrated discchord's database on to the new server cluster, along with AppKaiju's insane database size, and still have plenty of space left to grow. That was 7 months ago. It has been much more reliable than mLab/AWS!

For the last few weeks I've noticed some performance issues on the discchord webserver in the morning while I'm trying to write articles. This is simply you guys coming here because you know the schedule and you're coming to see what's new. There are a lot of you, so that was beginning to overwhelm the PythonAnywhere (AWS) server. I had two options: ask you all to stop coming to the site because you're slowing it down, or upgrade the server. Yesterday I went with the latter.

And the new site is so fast! Holy shit! Go click around and see how fast it loads! This new server is running a faster processor from the one I had at PythonAnywhere, and it is in the same room as the DB cluster. I'm so excited! discchord is my baby. Right now my baby is very healthy and I'm 100% responsible for its care. No more managed hosting or middlemen. I am solely responsible for maintaining all the servers that run the site. This is incredible to me, because 4 years ago I couldn't do any of this. I couldn't write backend, I knew nothing about databases, and I definitely wouldn't know the first thing about running a cluster of Linux servers.

Now I'm a full-fledged DevOp. As with music making, it was simply a matter of dedicating the time to practice.

PolyHarp by Henry Lowengard

Henry Lowengard, developer of Droneo, has released PolyHarp! Henry is an Autoharp aficionado and has spent at least the last 4 years building up an app to meet his needs. This is basically a highly customizable Omnichord, but with the added capability of exploring microtonal tunings. PolyHarp arrives with Audiobus 3 and Inter-App Audio.

PolyHarp iTunes Description:

PolyHarp is a virtual musical instrument and a thought experiment.

It takes the basic idea of a chorded zither and extends it to large numbers of chord choices, made out of any kinds of intervals, multi-string courses, fretting, and massive polyphony. It's a testbed for harmonic theory as well as a great multi touch simulator of the good old "idiot zither" you have in the attic. It can ignore the microtonal aspect of the sounds to make an interesting alternative MIDI controller as well.

PolyHarp supports Audiobus 3, including saving setups, and IAA.

PolyHarp seriously needs a demo video, so I'm embedding this prototype demo from July 2014. You can watch how he constructs the harp's layout, and then hear the results at around the 2 minute mark. Over on Henry Lowengard's YouTube channel you'll find more videos about his collection of Autoharps.

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