Propellerhead's Figure Jam Video and Impressions

Figure is out! We all gave Propellerhead a lot of shit for their stance on the community, but I've been playing around with it a bunch this morning and had a lot of fun. The complaints about it not having any export options, or the ability to save ANYTHING, are valid... but it's a buck. I think a lot of people will be disappointed by not even being able to save their patterns, but once again... it's $1. There are a lot of samples included, and most of them are pretty good or at least interesting. I think most of the Leads are boring and anemic though. Here's a little jam I put together in my jammies.
I know my camera sucks, this is why I don't do over-the-shoulder videos.

Buy Figure on iTunes: $0.99 (iPhone)

Exclusive Details on Waldorf-Tempo Rubatos' Wavetable Synth

Click for new higher-res screenshot!
I am very excited about the new Wavetable Synth coming from Waldorf and Tempo Rubato developer, Rolf Wöhrmann. There are a ton of subtractic synths available, emulating 70-80s hardware, but very few folks are exploring new synthesis territory. From the screenshot alone you can tell this new iPad app is about to push the boundaries in modern ways!

Their press release describes it as:
An innovative approach to wavetable synthesis allows for the transposition of the spectrum and the balance of periodic and sound spectra entirely independent from a wave's position. The existing wavetable technology is thereby extended by two new dimensions, and it allows for formant shifts as well as numerous other unheard sounds. Also, unlike with typical wavetable instruments, the number and length of waves in a wavetable will no longer be restricted.

That sounds awesome, but what the fuck does that actually mean? I asked Rolf and he's been bringing me up to speed!

Details! Details! Details!

The primary concept behind the synth is an evolution of the design in Waldorf's PPG series synths. These wavetable synths used a set of tables, which included various waveshapes. Think of Animoog's timbres, but you've got a bunch together in a table. I mean a whole hell of a lot. The PPG Wave 2 had 30 Wavetables with 64 waves per table. Once a table is selected you can then pick out an individual wave from the table, and use that as something like a second oscillator.

In the as-yet-unnamed synth from Waldorf-Tempo Rubatos, you start off with the same idea... and then double it! As you can see from the screenshot, the Wave 1 and Wave 2 are both working on this principal, but with their own waves and wavesets! As with more typical synthesis, the "oscillators" can be pitched differently for wider sounds. Things get even more robust when you can tweak the spectrum of each, as well as add noise individually. Every control is doubled, so even key-tracking can be independent.

As with any type of synthesis, the real fun begins when you get into modulations. Like Animoog's ability to move through timbres; when you have a modulator running around in a wavetable you get some very unique sounds. This can be used for morphing between waves gradually, as in Animoog, or aggressively for the harsh sounds of Native Instruments' Massive. The Waldorf-Tempo Rubatos' app expands this even further; you can change the selected table from the set by specific modulation. This is a dimension we've never seen before in wavetable synthesis, where you can change the whole damn table!

From the new higher-res screenshot we can now make out a "Mod Matrix" panel on the menu! This means your modulators can modulate other modulations! This is more common in Frequency Modulation synthesis, rather than Wavetable Synthesis. No specific details are available yet and I can't get any more screens out of Rolf, but I've assembled an artist rendering of how I think the Mod Matrix will work. As you can see by the illustration, unlike with typical wavetable instruments, the number and length of waves in a wavetable will no longer be restricted.

3D displays make everything manageable!

All of this sounds crazy, and crazy complicated, but they've got you covered. You'll notice that the majority of the main screen is taken up by a stylish 3D screen; displaying either wavetables or acting as a spectrum analyzer. This is going to make managing your sound much more intuitive. When you can see what your sounds are doing, you can immediately identify what you like and what you don't.

A big portion of the modulations will be playing in the spectrum, so I can't wait to see this in action! These waves will be moving!

Big thanks to Rolf for taking time to not only explain this all to me, but even edit this article to make sure I got it right!

Video: Practical use for Animoog's BASE

I'm suitably impressed with Jim McLaren's attempt to make use of the goofy presets in Animoog's BASE pack.

I personally ran away from them to go explore the timbres, but Jim is a man of greater determination.

Buy Animoog on iTunes: $2.99 (On sale, regularly $29.99)

Buy Animoog for iPhone on iTunes: $1.99 (On Sale, regularly $9.99)

Audio MIDI Connect Update Video

Secret Base Design has put together a great video to demonstrate the new background processing coming to Audio MIDI Connect (Universal). This is a handy app for MIDI hackers! It allows you to record/convert any audio signal you throw at it into MIDI, which can then be sent in real-time over CoreMIDI and DSMIDIWiFi. An update is in Apple's review process and should be available soon; with the addition of background processing! Soon you can use it to play with other apps, as demonstrated in the video with Animoog.

Buy Audio Midi Connect on iTunes: $4.99

Animoog updated, price dropped, and bonkers!

In a confusing series of events, Animoog celebrates April Fools with an update, a price drop, an In-App Purchase, and a great video staring Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater! The update makes the metronome continue while recording (if enabled), and recording now starts immediatly on press instead of release.

It also adds the Animoog Store, but I'll let Jordan introduce that:

I love this video so much! Scientists sitting in-front of synths and Jordan can actually act!

The 25 Presents included in the $1 BASE Pack are shit, but the addition of 40 new Timbres is astounding! They all have really unhelpful names, but amazing sounds. I had to pull myself away from them to post this. For $1 your Animoog gains a ton of new synthesis possiblities. The app price has been dropped down to $3, from $30, so if you haven't grabbed this yet: Now is the time!

The iPhone version also got a price drop, but no update yet. If you do a lot of (Virtual) MIDI stuff on your iPad, you might want to grab this now so you can run 2 instances of Animoog at once. Genome + Animoog + Animoog for iPhone = Wall of Sound!

If you are new to Animoog I've got a tutorial that will help get you started.

Buy Animoog on iTunes: $2.99 (On sale, regularly $29.99)

Buy Animoog for iPhone on iTunes: $1.99 (On Sale, regularly $9.99)

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