Shapesynth and Sinusoid Updates Preview (*Correction*)

Kinetic developer, Humble Tune, is hard at work and play! Not only is he readying the Kinetic update, he's been updating his other apps. Shape Synth, a polysynth with user drawn waveshapes, and Sinusoid, an 8-bit tracker, were recently put through their paces in an internal test of the updates. I really like the sounds he's getting here, and it makes me think I should take a closer look at these! In the Soundcloud description he hints that "all sounds created on iPad", so they could be going Universal like Kinetic is! Update: They are not going Universal! I just spoke with Humble Tune and that is not in the plans... in fact Kinetic isn't either, but he liked that idea for Kinetic, so it may do so now. I feel like I've just caused a time paradox or something. I have no idea where I got the idea that Kinetic was going to be Universal, but now it might because I thought that it would...

Here is a little demo of Shapesynth and Sinusoid from Humble Tune beta tester, Wharf99.

Thanks to Ashley Elsdon for pointing this out!

Buy Shapesynth on iTunes: $1.99

Buy Sinusoid on iTunes: $1.99

How-to: Install csGrain on iPad 1 (non-jailbreak hack)

Yesterday the Internet was Twittering about the new csGrain app, and the news that it was restricted to iPad 2 & 3ish devices. Fear not faithful iPad 1 owners! Reader Rafeal Ollero, pointed out a simple hack people had used to get iPhoto onto iPad 1s. I knew that another reader, Clif Johnston, had already purchased a copy for his iPad 2 and had an iPad 1 collecting dust, so I asked him to give the hack a shot. As you can probably guess by the fact that you are reading this, the results were a success!

Here's how to get things going:
1. Buy csGrain from your Mac or PC. (It won't let you on your iPad 1!)
2. Download and install Apple's iPhone Configuration Utility. (Windows or Mac)
3. Connect your iPad and Sync with iTunes.
4. Launch the iPhone Configuration Utility and click Application on the left.
5. Click “Add” in the top left corner, then locate csGrain on your Hard Drive.
6. Below Applications and under the hood “Devices” you should see your iPad.
7. Click on your iPad and search for csGrain in the list of applications that will appear on the right side.
8. Click on csGrain and select install. In just a bit it will be installed successfully on your iPad 1!

There are some caveats. You will get nagged when you sync with iTunes "This computer is not authorized for apps installed…." and you'll have to hit cancel. Functionally csGrain will perform fine so long as you don't go crazy with the effects. Or in Clif's words:

I was able to use most of the effects as long as I left the pitch shifter alone and took it easy on the sync grain. I had 3 or 4 effects going at a time with randomize on for multiple parameters and it worked better than I had expected. I could get it to break up if I got silly, but it generally performed well. The one thing I was impressed with was that despite all of my efforts, the app only crashed once, even when it was noticeably struggling. The one time it did crash though, it completely crashed my iPad which then went into an automatic reboot. Luckily, such events don't freak me out, but it's worth noting.

He did an amazing job of putting the app through its paces and even went the extra mile of recording and exporting a little jam! He is incredibly modest; insisting the abrupt end was due to a phone call. I know serendipitous brilliance when I hear it! The end of his performance perfectly captures the moment of horrific realization when, in man's ineffable struggle against nature, he learns that his true enemy is himself!

Disclaimer: If you do this do not expect support from Apple, Boulanger Labs, Clif, Rafael or myself. This is a hack, and while it is perfectly legal, you take your own chances! Success or failure is entirely up to you! I'm just providing this information to help iPad 1 owners get more out of their devices. Do not even buy this with my link if you think you might fail, because I don't want you to be pissed off with me when you can't get it working!

Buy csGrain on iTunes: $9.99

iPad Beach Jam Video with Bebot

It is always great to see someone go through all the trouble of recording a jam out in the field. I mean we are all mobile with our iPads/iPhones, but honestly "mobile" for me is sprawled out on the sofa with my head flailing around like a cross between Stevie Wonder and Stephen Hawking.

Fortunately Guthrie Govan brought along a whole camera crew to the beach in order to bring us this fairly high-quality example of mobile music!

Via Synthtopia.

Fun and informative fact: Bebot was used by the Trent Reznor side-project, How To Destroy Angels!

Buy Bebot on iTunes: $1.99

I am Synth - New Universal app from iMS-20 developers!

For those of you who don't already know, Korg iMS-20 was developed by DETUNE Ltd., rather than internally at Korg. Today DETUNE brings us something new, in the form of a stripped-down simple synth: I am Synth (Universal)
  • oscillator: sine,saw,pulse,noise
  • low pass filter
  • LFO for pitch : sine,saw,pulse,noise
  • envelope for amplitude : attack time,release time
  • delay : up to 2 sec , it can be also used for looper
  • keyboard : shake for ribbon controller mode

It's a $1... It doesn't do anything particularly new or interesting, but after a bit of playing with it I liked the sounds I was getting. The noise oscillator is pitched, so you can get some interesting sounds out of it. I think Animoog may have raised the bar on what to expect for a buck, and this is definitely no Animoog, but I like these attempts to make synthesis more approachable.

Buy I am Synth on iTunes: $0.99

Propllerhead Doesn't Care About White People (Problems)

About as soon as Propellerhead announced their iOS app, Figure, a debate begain on iDesignSound about the features. Interest revolved largely on the topic of exporting songs and requests for support of AudioCopy/Paste. Kalle Paulsson, Product Manager for Apps at Propellerhead, responded... but before we get to that let me give you some context. 

Gerren Grant, @freesoulvw, a long-time member of the iOS Music community, posted an essay to appeal for standards. Here is a snippet:
"With apps like Animoog, Sunrizer, and more we have seen what iOS can do. We all know the tricks by now. Copy/paste are standard, Soundcloud is now becoming standard. If Propellerhead thinks they can drop in to this establishment 2 years later without even putting [in] an effort [towards] what iOS musicians are actualling needing, or using to make music, then I see that as a slap in the face."

Zac Laurent, EvolutionaryArts, responded in kind with an equally lengthy post I have abridged here:
"I'd say we are spoilt and despite the fact that we are hoping for better from the pros, maybe, just maybe, they are hitting another market - the entry level market initially, maybe they are not aiming to please us so called seasoned producers. We have to remember we are not the only audience category."

At this point Kalle waded in with his own thesis:
"Balancing the fun factor that we’re aiming for with “pro” features is not easy. In the end, it comes down to priorities." ... "The “pro” features [are] there so far in the form of the full Reason sound, and whatever implications that will have on updates to come. We have a wide audience in mind for Figure. Compared to that, the iOS musician crowd is pretty small. And in that crowd, we really don’t know how many use specific features such as ACP for instance. And to add to the fun, there’s constantly new technologies coming in and stirring things up, like Audiobus."

I can respect Propellerhead's position here, we are a minority when compared with the general app buying market, but this seems like a foolish thing to say to that minority. You can read the whole thing here

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