BLEASS Alpha Synthesizer by BLEASS

BLEASS are about to release BLEASS Alpha Synthesizer! This is their first synth and their 6th iOS app, or 7th if you count their work on EōN by Jean-Michel Jarre. BLEASS Alpha Synthesizer is a 3 oscilator synth, but 2 of those oscillators are stereo with phase control and a motion sequencer! Naturally it includes built-in effects!

Alpha Synthesizer can be pre-ordered for $9, which will go up to $15 when the app releases on February 2nd.

BLEASS Alpha Synthesizer App Store Description:

The BLEASS Alpha Synth is a virtual analog polyphonic stereo synthesizer inspired by classic analog synths and enhanced by the BLEASS’ very own musical and technical approach. 
The Alpha is a highly versatile Synthesizer that aims at bringing new ways of designing and playing an infinite constellation of sounds in the iOS music making universe.

The BLEASS Alpha Synth offers many features that all musicians and producers alike will enjoy using in their music making process:

SIMPLE & INTUITIVE INTERFACE: follow the direction of the audio signal : design your own synth sounds by tweaking each panel, from left to right.

VISUALISE YOUR SOUND : thanks to its user-friendly visual filters, sliders, LFOs and envelopes, quickly understand how to design your own presets.

CPU EFFICIENT: how many times have you experienced crackling sounds while making music in the studio or on stage? The BLEASS Alpha Synth aims at offering a smooth & steady experience on iPhones and iPads, whether used as standalone or as an Audio Unit (AUv3) into your favorite DAW.

A UNIQUE MOTION SEQUENCER inspired by modular synthesizers brings a new dimension to your pads, leads and sequences by offering a large amount of rhythmic and expressive modulation possibilities and which can be coupled with the arpeggiator.

UPCOMING UPGRADES AND NEW PRESETS: The BLEASS team has partnered with many artists & sound designers in order to continuously improve the BLEASS experience, so watch out for upcoming updates bringing more features and new presets!

Technical specifications :

Synth Engine :
- Mono / Polyphonic synthesizer
- Built-in arpeggiator with beat sync
- BLEASS’s Motion Sequencer for rhythmic & expressive modulation
- 2 stereo + 1 mono fine-tunable oscillators with variable waveshapes & pulse widths
- Phase control on stereo oscillators for wide stereo
- Unison settings multiplying oscillators per voice
- Cross & ring modulation between oscillators
- Hard sync
- 1 noise source
- 2 LFOs per voice with multiple waveforms & modulation targets
- 2 variable state filters with drive settings
- 3 ADSR with multiple modulation targets

Built-in Effects :
- Overdrive
- Bitcrusher
- Tremolo
- Delay with filter and ping-pong effect
- Reverb with length, filter and color control

Misc :
- Built-In Keyboard with pitch-bend and modulation wheel
- Midi compatible
- Audio Unit V3 compatible
- Ableton Link
- 150+ factory presets designed by our dear friends Jordan - Rudess, Mark Lion, Torley, La Phaze, Nu-Trix, Electronisounds, - the Garageband Guide, the Beat Community... (More presets to - come along with the upcoming updates!)
- Store your own presets and share it across the Standalone and AUv3

Preview: GlitchCore AUv3

GlitchBreaks developer Alex Matheu is back with an upcoming AUv3 called GlitchCore. There's no ETA, but he did post a couple of enticing demos. There's one mangling a synth, and I've embedded glitchy drums here.

Video Description:

I had posted a quick video of GlitchCore (work in progress iOS AUv3) working on some non drum based material, and some gains I had made on getting that to sound smooth, and it was requested that I show it working on drum based material. Here is another quick video. I am using AUM file player for the audio but it could be anything

MIDI SWEET: Module Unit (AU) by Jens Guell

Jens Guell released MIDI SWEET: Module Unit (AU) forcing me to change the way the site limits unreasonably long app names. Previous if the site saw an absurdly long app name it would just split it at a colon, or dash. With these new MIDI SWEET apps though, this fix made them all just "MIDI SWEET" and it was confusing. Over the weekend I had to expand the threshold for what the site considers to be a stupidly long name, and that's had some cascading effects on a lot of other apps. I'm not happy with that, and may reset it.

This particular app with a senselessly long name is a General MIDI (GM) module, with some helpful controls.

MIDI SWEET: Module Unit (AU) App Store Description:

This is the first multi timbre sound module with GM compatibility in Audio Unit format.

MIDI SWEET: MIDI Module Unit is a 16 x multi timbre Sound Module (playing on max. 16 MIDI channels) in Audio Unit format, that basically implements the General MIDI Standard.

With Module Unit you can play up to a maximum of 1024 dynamically allocated voices of an integrated sample-based wavetable synthesizer at ones. These voices are mapped to the 16 internal MIDI and audio channels and this mapping is also done dynamically while playing with the device in realtime. 

There are 2 integrated send effects, a reverb and a chorus too (internal send busses) which can be mixed to the internal audio channels, usually controlled by MIDI controllers.

MIDI Module Unit can be remoted with most important MIDI controllers, defined in the GM standard, so that MIDI files can be played directly thru its engine. An example of such controllers are Gain (007) and Pan (010) or Expression (011).

Everything in MIDI Module Unit will be automated with MIDI controllers, rather than Audio Unit parameter automation. It basically behaves like a classic external Sound Module.

The user interface implements a virtual mixer console environment, where important controllers can be edited per touch screen and automated MIDI action (i.e. playing MIDI files thru it) can be watched.

The mixer environment will generate MIDI data, similar of that, what the mixer in our MIDI Player Module is generating. Such controllers can be sent to external connected devices too.

A manual is included with the distribution app. The main app also includes a set of standard MIDI files and allows to select your own MIDI files for playing thru the module engine.

There are a bunch of demo songs on the official YouTube channel, that all sound like generic GM.

Beli Bat - Acid Techno Live Performance

Reader Beli Bat did a fantastic live Acid Techno jam with his gear and Animoog!

Video Description:

This is the second part of a full Techno Live Performance, first video here:

No pre recorded patterns were used in this video.
Every sound in this jam is produced from Hardware Synths, a Drum Machine, an iPad and a couple samples. Ableton Live is used as a master clock, as a midi sequencer and for effects.
All audio tracks are passed through an Mbox Pro 3 soundcard or using usb audio, and then recorded in Ableton.

The TR-8s drum machine plays the drums plus some atmospheric sound and is sequenced by its own sequencer. Every drum pattern is created and arranged live.

The Minibrute really shines here, playing the acid bassline.
The Minilogue XD and the iPad (running Moog Animoog app) are used to create riser pads while the Waldorf Rocket produce an atmospheric bass effect.
These synths are sequenced from Ableton so, in the first part of the performance, you can see me creating patterns live using Push 2, or playing the Minilogue keyboard the record a chord.

There are 2 expression pedals, connected to an iRig Blueboard, i use to control the risers filter cutoff (both Minilogue XD and iPad with one pedal) and the acid bassline filter cutoff.

The Waldorf Rocket filter cutoff is mapped to one of the Korg Nanokey Studio knob, just to have it near the drum machine, where most of the stuff happens.
The pads on the Nanokey Studio are used to launch a couple vocals and impact samples.

Then i used the Nanokontrol 2 to mix the volumes and to control some spare effect, such as a master highpass filter (used in some breaks), the acid bassline delay and the kick “shadow” amount.

At the end of the video i use a Playstation 4 controller mapped to some Primal Tap delay parameters, to destroy the beat and transform it into a simple waveform. Just for fun and because this is the only way i know to control more than two parameters at the same time with just two hands.

Effects are mostly Ableton stock and Soundtoys plugins.

Video is a continous take from two cameras (an iPhone and an iPad). I put together the two videos with the audio track in Ableton and then saturated the color in iMovie.

touchscaper Update

touchscaper, from Rob Jackson, was updated with improvements to the sequencer, a new massive planet-sized reverb, and new synth sounds.

What's new in touchscaper v1.3.2:

New things:

• Sequencer step accents (tap step indicator button to turn on / off)
• Sequencer shuffle / swing option (activated with dancing people button)
• New HUGE reverb preset (planet icon in fx settings)
• New analog synth sounds - mellow piano, dark and light strings
• New "Suggest chords" from scene edit - includes more complex chord types M7, 6ths etc.

Fixed things:

• Fix for last sequencer step note being cut off abruptly
• Stop button now shows properly when arrangement window minimised
• Fixed issue where sampler sounds sometimes wouldn't load properly initially
• Other small fixes and tweaks

Please note MIDI features (much requested!) in progress - thanks for your patience. Hope you like these updates in the meantime. -Rob

Rob provides some insights into the update and his work on "MIDI Stuff" in the description of a new update demo. As always, the video itself sounds amazing!

Video Description:

While working on MIDI stuff (it's coming, it really is) I added support for simple beat accents and 16th note shuffle. At the moment these are presets, but may be configureable further down the line. This little demo shows accents and shuffle on a straight 16ths note hi-hat pattern - it's a bit easier to hear what's going on that way I think.

After toggling shuffle on and off on a more complex beat, I then I go into a kinda chilled-out dancey doodle which I hope helps showcase that you can get quite a nice feel going on with mid-tempo dance type doodles. It's just me messing about from the half-way point on, basically.

Accents apply to the beat and are turned off and on by tapping the step indicator buttons. Shuffle or "swing" mode is toggled with the dancing couple! Swing - get it? :-)

I've also used a new "JUNO" piano sound and the massive "Planet" reverb, also coming in 1.3.2.

Just doing a bit of final testing - should be available in the next day or so, and MIDI stuff, currently in progress is coming after that, it really is.

Hope you like the new features! Please let me know what you think in the comments.

All recorded direct from touchscaper using the iOS screen recorder. No additional apps or processing.

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