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Live Guitar Updated with Audiobus and More!

Secret Base Design has updated Live Guitar with lots of new features including Audiobus and interesting Twitter integration!

What's new in 1.3:

  • Introducing Audiobus support
  • Improved support for Virtual and Core MIDI
  • Import/Export chord progressions through Twitter

Buy Live Guitar on iTunes: $1.99

Update: The free version was also updated over the weekend. Developer Fessaboy posted about it in a comment here:

No Audiobus, limited numbers of chord sets, and only one sample, but it's got all the MIDI goodness, and is probably useful to folks. If you dig it, please buy me a cup of coffee by going to the full version. If not, that's ok too!

Buy Live Guitar Free on iTunes: Free

You may recall my video from last week where I used Live Guitar's MIDI and Audiobus support to do some interesting iPolysix jamming. Another feature I was using was the ability to import whole chord progressions from songs via Twitter. This was really handy for me, because I don't have a fucking clue how to read guitar tabs. x03256? 330111?

Fortunately if you search Twitter for the #sbdlg tag, which you can do from inside of the app, you'll find a ton of tabs for many popular songs. You don't need a Twitter account to grab them either, but you will need one to tweet out your own.

Here is a demo of the new features!

Reader Comments 28

Wait... can I add these chords DIRECTLY from Twitter somehow, or do I have to manually add them as per what the tweet's telling me?

March 08, 2013  | person_outline Mike Grant

In the app there is a Share button, in the Chord Manager. From there you can search song names, or anything with the #sbdgl tag if you leave search blank, and it will find and show you the results. Just pick the one you want and it imports directly for you!

You can import whatever you see as a tweet -- so click the search, and that'll turn up anything that was recently tweeted. Then, beside the tweet is an "import" button -- tap that.

The general idea is that people who use the app can create sets of chords, and share them -- with the big hope that it'll turn into a community. We may set up a place to archive tweets, so that you can search to find if anything has ever been tweeted. This is a new feature, and we're just starting things up.

I usually go to Chordie.com to find chords, and at one point, Live Guitar was able to import directly from there -- but they've been hacking their HTML, and it's not possible anymore.

March 08, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

According to the audiobus forum the only app that will midi up to this is Garageband..which isnt on the bus! Nice work everyone.

March 08, 2013  | person_outline ludwig

I wouldn't buy this until they fix it. Since the update, it is VERY unresponsive and fails to play several strums in a row! What's worse, the only way to get tech support is through Facebook or Twitter. If you own it, I encourage you to encourage them to fix it ASAP!

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ZenLizard

What the hell? I just saw that ludwig, that's one dude. It sounds like he might not understand Virtual MIDI. It does work with Sunrizer, and I just double checked that it works with the latest version too.

Zen, the developer posts here regularly as Fessaboy... The guy two comments above yours! If you go to the website, which is linked to in this article, http://www.secretbasedesign.com/apps/, an email address is provided at the bottom of the page. I'm not experiencing any similar problems. Strums, including fast strums, seem responsive on my iPad 3 or iPhone 5, both running iOS 6.1. Which device are you having trouble with? What version of iOS are you using? These details can be helpful!

The A string sounds bad.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline DC

Hi -- sorry for not following up more quickly (Zen sent a couple of emails, which I have not had a chance to respond to). In real life, I've been stuck in meetings with managers from DARPA and NSF (seriously!), and the past week or so has been a major time crunch. My schedule is getting back to normal, so I should be able to respond a bit more quickly.

As far as I can tell, things should be working with most apps and virtual MIDI; I've got a dozen or so synth apps that work fine, and I know Tim, plus a few other beta testers, have crunched on things too. If there's something that's not working, I'll get after it and try to sort it out. Getting all the toggle buttons set right to receive MIDI can be a pain in some apps -- my guess is that there's a configuration problem than needs to be sorted out.

As far as swipes not responding correctly -- that's a new one for me -- I have not seen anything like that, but I'll start trying to replicate the problem. My thinking is that may be a misunderstanding of how the chording works (switching from one chord to another may mute a string -- and if the chord switch happens right after a string gets plucked, that might cause the problem.)

March 09, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

First of all... My sincere apology. I left a review in the app store that isn't very negative (not about the app itself), and a post here that was incorrect.. I have changed the review back but it will take a few hours to update at apple. I did write a couple of emails about a suggestion or two for the app ealier, and I wasn't bothered that I hadn't recieved a response yet. What ticked me off today wasn't the glitch (I assure you, it is really happening. I had no problems since getting the app until the update. I will reply to Live Guitar's developer with details). What pissed me off was going to the website, scouring through the pages, and not finding the technical support link for direct contact. I erroneously believed that the developer had removed it and replaced it with a link to contact them through Facebook or Twitter ONLY. I am totally wrong about that and I will not be posting negative posts without really having my facts straight again. I really am sorry if I caused any loss of business or aggrevation for the developer.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ZenLizard

That first line should have read ... in the app store that WAS very negative... not "isn't very negative" . I was just fucking up all over the place yesterday – I should have stayed in bed and left the iPad off.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ZenLizard

Re: Guitar tab. Hey, Tim. It's not all that mysterious. The numbers just refer to which notes are fretted. X - string not played. 0 - string played open (not fretted). The strings are read from left to right with the far right the low E or first string and the far left the high E or sixth string. Examples:

320003 - G chord
032010 - C chord

March 09, 2013  | person_outline Bob

Yeah tim, it makes more sense to us non-music reading guitarists!!!! Tab ftw! :)

Sorry. Will return to my hole and put on the cone of shame.

Going to download this a little later. Excellent looking demo.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ISM

Oh, man, you guys have already figured out my super-secret chord encryption method for sharing chords over Twitter!

And yeah, the A string sample for the steel string guitar has some fret buzz. When I was selecting the samples to use, I thought, "hey, that gives a little bit of real-world color and vibe to the thing, and makes it sound less perfect and synthetic, and people will kind of dig it." Yeah, good thinking on my part. I'll swap out the sample on the next update. (Seriously, the buzz doesn't make you smile just a little bit? When I listen to guitar solos, I get a kick it's not perfect. It's sort of like autotune vocals for me -- I don't want them to be perfect, I want them to sound human!).

March 09, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

Geeeeeeez you're so 70's...


I bet you don't even believe in life after love? Now I feel dirty. and ashamed.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ISM

I need to borrow that cone of shame thing. I say up with string buzz and down with auto-tune abuse!

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ZenLizard

Re: Guitar Tab — whatever you do, don't try to play any tab downloaded from www.dislexia-tab.com. I've seen people break fingers. Consider yourself warned.

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ZenLizard

@ISM -- 70s? No way, man, I'm from the 60s. And yes, vinyl sounds better than CD. And you've probably never even heard of CDs. Anyway, you and Skrillex over there, yeah you knuckleheads, get off my lawn!

March 09, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design


That's old school for lol but you knew that. ;)

March 09, 2013  | person_outline ISM

With so much talk around Live Guitar, I had to buy it.
1,79 EUR doesn't seem a lot for this audiobus enabled app by a credible developer (VoxKit anyone!!)

My first impression :) it's great, sounds great and to look great it just needs a tiny chord displacement (maybe 2-3 frames of animation) under the touched string. I know all of you professional guitar players are like professional typists that don't need characters printed on their keyboards, but I do look at my keys once in a while to find where the letters are :P

Also, when strumming, if I start a bit over "slightly" above the top or below the bottom string, no strumming happens (or sound output...)

ATTN: Fessaboy - keep up the good work!!


March 10, 2013  | person_outline hoyas79

Great app. Just had a quick play with it and it is really good. Is there a way to switch the virtual keyboard so that it is left to right, rather than right to left? (On the fretboard view)

Got vox kit also, just because I was so impressed with liveguitar and developer attitude! Seems like quite a bit of fun to be had ŵith that also. Will give it a fuller test run later

March 10, 2013  | person_outline ISM

@ISM -- so with the fretboard (not the chord interface), have the frets go the other way? I think that should be pretty easy to do; I'll try to add it in. The chord interface is going to get morphed to support both lefty and righty playing as well. Assuming I can keep on schedule with the coding, this'll probably happen by summer.

I'm glad that people are digging the apps. In the real world, I teach computer science, and I started hacking apps to keep my skills sharp (if you're going to talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk). So far, the sales are covering my expenses, plus some extra to buy apps and music toys, without the wife being able to have a reason to gripe! I really appreciate the support from folks here; it's nice to be able to have fun hacking code, and then have it actually be useful to other people.

March 10, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

Pass your passion to your students and its a win. That's the thing about teaching that some miss. Being taught by those who don't give a shit = poor student with no ambitions.

Being taught by someone with passion for the subject = awesome

March 10, 2013  | person_outline ISM

And while we're here -- the free version of Live Guitar just went live. No Audiobus, limited numbers of chord sets, and only one sample, but it's got all the MIDI goodness, and is probably useful to folks. If you dig it, please buy me a cup of coffee by going to the full version. If not, that's ok too!


I had initially planned on releasing both versions together, but the free one got delayed by Apple.

March 10, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

This maybe a silly question, but not being a Twitter user, is there any other option to save/load these chord sets?

March 11, 2013  | person_outline Bleb

The chords are saved internally by the app, and you can get to them with iTunes file sharing. There's an "open" button on one of the screens, and that does pretty much what you'd expect. The next update will let you email chord sets out as well.

The standard file extension for a ChordPro file is ".txt," so if you click on a web link using the internal browser, and the extension is .txt, the app assumes it's a set of chords, and imports it.

March 11, 2013  | person_outline Fessaboy/Secret Base Design

This was really handy for me, because I don't have a fucking clue how to read guitar tabs. x03256? 330111?

Did you just write random numbers, or are those copied from a tab? They're kinda jazzy chords!

March 11, 2013  | person_outline Jared

LOL! They're semi-random. I did figure out some of the structure, without a lot of understanding, so I just threw out numbers that fit the structure.

Thanks for the comprehensive answer, very much appreciated.

March 11, 2013  | person_outline Bleb

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