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bitKlavier - Prepared Digital Piano

Dan Trueman has ported his Mac OSX app bitKlavier to iPad! This app provides samples of a "prepared" digital piano. For those unfamiliar with the term, a "prepared piano" means someone put weird shit on the on the strings. This app has similar caltrops sprinkled throughout the digital piano samples to provide some unexpected results. It doesn't look like Audiobus/IAA made it into v1.0, but it does include MIDI support.

bitKlavier iTunes Description:

bitKlavier is the software that drives the "prepared digital piano;" it has been used by a number of composers for creating new music, and has been featured in performances around the world.

Like the prepared piano, the "prepared digital piano" feels just like a piano under the hands and often sounds like one, but it is full of surprises; instead of bolts and screws stuck between the piano strings, virtual machines of various sorts adorn the virtual strings of the digital piano, transforming it into an instrument that pushes back, sometimes like a metronome, other times like a recording played backwards. The virtual strings also tighten and loosen on the fly, dynamically tuning in response to what is played.

To begin, load a sample set ("lite" will load quickly and on older iPads, "medium" sounds better, but takes longer to load) and experiment with the included presets, many of which are from existing pieces (the Nostalgic Synchronic Etudes by Dan Trueman, and the Mikroetudes, a collection of small pieces by various composers), others are examples for exploring the various types of digital preparations. Work with the on-screen keyboards, or hook up a USB-MIDI keyboard using a Lighting-USB adaptor and play with a full-sized keyboard.

Buy bitKlavier on iTunes: $4.99

Dan posted an excellent explanation of the app, and what weirdness awaits within. Unfortunately the audio is from the camera mic, so you can't get a sense for how the app actually sounds.

Reader Comments 4

It looks like there are quite a few settings for the adventurous in there. Looking at the settings for accents and beat divisions, it looks like it accepts some "code-lite" values. Probably pretty easy to learn.

It also accepts tuning maps (like Z3ta+ started to do with a later revision). For 5 beans, it's not a bad way to add another "modern composition" type voice into the mix. It's a little hard to see how it interacts with other apps at this point. But I'll do a little more digging.

October 01, 2015  | person_outline stub

Sigh. No Background Audio, no audiobus, no iaa that I can see. I just tried backgrounding the app to switch to to-data and the audio drops. BitKlavier sees the connection to to-data but without background audio support no go for local midi apps.:(. Too bad since the sounds are actually quite nice...

October 01, 2015  | person_outline Moderndaycompiler

Not to be mean but i had to stop within the first 30 seconds. I guess its the radio broadcaster in me but the "uh" to start a sentence was driving me nuts.

Scripts help

Again not trying to be mean just tryng to help.

October 03, 2015  | person_outline Nic nice
Hey everyone, my name is Mike Mulshine. I am one of the lead developers of bitKlavier and work directly with Dan Trueman on a regular basis. The new version of bitKlavier was build with [JUCE](https://juce.com/ "JUCE") and is very stable on iOS, Mac, and Windows. In addition, regular updates and fixes will continue for the indefinite future. Check out all things bitKlavier on our website: http://www.bitklavier.com.

The new version does support IAA audio. IAA midi is not supported quite yet, but hopefully will be soon. The new app is a lot more powerful and robust! Soon, generic sample input will be supported using SoundFonts.

Here is the first tutorial:

February 14, 2018  | touch_app mrmulshine

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