MIDI Jitter on iOS

As more musicians start taking iOS seriously, the expectations for apps become increasingly serious too. A thread on KVR laments MIDI timing and jitter issues with apps. Kevin McCoy replied with a great video documenting his own struggles.

This guy has a lot of gear, he is used to trying to keep his timings and track delays tight in his rig, so it is worth hearing him out.

A damning example of iOS failing to live up to the needs of serious musicians! I immediately set out to do my own tests. I noticed he's using Animoog for iPhone on his iPad, so I started there. I had the same results at even 60 BPM with Animoog for iPhone.

The recorded notes should be on the lines, or at least consistently distant from the lines. These are all over the fucking place!

Update: I got in touch with Amos, Moog Product Development Specialist, and showed him this article. He is on the case!

That is some terrible jitter. I switched over to Animoog for iPad, running a similar patch, to compare results.

Much more consistent!

At this point I should probably detail my MIDI setup. From my PC I'm going out via USB to my keyboard, then out of my keyboard's secondary MIDI DINs, into an M-Audio Uno USB-MIDI adapter, into a camera connection kit, connected to the iPad. Far from ideal, this is a sloppy mess. Some amount of jitter is unavoidable with any external MIDI hardware, but these results from the iPad version of Animoog are something I think most people could live with. To test this further I did the same tests with Magellan and BassLine, both at 60, 120 and 160BPM.

Magellan for iPad

Finger's BassLine

Once again, excellent results from both! I was beginning to think the problem may be related iPhone apps running on iPads, so I tried another test with Sunrizer XS.

Everything looks good in Sunrizer XS too!

I'd be interested in hearing from other people and, if at all possible, similarly documented screenshots of recordings. It looks like this is just a bug with the iPhone version of Animoog, but that doesn't explain the issues experienced by the original thread author.

Sonic Touch #16: PPG WaveGenerator

In this episode Nick Batt and Gaz Williams play with PPG WaveGenerator, and the iPad shaped QuNeo MIDI controller.

Buy PPG WaveGenerator on iTunes: $19.99

Yamaha Visual Performer

In a first for Yamaha, they've released an app that looks pretty damn cool! Visual Performer is a MIDI-aware visualization app.

iTunes Description:

Yamaha's Visual Performer is a App for iPad/iPhone/iPod touch which you can express your playing in graphical animation.


• Graphic animation appears synchronized with the playing by the MIDI instrument (WiFi or a cable is required)
• 10 types of graphic animations and the projected image by iOS device's camera
• Customize your original animation by combining with two patterns
• Change the animation pattern during your play by using chain function
• Record your sound and the animation on your iPhone/iPad. *Video format: mov.
• Play with your iPhone/iPad (XY Pad or Virtual keyboard)
• Synchronize with musical playing application on the other iOS device (WiFi is required)

The app is free, but there is a $3 IAP called Special Package. It looks like this could be handy for livening up some of the boring videos I see on YouTube of people just pressing Play in Garageband. Thanks to reader Rafael for pointing this out!

Yamaha has an annoying habit of breaking up their apps by region and language. The one on iTunes Spain is also in English, and it isn't even available in Yamaha's home country of Japan! If you can't use this first link, the second one seems to be a generic European version, but it is also only localized in English. Amusingly iTunes Canada also points to this European version.

Buy Visual Performer - US on iTunes: Freemium

Buy Visual Performer - International on iTunes: Freemium

Singing Teacher

New app Singing Teacher provides real-time analysis of your singing. This is Universal on iOS, and even available on Android!

iTunes Description:

Singing Teacher is a powerful application that lets you analyze your voice in deep resolution anywhere you go. Contains several impressive features together in REAL TIME like:

• singing note analyzer text and on keyboard
• oscilloscope
• voice chart
• level meter in dB
• stop/start button
• noise treshold control
• mic boost

Application exports .csv table file to iTunes and can make screenshot directly to your gallery.

Hobbyist or singers, this application can give you exact image about your singing skills. Recommended for singing teachers to test and help teach their students.

Buy Singing Teacher on iTunes: $2.99

Buy Singing Teacher on Google Play: $1.99

Rheyne Overhead Jam

Rheyne is putting his new Rheyne Jammer to good use in this latest video with lots of apps and gear!

Video Description:

Live looping with a DSI MoPho keyboard, an Akai MPD26 controlling NI's Kontakt, three iPads running Sunrizer, Lemur, and Magellan, an iTouch running SoundPrism Pro which is sending MIDI notes to Sunrizer via the iConnectMIDI, and a DJ TechTools MIDI Fighter 3D using the "MF3D Launcher" script created by Tomash Ghzegovsky.

All audio is passed through a PreSonus 1818VSL connected to a Macbook Pro running Ableton Live. All loops are recorded live. Feel free to ask questions below, or through Facebook and Twitter (links at the top).

Download or stream the audio at SoundCloud: http://snd.sc/WTHNS8

Buy Sunrizer on iTunes: $4.99

Buy Lemur on iTunes: $49.99

Buy Magellan on iTunes: $4.99 (On Sale, from $14.99)

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