The Music News Lamestream Media Won't Report

When I first started the site Alex Hapted, then editor of iDesignSound, said discchord was the Fox News of music apps. He's a Brit, so I don't think he meant that to be as offensive as it is. But these are changing times. Between Buzzfeed's saccharin slant, and "Fake News" dominating Facebook feeds, the nature of reporting in the 21st century is rapidly changing. To stay relevant, discchord must also change.

By now we've all seen the Alt-Reich rise on the heady vapor of their hyperbolic alt-media. With pundits no longer bickering over spin, but now just lying outright and manufacturing hysteria. Alex Jones is the exemplar in this new media landscape. His rise began with conspiracies of George W. Bush, and later Obama, setting up "FEMA Death Camps" all over the country. He started to stoke the fires of nationalism by calling our last two presidents "Luciferian" and claimed that they were preparing to kill all of the Christians in America.

One would expect, and I certainly did, that someone making such insane claims would simply disappear. Who would continue to listen to him after all of his dire predictions and conspiracies have been blatant nonsense? If you know of any Christians in America, you can ask them personally what it was like in the FEMA Death Camps. They will, hopefully, respond with confusion because at no point in the last 16 years have any of our Presidents lead a genocide against Christian Americans.

Yet somehow this guy is more popular than ever! He has single-handily demonstrated that you can't go wrong screaming an endless stream of insane shit. In fact, you'll prosper!

I feel it is my duty to this community to foster growth and continue to spread our message of mobile music making. In order to achieve that I feel bound to emulate the Alt-Reich, and the new paradigm of our modern news. Instead of spreading their messages of nationalism and hate, I will continue to celebrate music making.

Music apps, however, seem like a bit of a dead-end.

A side-effect of Global Thermonuclear War is the large Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs) that fry all circuitry for miles. I'm frankly amazed we've gone this long without Trump nuking Canada to get the "Snow Mexicans," but it is only a matter of time before he enters a full nuclear exchange with Russia to prevent Putin from releasing details of Trump's golden shower fetish. If by some miracle we avoid a shooting war, the impending Trade War with China will be financially crippling across the globe.

In these and countless other calamities we are left without electricity, iPads, or apps to play music. We've got to get inventive now and prepare for ways to make music in the holocaust that awaits.

Audiobus 3 Releases on March 27th(ish... Update!)

Ashley Elsdon from Palm Sounds accidentally let slip that Audiobus will be releasing at the end of this month! Over on the Audiobus Forum, Sebastian Dittmann confirmed that March 27th is the official release date!


Update: On Saturday morning the Audiobus team modified their release date to March 27, "+ maybe 1 or 2 days for the media to calm down about Gadget again. I'll announce the actual day as soon as we decide it for sure." Since Gadget was delayed to late March, they want to give that some space.


Audiobus 3 features three key factors to propel the platform forward, while also greatly improving the workflow of connecting multiple apps.

Unified MIDI

Since early 2012 we've been fortunate enough to have many developers agreeing on OMAC as a standard for Virtual MIDI. This has enabled us to do a lot of amazing stuff, and opened up new opportunities for sequencer apps. Entirely app-based studios became possible! Unfortunately none of that has ever been very sane to manage. 5 years later and life is about to get a lot easier!

Audiobus 3 includes a new way to route MIDI between apps, using a similar interface to the one pioneered by the original Audiobus. Simply select your input app and tell it where you want it to go. Finally MIDI between apps can have a consistent and logical routing procedure, instead of the archaic trail-and-error we've all had to experience a hundred times over.

As you see in the screenshot above, multiple tracks from Fugue Machine are being routed out to other apps on their own lanes. Having discrete lanes opens up a whole new world of possibilities on iOS! For the first time ever we can begin to use MIDI effects between apps! This sort of feature is popular on desktop DAWs, and allows for all kinds of interesting trickery; like scale-locking, and dynamic key-remapping. You can see one such app is active in the MIDI Effect Slots of the two right lanes. This is an entirely new class of apps on iOS!

AudioUnit v3 Support

This screenshot also reveals two instances of Phasemaker are in play! Audiobus 3 can act as an AU host, allowing for multiple instances of any AUv3 app. We've all experienced a lot of problems with Inter-app Audio over the years, but I think Apple nailed it with AUv3. Now we can have AUv3 with the convenience of Audiobus!

Audio Mixer

Hosting all of the routing platforms available in Audiobus 3 will be a lot easier now with an integrated mixer. Instead of diving into every single app to tweak their master volume, you can easily change individual app volumes from inside of Audiobus!

Coming Soon™

And all of this will be available in just 10 days! No more vague "coming soon" here, we have a release date!

Let's Play with LayR

YouTuber me took a break from a busy schedule of working on commissioned tutorial videos to do a video for the new LayR app. This new synth is massive so I had to dive into it!

I'd like to take this time to thank all of the patrons of the site and the video series for their continued support! It really means a lot to me... especially when I have sudden car troubles, as I did this week! Remember to sign up with an account on this site, because Patrons (of either Patreon) get a totally ad free experience.

Video Description:

LayR is a new app from a new developer, but it packs in an incredible amount of features. Let's layer up a big synth sound in LayR! If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a new monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

Let's Play with Troublemaker

I jumped on Troublemaker as soon as it was out, and was immediately impressed. With circuit modeling, Audiobus, Ableton Link, and AUv3 this is the modern TB-303 app we've been needing on iOS. I've had a lot of fun with it this week! So much so that I forgot I was recording a video twice on this Let's Play. The video got quite long as a result, so I edited out the second impromptu jam session to keep it under 30 minutes!

Video Description:

Troublemaker is an excellent new TB-303 clone with an impressive amount of features and an exquisite sound! This is the latest app from Bram Bos, developer of Phasemaker and Ruismaker! If you enjoyed this please consider supporting this series by sponsoring them on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a new monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com

Just after this was posted Troublemaker got an update adding the Realtime Mutation Probability Engine! This new feature makes your sequenced notes morph, with controls that let you dictate how they go about that. The update also includes MIDI Sync with start/stop!

What's new in Troublemaker v1.1:

Thank you for the support and the great feedback! Here's what's new and improved in version 1.1:

- Realtime Mutation Probability Engine
- Responds to MIDI Clock Sync
- Responds to MIDI Start / Stop commands
- Audiobus Playback Triggers
- Cleaner Envelopes
- Slightly tuned LFO
- Minor improvements

New Year's Predictions 2017

Happy New Year everyone! If you can read this, you survived what has been an hellacious year.

Congratulations!

Now let's all sincerely hope 2017 is better. This seems like a vain effort with the way global political events are unfolding, but I'm a terminal optimist. I'd rather face certain doom with a smile on my face and hope in my heart.

In the spirit of optimism, let's assume there will be anyone left to read the site in 2018; as we continue our annual tradition of predictions for the coming year. But first let's look at our predictions for 2016.

Successful Predictions:

Red Sky Lullaby started off strong with his prediction of Ableton Link becoming prevalent throughout the app world, but his further prediction of BeatMaker 3's arrival was a miss.

tGiG got quite a lot wrong in his predictions, but ended with a surprisingly prescient prediction in that iOS 10, "will NOT absolutely devastate the iOS music community, for once!" As iOS updates go, 10 was pretty minimal, but I'm calling this a success because it was certainly the least devastating so far.

Littlewoodg predicted that the music app community would continue to ignore Android. He also mentioned a specific app for Android a few times, but I ignored it. Success!

Steve, aka Frozen Lonesome, predicted he'd get an iPad Pro to finally run Auria Pro. I emailed him this morning to find out if this was an accurate prediction. He did both of these things in September!

Crème Douche took a stab in the dark at, "Something new from Moog?" He goes on to explore some kind of modular synthesizer scenario. While not exactly as he described it, this is perhaps the most successful prediction thanks to Moog's release of Model 15 in May. Matt also predicted a synth app from Moog.

Prediction Fails

Fran_K predicted an overhaul to the App Store, where shit apps would be relegated to their own category, so they wouldn't pollute searches. While a nice idea, there has been no change whatsoever to the App Store categories. It's still a mess, and they seem unwilling to make any changes.

Heretik7 had a series of failed predictions in his comment; including BeatMaker 3, Apple bringing back Alchemy Mobile for everyone, and Propellerheads releasing a Reason Mobile to take advantage of iPad Pro hardware.

Nonny Moose incorrectly predicted 2016 would see the release of the now long-awaited NanoStudio 2!

Similarly Lacm1993 expected Audiobus 3 in 2016, which seemed like a safe bet at the time.

What's coming in 2017?

Last year I predicted we'd see large music manufacturers making a bigger shift to iOS, beyond simple editors. While this one definitely fits into the fails, I'm sticking to my guns. The reasoning is sound. Last year I said:

"I think at this point music apps have reached maturity; we've all seen that this is not a fad. It's time for the bigger, slower moving, companies to take it very seriously!"

This remains true. We're just waiting for those companies to realize it. I guess it will take them a while...

My prediction for 2017 is based on what I've been noticing lately as a trend within the community. I expect in 2017 we're going to see a lot more personalities pop up on YouTube bringing us well produced content. For most of 2015 and 2016 if you wanted to watch a video for an app you were almost entirely limited to seeing those videos from Doug, Jakob, or myself. Lately we've been seeing more and more people try their hand at videos. Very few of those are of the quality you've come to expect, but remember that all 3 of us sucked when we started. Our first videos were all awful. It took nearly a year before Doug would even record his videos with direct app audio, and my first year was marred with horrible video quality problems. I think these guys experimenting and dipping their toes into iOS videos today are going to blow us away in 2017!

Open Mic: New Year's Predictions for 2017!

The year Two Thousand and Seventeen sounds like some pretty far off future, but here it is. What do you predict we'll see in the coming year of our high-tech future?

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