Let's Play with iVCS3: Patch Design & Commentary

I set out yesterday to do a tutorial for iVCS3, but this is just too deep. It would take hours to do a proper tutorial. Instead I show off my favorite patch, and then build a new one from scratch, all while trying to provide some tips and insights.

Buy iVCS3 on iTunes: $14.99

Scam Warning

Yesterday Wooji Juice developer Canis alerted me to an email he received from someone asking for promo codes in exchange for a review on discchord, among other sites. For those of you who do not already know, discchord is a one man operation, so any requests would be coming from me: Tim@discchord.

After reviewing the email I was worried that he might be sending this out to other developers, so I put out a call on Twitter. Immediately afterwards I was contacted by another dev who had received the same email.

Scammer Email


I review iOS apps for numerous websites online (Discchord, iOSmusic, TUAW, Mac Rumors, 9to5 Mac, Apple Insider, and Touch Arcade) and would really like to review your apps "[He asks for your whole catalog of apps here]" for the iPad. I was hoping that you might be able to provide a me with a copy or Promo Code so I can do a detailed review and write up, as well as a, quick YouTube video. My goal has always been to try and get apps into the hands of people that might not normally know about these fantastic products. To shine a spotlight on them if you will and give them their just dues.

Please let me know as I am very interested in trying out your great looking app... and of course giving you full credit for all the help and support.

Happy Holidays,

To any devs taken in by this I would like to sincerely apologize, but a discchord review will not be forthcoming. Steven Fields, aka OmgAgeeK, got a lot of free apps yesterday. I'm pleased to see my name gets top billing among so many great sites, but I'm afraid Steve is just scamming.

I spoke to him a bit yesterday, initially approaching him as if he were one of the many YouTubers that are featured here regularly. It quickly became apparent that he has no intention of reviewing any of the apps that he received promo codes for. This is really unfortunate because none of this would have been necessary if he had just been honest or put in the effort to actually do a review.

How To Legitimately Get Promo Codes

When I started out I just did a video review for the most recent app I had, and then I went around to developers asking for promo codes to do one for them. It is really that simple. I didn't need to say I worked for 9 to 5 Mac or any other nonsense. I just pointed to the video I had done to show I was sincere. It was a fucking terrible video too, but I was only ever rejected by 1 company.

That's how all of this got started, with just a dream and a terrible webcam. From this video an empire was born.

BIAS Tone Shaping for Synths

While the guitarists have been all over the new BIAS app for designing their own custom amps, I've been plugging in synths and synth apps. In this tutorial I'll show you some tips I've figured out, and then demonstrate the results of my tinkering in JamUp.

Video Description:

The new BIAS app is great for tone shaping guitars, with custom amp modeling, but I've been getting some great results plugging synths and synth apps into it. Bias is especially meaty on the Korg Volca Bass, but in this tutorial I run a TT-303 through it for very dramatic results and then take my invention into JamUp's effects..

Buy BIAS on iTunes: $19.99


Buy JamUp XT Pro on iTunes: $19.99

An Amoral Argument Against App Piracy

Secret Base Design's MIDImorphosis got a little update today that fixes a bug on iOS 5, but the real news is in how the bug was found. A guy emailed Secret Base Design asking for support, and in the email references using multiple cracked copies of the app.

To his credit Patrick fixed the apparent pirate's issue, since it would effect other iOS 5 users as well and the user claimed to be a paying customer, but then he went one step further with an open letter on app piracy. He covers some new ground not often heard in the anti-piracy debate, pointing out that not every iOS developer is making Angry Birds money and that he personally reinvests a large portion of his revenue back into the community.

"While the revenue from the app has gotten to the level where I could get breakfast and lunch covered most days, I don't spend it that way. A lot of what I make from selling the app has gone into the development expenses. I believe that creative people should be paid for their work -- and I hired a professional graphic designer to update the user interface for me. I think she did a fantastic job; she was able to do things that I absolutely can't do myself. I invested a couple of months worth of the app revenue in hiring her; it's paid for itself by now, but it was money out of my pocket to do this. I've also had to buy a variety of guitar interfaces, so that I can test them and make sure things work. And of course, I've had to buy a Mac, a developer license, and a few different iDevices, to be able to do this. I don't have the new iPad, but fortunately, I've been able to hire a beta tester that has one. I couldn't afford a new Mac, but I was able to get a good deal on a used one. I also advertise, which costs me money -- on some of the sites, I think the sales increase works out to be a net gain. There's one site, though, where I advertise simply as a way to help out a blogger because he seems like a nice person who's hit a rough patch personally. I make a little bit of money, but most of it goes back into making the app better, or supporting the iOS music community."
- Secret Base Design Open Letter

Patrick goes on to explore some moral theories about paying for everything, but morality is subject to relativity and thus easily dismissed. You can make arguments all day long to counter them; e.g. the evils of capitalism, the pernicious effects of false scarcity in the digital world on the third-world, etc.

Instead I'd like to present to you an amoral argument against app piracy: Greed!

I'm one of those people who gets a chunk of Secret Base Design revenue in the form of both my beta testing services, as well as Secret Base Design's long commitment to sponsoring the site. If you don't pay up for apps, developers can't advertise on my site. If developers don't advertise on this site, I can't keep justifying the time I invest into providing this service to you guys.

Obviously enough of you are paying for the apps to keep things going, but that's not enough. I want more, because I'm greedy. I want developers to have enough money to hire me to do beta testing and video tutorials. I charge a hell of a lot of money for these services, and if every single one of you isn't paying up there is no way they are going to be able to afford it. These services in turn help ensure that apps are released relatively bug free. I sincerely hope my video tutorials have helped a majority of you jump into apps that would otherwise be unattainably dense.

If greed is your motivation to steal apps, let it also be your motivation to pay. The more you pay, the more I get paid, and the more I get paid, the more you get back. I mean holy shit, I'm charging $600 for a tutorial video. That is a lot of app sales! And don't think this plea only applies to active sponsors of the site, because if you're not buying from everyone else then how are they going to afford to sponsor the site or videos later on? Piracy is rampant in computer-based music making, and almost openly discussed, but we're a small community. Let's not steal from ourselves.

OpEd: The AudioShare SDK by Jonatan Liljedahl

Following the release of the AudioCopy app earlier this week, there were members of the community crying foul at some of the features which were similar to those found in AudioShare. AudioShare has been a long loved tool among iOS musicians, since its release in July 2012. I invited developer Jonatan Liljedahl to write an OpEd stating the case for developers to support AudioShare in their apps, and how his SDK will benefit users in the continuously expanding inter-app audio options.

The AudioShare SDK - How and why?

by Jonatan Liljedahl, Kymatica

We already have two standards for Audio Copy and Paste, and with iOS7 one of them broke and was replaced with a new version. So why support yet another way of getting audio in and out between apps?

Firstly, AudioShare's main purpose is not to replace the existing AudioCopyPaste standards. The reason I made AudioShare was that there was a gap that was asking to be filled - iOS musicians needed a central librarian to store and manage their sounds, with various ways to get audio in and out of the library. AudioShare delivers that, and I'm happy to see it growing into the standard file manager for iOS musicians or anyone that need to manage soundfiles on their iOS device. It is also a recorder, and an Inter-App Audio host, and some people refer to it as the swiss-army knife of iOS audio.

So, for all these AudioShare users, copying and pasting to transfer audio between other apps and AudioShare works fine, albeit a bit cumbersome. But this can easily be improved! By implementing the AudioShare SDK in your app, your users will be able to export or import to and from AudioShare with a single tap of a button, and the user can keep working directly with their central sound library.

But this is not the only reason. AudioShare SDK also supports any kind of audio file, including MP3 and MIDI files. It also supports any format, for example 24bit/48k, instead of being limited to the CD-standard of 16bit/44k1. And it works for iOS 5, 6 and 7!

The SDK is extremely easy to incorporate in your own code, here's what is needed to export a file into AudioShare:

[[AudioShare sharedInstance] addSoundFromPath:thePathToYourFile withName:@"My Sound"];
That's a single line of code! Importing from AudioShare is a tiny bit more complex, but should still take only a couple of minutes:

1. First, declare a new URL type for your app with the scheme yourAppName.audioshare

2. Then, in your app delegates openURL handler method, call checkPendingImport:withBlock: to handle the actual import. The supplied block will be called with a path to the imported file, living inside your apps temporary directory.

3. Finally, to initiate the import from your app, simply call [[AudioShare sharedInstance] initiateSoundImport];

AudioShare SDK is free and open source, and can be found here:
Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!


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