Meteor Multitrack Recorder, Not Really Multitrack Recording

Meteor Multitrack Recorder was updated with support for even more tracks, but unfortunately you will not be able to record into any of them simultaneously. Reader Kevin (DC) wrote to me earlier this week explaining that he was unable to actually use the multiple inputs on his Alesis iO4 in Meteor.

Initially I thought he must be doing something wrong, so I asked Alex from iDesignSound to test this out on his iO4. He had the same results. Kevin also thought he must be doing something wrong, so he emailed 4 Pockets for support. I will not publish the entirety of that exchange, but 4Pockets did confirm that Meteor Multitrack Recorder cannot record multiple tracks simultaneously. Furthermore, 4Pockets concludes the support email with:

"We have mainly focused on features that are useful for a one man band and would rather users use professional equipment for recording live multi-track sessions."

- Paul, 4Pockets Audio

4Pockets is informing customers that their $20 app, with over $50 worth of In-App Purchases, is not suitable for professional recording of live multi-track sessions. Unfortunately they are not informing them of this upfront.

If you're in the market for a multitrack recorder and make the erroneous conclusion that an app named Meteor Multitrack Recorder might fit the bill, upon visiting their iTunes page there is nothing there to disabuse you of this notion. In fact they continue to give customers the false impression. As of this writing the iTunes description is as follows:

Meteor is a digital multi-track recorder DAW designed specifically for the iPad. The program features up to 24 tracks of high quality Stereo, Mono and MIDI audio, a built in mixer and multi-effects processor. Meteor is ideally suited for creating musical compositions, and also a great tool for journalists and business people who need to splice and piece together voice notes, narration or dictation. Compositions once mixed can be exported to standard file formats for use on your desktop PC or MAC.

Meteor includes a fully featured sound editor allowing recordings and Stereo Sounds from other Apps to be trimmed or spliced together. You can apply various effects to your recordings either directly, as part of the recording process or in real time during playback. Editor features include cut, copy, paste, fade in/out. clear, reverse, gain, normalize, remove DC offset, time stretch and pitch shift. Effects include digital delay, chorus / flanger, reverb, graphic equalizer, noise gate, tremelo, tone boost and distortion.

The Mixer and effect levels can be fully automated using definable controller tracks. An integrated metronome with count-in helps you record your masterpiece, and If 12 tracks isn't enough there is a full stereo mixdown facility.

The MIDI Editor available through In-App purchase allows full editing of MIDI Note and Controllers as well as Scrubbing, Step Recordings and In-Place Editing of MIDI Parts.

When an app calls itself a Multitrack Recorder, and begins the iTunes description with "Meteor is a digital multi-track recorder DAW" I can see how customers might be deceived. I spoke with Paul from 4Pockets about this and he seemed entirely untroubled by potentially misleading customers. I do not share his disinterest. Despite his assurance that they are not being deliberately deceptive, he clearly isn't going out of his way to amend the iTunes description to avoid any further confusion.

Therefore, fuck these guys. Deceptive names and marketing are a part of the game, but they're making no attempt to give consumers a sporting chance. I would think twice about purchasing any of their apps, if this is the sort of developer they want to be.

Live Guitar Vs Korg iPolysix

This week I've been beta testing Live Guitar for Secret Base Design. Fessaboy wanted me to test VirtualMIDI, plus the new Audiobus support, and while I was at that I got to thinking about interesting uses for guitars as MIDI controllers. Typically pulling MIDI from a guitar is pretty lousy, so guitar-controlled synths are often just monophonic bass synths.

Live Guitar greatly expands the options! A simple bass synth would miss the point. With 6 strings I needed a synth with 6 voices, and for that I turned to a rich pad patch in Korg iPolysix! I liked the results enough to work up a little drum backing and share them here with you. Expect the Audiobus update for Live Guitar to arrive sometime next week, but you can play with MIDI today.

Buy Live Guitar Free on iTunes: Free


Buy Live Guitar on iTunes: $1.99

Friday Frivolity: Beethoven Was Hardcore

You should always listen to WNYC's Radiolab for its amazing use of sound design to explore science, but you should definitely listen to this week's podcast! Speedy Beat considers the tempo Beethoven indicated his Symphonies should be played at, which most people ignore when playing them.

My parents dragged me out to a lot of Classical concerts and ballets. At the time I did not appreciate this, but that's one of the reasons I'm classy as fuck today.

I've always been impressed with the epic scope in Beethoven's work, but a lot of it is just too slow and boring. It turns out this is exactly the sort of thing Beethoven wanted to avoid when he retconned his first 8 with fast tempos!

Beethoven's supposed to sound more like PsyTrance than Eine kleine Nachtmusik. Think about it, if you're in the early 1800s and you're going to see Beethoven, you want something moving! Life was boring. Beethoven didn't want you drifting off to sleep, he wanted you to feel alive and experience his drama!

Radiolab takes a look at why we've only ever heard Beethoven played wrong, and then they get some pros to play it right.

The reason I wanted to share this with you today is what happens when they go beyond that. Once you hire a quartet for the hour you might as well abuse them, so they push the limits and get them playing the Fifth at 160 BPM! It sounds amazing. Seriously, if you listen to nothing else, scrub up to 16:00 and hear that. The vibrancy inspires a picture in my mind of a sweaty, disheveled, conductor gesticulating at and on the edge of madness; struggling, and successfully keeping it together.

This is Beethoven alive! Stop mourning him. Instead of making his music sound like a funerary dirge, make him come alive.

Subscribe to Radiolab podcast on iTunes: Free

An Intervention for iDesignSound

All of us music bloggers are pretty close, and we try to look out for each other. Yesterday I was devastated to learn that Alex over iDesignSound had developed G.A.S., so I've staged an intervention. I also try to provide some advice for other musicians who may suffer from this debilitating disorder.

It can happen to any of us. You don't have to suffer alone.

Buy Little MIDI Machine on iTunes: Free

discchord Preset Design Contest: Fat & Lazy!

November is the month of Thanksgiving in the United States, which will mean nothing to 60% of you; so let me explain. I know you guys think Americans are all fat and lazy, but these are vicious stereotypes that don't represent all Americans. Except in November. After a week long gluttonous orgy of turkey and mashed potatoes we are, universally, bloated and lethargic.

Naturally we take a lot of time off from work and school while we gorge ourselves. With all that free time on our hands, and little energy to actually move said hands, this month's preset contest is for playing a fat bass line as lazy as possible!

Contest Rules and Details:

This month's preset is going to be in NLog. You can use either NLog Pro or NLog MIDI(iPhone), which offer 4 Oscillators for some truly fat bass!

The note pattern will be 2 Bars at 100 BPM, playing: C2 held down for the full 2 bars, while in legato playing D#2 and E2 on the second half of each bar. (C2 on NLog's internal keyboard is the 2nd to last octave on the left.) You don't really need to worry about any of that, because I'm going to do the recordings and you just need to send me your presets.

To email me your presets, select the Load button on NLog and hit
Export: Sound in the bottom of the panel. By submitting a preset you authorize me to share it, and for people to use it!


This month's prizes are sponsored by Sunsine Audio and Noisepad! The first 10 people to submit presets will receive a free copy of Noisepad! The top 3 presets, as voted on by readers, will also receive their choice of any Sunsine Audio preset pack!

Submissions end Sunday the 18th at midnight Eastern time, and voting will begin Monday morning. Winners will be announced on Wednesday the 21st, and I will post all of the submissions in a big preset bank for everyone to enjoy.

Here is a sample of my own Fat & Lazy preset playing this month's note pattern.

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