Tutorial: Intro to Modular

I'm extremely excited about Pulse Code's new app Modular, coming out on the 12th next week. I've had a chance to play with it for a while now and have been thoroughly impressed. You get a ton of good stuff in the free package before you even spend a dime, so I thought this would be a good app to teach the concepts of modular synthesis! This is Part 1, which uses only the free modules. Part 2 gets a bit deeper using premium modules.

Buy Modular Synthesizer on iTunes: Freemium ($9 Unlock Bundle)

Apple Kills Sonoma AudioCopy/Paste, Retronyms Saves It

In a rare turn of events, this "Apple Kills X" headline is somewhat accurate! The music app world hasn't seen declarations of Apple killing an app in a while, but iOS 7 looks to be offering plenty of new opportunities to dust off the old murderous title.

Reader Will brought my attention to a post over on the Loopy forum from Loopy and Audiobus developer Michael Tyson stating, "Sonoma's AudioCopy will no longer work on iOS 7."

I contacted Michael for comment and he directed me to this published beta document revealing the sad truth.

iOS 7 Beta 3 Changelog - UIKit Notes:

+[UIPasteboard pasteboardWithName:create:] and +[UIPasteboard pasteboardWithUniqueName] now unique the given name to allow only those apps in the same application group to access the pasteboard. If the developer attempts to create a pasteboard with a name that already exists and they are not part of the same app suite, they will get their own unique and private pasteboard. Note that this does not affect the system provided pasteboards, general, and find.

Michael got into the details for me, and explained the situation as it stands today.

"What it means is that all pasteboards except the general one are now sandboxed, and are private to the app that created them.

Sonoma's ACP uses a custom pasteboard – not the general pasteboard, for which this limitation doesn't apply – which means that the ACP pasteboard is now sandboxed to each "application group"; I'd say this means that apps have to have a common ID prefix to access each others' custom pasteboards. So if you use it to copy audio, you won't see the copied clip in any other app.

Copying audio to the general pasteboard still works, though, but of course it means you can only ever copy one clip at a time, without the 11-clip history that ACP provides.

General pasteboard still works fine. Apps that use it will continue to be able to copy audio. The most recent version of Sonoma's ACP SDK uses the general pasteboard in addition to the named one, so that will work (but the 11 clip history won't)."

- Michael Tyson, A Tasty Pixel/Audiobus

My emails to Sonoma have gone unanswered, but yesterday they issued the following statement to AudioCopy/Paste developers.

Dear MAPI partners,

Good news for those of you who implement AudioCopy and/or AudioPaste in your apps. Retronyms, Sonoma's long time partner, are taking on development of the AudioCopy and AudioPaste SDK. Look for an updated ACP SDK with iOS 7 support, license agreement, and more information from Retronyms soon. You may contact Retronyms with questions.

- Michelle Wright & The Sonoma Team

I had quite a lot of questions, so I called up Retronyms co-founder Dan Walton to ask them! We talked about the importance of the ACP history in the workflow of power-users, which they seem to fully understand and appreciate. I couldn't get them on record about what exactly they have up their sleeves, but they do plan to make an announcement soon. In the meantime this is all they can tell us to ease any fears:

"We are aware of iOS7 issues with AudioCopy and it's history menu. Our team has been hard at work to fix these issues and improve AudioCopy in general. Any day now we will release a new AudioCopy SDK that is compatible with iOS7. This update will have an improved history feature and many other improvements for developers and musicians.

We are extremely excited about this and know that AudioCopy is very important to musicians. We are asking for the support of the user community and the developer community as we make this transition over the next few weeks."

- Dan Walton, Co-Founder Retronyms

discchord 2nd Anniversary!

It is hard to nail down exactly when to celebrate the anniversary of my involvement in the community. My first iMS-20 video was in April 2011, the first ECPM lesson was in July, the site was registered in August, and I started covering the daily news in March 2012. Since the site's technical birthday is August, and my own birthday is in August, I figure that's a good time to celebrate!

Now that the site is turning 2, it's time to start dispensing the gifts! For the 1st anniversary of ECPM I gave out $250 worth of promo-codes, how can I possibly top that? A troubling question I wrestled with for quite some time before pondering a further one:
Wait, why the hell am I giving you guys gifts for my birthday?

We've been doing this backwards!

Now that I'm turning 34, it's time to start settling into my mid-thirties. In Suburbia USA that means I need to take up golf and/or photography. I'm terrible at golf, but good at seeing things so this was an easy choice! I've actually been meaning to get into photography for a really long time, so I'm committing to it now.

With that in mind, I'm opening up this opportunity for you to collectively buy me a nice camera. I've resisted previous suggestions that I accept donations; on the basis that I would be the most unworthy charity. Since this is a birthday present we're talking about here, that's different...


$50 raised of goal $1,000

Flexible Funding:

Seriously, please don't give me any more money than you can or want to!

Not a registered charity:

I've got to pay taxes on this, but you don't get to write it off.

Backing Level:


"I once said I'd buy you a beer."


"I once said I'd buy you a beer."
(Plus shipping from Europe.)


"If ECPM was available as a DVD, I'd gladly pay for it!"


"I don't understand American currency, but $50 doesn't sound like much!"

Prints $20-80

Prints $20-80

Prints $20-80

Prints $20-80

Spoiler Alert: I already bought the camera. You can still help me pay for it, and maybe some new lenses. Think of this as an overly-elaborate joke crossed with a PBS/NPR pledge drive! A lot of you have said, "I'd buy you a beer!" I don't drink that much, so this will work out better.

I can't promise that I'll do more videos with this, but part of my plan here is to study photography to get more serious about my videography. Long gone are the days when a guy talking at a webcam was acceptable YouTube fodder. The live portions of my videos have always been pretty embarrassingly bad. I can say this will be used for at least one video I have planned, which is instructional and music related, but not app related.

Although I am very new to photography, I have been using Photoshop for 15 years. This is helping me turn mediocre results into great shots! I'm having a blast with this and I'm getting even more serious about it as I progress in skill. So serious that I've started my own professional photography business:
PEN1 Studios Photography, PEN1S.com.

I hate people who charge for wallpapers, so you'll always find free 1920x1200 wallpapers of my favorite photos on Google Plus. For the best of the best I'll be selling prints on SmugMug; without the silly watermark. As part of this Timmiegogo campaign I'm making 4 of my favorites available as a limited run. After August these will never be sold again!

Here they are in all their glory. Click on them to get a nice big wallpaper version, and to buy prints use the SmugMug badges on the sidebar. I tweaked down the prices to keep them affordable!


Hang In There Baby


The Speed of Light

Bridge to Nowhere

Stretch Goals:

With every crowd-funding campaign there is a risk that you end up giving the guy too much money and he just runs off with it.

In my case that threshold is surprisingly low!


Buchla Series 200e

If by some strange course of events I end up with $16,000, forget all that talk about photography and videos.

In fact you should probably try to avoid giving me this much money. Getting a Buchla would undoubtedly have a negative impact on the site. I'd get so lost in "modular-time" that the site could potentially go days, or even weeks, without any news updates.

Not even remotely affiliated with Indiegogo.

Touch Music Podcast - Episode 4

Chip Boaz from iOS Music and You, Sean Walker from iOS Musician, and myself finally got together to record the 4th episode of the Touch Music Podcast! We tried so hard to keep to a month release schedule, but all of our personal schedules kept colliding and preventing it.

This month we talk about our favorite new app arrivals, as well as the highlights of other recent events in the community. Download the MP3 here or on iTunes.

Subscribe to the Touch Music Podcast on iTunes

discchord - Consummate Consumer

Here is the 4th track on my upcoming album. I continue to try to find new ways to keep my knob twiddling interesting! For this video I use some classic footage meshed with time-lapse video I shot on my phone with iMotion, from DM1 developer Fingerlab.

Video Description:

This song is a fun, manic, adventure into the self-destructive self-hypnosis of consumerism.

MP3 Available here: https://soundcloud.com/discchord/consummate-consumer

• Time-lapse - Shot on my phone with iMotion (from the makers of DM1 Drum Machine)
• Acid Lead: Cyclone Analogic's TT-303 Bass Bot
• Lead Distortion: Sunsine Audio's Vanishing Point
• Bass: Moog Minitaur
• Really Pretty Shit: iMini(moog) for iPad
• Nasty Pretty Shit: Elektron A4 Analog Four
• Melody: Elektron A4 Analog Four
• Glitch Brain-melting Drone: Elektron A4 Analog Four
• Drums: Native Instruments Maschine
• Wiseman: Alan Watts

Buy iMotion HD on iTunes: Free


Buy iMini on iTunes: $9.99

Subscribe to the Alan Watts Podcast on iTunes

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