Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Mobile Music Creation Review Part 002

Looking for "part one" its here

Before we move onto Mobile Music Part 2 (using keyboards)  please remember when buying Apps that you can't judge a price just by other app prices, YES you can get a game for 69p,  yet a synth or guitar app is much more expensive, KoRG for example do the iMS-20 on the iPad for £20, and many would grumble and say how fkn much for an app?    But consider this....  the £20 app does everything the real KORG MS-20 does, and the real ones range from £500 to £1000,  if you've used the Korg VST apps on a pc or mac you'll know what i mean about realism in use & sound. (and you'll know they cost more than 69p on the PC and Mac in VST form, let alone real hardware) These companies also open them selves up much more to piracy when they turn hardware into software...  also remember with the likes of AudioBus an iPhone or iPad can use a keyboard to interface with other instruments & chain effects in to.

First i want to start off again with an IK Multimedia app (why?)  well simply because the Saxophone is really really epic lmao  SO.... lets Introduce SampleTank  personally i think many of the iDevice samples with sampletank sound much better than the PC version (i cant rate the mac version, i don't have one)
But the Miroslav expansion for sampletank on idevices is pretty epic compared to on my computer.
It offers a recorder, supports audiobus and Interapp audio (so you can use it within GarageBand  OR  Cubase or similar app)    Cubase only available for iPad at the moment

If you wanted to use a keyboard rather than your fingers on the pad..  The iRIG midi interface requires a 30 pin connection on the pad (those 30 pin to Lightning connector adapters do NOT work) if your iDevice has the Lightning connector your current only option seams to be the iKeys and the bigger version (they make 2 now)  if your device HAS the 30 pin port then you can use the iRig midi on ANY keyboard that has the basic Midi Ports (and you can use the iRig midi adapter on MORE than just IK software (it works on all the other midi supported apps) as does the iKeys keyboards.

It has a stack of instruments and the nobs panel scrolls sideways, the keys are a good size and it can also record internally or bridge into any Audiobus or interapp audio app

Next we have Alchemy Mobile... erm.. Helloooo their.... :D
This works on the iPhone AND   iPad and has many expansion packs, also supports the importing of your own sound files to manipulate and use as instruments, also records as midi and supports AudioBus and Interapp Audio. Has some pretty unusual stuff, some of it bright, some of it very dark and moody.

 Its 8 button pad is also a vector based control.. so you can get between the numbers as well

The sound banks are really impressive & now you can edit them and make / save your own

If i had "one" gripe about alchemy mobile it would be the fact the mobile sound library you buy are smaller than their PC and MAC counterparts, but that said.. its still a must have if your an iDevice muso...

Next up CMP Grand Piano this thing is like  OMFG
This works on the iPhone OR iPad and has a few addon pianos, also supports the importing of your own midi files, also records as midi and supports AudioBus and Interapp Audio.  Sounds Truly Epic
(keys are really small on it though)  especially the phone version. Ideally you need a keyboard plugged in, or drive it via audio bus with a different app.

The piano is a pretty big app, especially when you get the addon pianos, but bigger = better in these apps, this thing has the richest piano sound recordings i have ever heard. The control over its environment is also very impressive & she rings out like an angel...

You record direct with the app as midi and you can multi layer to,  my only gripe is it'll only save as midi, it has no mixdown or export as kinda option.  But you can interaudio it in garageband and hit record on garageband, then switch back to CMP and hit play.
You can also send & receive midi files into the app using iTunes

what a synth, theirs even fan made patches out their for this to pull of that amazing ambient intro & the brass on "shine on you crazy diamond"  downside?  only for  iPad  (at the moment anyway)  But i have heard their are limitations on iPhones compared to pads (duno how true that is)

iSem has a basic interface, easy to navigate,supports midi and audiobus stuff, allows you to save & share presets with other users (ive yet to sniff around for presets YET) but have requested the odd one offerd in youtube videos that people make...

Clicking the COG on the right side of the keyboard (next to the logo) will bring up the control box.

 Note that same information bar will also show any Interapp audio connection (like choosing iSEM within garageband or cubase)  re-entering iSEM will then offer that info for "play, stop, record" and control the host app its ported into at that time.

The Korgs...

As mentioned above, some apps are expensive, but the price is generally far from what the hardware would cost (and that's if you can find a real hands on one in fully working order)

And the Korg polysix

Remember the korgs are only for iPad

Before i highlight other random synths ide like to cover a tricky subject  "Money"  not all of us are made of it, so you people reading this have to work out what road you wish to travel,  PC,  MAC,  iDevice...
As a pc user my self (and a bit of a nerd tbh) i can say windows is problematic, especially for many people out their, and can be costly and still end up with stuttering audio and noise..
Apple macs are pretty costly...  an iDevice kinda sits inbetween.

Now i noted (in part 1)  i was using an iPhone 3GS with 8gb in my initial post and we all no that now no longer gets iOS updates meaning apps that require iOS 7 and above wont work on them
this isn't really true (in most cases) and i will explain the way around that (but their are conditions and factors you MUST look at before you do this)  though it is Very EASY....

What you can do "with your Older iDevice"  is look for an App you want (that says iOS 7+ only)
and hit the reviews and read back on previous versions  OR  google the exact app and see "IF"  they have been making this for a while  (IF they made a version for iOS 6 THEN YOU CAN GET THAT VERSION)

All you do is buy the latest release (using iTunes on a Computer)  then open the app store on the phone or pad,  click "Updates" then click "Purchased" then click "not on this device"  and you will see a download option.. when you attempt to download it, then it will say "incompatible with your device" Then It Will Say  "would you like to download an earlier version compatible with this device"   and you say yes..

BUT REMEMBER... this isn't gona work on an app that was only ever released AFTER iOS 7  right....
and yes i have done this with sampletank and CMP piano.  If your unsure you could explain my idea & ask them if that will work with their app or not  ;)

So whats next hey.. ok lets have this one Magellan an odd little thing, but rather fun

Load of presets (has in app purchases to) ide use this more for ambiance than anything, though if your into dance music, this could be just as important to learn as the iSEM

Next up we have an odd app for sure, this is Nave not many great reviews on this, i think they dev's got lost somewhere trying to make this more than what it needed to be.  Someone recently said "Alchemy Mobile" would be better if it had more of a editing studio feel, and i think if camel audio tried that it would pretty much drop dead on its face like Nave did...  It should of stayed as a standalone vst type of "Instrument"  and left the "Host Tasks" to a "Host App"  don't fix it if its not broke is rule of thumb.. or developers get super board, seams like a good idea, turn's into sleepless nights...

Another app ide recommend is AudioCopy lets you copy & paste stuff between apps (but don't close the copied from app until you've successfully pasted it to the other...

I guess now we hit that horrific nasty side of Apple... no USB.. dam iTunes... lmao

Ok i no iTunes is slow & buggy, and lets face it tryna get stuff ON and OFF the pad is nothing but a pain in the **** and it drove me *** nuts  lmao

So how to get files on and off the iPad / iPhone without iTunes?
Note most apps now have an "Open In"  option as well as that share to iTunes..

Grab your self an App called  File Hub once that's installed.. all you do is select the "Open In" then select File Hub and the app your on will mixdown and Export into a folder in file hub.. or it'll just export what ever you told it to "as is"

The Open In on an app, generally does the same job selection as  "send to iTunes" does,  so it'll export and land inside file hub,  then you just open filehub and select wifi & point your web browser to the URL for the iDevice (doesn't need the internet,  just needs a pc/laptop and iDevice using the same wi-fi source)

Even make a shortcut (in your favorites) so when you open your browser you can click right to the pad
You can send and receive files into file hub..  their are other apps that also do it  (i got that free using Appsgonefree  so its just what i use)  and to this day its never left me down and i use it all the time to get stuff on and off the pad..  really handy for exporting tracks out of garageband, for that i end up with the aif file in a folder on file hub called "Imports"

Alchemy have a sale on.. but it ends on the 7th  :'(

Will we ever see FM7 on iDevice?
or the Korg Legacy Cell or the Korg M1 ?  who knows hey...

So What About Audio Bus and InterAppAudio....   ?
The mighty cubasis...?
maybe in part 3....

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