8bandEQ is a standalone max/msp application for the Novation Launchpad. It monitors an incoming stereo audio feed and displays the frequency data on the Launchpad’s buttons. can be used alongside any other launchpad programs.
It’s been awhile but its time for another round of android music making app favorites and it has recently come to my attention that there is currently a fundamental flaw with android in the respect of live performance. Some of you may have already noticed this while playing around with some of the multi-touch keyboards and synthesizers with surprisingly long attach and release times while switching keys and notes…oh the horrors of latency.
I wont delve into the exact figures released in this article for lack of more specific data on which phones performed best, but the article still states that the more sophisticated android handsets still have almost twenty times the latency to IOS devices.
I always hate starting off on a bad note, so here’s some good news. Android is still open source and developers are working on integrating API’s like OPENSL_ES into their applications which will further cut the latency so we can rock our android tablets and phones live. One of my favorites which I reviewed last time Mikrosonic SPC has already implemented this in their newest update. I can only hope that developers will continue to optimize and cook this into their music applications.
Now then…on to the music favorite picks.
Ever since I’ve acquired an android tablet I have been Su-premely jealous of Ipad owners applications like the Beat Maker series. I love pads and buttons and was absolutely ecstatic to see someone finally emulate an MPC in the android environment.
The application runs great and with a dual core tegra 2 tablet, I cannot say the same for my dated Nexus One 1ghz snapdragon, but I almost forget about the aforementioned “latency” issues while messing around with it on my overclocked G Tablet.
I highly recommend trying the lite version first to make sure that your device will run the application smoothly.
– Analog UI emulating the classic devices
– 12 low-latency pads for drum/one-shot sounds
– A piano keyboard (the number of keys depends on your screen size)
– A basic sample editor that allows you to cut your MP3s and WAVs
– A Song Editor to build full songs from sequences
– Ability to record tracks with 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32 quantization and swing
Nanoloop is another cross platform favorite of mine available on IOS, Android and even your gameboy, and I must say it easily became one of my favorites. This sequencing application has a very easy learning curve and could easily be one of the most fluid options for those of us stuck with smaller screen real estate, not to mention it doesn’t require a whole lot of processing power so it can run smooth as butter on your mid to low end devices as well.
The sounds you can make with this nifty little application are pretty diverse using just the microphone sampler and sequencer to pump beats and sounds out of your handheld. I only have one gripe about it and that is GIVE US LONGER PATTERNS and DIFFERENT METERS! 4/4 is great but I like having options…also I wouldn’t mind some filters and effects overlays.
– Six channels, each can be synth or sampler
– Load samples from SD-card
– Sample via microphone
– Re-sample, export samples
– FM-, noise- and filtered wave synthesizer
– Fast and easy to use step sequencer
– 8 patterns and 2 instruments per channel
– Song editor with loop function
– Send and receive projects via e-mail
– Files compatible with the iPhone version (via iTunes only)
– Export songs to device’s music library (Ogg Vorbis format)
It is a grid of tactical sensitive and pressure sensitive buttons. The smooth wood finish makes this a wonderful instrument to play. The level of control is amazing, from rubbing of your finger on the wood, all the way down to slamming down on a button.
The software AALTO running on the computer is a quite versatile VST program that was very impressive. it allows for the rearrangement of any of the midi notes on the 150-note array and sensitivity control. The open-source mapping application translates the raw USB signals from the controller into control streams such as OSC and MIDI. There are lots of user-configurable options for mapping the surface of the Soundplane A into different kinds of note and controller data.
This is the direction that midi controllers need to be moving. It has the level of control needed for proper replication of things like drum heads and percussion also the ability to make all kinds of new sounds with a level of nuance that is unmatched. I would like to see developers adopt this kind of scheme in new control surfaces. and price them around a level where ordinary consumers can get their hands on them.
Let us know what you think of the soundplane A and if you have any ideas of a great device that I.S. could feature E-mail us!
here’s a link to the forum devoted to the development of the software for this device.
Here at Illuminated Sounds we are big gear heads. Sometimes the manufacturers of said gear leave us scratching our heads wondering what were they thinking. So I compiled this list of my Top 5 strangest gear names. Now I am probably missing some pieces of gears that should be on this list, so feel free to leave some comments of what your Top 5 are. My honorary mention goes out to the Beat Kangz Beat Thang.
5 -Stanton DaScratch
This product came out while I was working at a major musical instrument retail store, and I’m pretty sure we did not sell a single DaScratch the entire time I work there. Stanton tried to capitalize on the whole “touch” input craze that was taking over a couple of years ago, but the DaScratch was quickly out shined by iOS devices. Stanton has since changed the name of the DaScratch to the SCS.3D, and hopefully that will get them to sell a couple more units. More details and specs
4 -Euphonix Mc Mix
When this product was first announced I was actually excited for it. I have used the Mackie Universal Control and the M-Audio ProjectMic IO, and honestly I was not really impressed by either. Euphonix boards were some of the first large format mixers that I started working on, so to my surprise I was pretty disappointed with the Mc Mix. The Mc Mix is made out of plastic, and it feels like I could break the piece in half with little effort. The legs are also made of plastic, giving the entire unit a flimsy feel. Must be a sign for me to move back to analog consoles. Euphonix is now Avid. More details and specs
3 – Metasonix KV-100 (The Assblaster)
With gear names like Assblaster, iCunt, and the Fucking Fucker; Metasonix as a company should have made it to this list. Instead we take a look KV-100 and all it’s assblasting goodness. The first thing to you should notice about this guy is tubes, and who doesn’t like tubes. With 5 “real new-old-stock” vacuum tubes you will be able to freak and twist your sounds until they are unrecognizable. As an added bonus, Dave Lovelace (the Packrat), provides some fun artwork that even the kids can enjoy. More details and specs
2 -SSL X-Panda
I gotta say that I love SSL. Their buss compressor will always hold a special place in my heart, but I am not quite sure what SSL was thinking when it came time to name this mixer. This is a pretty standard expansion mixer. It was designed to pair up nicely with SSL’s X-Desk, but the DB25 connection cable will allow it to connect to other analog mixers. The X-Panda and X-Desk are a nice way to get some SSL in your studio, but personally I will be saving up for my AWS 924. More details and specs
1. Evol Fucifier
When I first came across this piece of gear, I thought it was pronounced like “Lucifer”. To my surprise it is pronounced with an (think luck or duck). Still this has to be one of the prettiest pieces of studio gear, and I know it would look great in my studio. I personally would have liked to see a midi input on this guy, but I always want midi input on everything and midi might be overkill for a distortion unit. If you need a distortion synthesizer to mangle your sounds, then look no further. More Details and Specs
An Ode to Voyager, Humanities furthest explorer from the sun
“At almost 70 times farther from the Sun than the Earth, Voyager 1 is at the very edge of the Solar System. The Sun there is only 1/5,000th as bright as here on Earth — so it is extremely cold and there is very little solar energy to keep the spacecraft warm or to provide electrical power. The reason we can continue to operate at such great distances from the Sun is because we have radioisotope thermal electric generators (RTGs) on the spacecraft that create electricity and keep the spacecraft operating,” Stone said. “The fact that the spacecraft is still returning data is a remarkable technical achievement.”
The spacecraft are now so far from home that it takes nine hours and 36 minutes for a radio signal traveling at the speed of light to reach Earth,”said Ed B. Massey, project manager for the Voyager Interstellar Mission. “That signal, produced by a 20 watt radio transmitter, is so faint that the amount of power reaching our antennas is 20 billion times smaller than the power of a digital watch battery,”
Heliospheric 2-3 kHz radio emissions are produced when an interplanetary shock interacts with the heliopause, which is the boundary between the solar wind and the interstellar plasma. When the shock crosses the heliopause into the cooler, more dense interstellar medium it generates radio emissions at the electron plasma frequency, fp, and its harmonic, 2fp.
Since Android’s initial release in late 2008 the android devices, software and market have
evolved to something much greater with a more diverse selection of applications. One
category the mobile linux OS has been lacking is in the music making department. Armed with
a new compiler, GPL, and an army of developers, 2011 is finally starting to make some
headway to compete with iOS’s music producing libraries. Unfortunately a publicly published
market is a double edged sword which sometimes forces users to sift through the garbage to
find the gems, which…can be…..taxing.
After purchasing, testing, and more often than not refunding applications, the best of the
best android music making applications:
This application quickly became my favorite as I found how versatile it is with
manipulating loops and sequences.
The color/light coding make mixing simple with a long press on the selected pad you
can set the volumes. Clicking each pad starts or stops the loop or sequence, and the edit
button allows you to set the sequencers. You edit ‘scenes’, a saved framework of your
imported/saved settings for the 16-pads, which are easily exported to .wav format for your
sharing needs. My only complaint about this application is it lacks a swing setting, but for
$5.50 its a steal.
-16-pad screen mixes loops and sequences
-Edit feature with 4 variations for each loop pad
-Slicer for recombining loop elements
-Up to 8-bar long loops
-Samples and sequencer
-4-bar sequencer for each sample pad
-Keyboard for setting note information for each step
-Gain, pan and tuning knobs
-Envelope control with attack and decay
-Sample/loop load in .wav format up to 24 bit 96 kHz
-Recording of performances in exportable .wav format
-Direct integration of RD3 – Groovebox loops
-File sharing capability
For those wanting to try the app out:
Uloops gets an honorable mention but I cant help but cringe at the fact that you must have
an active internet connection to even render a single midi note on top of having to create
an account. Still, the application is reminiscent of FLstudio in its sequencer and options.
12-channels loop-oriented sequencer:
• Mix up to 4-bar length recordings, synths, drums and modulators
• Apply effects including delay, flanger, chorus, tube distortion, compressor among others.
• 3-band parametric equalizer with configurable frecuency, amplitude and Q factor for each
• Dynamic Pan and Vol, Solo-Mute toggle
• Mixer with vumeters and dB faders
• Export to mp3 or ringtones
• Use built-in mic for live recording
• Metronome during performance
• Apply noise reduction, normalization & effects
• 7-octave piano roll
• 125 instruments available
• Vcf Cutoff, Vcf Res and LFO effects
• 35 drumkits available
• Every drumkit has 17 components, including bass drum, snare, hi-hat, crash, tom-tom, among
• Independent volume, pitch, pan and reverb control for every component
• Analog-like modular synthesizer patched up as an interesting oscillation lab
• Filters: VCO Freq, LFO, VCF Cutoff, VCF Res and VCA
• Modulate your bends using 6 different functions including sample & hold
• Create a song putting together your loops
• Change song tempo, from 60 to 250 bpm
• Mastering Toolbox
• Publish your songs with different licences (creative commons and private ones)
• Receive a full rendered copy by mail
By special request here are some close up pictures of the main IC’s on the Maschine. The request comes from a hacking workshop that will be taking place in Berlin next month. Here is a link for more information on the workshop.