As requested via the forum, here’s how to use the BeatMaker 2 MIDI editor to draw in audio track automation to control the app’s built in effects and mixer…
Create a ‘sub track’:A sub track adds another row to the main sequencer for you to place audio and MIDI regions in, but uses the same sound source (keyboard sequencer, drum machine, audio track, ect…) and FX as the original track. To create one, tap the + button on a track from the main sequencer and select “duplicate.” This will create a sub track but it will also duplicate all of the regions in the original tracks, so you’ll need to delete those.
Next, select the draw option from the main sequencer and draw in a MIDI region in your newly created sub track:
Next, double tap on the region you just created and select the parameter you want to control:
Go ahead and draw in some automation, you can change what will be controlled from the ‘edit’ menu (bottom right). Also, you may want to increase the grid size for smoother transitions (top right).
If you use your iPad to produce complete tracks, using MIDI to control synthesizers instead of recording them and import the recordings to a DAW app allows you to not only change the notes they play, but lets you to control the knobs and sliders in the synth throughout you track. This provides for a much more productive (and VST like) workflow as you won’t have to rerecord synths if you change any of their settings or try and record the knob/slider changes yourself – but you’ll still be able to process the synth in a DAW app thanks to Audiobus. Here’s a tutorial on how to use BeatMaker 2‘s MIDI editor and MIDI learn functionality to control a synthesizer app…
First, in BM2 add a keyboard sampler track. When prompted to load in a sample set, select “Empty Preset” – we’ll just be using BM2′s sample synth as a MIDI controller.
Tap on the MIDI options in for the keyboard sampler you just created:
and set the MIDI input and output channels are the same:
In BeatMaker 2 open the ‘MIDI Setup’ menu (tap the home button in the upper left, settings icon, and ‘MIDI Setup’):
Make sure that the synth you’re using is turned on under input and output.
If you’re using Magellan, go to the preferences tab, open the MIDI learn menu, tap the ‘MIDI Destination’ you want to assign, then tap ‘Learn.’
If you’re using Sunrizer, tap the ‘Learn’ button and then the knob/slider you wish to control:
Switch back to the BM2 and open the sample synth settings:
Twist one of the knobs in the the BM2 sample synth (since we’re only using BM2 as a MIDI controller it doesn’t matter which one – but be sure to make a mental note of the one you assign).
Now if you switch back to Magellan, the MIDI CC number for the knob you turned in BM2 will be shown in the CC Map!
Switch back to BM2 and open up the MIDI editor. Select the parameter from the edit menu that you assigned to the knob in Magellan, and draw in some MIDI:
Note: You may want to narrow the grid size to 1/96 instead of the default 1/16, to get more of a smooth control over the synths knobs.
Woohoo! Now BM2 is controlling Magellan’s knobs via virtual MIDI!
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BeatMaker 2 on the
Magellan on the
Magellan Jr on the
Sunrizer for iPad on the
Sunrizer XS on the
Arctic Keys on the
A while back I wrote an article on iCloud vs Dropbox for iOS music making, explaining how an automatic iCloud backup feature would be nice in that it would save your projects from getting lost forever, if it was integrated into the app. Well as it turns out, it doesn’t have to be. Recently, I reset my iPod touch from the settings app…
Settings > General > Reset > 'Erase All Content and Settings' - Which I'm assuming does the same thing as an iTunes (USB) reset.
The files / projects in the follow apps were still there after restoring my latest iCloud backup:
I was really glad to see that it saved the BeatMaker / NanoStudio / FL Studio files, as studio apps usually the ones I’m constantly backing up via Dropbox / NanoSync / email…
Now these apps don’t have iCloud built in, they’re backed up by iCloud – there’s a difference. Apps with iCloud built in allow you to do stuff like share project files between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, like GarageBand does. Apps that are backed up by iCloud just get their files backed up incase you lose or break your device, hence them being there after resetting and loading the backup.
Apple only gives you 5 gigabytes of iCloud storage for free, but you can choose what apps are backed up by iCloud by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage > select the backup with the caption “This iPod touch/iPhone/iPad” and toggling the apps you want backed up:
For apps that have iCloud built in, like GarageBand, just go to to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage:
From there, you can edit the specific files iCloud has backed up:
Those four apps listed above are the only ones I’ve tested (it takes a while to erase your iPod and re-download all of the apps) so if you know of any more apps that are backed up by iCloud and what it saves, leave a comment below!
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that I caved and bought a 5th generation iPod Touch. The extra screen size does add a lot to the overall experience, but I wouldn’t say it’s a absolute must. If you already have an iPhone 4S and aren’t sure as to weather or not you should update, I’d say stick it out one more Apple keynote. If you have an old iPod touch however, you might want to consider it. Here are some screen shots of BeatMaker 2 running on an iPod Touch 5:
The best enhancement is probably the drum machine, having larger pads makes it a lot easier to punch out beats.
The mixer is also pretty nice because you see more of your mix at once.
MIDI editing isn’t as improved as you’d think, but I suppose that depends on how you use it. I mainly use it for correcting mistakes, and the MIDI editor does a lot of scrolling for you, so it’s about the same as a 4th generation iPod Touch.
A fun cyborg vocal sample set, half human and half robot!
This pack is based on one-shot samples of the voice of Julie, a Montreal jazz singer. But here the samples are resynthesized to create new ones that are playable chromatically across the keyboard. View or download the PDF for BeatMaker 2 or Thumbjam. Before buying you can download and try the demo, it has 6 instruments: demo for BeatMaker 2, demo for Thumbjam. The more extensive computer version (wav, soundfont, sfz and Native Instruments Kontakt 3) is HERE.
The hardware electronic keyboard sampled here is a digital square wave instrument. I don’t know exactly how old it is but my guess is that it’s at least 20 years old. It has 12 chromatic sounds: Piano, Saxophone, Pipe Organ, Guitar, Trumpet, Violin, Harpsichord, Jazz Organ, Synth, Cowbell, Oboe, Clarinet.
There’s a vibrato button that has no settings, it’s either on or off. I’ve sampled the sounds with and without vibrato. Additionally, it has a bass and 5 percussion sounds: kick, conga, snare, cymbal and hi-hat. All these do not sound like the acoustic instruments they’re named after but more like the Sid chip, 80′s and early 90′s video games. They are very good retro sounds for chip music (or chiptune).
The samples were recorded directly from the audio out of the keyboard at 16 bits/ 44.1 kHz. View or download the PDF for Thumbjam. Before buying you can download and try the demo, it has 2 instruments: DEMO.