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Jinx Padlock Second Wave Assault EP & iOS vs. Logic Production Interview

iOS based producer Jinx Padlock (Twitter, Facebook, website) has been hard at work with a second EP since his debut release Colonisation. If there’s an artist using an iPad to talk with about what’s missing from iOS right now, it’s Jinx. Producing everything on his iPad, on the trains of London, Jinx Padlock makes some rather shocking sounds with just iOS. But lately he’s felt the need to stray outside the walls of the iPad for the mix. Here’s Richards thoughts on what’s missing from iOS, his workflow, and his plans for the future…
Download Second Wave Assault:

juno download

 

So, Second Wave Assault has arrived!

Yes, it’s been a fairly mad ride since Colonisation. Been doing a lot of remix work, which is starting to trickle out. Second Wave Assault was the first music I’ve made in this period that felt like actual work. Was very pleased to deliver it and unleash it into the wild.

What’s changed in the last 6 months?

Lots! Really wanted to focus on a harder dance sound for the second e.p. think I’ve achieved that, but had to stray outside of the iPad to do it. All the tracks sounds are iOS, it’s all put together in NanoStudio, but then the stems are mixed down separately and sent over to Logic for final mix down. I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to keep within the iPad, but unfortunately the raw firepower isn’t available yet. At Christmas I upgraded to the iPad 4 thinking that would allow me to have more scope in Auria, it was soon evident that 40 tracks of audio were still way out of its capability.

What does Logic give you that iOS based DAWs can’t?

It’s firepower, processors, the ability to handle serious compressors, limiters and monitor it real time. There’s nothing about VST that I miss, in fact when playing with a few VST instruments I got bored pretty quick. iOS is far better to interact with instruments, even in its relative infancy, we’ve got some pretty unique sounding synths and effects. I certainly won’t be migrating to the mac book pro for its synths. Another thing that bugs me about iOS is the sheer difficulty of moving files about, once I’ve NanoSynced over to the Mac, I can batch normalise, throw it into Logic and its all plain sailing. We still don’t have an all singing DAW yet, it’s always a switching app game. NanoStudio does all of it so nicely but still no MIDI out, that’s a big minus. So you go to Cubasis, great for the MIDI, but it’s audio tools suck, so you open BeatMaker, and quickly get out of before its interface makes you want to hurt something, so you go back to Auria and everything stops and you lose days of your life. I know that this will improve, got big hopes for NanoStudio 2, because Matt really nailed it the first time round, funny that Steinberg, with all their experience are still lagging behind. And bringing this back on topic, the iPad itself just needs more engine power. Would love to see some hybrid mash up of the MacBook Pro and the iPad. Bigger screens, loads of ram, haswell processors. It’s time for an iPad Pro!

Are there any plugins, apps or VSTs you’d like to see on the iPad?

We go back to the previous answer there, what we really need is hardware to make iOS music take the next step. Like I mentioned before, I find VST stuff pretty tame after out lovely touch screen, gyroscopic synths, but one synth that really got me excited was Cyclop from Sugar Bytes, that thing thinks well outside the box. I love stuff that’s not emulating systems from the past and Cyclop is the most futuristic synth engine I’ve ever used. It’s the only non iOS synth on the e.p., I used it in the banging club sequence in Soundwaves. So, as you can imagine, when I saw Turnado appear in the App Store I was a bit giddy. To me, Turnado represented the next wave of sonic power for iOS, this thing was no longer a joke. I emailed Sugar Bytes the morning I bought it, shaking with its awesomeness, asking if they would consider a Cyclop port. I got a favourable answer. There, until recently, was always a perceived problem with mastering, nonsensical to a point, since taking a stereo mix into Auria wouldn’t make it fall over and it has a pretty robust master channel strip. We’ve now got some other options, but I still can’t see a viable option over some of the desktop solutions available.

Has your workflow changed?

Yes, quite a bit. I’ve always been a very careful mixer, but knowing that I’m going to do a final pass in Logic makes the iPad mix more analytical. I’m much more tight on samples, kind of second guessing the problems later in the pipeline. I’m doing a lot of remix work for the label, and that’s all going through this process. There’s no way that I’d go pure Logic, still do a lot of it in public transport, for a start! The best thing is that it’s all still totally portable, I can travel with my iPad, MacBook Pro and a thunderbolt drive and make quality final mixes anywhere…

Talk us through the E.P.

Ok, well, the tracks are familiar to the SoundCloud audience, so I wanted to take it all up a notch. When I was mixing the first version of Soundwaves, I had it in mind to just make an arrangement that worked, but was keen to learn more about Logic. The demo of Soundwaves and the Second Wave Assault versions are vastly different. It was the tune that almost broke the camels back. I would do a night on it and send it to the label, then do another that was totally different. It must of given Spencer the fear, because I was freewheeling. Finally, 4 weeks later I had something that reflected exactly what I wanted to present, a tense ride with the euphoric highs in the right place, that never got cluttered or too aggressive, it’s the most focused JinxPadlock tune to date. Pinhead Safari is probably my favourite tune I’ve ever made, lots of old school fun. Did a lot of it after the Audiobus update to the Addictive Synth, that synth is ****ing awesome, really iPad specific, love the gyro tools. I built a couple of patches, then performed them live into Audiobus, that drop bass was captured live. Lots of fun. The breakdown was a lot of Animoog stuff. I’ve been accused of using a lot of presets and loops, think this proves otherwise! I Feel Dark is the oldest track on the EP, it’s a welcome relief in the scheme of things. It’s not the easiest of tunes to get on with, it’s got some sting in the tale! Done when Magellan was just released last year, I went mad with that synth, it’s still one if the best available on iOS, the last section of the tune is all Magellan, it sounds awesome. The Mighty Drom was the wild card, thought it was a tune to drop to other labels. Made it overnight in December, instantly thought it had underground club vibes. It really fitted at the end of this EP so there it is its basically a load samples layered to the hilt. The best part is when it breaks to the trance section, loads of iMS-20 stuff all came together. I was so happy with the NanoStudio mix that I was really cautious about the logic transfer. As soon as I had the izoptropic stuff going I was sold. Massive mix in Logic!

So, what’s next in the Jinx Padlock story?

There’s a lot of stuff going on, and it’s becoming less public. The next release will most definitely be a vocal tune, been working with a very talented vocalist in the states, a very productive collaboration so far, we’ve got a couple of absolute killer tunes in the wings. I’ve started gathering the parts I need for the album – that’s a much more prog-rock affair, there are serious hints on SoundCloud as to where that’s going, given myself a deadline to complete Project UTU, so there’s a sort of pressure on. Hoping to do another long form project based on the remix work I’m doing for Tactal Hots, again, early days, but plans are forming. Still want to take it live, but there’s only so much juggling of plate I can handle! I recently took a film job out in China, so that’s competing for my time a lot more than my usual posts! And, as always, more new iOS toys become available, so trying to get them incorporated into they JP sound. Nave turned out to be even better than I first imagined, Thor is awesome, I’ll keep spinning those plates and try and share as much as I can. Good times, let them roll…

Smite Matter Auria Interview

Smite Matter has been a big name in the world of iOS music production for quite some time now, releasing one of the first complete albums made with iOS apps in late 2011, Technopolis Lost, and review apps on his blog ever since. David produces everything on his iPad, using his computer solely as a storage unit for musical ideas. I got another chance to talk with David regarding the revolutionary Auria DAW, and how it’s changed making music for him on iOS. Be sure to follow @SmiteMatter and like his Facebook page to keep up with his music and reviews!

Which do you prefer, Auria or Cubasis?

It is no secret that I am a beta tester for Auria. To be perfectly clear, everything I base the following opinions on is with consideration only to the available production capabilities of the app – I obviously cannot share any testing experiences. That said; Auria is in a category of it’s own as it offers the very best environment and tools to make high quality productions. In my opinion, with regard to making electronic music, it is currently the only legitimate app for fully mastering a song. It has by far the best FX, and plug ins, plus it has full automation. It’s GUI however has been something of a sore spot for many users, myself included. “The most annoying issues I ever have, are related to moving within the tracks and regions, like dragging or zooming, and such. Sometimes it doesn’t respond right away to touch or gesture input. Those are mostly not a problem using it with iPads 3 & 4. I find it is especially better on my iPad 4. Really these are nit picky complaints that have no effect on the sound at all.
Auria is powerful and pushes device resources to their limits especially when using its plug ins and FX, making it difficult to use on iPad 2. I don’t know if it can be made any more efficient or not? It’s easy to avoid problems. Limiting the number of simultaneous Audiobus inputs, and taking advantage of track freeze is key to avoiding low memory, low CPU warnings and crashes. The only times I ever run into those issues are when I forget to close a background app, try to run too many inputs, or fail to freeze tracks with plug ins assigned. Wave Machine Labs is really showing (as seen in recent updates) that they’re listening to users and making solid improvements; like the touch/drag duplicate region bypassing the need for a drop down, and touch controlled TimeStretch.

Cubasis on the other hand, is much different and great in an entirely different way. The GUI is silky smooth, responsive and much more enjoyable to work in. It’s Audiobus integration is very good, and I’ve found it to be the most intuitive and reliable of all that I’ve sampled. It’s problem is that the FX plug ins are subpar and cheap sounding at best. I assume that was a decision made to ensure it would be efficient and/or less demanding on system resources making it more suitable for use on any of the iPads. No Automation, and no serious tools to master anything are a big drawback for me. Steinberg is showing signs that they are listening to end users by recently adding a four band “StudioEQ”, and Limiter. If I weren’t already spoiled by Aurias FabFilter ProQ and ProL, these additions to Cubasis would be more impressive. Unfortunately, I don’t feel very impressed by either. It’s a good step in the right direction for sure. There are however existing apps that do pretty much the same things Cubasis does but at half the price. Take away the complaints from both and combine the elements that make them good, then we have the perfect iDAW. Why no one can get all the good stuff into one app to begin with, is bewildering to me. But I am no developer, so there may be very good reasons. If Cubasis had the high end FX, PlugIns, and Automation etc like those in Auria it would be the end all be all. Visa Versa, if Auria had the fluid GUI, Audiobus integration, MIDI, and so on it would be the killer. In the end I’m optimistic for both to cross the finish line, but I’ll be using whichever has the best sonic capabilities. Today, that app is Auria.

Auria on the

Cubasis on the

Technopolis Lost was made before Auria was released, what were you DAW app(s) were using for automation and FX? How has Auria has changed your process?

Ha ha, yep, in iOS terms it was a lifetime ago. I used StudioHD a lot. Probably at least half of Technopolis Lost was made in that app. It had (has) automation capabilities. Nothing like Auria, but StudioHD could automate. Everything that I wanted to automate went through StudioHD. Whatever I didn’t make in Studio HD I would do in Multitrack DAW, and a little bit was done with NanoStudio. My biggest troubles were dealing with the poor reverbs. They didn’t have enough depth, swirl or warmth for my tastes, and the tails were thin and short. I often treat reverb as if its an instrument more than an effect. Most had been, and some still are pretty low quality, very basic, but it was unavoidable because of the demands reverb puts on device resources. It’s the most power hungry effect so lowering the quality was necessary. Not so much anymore. I tried to compensate by recording multiple layers of reverb (in some cases reverb, chorus, delay and or a filter) on some parts, layering it on over and over until I felt it was good. Then to widen the sound further I’d run the same part in multiple tracks with alternating levels, pans, and one dry one simultaneously. Occasionally, certain parts were offset in the tracks a tiny bit. Sometimes a single part of a song would be in 3 or 4 tracks with various differences. It was all very tedious and laborious. When Auria came along, it changed my music world. Everything can be automated in very fine detail. Its different quality reverbs are very nice. The convolution reverb with all the extra I.R.s (impulse recordings) of every imaginable reverb type makes it very versatile. Plus there’re multiple different reverb plug ins available with great, unique sounds. In the past I re-recorded parts and used so many FX from numerous apps before I even started really arranging much. Now it’s much easier, and I don’t have to layer FX or resample nearly as often. It has the high quality FX to get me any sound I want. Arrange, mix, tweak, automate and master, all in one place. It has replaced more steps than apps.

Since Auria doesn’t have it yet, what apps are you using for MIDI sequencing? BeatMaker 2? Genome?

Neither of those to be honest. I haven’t spent enough time with Genome to say anything about it. BeatMaker 2 isn’t my cup of tea in general. Good app, sure enough, just doesn’t do it for me. I really don’t do much work with MIDI to be honest. Yet. Weird, I know. I’ve just haven’t felt much need for it. In the past it was even more rare that I would take advantage of any MIDI. Now, I am starting using it more and more. Still not very much though. When I do actually use Virtual MIDI its almost always with Cubasis. It has been the most comfortable and intuitive for me personally. Gotta love that Cubasis interface too, they did a nice job making it highly intuitive. Everything seems to just connect on their own. It has been the most comfortable for my MIDI experiments. I am expecting to receive a portable MIDI controller/keyboard for my birthday, so I presume that’s when I’ll start looking closer at the whole thing.

What do you think at this point is missing on iOS for your production process? an app? a feature in an app?

I think I have everything I need, and then some. All the needed features exist now. What bugs me is when a new app that does something innovative or is just plain cool launches missing features making it difficult incorporate into my process. It is my general opinion that no music app (other than midi controllers) should be sold without support for Audiobus or at least AudioCopy/Paste. Those are features I’m very bored of not seeing launched in new apps or apps coming “soon.” All too often “soon” means “maybe”. I won’t buy anything that isn’t ready for me to use anymore. I’d certainly appreciate a complete iDAW. By complete I mean having the combination of all the strengths from what the current ones have without the weaknesses, wrapped into one app. The holy grail of iOS music production. Someday, right?

Download Auria

Smite Matter: @SmiteMatter, Facebook, Blog, iTunes, CD Baby

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Interview with Image Line on FL Studio Mobile for Android

I got a chance to talk with Scott Fisher from Image Line on the music creation issues on Android, and their decision in making an Android version of FL Studio Mobile – you can read the interview here and follow @AudioOnAndroid for more Android music making!

iOS Music: Nomean – Newborn – Jinx Padlock Remix + Interview

newborn nomean jinx padlock

iOS musician Jinx Padlock has been producing under the streets of London for a year and a half now – picking up initial momentum on SoundCloud and landing on Tactal Hots Music for his debut E.P. Colonisation. Primarily producing inside of NanoStudio, the DAW of choice for many iOS musicians, Jinx incorporates a variety of iOS apps in his tracks, keeping the use of desktop software to a minimum and pushing the limits of what can be done on iOS. His latest release is a remix of Nomean by Newborn, read on to learn about production process for the track and what’s in store for his future…

juno download

How did you get the remix rights?

Since joining Tactal Hots Recordings last year I’ve been receiving the remixes emails from the company, always good stuff on there, and pretty diverse. I find remixing a good way of exploring avenues that are normally, sub-consciously hidden from my normal workflow, so I try and do as many as possible. It’s also a good way of keeping my profile active out there!

Explain the process from receiving the media to mastering a mix…

If I’m doing this purely mobile, which is 95% of the time, I’ll Dropbox the audio stems into Auria and from there chop out what I think I’ll need. Sometimes you’ll just get 8 bar loops, sometimes its full stems of the track. If its the full stems its good to get one last listen to the track as it originally stood. I have one simple remixing rule which I never break – once work starts on the remix, under no circumstances must I listen to the original until the mix is final and sent off. I find too closer a relationship with the source material offputting and counter productive – best to let instinct take the mix wherever it sees fit. Once I’ve got my samples roughly cut up, it’s copied into NanoStudio, where I’ll do the real intricate chopping and tuning. I try and keep it neat, I’ll bring most of it into a TRG to sort, then break those into drums, bass, fx etc. Its always a fight if you’ve got a lot of usable stuff to leave room for Jinx Padlock TGS! I treat it like a normal tune, working in the 8 bar loop, getting everything leveled and EQed, then adding parts to it from iOS synths. I sometimes get supplied with MIDI by the original artist but have never used it, I think its better to create something new. I do all my MIDI work in Cubasis, I like the clean approach to hooking synths up. I’ll play stuff into Magallen, NLog, Animoog etc and either directly ACP into NanoStudio, or take them through Audiobus. My main workflow of choice regarding Audiobus is usually going through one of two effects – LiveFX or JamUp. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun with the JamUp amplifier simulations. Great for adding a crispy live feel to sound. Its a perfect device for the DM1, which pretty much takes care of all of my drum needs these days – get a pattern looping and fire it through a marshall stack. LiveFX is great for FX performance – just jamming FX into AudioShare, sometimes you capture some real magic. When I’m happy that I’ve got enough ammunition in the 8 bar loop, and after trying a few dropouts in the mixer, I’ll start to populate the song arrangement. It was pretty clear from the moment I sampled it that the vocal was going to be the hook, line and sinker of this tune, so it was a matter of getting to it in an interesting way, then letting it rip over some building synths. It was a fairly painless arrangement, I was happy to let it fall into an almost standard club tune and resisted the urge to go into crazier territory, it was working and grooving along so nicely – those vocals were getting me quite excited, needed to finish it! The mix took 4 days of commuting to completely arrange and mix, about 9 hours. I was really happy with Newborn from a clarity point of view – impressed with getting this amount of punch and flow out of NanoStudio‘s mixer. I never master directly on the track in NanoStudio, preferring to leave a -3/-6 db headroom and no compression, then get it into Auria to push it through the master bus. I find the key to that process is ignoring any of the preset mastering setups and starting from scratch. Every track is different so every track deserves a individual master. Newborn was a fairly easy final, no need for any extra EQ on the stereo track itself, it all went through the master bus. I tend to then live with a tune for a day or so, listen to it on a few different devices – ALWAYS the car stereo – learned this years ago from a professional engineer, even better than NS10s – if it sounds good on a standard car stereo, you’ve pretty much got it! Once I’m happy, it gets dropboxed to the label and, if passed, off to the distributors. Then, I wait…

Any other remixing in the pipeline?

There is a mountain of JinxPadlock mixes hitting this year, almost one a month, I’ve been really busy with it, almost forgot to get my new E.P. finished! There’s a few remixes that I’m really happy with, both new acts, exciting stuff – Pop-Up Machines, mixed two of their tracks, Fools in a Goldfinger Bond style, the other Good Clean Woman in a more bouncing breaks / house groove, great tracks to start off with, lovely vocal performances. Another is an act called OhBoy, I’ve remixed their track “Berlin”, taken it into a dark techno space, again driven by it being an excellent tune originally. Going to be fiddling with another of their tracks soon. Just finished mixing Eick – “Tattletail” – something that I discovered one day in my SoundCloud stream and instantly loved – pestered Eick for the parts and made a massive acid mess of it! I also plan to have another bout of remixing other iOS / NanoStudio / SoundCloud users stuff like I did last year, it was a lot of fun and quite revealing to see how differently people were using the software. I’ve already got my eye on a couple of candidates! Must finish the new Jinx Padlock e.p. first, not far off now, you’re in for a very loud treat!

You can follow Jinx Padlock on Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud to keep up with his new tracks and thoughts on iOS production.

An iOS Musician Interview: Gercek Dorman

iOS musician and percussionist Gercek Dorman brings a serious approach to various iOS percussion apps in his videos on YouTube. Read on to see which percussive apps he likes the most, and why…

Tell us a little bit about you and your music!

My name is Gerçek Dorman, I’m from Ankara, Turkey, I’m 31 years old and I’ve been interested in music, drums, and percussion since I was 13. During my studies, I attended many private courses instructed by famous musicians from conservatories and Berklee Music College’s courses as well. In this period, I concentrated on drum set, darbuka, conga, cajon, udu drum and multi-percussion studies. I played with a number of bands both local and in other cities, as well as on TV shows, performances and entertainment organizations overseas. Besides that, I’ve been a drum and percussion educator for 6 years. In 2000′s, I was introduced to electronic music such as Talamasca, Rob Dougan, Juna Reacktor. After these I found my source of inspiration with Bonobo and Cinematic Orchestra, and I realized that I had a huge interest in computer based production and started to collect samples. Regardless of what kind of music I’m making, I always feel a huge Pink Floyd space inside me and I can see their reflection in all of my works (especially their A Saucerful of Secrets album). Last year I bought an iPad and start to use several music apps and I believe that my musical life changed to making music with iPad…

What would you say are your top three drumming / drum machine apps?

DrumJam: First of all, I’m a huge Pete Lockett fan. The app’s sounds are very useful, and there are tons of loop combinations. You can arrange them to infinitive numbers of variations. It is very user-friendly, and it has many realistic sounds. It’s also very easy to improvise with this app.

DrumJam - Sonosaurus LLC

DM1: This one has great sounds. It’s very easy to understand and write beats, and there are loads of percussion and drum sets ranging from electronic to vintage. The app makes it very easy to create new songs. I also prefer this application for my live performances with Roland Spd-s since it is very easy to connect MIDI. You just just plug in the MIDI cable and the instruments automatically recognize each other. It’s also very easy to import samples and voices into the application, and now DM1 is now available in Audiobus! For me, this was the most pleasurable update ever.

DM1 for iPad on the DM1 - The Drum Machine - Fingerlab
DM1 for iPhone on the DM1 for iPhone - Fingerlab

Impaktor: This one is easy to like, but hard to describe. It’s a very innovative app. I normally use e-drum pads and a sampler as Korg wavedrumRoland Hpd-15, but I used a kitchen pan as an e-drum with Impaktor, I even recorded a video for my pan performance. The app also has a very easy to use looper…

Impaktor - The drum synthesizer - BeepStreet

Have you incorporated any iOS apps into your live performances?

Yes, I have incorporated several iOS apps into my live shows… iKaossilator, DjRig and mostly DM1. I use a hybrid set which consist of percussion and drums in gigs. In this set, there are both electronic and acoustic instruments. I used Roland’s SPDS for controlling DM1. Since DM1 can import sounds, I can use both DM1′s and the other samples that I imported. So during my performances, I have lots of sound choices which makes my performances more interesting. In general, if I play with play along tracks, I prefer the DjRig. It is easy to crossfade between songs and if I want to make additional live effects on songs, DjRig it very easy. iKaossilator is one of the reasons for me buying and iPad. Because before the iPad, I had a KP3 as hardware and I was planning to buy a Kaospad. Then I realized buying an iPad with the iKaossilator app is much better, and economic. It’s super easy to make loops with it and have fun! When it comes for percussion solo in gigs, I often open my iKaossilator app and play my percussion loops and songs that I’ve created there. I’m really glad I went with the iPad!

Actually, I’ll be performing solo in Turkey on 1st of May, and iOS apps will lead and help me in my show. I will use my favorite apps like Magellan, Animoog, Alchemy Mobile, LiveFx, ThumbJamAudiobus, DrumJam, DM1, Impaktor, iKaossilator, and Samplr.

You seem to be a big user of the Alesis iO Dock, how satisfied with it are you?

I am a big user of Alesis iO Dock. I use it as a sound device for almost every work of mine. It’s like a swiss army knife for my iPad. It has XLR and 1/4-inch inputs, each with its own gain control and switchable phantom power for condenser microphones. It has MIDI connections and also it has stereo output. Everything I need, and I can carry it everywhere because it’s super portable. I use it mostly on stage during my performances as a MIDI connection between my Roland Spds and DM1. The only problem with iO Dock is the latency with microphone recordings, especially in BeatMaker 2. In MultiTrack DAW, it’s not as bad, but still present. Because of that, I am looking forward to the update from Intua for BeatMaker 2 (also for Audiobus). But for now, it is a part of my set up and I’m definitely going to stick with it…

You can give Gercek a follow on TwitterYouTube, and subscribe to his blog here.

An iOS Musician Interview: BitBurner

BitBurner‘s signature sound, dubbed VGDM or “video game dance music,” incorporates loads of samples from classic video games that’ll really make you feel like you’re in a musical arcade. Give him a follow him on Twitter and SoundCloud to keep up with his new tracks! You can also download an 8 bit arcade sample pack from him, for free, here!

Bonus: Get inside BitBurner’s head as a producer and a user by explore the NanoStudio project for his track Left Right Thrust Fire!

Tell us a little bit about you and your music!

My name is BitBurner, I’m from Bakersfield California, I’m 41, happily married 19 years, father of 2 girls 12 and 8. Professionally, I’m a network engineer and when I’m not working or playing Mineraft with my daughters I make music out of old classic video game sounds. I like to call it VGDM (video game dance music). I grew up in the height of the 80′s video game/arcade boom. I was a “latch key kid”, meaning I didn’t have much supervision after school. I hung out at the arcade at the mall where my mom worked in a dept store. I stayed till it closed almost everyday. There was also a huge arcade just a few blocks from my house. So with no supervision I spent a lot of time at arcades. So most my music is tied to my childhood and that nostalgic feeling I get when I hear those classic 8bit arcade sounds from some of my favorites like Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Asteroids. I like that arcade noise you know what I’m talking about? It’s music to me.

What got you started on iOS?

Last Christmas I used my work bonus to get an iPad2 and I soon discovered there were some really powerful music apps. Some I had used before on my PC like ReBirth or in real life like iElectribe or KORG iMS-20 but having it all in something I could take anywhere blew my mind. I must have spent $150 on music apps in the first week I got the iPad. I think my iPad has something like 6GB of just music apps, samples and projects on it. I even been known to delete games I really like just to make room for more music stuff haha…

What apps are you using to get those 8 bit sounds?

Well I have a couple of tricks but most of my sounds are from the ROMs of actual arcade games from the 80′s. I have an extensive MAME (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) ROM collection of well over 7000 working games. I use a program on my PC called M1 to extract sounds as WAV’s from those ROMs. I throw those onto sample pads in NanoStudio and I’m halfway there. Another trick I use is create my own synth patches based on simple saw or square patterns and double them at different octaves (classic chiptune trick) or actually load up some old Atari 2600 bass noise samples as the sample on my custom synth patch. I also use a program on my PC called SFXR to create just about any 8 bit sound I need. I used it to make a free sample pack you can get here. I use a ton of those samples in that pack in my productions.

What would you say are your top three iOS music apps?

NanoStudio has to be at the top for sure. I use it by far the most. It’s a full production studio literally in my hands. It beats sitting at a desk at a DAW trying to be creative. I can take it with me and produce something at the park or while laying down relaxing. Some of my best tracks were done in the car on the way back from Disneyland. I don’t see me doing much without it. NanoStudio on my iPad has put me back in touch with my music with all the pun intended.

Second would be have to be TouchOSC. Before I got my Novation Launchpad I was using TouchOSC more as a full midi controller for Ableton Live stuff but it’s still great as a second controller. I can keep the Fx Screen up and then not have to worry about switching screens on the Launchpad. I’ve only released a few tracks done in Ableton as most of what I’m doing is prepping for live events coming up next year.

Third is a tossup. There are so many great apps it’s hard to choose. But if I have to choose one it would be nanoloop. It’s the closest thing to a mod tracker or LSDJ on iOS. I’m waiting for a full old school tracker like Milky to be ported but until then this will have to do. There is a pretty big learning curve along with a strange interface but it will make chiptunes. I’ve used some small elements in my productions via AudioCopy feature right into NanoStudio. But I have to say I use a lot of different apps. Especially if they support AudioCopy!

For those live gigs you’ve got planed, are you going to incorporate your iPad in at all? If so, how? Will we get to watch?

I do plan to use it live in two ways. One will be with TouchOSC to handle my effects in real time and they other will be NanoStudio to do some live creation stuff. This is where I’m trying to mesh Ableton and Nanostudio and I’m doing it by syncing midi clocks. I’m doing some cool stuff that I have wanted to do for along time but was never within my budget or grasp. I hope to go straight into a board wherever I am get a nice dat copy. I’ll have to borrow my friends as that is a piece of equipment i’m missing but you got me thinking maybe I can do it on a spare iPod :) But my overall goal/dream is to do some sort of tour to arcades all across the U.S. It might be a short tour as there are not many left. But there are some greats I would love to play like Twin Galaxies of course and Insert Coins in Las Vegas.

What’s one app or feature of iOS that you’re hoping for?

Wow that is a hard question because I was just talking about how a proper mod tracker is missing from iOS but I would have to say more VST support. There are some things I miss from the my Ableton setup like VSTs and automation. I would love to be able to do side chaining. Rumor has it Matt Borstel is working on something new (NanoStudio 2?!?) and I’m very excited about that. NanoStudio has some great potential to host these kind of features so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

Lastly, what’s in store for BitBurner? Do you have surprises for the
coming months?

I have a lot of half finished tracks, non starters, etc that I would like to finish up soon. Sometimes I start a whole new one and finish it in a day (like today with “Remember Dont Shoot Food”). So you can expect a steady flow of free CCA licensed music to download as I have plenty in the que at the moment. If you have not figured it out also I’m a big believer in free art, and being in the public domain. Pretty much all my music is CCA licensed. Also I have hooked up with some similar artists to possibly put out some sort of sampler EP of VGDM and get it out there in all the online music stores etc. Maybe donate the profits to a charity like ChildsPlay. Keep a watch on my channel!

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An iOS Music App Developer Interview: Sonic Logic

Sonic Logic is a modular MIDI controller that allows you to edit and control MIDI controller setups on your iPad. The whole MIDI designing app has been done before, so here’s an interview with the developer on how Sonic Logic differs from the already existing designer apps…

First off, what inspired you to make Sonic Logic?

I started taking an Ableton course back in March 2012 to get some live electronic performance skills to take my music outside the studio and into live sets. I immediately fell In love with Ableton Live and discovered the world of circuit bending controllers. Seeing people perform on the internet with their circuit-bent controllers fascinated me and I wanted to make myself a custom one which I could change whenever I wanted to. Since I have no skills for making any hardware controllers I decided to use my skills as a software developer – the iPad was a clear choice for it. My final project in the course was to perform live four original tracks and I had tons of ideas for it but couldn’t find a controller software that I was pleased with. So that’s how Sonic Logic came to be, It needed to have editing capabilities right from the iPad since I needed to work with it during class time and I wanted it to be really simple but powerful to use. I was really happy to make it and share it with others musicians to use.

What is your vision on what Sonic Logic is for?

I have so many visions for it! Earlier this year I had the privilege of presenting Sonic Logic during an Ableton Live group meeting and I was presented with the question “why is there so much empty space on the component selection bar?”
The answer was simple, I have tons of ideas for components and frankly I don’t think the space I had left will be enough! So my vision for Sonic Logic is to keep on growing, I plan to make incremental updates with a small development period intervals. I believe that a user shouldn’t wait long for a version with tons of new features, but rather when I finish a new feature I’ll release it as soon as I can. There’s also a great community of users and followers on Instagram and Facebook and I often ask them for new features and ideas, and most of the features that will go into the forthcoming update (1.1) were from uses on Instagram and Facebook. I really hope to make an iPhone version this year for it, I got a lot of requests for that and I’m thinking of a design that would be easy and powerful for the iPhone platform as well.

How does Sonic Logic differ from other MIDI designing apps?

I believe that it offers a very powerful and flexible MIDI control environment, editing live was the key feature I needed and I believe that it’s one of the stronger features in Sonic Logic. To say the truth, when I started developing it I didn’t explore other MIDI designing apps very throughly, I still don’t.
The main reason for it is that I don’t want to be influenced by existing products but rather develop my own ideas, sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don’t. This really gives Sonic Logic it’s own distinct set of features and strengths and also creates an alternative for the users rather than copy existing products and thoughts. (It’s also good for the development community which allows each developer to focus on it’s unique character rather than compete with copying products).

Sonic Logic - Uri Nachmias

Are you an iOS developer looking to share your vission or inspiration for your app? Feel free to contact me here!