Making live electronic music more ‘playable,’ and be less of a ‘press play’ type performance is a big topic in the EDM community, and I can see the iPad playing a huge roll in how it all plays out. The touch screen allows artists, like DJ Zinkus, to experiment with different interfaces and layouts, and not have to design or buy physical hardware controllers. Apps like Lemur (and MIDI Designer) allow artists to easily design and develop their own experimental instruments/controllers for use in a live setting, and thanks to the iPad’s touch screen, the possibilities are endless. It also transforms the device into an extremely playable instrument, if you’re open to the idea of using it as one. The size of the screen is really the only thing holding the iPad back at this point, but who knows, maybe we’ll see a giant iPad one day.
Rheyne performs live looping jams with analog keyboards, USB controllers, and (usually several) iOS devices. His set ups and uses of iPhones and iPads are very fun to observe; someofthem even feature only iOS! Rheyne also designs his own custom Lemur templates to fit his specific needs – you can download his RhenyLooper Lemur template here. Incorporating all kinds of apps from controllers to synthesizers to instruments (to all 3), Rheyne truly is, an iOS Musician…
Tell us a little bit about you and your music!
I’m a classically trained piano player, and had parents who thankfully encouraged music and made me take piano lessons when I was very young. Once I got to Seton Hall University I started to have more fun with it, and while majoring in music, I played in various bands in and around New York City. In between band projects, I would record some solo compositions in Cubase, but there was nothing about the process I enjoyed enough where I could say I wanted to do it every day, until I discovered live looping. It took me awhile to find something which worked with MIDI and audio seamlessly, and initially explored solutions in Reaktor, but my programming knowledge stops at BASIC and drawing lines with the LOGO turtle. I was lucky Ableton Live already did everything I needed it to do.
I’m just dying to know… where do all the extra iOS devices come from?
I actually bought my first iPad in Dec ’11 only to run Lemur, after discovering Lemur was ported to iOS. Later on, I was looking at a couple of hardware synths in the $1500-2000 range, and felt I’d get more use out of a couple more iPads while spending a lot less money than what the hardware synths cost. I don’t feel the iPad replaces a hardware synthesizer or workstation, mainly because of the latency and a lack of velocity control like a piano key or drum pad. But I thought mixing and matching different apps across multiple touchscreens would be fun to play, and the visual feedback would allow someone who was viewing on YouTube to hear the result of what they’re seeing. Since I didn’t hop on until Dec ’11, there was already a great selection of synth apps to mix and match with instances of Lemur.
Rheyne has got some GREAT videos featuring all kinds of iOS apps (usually running on more than one iDevice) being used all kinds of ways. This one’s been out since February but I thought I’d repost it…
“An iOS jam using NodeBeat on an iPad 2, SoundPrism on an iPod Touch, and Lemur on an iPhone 4. Audio is passing through a PreSonus 1818VSL into Ableton Live, and Lemur is wireless controlling effects in Ableton. All audio is from NodeBeat and SoundPrism, and the tempo-sync’d delay on the drums is NodeBeat’s echo.”
This is a super cool use of iDevices – he’s sending the audio from SoundPrism, into Ableton Live, and tweaking the effects live, with Lemur… cool!
Apps used in the video:
SoundPrism Pro on the
Lemur on the
NodeBeat on the
NodeBeat HD for iPad on the
Live looping improv jam using analog keyboards, USB controllers, and iOS devices. iPads are running Animoog, Lemur, and SoundPrism Pro. SB Pro is triggering NI’s Massive through an iConnectMIDI. A DJ TechTools MIDI Fighter 3D is controlling loopers, drums, and a monophonic synth. Its rotation is mapped to filters and vibrato. Normally my drums are played on an Akai MPD26, but wanted to get used to the MF3D for a portable live rig. An Akai APC20 and Novation Launchpad are controlling the recording and playback of loops in Ableton Live. The DSI MoPho, Fender Rhodes, and Moog Prodigy are all running through a PreSonus 1818VSL connected to a Macbook Pro.
Stream or download an audio-only version of this jam at SoundCloud: http://snd.sc/K8qcgA
A 100% live improvised jam using only iOS devices and Ableton Live. Lemur is running on two iPads, AniMoog is on a third iPad, Geo Synthesizer is on an iPhone and Griid is running on an iPod Touch. This is a combination of live audio input, wireless MIDI, and wired MIDI through an iConnectMIDI on the lower right iPad. All effects and filters are from Ableton Live, remotely controlled by the custom Lemur templates.
The audio from AniMoog and Geo is being fed into a PreSonus 1818VSL connected to a Macbook Pro. The drums are from NI’s Kontakt, and the yellow and red synths controlled by Lemur are the same Massive patches from the RheyneLooper (http://youtu.be/ZvXngE-LiKI). More controls have been added since the RheyneLooper versions, and will be released soon in a “Version 2″ of the download package available at Liine’s user library.
No preparation was done for this piece in terms of preset tempos or pre-recorded loops. The tempo was determined by the first loop recorded on drums through Lemur. All loops are recorded live.