7 Days of Noise: Day 4 - Control Surface


Here we are on day 4 of this mini-series on Noise IO Pro. Today I wanted to mention the Noise IO control surface. Of course how the control surface works depends greatly on how axes are mapped to parameters. You could argue in fact that the whole device is the control surface as you can map parameters to the acceleromoter as well.

The main control surface is simple to use and easy to get comfortable with. Adding control zones gives you more variables to play with, or using the surface in soundkey mode changes the way you 'play' the device altogether. In fact, in soundkey mode I think it is almost a two handed device and less useful for performance.


The virtual keyboard in Noise IO Pro is also very handy. It is velocity sensitive, but this is derived from the place on the key that is touched rather than the velocity at which you hit the device. In this mode the actual control surface is vastly reduced, but it is still there, and can be used quite well depending on how your parameters are set.


Overall the surface is very flexible and allows the user to define how they want to manipulate a given sound in a wide variety of ways. Noise IO Pro makes excellent use of the different axes and parameters available on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and I'm sure that these will expand over time.

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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Little Boots interview



Little Boots interview before her performance of Meddle on Later. She mentions the Tenori-on and plays it a little, but that's about all.

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Dolphin Music Advent Calendar

As it is fair to say that the festive season is well and truly upon us, I thought the UK readers might be interested in Dolphin Music's Advent Calendar which starts from tomorrow.

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ZooZBeat to be ported to other platforms

The lovely people at Zoozbeat are looking for input into which platforms users would like Zoozbear ported to. You can find their feedback form here to leave your views.

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What's the most innovative application in 2008

I thought I'd start a poll for December on the most innovative application in 2008, but I wanted to get some opinions first. There are a variety to choose from of course. Things like:

- SynthPond
- Noise IO Pro
- SunVox

And unusually this year there are a fair number to choose from. So, if you have an opinion about which apps should be in the running, please leave a comment on this post so I can put up a poll in a few days.

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7 Days of Noise: Day 3 - Effects


Continuing the series on Noise IO Pro, today I'm looking at the effects available under Noise IO Pro. The list of effects is:

- Delay 1
- Delay 2
- Chorus Flanger
- Phaser
- Bit Crusher
- Distortion

Each effect can be switched on or off and each parameter can be independently mapped to an axis (see Day 2). The combination of multiple effects and mapping make the assignment of effects into a given patch really flexible. I keep coming back to the fact that the real use for this app, and in fact what it is designed for is performance work.

The quality of the effects that are built in to Noise IO Pro are very high indeed. The only downside is that the effects are part of Noise IO Pro unlike the plug in architecture in Bhajis Loops and also Griff.

It would be nice to see some more more effects like a reverb, corrosion, etc. I'm hoping that we'll see more stuff like this future versions of the app. We'll see.

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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New version of Thereminator coming


Yonac preparing new version of Thereminator following user feedback.

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4 Tracks site update


4-Tracks site gets an overhaul and now not only looks much better, but provides a lot of very clear information about the app and how to use it.

However, as far as I can see there is no longer any mention of a 'more fully functional' product to come from LittleCodeShop.

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7 Days of Noise: Day 2 - Map to Axis


Yesterday I talked about Noise IO Pro and ESFM which is essentially at the core of Noise IO (and indeed the family of apps that is growing up from Amidio).

Today I want to mention how Noise IO makes use of the the unique interface possibilities of the iPhone platform. Noise IO allows you to map to a variety of parameters. These are:
  • Up-Down (Y Axis) 
  • Left-Right (X Axis) 
  • Multitouch ("Between" Axis - distance between fingers during pinching action) 
  • Accelerometer Roll (holding the device horizontally, roll it from left to right in a 
  • waving manner) 
  • Accelerometer Tilt (tilt the device back and forth)

It might look like a short list, but it should not be underestimated. Mapping parameters to these Axes can give you enormous control over your sound, and you can map almost parameter from globals to LFOs.

What this gives you in an incredibly versatile performance instrument, with an almost overwhelming amount of choice about how you control it and in what way and to what degree.

Mapping to axes allows you to set the start and stop value levels for any parameter that is mapped so you can make it as sensitive or blunt as you like.

All in all this makes mapping a huge part of Noise IO Pro, especially if you are using it for performance. I want to write in a bit more depth about performance so I'll leave that for another day.

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finger Bassline for iPhone


Here's a new app for the iPhone platform. A 303 type bass synth. The interface looks really nice. Here's what the developer's site says:

The finger BassLine is a musical instrument for the iPhone and the iPod Touch heavily inspired by the legendary Roland TB-303. It provides a monophonic synthesizer with built-in pattern-based step sequencer.

Synth section features include:
  • Oscillator with two waveforms (sawtooth or square)
  • Stable low-pass filter allowing high resonance values not leading to self oscillation
  • Graphical representation of the filter parameters
Sequencer section features include:
  • Individual pattern lengths (up to 64 sixteenths)
  • Emphasized notes and pauses
  • Smooth transition between notes
  • Functions to clear, transpose, shift, and clone patterns
Ideally suited for live performance:
  • Realtime modulation of the filter parameters using the intuitive pad-controls
  • Pattern switches take effect on downbeat
  • Tap-tempo


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IndaMixx laptop for under $500


A number of sites (mainly CDM actually) have posted on the news that IndaMixx has introduced a cheap Linux-based audio production laptop. It is quite impressive in terms of the features and what you actually get for your money.

The IndaMixx Laptop features:
  • Fast Intel Atom based Netbook (1.6Ghz)
  • Transmission 2.1 OS 
  • Pre-bundled software with award winning energy XT
  • First solution to feature ArdourXchange.
  • Over 2900 drum sounds
  • More than 350 classic sample and scratches
  • Over 260 Plugins and effects
  • Complimentary Software Support
For $499, you get:
  • Indamixx Laptop
  • Carrying case (bonus)
  • 1GB SD card (bonus)
  • Free Software Support (first 30 days)
  • Free T-shirt
  • Free Fedex Shipping (USA only)
via CDM
I don't that this is something that I'd go for, but I;m sure that it will find a place in the market.

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Amidio bringing another app to the iPhone


Amidio have announced yet another app for the iPhone platform. 303 Pocket Noise is built on the same audio engine as Noise IO Pro, and has the following features:

+ 2 waveforms - saw, square
+ 4 Patterns with realtime pattern sequence programming
+ Realtime pattern editing (on loop)
+ Auto-save on quit
+ Slides, 3 octaves
+ Very simple interface: just 2 screens.
+ Modulation surface like in Noise.io Pro
+ swingy BPM
+ effects: delay, distortion
+ .wav export via built-in server (no additional programs needed)
+ direct beatmaker export (hopefully).

We need this app to be a testing playground for new features and if the features prove itself, they will be expanded quickly into Noise.io Pro.

Noise.io Pro will always remain the flagship product and will contain all the features found in smaller products.

303 Pocket Noise will be priced at $0.99 or at $1.99.

Planned date of release: middle or late December 2008.

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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7 Days of Noise: Day 1 - ESFM


I've finally had a decent amount of time to give Noise IO synth a more detailed look, so I thought I'd write about the functionality in Noise IO and give some thoughts on a number of the areas in the app.

To start with I'm going to look at ESFM
I've taken some of the text from the Noise IO manual to give a description of ESFM. ESFM is the central principle behind Noise.io's sound creation. It stands for Enhanced Subspace (Substractive) Frequency Modulation.

Frequency (pitch) — along with the amplitude - is one of the main characteristics of a soundwave. A plain soundwave at a fixed
pitch sounds dull. In traditional synthesis, there are two techniques that can be used to enrich the sound:

1) We can take another soundwave at the same frequency, detune it a bit, and let it go through the filter, thus forming a new timbre.
2) Or, we can use another soundwave as a source to define how the frequency of the first soundwave must change over time —
thus forming a new timbre (sound tone). This new timbre depends very much on the shapes of both soundwaves, their amplitude (volume) and frequencies.

The first method is a general description of substractive synthesis (originated from Moog synthesizers), and the second method is a general description of FM synthesis (originated from Yamaha DX-series synthesizers). The uniqueness of Noise.io is that ESFM employs both these methods, and user can use them simultaneously or separately. It combines the spectral richness of substractive synthesis with the diversity of sounds that can be created which is a specific
characteristic of pure frequency modulation synthesis.


So, what does this mean. Well, I can remember years ago owning a a Yamaha DX100 which had 4 sine waves used for FM synthesis. Noise IO has 2 but has a variety of forms that can be used by either oscillator. The actual variety of sounds that you can make in Noise IO is quite stunning, and a brief run through of the factory presets will show you this. However, until you start messing abut with making your own sounds you don't get to grips with just how powerful it is.


I usually find that any new piece of software takes some time to get used to and a degree of delving into the manual to understand the basics. I don't think that Noise IO is too different. However, once you're into it and experimenting it does have a very straightforward interface, and the way controls are laid out makes sense.

In terms of the synthesis from the app I really like and could easily spend happy hours creating sound after sound with this app.

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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Video potential for iPhone OS


iPhone Video Out from Ars Technica on Vimeo.

AppleInsider posts on an unpublished framework in the latest version of the iPhone OS which allows developers to pipe video out of the dock connector.

This could be interesting in terms of portable multi-touch VJ applications?

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Noise IO 1.1.4 released

Noise.IO has been updated to version 1.1.4. The update includes:
- Improved performance in iPhone OS 2.2
- Trills in control surface
- Bugfixes

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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Mixtikl now in beta

Intermorphic have posted to their blog that Mixtikl is now in beta test, which is excellent news. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of Mixtikl, and I'm hoping it will be soon.

Interesting that their post confirms that the next step is the S60 port, and then possibly the iPhone too!

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Buddha Machine 2 on CDM



I'd never heard of this until seeing it on CDM. It makes me think of things like RJDJ (as mentioned in the CDM post), but also of other hardware like the Madplayer which is no longer in production. At £15.99 from Cargo it isn't such a bad deal at all.

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AppCraver on iLife Mobile?

There have been rumours of an iLife suite for the iPhone OS for a while, but Apple have been less than forthcoming with their own apps. This post at AppCraver makes the comparison that Apple has made a great deal of progress in terms of bringing music making to the masses, so why nothing similar for the iPhone platform? Who knows?

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AppCraver on iPhone Synth apps

This is an interesting comparison at AppCraver of three of the synth apps around at the moment. I'm not sure I agree that SynthPond is for non-musicians.

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Music apps unaffected by DGOS

Dmitry Grinbern has said that music apps are not affected by DGOS on a comment on this post.

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MFX24 Portable Effects Processor



This post at Synthtopia looks like an interesting unit for live work.

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BLIP Festival


4-DAY CHIPMUSIC ASSAULT @ THE BELL HOUSE, BROOKLYN
---
THURSDAY DECEMBER 4 - SUNDAY DECEMBER 7 - This epic planetary occurrence is less than two weeks away, so GET YOUR TICKETS. The BLIP FESTIVAL 2008 is looming large on the horizon, obscuring all else. 32 of chipmusic's most destructive otherworldly presences take their positions alongside 6 reality-shaping deities of motion graphics, all descending upon Brooklyn venue THE BELL HOUSE to shatter expectations, senses, and worlds. Four nights of performances, bolstered by daytime presentations, workshops, and screenings; and all events are all-ages.

* Music by:
Anamanaguchi, Animal Style, Bit Shifter, Bubblyfish, Cow'p, Dubmood, Glomag, Graffiti Monsters, IAYD, Ikuma, Jellica, Mesu Kasumai, Lissajou, Low-Gain, m-.-n, Meneo, minusbaby, Mr. Spastic, nordloef, noteNdo, Nullsleep, Role Model, Sidabitball, Starscream, Stu, Sulumi, Syphus, Tonylight, Trash80, Unicorn Dream Attack, USK, zabutom

* Visuals by:
The C-Men, Entter, NO CARRIER, noteNdo, Paris Treantafeles, VBLANK

* Daytime events:
Surrealtime 2: 8-bit Demo Show with Andy Voss
2A03 Workshop: Crash Course in FamiTracker with Baron Knoxburry
Beyond Vegavox: NES Albums and Music on Real Hardware with NO CARRIER
Make Your Own Visualist - Electronics Building Workshop with VBLANK
_Blip Festival: Reformat The Planet_ documentary film screening
Blip Festival open mic

Full event schedule at:
http://blipfestival.org/2008/tickets_and_schedule.php

Details of the Blip Festival at the TrueChip blog.

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nano Series review by DJ tech tools



DJ tech tools review of the korg nano series.

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Noise community grows

Noise IO is now up to 2000 users on their site, with 5000 copies of the app sold and an amazing 10,000 downloads of the free Noise Trio app. All this in under a month.

Very impressive indeed.

Get Noise IO Pro at the App Store

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Garnet VM Beta 3 Released for Nokia Tablets



The latest version of the Palm virtual machine for Nokia tablets has been released. Version 3 seems to be mainly bug fixes. However, if you have any hands on experience of the VM I'd be interested to hear what you think of it.

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Processing 1.0

Processing 1.0 has arrived. Lots of people have posted on this. I don't know if that means that mobile processing is out of beta as well. Perhaps I should do some digging around. Here's the first part of the press release:
We've just posted Processing 1.0 at http://processing.org/download. We're so excited about it, we even took time to write a press release.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and LOS ANGELES, Calif. - November 24, 2008 - The Processing project today announced the immediate availability of the Processing 1.0 product family, the highly anticipated release of industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow. Delivering radical breakthroughs in workflow efficiency - and packed with hundreds of innovative, time-saving features - the new Processing 1.0 product line advances the creative process across print, Web, interactive, film, video and mobile.

Whups! That's not the right one. Here we go:

Today, on November 24, 2008, we launch the 1.0 version of the Processing software. Processing is a programming language, development environment, and online community that since 2001 has promoted software literacy within the visual arts. Initially created to serve as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into a tool for creating finished professional work as well.

Processing is a free, open source alternative to proprietary software tools with expensive licenses, making it accessible to schools and individual students. Its open source status encourages the community participation and collaboration that is vital to Processing's growth. Contributors share programs, contribute code, answer questions in the discussion forum, and build libraries to extend the possibilities of the software. The Processing community has written over seventy libraries to facilitate computer vision, data visualization, music, networking, and electronics.


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TrakAx blog on the lack of windows mobile devices in Ireland

The TrakAx Blog posts on the lack of available windows mobile devices from Irish phone networks. Taking a brief look at the list it does look a bit strange I must admit.

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PASY02 update

PASY02 has been updated with high frequency noise reduction.

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DigiDrummer 1.6 available


DigiDrummer 1.6 is now available and has bigger pads, a volume mixer and is compatible with iphone 2.2 update.

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