The iPhone’s glass touchscreen may be a thing of beauty, but despite its multi-touch capabilities, it would seem this device is incapable of responding to how hard you tap it. But the developers at Wave Machines Labs apparently didn’t want to take no for an answer.

The iGOG drum suite for iPhone provides drum pads and sample triggering in unique ways, most notably in its velocity-sensitive VelAUcity. How do you get velocity response from a device that’s supposedly not pressure-sensitive? Presumably there’s additional data in the touch events that makes this possible, but for now Wave Labs aren’t saying:

iGOG’s proprietary VelAUcity technology does the unthinkable and turns the iPhone’s screen into touch sensitive drum pads. Play loud, play soft, or play a full-blown crescendo on a crash cymbal, iGOG will capture every nuance of your performance. Just plug in your headphones and start playing.

Here’s the interesting twist: generally, when any of us say “iPhone,” what we really mean is “iPhone or iPod touch.” That’s not true in this case: “NOTE: VelAUcity is only available on iPhone devices. if you’re using an iPod Touch, VelAUcity is disabled.” That seems to suggest that the trick is the built-in mic, or at the very least some private API that’s iPhone-specific. (Audio triggering is most likely, as this app comes from a developer with drum replacement experience.) That would also suggest to me that you might be able to pull this off with non-Apple mobile devices and controllers in the future.

As a result, though, I can’t test it – I have only the iPod touch.

Unconvinced or uninterested? iGOG has some other approaches to how the small Apple handheld can be made more useful as a set of pads:

  • Multi-positional pads that assign articulation based on location
  • A mic trigger mode — which may be more useful than the VelAUcity. This mode assigns any nearby sound (like rapping a table) as a trigger. (That’s possible, of course, with a variety of software, but having the device itself be portable could be handy, so to speak.)
  • Multi-samples, file management, and sequencing for doing more with the samples.
  • No, real multi-sampling — 384 multisamples per drum!

Even if you’re skeptical of yet another iPhone app, I think there are some great ideas here for music software (mobile and otherwise). Here’s a look at the mic trigger mode in action:

Oh yes, and speaking of all this audio triggering, the same developer makes the superb Drumagog drum replacing plug-in. With pricing at US$199-379, you have to be pretty serious about drum replacement, but I know people who are who swear by it. There’s really nothing stopping you from whipping up your own solution, but Drumagog has a lot of niceties that make the process easier, quicker, and more powerful.

http://www.drumagog.com

If you are a Drumagog user, you can bring those files into iGOG. That makes this app all the more interesting – it can be both a fun toy for someone new to the idea, and a companion to a more serious (and more expensive tool).

More on iGOG:
http://www.wavemachinelabs.com/igog/

  • Barry Wood

    It does look like they're using the mic which makes sense since they've got significant experience in turning audio in to triggers. That's too bad though, I've got an iTouch too :-P

  • http://www.wavemachinelabs.com Rim Buntinas

    Yep, you guessed it, we're using the mic. We're also licensing the technology to other developers. We've made the license fee very reasonable, so you'll see it appearing in a variety of other music apps soon.

    Regards,

    Rim Buntinas

    President

    WaveMachine Labs, Inc.

  • Sjakelien

    Very cool indeed. But the most impressive thing about this video, is the drumming skills of the performer.

  • Sjakelien

    I just downloaded the app. Beyond the splash screen, I see the pads, but they don't respond to anything, neither does the 'i' info button, or any other interface widget. I left the app running without touching it, and it just crashed after a while.

    When I first started the app, there was a progress bar, saying: "finishing installation". I suspect that it tried to install some samples somewhere, but couldn't find any free space.

    I will remove some stuff from my iphone, and reinstall the app. Keep you posted.

  • Phil Harding

    Actually, there's no way to determine pressure, or the amount of "skin" (the API just doesn't provide that). Dopplerpad uses the accelerometer (just try shaking the phone while tapping). It works ok, but I think igog did a much better job. So far, it's been very accurate. Kudos to the developers.

  • Andreasfr

    I seem to recall something about another velocity-sensitive drum app using the accelerometers.. That would work for the touch as well…

  • http://www.taktmaschinen.de Zimon

    The Multitouch-Technology allows velocity messuring. The harder you press the more “skin” of your finger comes in contact with the touchscreen and the multitouch technology can messure that …

    There is another app in the appstore. The DopplerPad has Velocity-Messuring, too …

  • http://www.memo.tv memo

    using the mic is clever, gotta check it out.

    @zimon, AFAIK the apple API’s don’t let you see how much skin is in contact with the touchscreen, you just get a single ‘x,y’ coordinate and not any ‘sizex, sizey’ information.

    and of course a reminder of another app which has had velocity sensing for a while now ;)
    http://msavisuals.com/iphone/msaremote#vdmx

  • Captain Howdy

    I don’t understand how the mic would work with the actual drum sounds blasting away. Wouldn’t louder sounds skew the system? Or is it filtered for some specific range of sound that only the fingers make when they hit the screen?

    Seems like the skin of the finger widening out as you hit the screen harder would be a more accurate method.

  • http://pierrefontaine.bandcamp.com/ Pierre

    Zen Piano has velocity sensitivity regardless of using the iPhone or iPod Touch. The samples are pretty lame but the effect works really well!

    CDM had an article about Zen Piano some time ago. Here’s a Youtube link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5ofdsqSXZM

  • http://www.joshmobley.com josh

    I got it straight away and think it's fantastic. I was only mildly annoyed to discover that you need an actual mic an not the iphone headset to trigger the sounds. The velocity touch screen thing needs some work. What would be amazing is if they could figure out a way to have different sounds from the mic triggering different pads in the drum machine.

    Well worth the price.

  • Aaron

    using the mic is an interesting way about it..

    i was thinking you would use the available api that would let you determine the width of the press/touch. light touch, less area, harder touch, harder area. i was experimenting with it awhile back and it's totally doable from that angle imo.

  • Aaron

    harder area= more

  • http://jordanbalagot.com Jordan314

    Mic trigger mode is incredible! I made a youtube demo here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqyccNK9Ee0
    It goes crazy when you sing into the mic, I forgot to demonstrate that. :)

    I'm really impressed with this app. The only drawback is it requires headphones with mic trigger mode, and in pad mode if you use speakers, the sensitivity degrades because the playback interferes with the mic. That limits the possibility of live performances a bit.

    One definite bonus feature would be live MIDI triggering, via WIFI/OSC. A drumagog-like EQ filter for mic triggering three types of samples would be rad. And an undo feature would be cool, sometimes I screw up my sequence. :) But being able to sequence and save MIDI and WAVs for later is fantastic.

    I had trouble setting up the FTP – it would connect but the directories were empty – but I was able to grab the files via jailbreak/OpenSSH. Interestingly now that I got them that way, the FTP connectivity is working too.

    That said, this still gets 5 stars from me. Awesome app!!

  • http://torley.com Torley

    I was surprised awhile ago when I was playing DopplerPad on my iPod Touch and it appeared to be velocity-sensitive. Not sure if it was a clever trick (and some have speculated it uses the accelerometer), but it worked pretty well. The touchpads are advertised as velocity-sensitive, so however they've done this, it's pretty wicked.

    P.S. The website has a sweet, stylish design, too.

  • J. Phoenix

    Has anyone been able to harness the 3-axis accelerometer's information as a means to detect velocity?

    I imagine having to set the device on some foam or cloth for stability & recoil but it seems plausble that the data could be equated to velocity.

  • http://eshefer.com eshefer

    Sjakelien: "Beyond the splash screen, I see the pads, but they don’t respond to anything, neither does the ‘i’ info button, or any other interface widget."

    I have a similar problem.i tries to install samples at start up, the stops and freezes for a few secs – then crashes. sometimes it doesn't freeze, and I can play the pads, but it is unstable and very sloppy from a timing POV. and after a while… guess what – it crashes.

    has anyone got this to work on a 3g iphone? it might be that it only will work properly on a 3gs?

  • http://eshefer.com eshefer

    aparantly Sjakelien and I are not the only people with this problem.

    http://www.drumagog.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?f=12

    they are working on it. I have a feeling it's a ram issue, too. it's not a jailbreak issue and, in my case restarting the iphone doesn't work either.

  • http://www.wavemachinelabs.com Rim Buntinas

    eshefer,

    Can you please post this problem on our forums? I'd like to troubleshoot this with you. There should be no problem getting iGOG to work on a 3G (we've tested it on many here).

    Thanks,

    Rim

  • http://www.wavemachinelabs.com Rim Buntinas

    Great video, Jordan!

    Did you also notice that you can use the pad on the phone to change the HI-hat articulation, while in mic trigger mode?

    Rim

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    I have talked to developers who complain about a RAM fragmentation issue – that is, that even though the iPhone doesn't multitask or offer background services as such, some applications may not fully release memory causing a *different* application to crash. If anyone can confirm details on that – or whether this is improving with system updates – I'd love to hear it.

    But yes, no reason to post bug complaints here on CDM — put them on their forums and you have some chance of them getting properly documented and fixed!

  • http://eshefer.com eshefer

    just a quick note to say that the problem I had was solved.

  • http://www.wavemachinelabs.com Rim Buntinas

    Thanks for helping us solve this issue. If anyone else has trouble with iGOG crashing, please follow these steps:

    1. Delete iGOG (hold down your finger on the app icon for 5 seconds, then press the "X" when it appears).

    2. Re-purchase iGOG (you won't be charged twice)

    3. Launch iGOG

    4. Do not interrupt the "finishing install" process. It takes a few minutes, and may stop and start, but it will finish.

  • Chris

    I love this app. Been playing with it all day. It's even impressed a non-musical colleague so much he's going to buy it when he gets back home tonight.

  • http://jordanbalagot.com Jordan314

    @Rim I just saw your guys mic trigger video where you demonstrate that and the looping/sequencing. Very cool! The pad is like a ribbon controller.

    Hey is there any way for us to sell some drum kits via your app?

    @eshefer my phone in the vid is 3G and it works fine

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | Cellphone Plans Comparison

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | ToGadget , The Guide to Gadgets

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | Cell Phone Magazine | Your daily online mobile guide

  • Pingback: RSS For Gadgets » iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | Reaction Radio

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | zacsgames.com

  • Pingback: BlogLime » Blog Archive » iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | 1stop2all.com

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone « Tech7.Net

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | Diy all the Way

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | NewsHaven

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone « Tech Pulse!

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone | SalDee.com

  • Pingback: My fourth descent into ADD » Video Demo of the incredible iPhone iGOG Mic Trigger Mode

  • Alan M

    Apps like this are making me seriously consider buying an iphone!

  • Pingback: iGOG VelAUcity brings velocity-sensitive drums to your humble iPhone |