Beatsurfing – The Organic MIDI Controller Builder – Official Teaser from Vlek Data on Vimeo.

There are already some exceptional touch controllers on iOS. But that means it’s doubly time for something new.

Even among the best touch apps for iPad, there are some common themes. Layouts, if they’re editable at all, generally require a computer app for making and adjusting sets of controls. And (while Lemur is a notable exception), many restrict you to virtual simulations of conventional buttons and faders, rather than using a range of novel controls.

That seems to ignore some of the potential of the device. If you’re already using your fingers to play controls, why not draw those layouts on the iPad, too? And since the iPad is a blank slate, why not make new controls that use your finger gestures? And why should you only be able to control some apps and hardware, and not others – why not use those controls for MIDI hardware, computer software, and other internal apps, instruments, and noisemakers on the iPad?

… which brings us to Beatsurfing.

US$11.99 | 9,99 €

Hope to have a full review of this one soon.

More videos and details on this app, which is released by Belgian label / artist collective Vlek (home to Squeaky Lobster, Cupp Cave, Sagat and Ssaliva)…

Artist-developers Herrmutt Lobby and Yaniv De Ridder collaborated on the app:

Interestingly, the collective that is Herrmutt Lobby draws on experience in hardware, not software, with custom MIDI controllers for scratching and something called the Beatfader (which, in turn, works with a Max for Live device).

BEATSURFING #3: Granular Synthesis from Vlek Data on Vimeo.

BEATSURFING #4: 100% Live Dubstep by HERRMUTT LOBBY from Vlek Data on Vimeo.

BEATSURFING #2: Connecting the Dots from Vlek Data on Vimeo.

BEATSURFING #1: A Simple Demo from Vlek Data on Vimeo.

  • psymon

    these are the faderbeat guys! they are dope as hell!!  and this thing looks amazing!!!

  • Øivind Idsø

    Wow, that looks pretty amazing – and very innovative!
    Will def. buy!

  • EATYone

    Soundtrack is dope! 

  • Taapo

    What is that iPad holder? Is that something specific to the software, or a general “holder” you can buy somewhere?

    • Peter Kirn

      Pretty sure that’s an Alesis ioDock!

    • Peter Kirn

      Pretty sure that’s an Alesis ioDock!

  • V-F!

    Has anyone figured out how to use this with internal iPad apps?  I don’t want to hook it up to ableton.

    • herrmutt lobby

      you just need to activate the “run in background ” togle switch in the app you want to use, like sunrizer, thumbjam ect 

    • rich

      Yeah it works fine with internal apps.  I’m nearly getting it working with Linux using nmj… so close, yet so far…

    • Ben Whitlow

      So far, Ive had fun running it with DM1, StepPolyArp, Animoog, MoDrum, and BassLine.  Works quite well.  Of course I have had to run it with Midi-Bridge to get it to talk to everything the way I want it to.  Still learning, but I am hoping to use it with Apps and Ableton at the same time.

  • vinayk

    i wonder why no one had done this before – seems great. Whats the latency like with iPad to ableton/iPad to synth?


    • Øivind Idsø

      No latency to speak of when using an iPad with a MIDI interface, a bit of latency (I would guess, based on using Lemur, TouchOSC etc.) when using over Wifi. Ok, more than a bit of latency at times.

    • Guest

       …and about 100ms of latency due to the screen?

  • Adam Cahan

    This looks pretty incredible – and makes a LOT of sense! You can model the musical relations of the sounds/tools/fx you are using in your control model, thus making a more musically useful control schema! This makes me want an iPad. Just for something like Ableton you could do some _crazy_ stuff, setting up control surfaces and recording all your experiments.

  • V-F!

    Can anyone recommend some more good apps they can confirm work with core midi and BG audio.  I have Sunrizer, Funk Box and Addictive synth all running nice at the same time on different midi channels

  • Fake

    Yup.  Makes me want an iPad.  This looks like something that is innovative as well as useful; not just another crazy little toy.

  • Tuukka Jääskeläinen

    Okay, any idea what is the guy controlling in the granular synth example? It literally blew my mind and sounded like exactly the stuff I’ve been looking for quite a while.