Doing more with less, and embracing limitations: it’s oft-repeated advice in music making. Maybe it’s repeated so often that it ceases to mean anything; I can find no harm in making music using the massive possibilities of a packed studio of gear or the endless depth of a computer.

So, instead, doing more with less can be something you do just because it’s liberating. It means you can make music on a budget. It means you can make music when you’re on a bus with nothing but a first-generation iPad and a copy of Polysix. It can mean, psychologically, that feeling of looking at just one tool and saying, here I go, I’m going to make something – and finish it.

Listening to these tracks made on Korg’s new iPolysix is liberating in that way. It’s a reminder that you can curl up in bed tonight with this app and produce something. It also demonstrates some of the benefits of Korg treating iPolysix in this case as a full-blown production workstation, with multiple instruments and drums and mixer and performance tools, in a way that means you don’t necessarily have to bring in any other tool. (See my preview from Monday.)

And if you thought that official demo track that came with iPolysix sounded good, we’re pleased to learn it comes from Friend of the Site Rutger Muller. Rutger has made a name for himself doing more with less, with a series of Nintendo DS-only albums and performances using Korg’s DS-10. (Composition trumps so-called audio “fidelity” again – for anyone complaining about sound quality, Rutger makes great, grungy, grooving tracks on that Nintendo game console.)

Watch Rutger jam with that track live:

Rutger reports a pleasant surprise: you can do this even on the first-generation iPad – the early-adopter device many developers are now more or less ignoring. (Sounds as though his iPad was straining – I’d still encourage picking up an iPad mini or iPad 2, minimum, if you can, finding it used if you have to. But if you already have that iPad “1,” the lesson is, don’t be shy about using it.)

More details from Rutger on this production – plus lots of additional listening on iOS and DS alike:

Jamming on an iPad 1 with the official demo ‘Submarine Drift’ track I made for KORG’s new iPolysix app.
- More of my KORG iOS music: http://www.Soundcloud.com/iNALOG

More of my works:

- Hypnotic School (dreampop/triphop):

- AuxPulse (acid/IDM on Nintendo DS):

- DS-10 Dominator (various EDM/acid on Nintendo DS):

- Chiptune Music
http://www.Soundcloud.com/DisketteDeluxe
- My complete portfolio:
http://www.RutgerMuller.nl

Rutger says he’ll have more videos on the way.

The other iPolysix production we get early on comes from Keishi Yonao, available via SoundCloud:

Keishi is a renowned Japanese game composer, and it shows.

In fact, if you want to forget about iPolysix, nice as it is, there’s … this:

The YM2151, aka OPM is Yamaha Corporation’s single-chip FM synthesis implementation, an eight-channel four-operator sound chip,created originally for the Yamaha Corporation’s DX series of keyboards,it was also used in many 80′s arcade games and home computers.iYM2151 is the The world’s first FM synthesis music workstation app using Yamaha Corporation’s YM2151 simulator engine for iApp.

What just happened? You watched a live “dump” of parameters, via the Detune-released iYM2151, an iPad app that simulates the chip inside the Yamaha DX series. (Bonus: your iPad is a heck of a lot easier to use than a DX, for what it’s worth.) That app is a fascinating creation. Details:

The YM2151, aka OPM is Yamaha Corporation’s single-chip FM synthesis implementation, an eight-channel four-operator sound chip,created originally for the Yamaha Corporation’s DX series of keyboards,it was also used in many 80′s arcade games and home computers.iYM2151 is the The world’s first FM synthesis music workstation app using Yamaha Corporation’s YM2151 simulator engine for iApp.

[iYM2151 for iPad]
-uses YM2151 simulator engine for iApp
-4 operators per 8 Algorithms
-8 voices
-3 software LFOs
-max 99scenes (1scene with 64 steps)
-easy FM edit mode
-MML mode : programable huge FM parameters in every steps
-DUMP mode : realtime all FM operator parameters viewer
-song data file sharing and mail attachment
-good old days 80′s design user interface

Keishi is a master composer – like his compositional brain is just moving faster than ours. Check out more of his work:
http://yonao.com/

Fire up your iPads on these two apps:

iYM2151 on iTunes App Store
iPolysix on iTunes App Store

  • http://twitter.com/prgrms Matt Leaf

    Will dub techno have its day in the sun yet or what? It’s been underground for so long. That demo is absolutely brilliant.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rutmul Rutger Muller

      Haha, I thank you very much. I just happened to be in a dub techno mood…

  • pierlu

    on the ipolysix is anyone else experiencing this? (actually that’s the same I was experiencing on the ims-20): when programming the drum sounds, in edit mode they sound different than when played (in my case via midi by Live). For example, let’s say I added a reverb on a snare and in the edit mode it’s playing ok… when I play it while displaying the mixer view, the reverb it’s not there (actually it’s there but it is gated really quickly). Same for bss sounds made with the drum synths… they sound longer in edit mode, whilst when displaying the mixer, they sound gated… What am I doing wrong? thanks

    • http://www.facebook.com/rutmul Rutger Muller

      The reason for the verb cutting of is that the drums are sampled after being saved. These samples have a specific length, one that is shorter than a long reverb tail. The other thing that can cause irregularities is the noise generator, which creates randomness in the sound every time you edit it.

    • pierlu

      All right thanks, now I understand. It would have used too much computational power otherwise so it makes sense. Thank you very much

  • Andre Brown

    I remember when I saw the Polysix running on an Android based tablet, I wonder what ever happened to that project. The product was called the Neiro and was made by Miselu, here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQSk8_mDry4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    • http://pkirn.com/ Peter Kirn

      Yeah, good point. Issue there is, Miselu never shipped hardware – seems to have no plans to ship hardware any time soon. So the hardware was only ever a prototype. And since their audio system is proprietary, the software for Android isn’t showing up either.

      iOS it is, I’m afraid.

      We will have an update on audio on the Nexus 4 / Nexus 10 / Samsung Galaxy Nexus. But those three devices aren’t in that many hands. (N4 is basically impossible to buy.) It could hold promise in the future, but for now, not much going on.

  • a

    Come on iWavestation! :) (although I hope they add a duplicate button to make wave sequencing more enjoyable)

  • itchy

    well done korg and the artist who made the video.

  • Name

    I still don’t understand why Roland doesn’t get on this scene. Love KORG sounds but still, more makers would be fun.

  • http://twitter.com/tekknovator tekknovator

    Korg! Again! :D