Play a Retro-Sounding Commodore 64 Emulation in a Browser with WebSID

Dirty, low-fidelity digital sound comes to your shiny, high-fidelity digital device. Yes, WebSID is a beautifully-grungy emulation of the legendary SID synthesis in the Commodore 64. Because it runs in a Web browser, it’s also stupidly-simple to use. On computers, the keys are cleverly mapped to your keyboard, so you can jam by typing. On a phone or tablet with capable browser, you can use touch, meaning this is a bit like having an app. It sounds remarkable, all using the Web Audio API, with a nice filter, envelope controls, and delay, plus lots of authentic sound features (including properly …

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Control Ableton Live, Now from Android, Too: LIVKONTROL for Android, iOS

Android may not have anything approaching the catalog of music software available on iOS. But that shouldn’t mean you can’t find some very useful application for an Android device. I’ve been particularly happy with a second-generation Nexus 7 as a second tablet, for instance. Now, Ableton Live users with an Android phone or tablet they do love can add one killer application. LIVKONTROL was already one of our favorite Ableton Live remote control apps, with a balanced set of features, a really nice clip editing function, and a handy bank of generic MIDI controls you can use for anything you …

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Free IL Remote for FL Studio, Loads of Control for Android and iOS [Gallery]

What’s better than a New Year’s greeting card from a music developer? This. It controls their software, it produces custom layouts, it runs on Android as well as iOS, and it’s free. The folks at Image-Line, they of the tool once known as Fruity Loops, do have a way with software. They don’t go half-way: somehow, there’s always loads of stuff packed into their tools. And even as other tools capture the headlines and the “best of the year” mentions, for a lot of people, I imagine details like the arrival of IL Remote will be a Godsend. For starters, …

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A Free and Open Source Compressor, Built in Pd and Perfect for Mobile

Whether you’re building an experimental effect or performance tool or writing the Next Big Thing in Mobile Apps, you might need some signal compression. Working in Pure Data (Pd), it’s easy to create patches that get unruly, especially once you add live audio input. For mobile developers, things get even worse: you have to make your app work anywhere, with a range of devices, acoustic environments, microphones — the list goes on. The folks at Two Big Ears, who are working on their own rather lovely Android synth, have come to the rescue of Pd hobbyists and mobile developers alike. …

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NotateMe_iOSShot

Digital Notation, Like You Imagined It’d Work: Draw Into iPhone, iPad, Android

Through years of struggling with mice, keyboard shortcuts, and the like, stacks of hand-written notation alongside the computer, this was what I imagined – and probably you, too, if you work with handwritten scores. NotateMe promises to take hand-written notation from your fingertip or stylus and recognize music, from simple lead sheets to full orchestral scores. For those working with scores, it’s what you dreamt devices like the iPhone would do from the beginning. NotateMe is now in public beta, and we hope to talk to the creators, but wanted to get your feedback first about what you’d like to …

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ANS – Amazing, Eerie Russian Optical Synth – Now on Every OS [Megaguide to ANS Old and New]

Few early instruments from the last century can still sound futuristic today. But the photoelectronic ANS synthesizer is an enormous vintage hardware device that can already stand toe to toe with today’s most bleeding-edge software. It’s a natural for an iOS conversion, and an incredible amount of fun to use in software form – but also makes this a good time to revisit just how forward-thinking the original was. Before electronics grew in wide use in musical instruments, sound designers took a cue from soundtracks for film. That is, before digital, before analog, there was optical. Sound artists, including a …

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Android Gets Patchable Audio Everything: Free Patchfield Architecture [Video, Resources]

Android audio users, developers, patchers, and musicians just got a huge gift. Patchfield is, as the name implies, a space in which you can connect synths, effects, and sound modules in an open, modular environment. It’s a free app you can use on its own, as well as a free architecture developers can use in their apps. For DIYers and developers, it’s already looking like something you’ll want to try right away. (End users may want to wait for now, but the idea remains cool.) Inside an app (as a service), Patchfield provides a set of tools developers can use …

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Begone, Mouse: The Latest Upcoming Ableton Live Touch Controllers [Gallery]

The “live” in Ableton Live suggests making musical decisions in real time – not slowly with painstaking editing, stopping and editing and drawing, but as you listen and work. But while the onscreen interface is built around the mouse, and the precision of the mouse, focusing on those settings in performance, DJing, or studio work really wants something else. So, you have two choices. One is to use external physical control, like a conventional MIDI controller or the just-released Ableton Push. And that works very well for many people. Or, you can use a touchscreen. The advantages of the screen …

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RD4, Groovebox for Android, the Studio to Beat; Q+A on Audio Performance

Choices may be scarce on Android, but there’s a unique amount of passion behind this platform. Choose a high-quality app and the right device, and you can get low-latency audio and even cool features like USB host mode that let you connect a mouse, keyboard, joystick, or MIDI keyboard. (Well… sort of. See disclaimers below.) mikrosonic’s polished RD4 groovebox continues to mature. It’s arguably the studio to beat on the Android platform. It sounds great, does the things you need, and could give you hours of fun tinkering with music on the bus and plane or in a coffee shop. …

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Giorgio Moroder’s Music, Racing Across Your Handheld Browser, Free [Web Tech, Free Track]

Imagine the browser window – on a desktop, a phone, or a tablet – as another canvas for musicians. Hearing Web nerds talk about the latest browser tech may, it may not be immediately clear how that connects to this browser future. But with the addition of features like 3D and network sockets, suddenly you begin seeing dynamic music toys and tools that work without downloading apps. Google has become part R&D lab, part arts patron, with its Chrome Experiments. In the latest, Giorgio Moroder’s music is the soundtrack to a “race” of abstract, colored geometries as they track between …

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