wretchupscreen

Mouse on Mars Builds Open Mobile Instrument with CDM: Help Make WretchUp [iPhone, Pd]

With all the mobile apps out there, the person who can help build something a bit different is you. The idea is this: fund a new handheld instrument now, and you’re rewarded with music, knowledge, and involvement. You get a studio album produced by Mouse on Mars, and watch as the app is finished. There’s one more twist, too: in a world of fairly disposable apps, everything in this project will be fully open source and shared, from the Pd patch producing sound to project files. WretchUp is a mobile instrument built by Mouse on Mars, capable of both extreme …

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The new, svelte Lightning connector may require clunky adapters for some hardware - but it's otherwise not a dealbreaker. Photo (CC-BY-SA) William Hook.

iPhone 5: Audio Accessories Compatible; Some Require Adapters [IK, Line 6 Official Word]

Apple has dropped their own 30-pin standard connector on the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch. In its place is a thinner, lighter, harder-to-plug-the-wrong-way connector called Lightning. So, what does this mean for those of you who use audio accessories for MIDI and recording? Fortunately, not too much. Obviously, it’s a fair bet that we’ll soon see new accessories with the Lightning connector – and, in turn, new iPads that use the same. But you won’t have to throw out old hardware. IK Multimedia (via a press release) and Line 6 have each told CDM their gear should work; IK …

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figure

Propellerhead’s Figure for iPhone, No Longer an Island: Sync, AudioCopy, Free Scales

Reinventing music software for a handheld is no minor challenge. Make it too much like desktop software, and you wind up with something crammed with features that feels awkward and overly heavy in a mobile context. Pare down too much, and you’ve got something that behaves more like a toy and can’t hold up to extended usage. Under the hood, Propellerhead’s Figure is actually Reason. But that’s just the sound engine underneath. And while the Swedish development house was adventurous and creative in imagining an interface for handheld use, the first version wasn’t exactly greeted with thrilled reviews. Users found …

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A Symphony of Speakers, Carried By a Crowd, as Choir “Of Sleeping Birds” [Android+Geolocation]

Orchestras generally sit in place, safely contained in a hall. Speakers are arranged in twos, fours, and sixes in fixed positions. Audiences sit and listen, and players play. In “Of Sleeping Birds,” those boundaries are all erased. In “Of Sleeping Birds,” dubbed “a geo-locative multi-speaker symphony,” mobile speakers held by participants form a chorus of sound. Location is everything: it spreads the music through a city, and, with the aid of GPS satellites, determines the music that the speakers play. That same mobility also gets an audience on their feet, participating in the performance. All of this aside, the work …

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djtools

With DJ Tools, the iPhone as a Companion to DJs; How the Developer Uses It

What would you want in your pocket for DJing? How about some key recognition and tracking, key mixing aid, BPM tap — and a flashlight (torch)? For the DJ who cares about mixing songs together in key and precise tracking of BPM, automatic recognition may just not cut it. One DJ and developer, Pete Simpson, decided to solve that problem – and like a lot of software ideas, initially built that solution for himself. He turns the ever-popular iPhone into a handheld, pocketable companion for DJ sets. I asked Pete to explain not only what the software does, but what …

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ds10

Deeper with DS-10: Using a Nintendo DS Cartridge from Korg, Surprising Live Electronic Music

Music making, child’s play. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Attila Malarik. You might not expect a handheld game console, the gadget kids use to play Pokemon, to prove much worth as a musical instrument. But even in the age of readily-available computer plug-ins and iPhone apps, the DS holds its own. In the hands of two sets of artists, we find music that stands alone, independent of the gimmick of the device on which it was made. For these artists, the limitations of a fold-up touchscreen – entirely independent of doubling as a phone, or a computer, or a Facebook-browsing engine, or a …

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kaossilator2

Korg’s Kaossilator 2, Mini Kaoss 2: Handheld Sonic Fun That’s Not an iPhone

Photo: Marsha Vdovin for CDM. Remember when electronic sound gear hid in hulking, rack-sized cases? Korg’s Kaossilator series had already begun shrinking the desktop KAOSS Pad gear, but even the first-generation Kaossilator wouldn’t fit in your pocket, given its square shape and corners. (Well, unless you were wearing overalls.) The Kaossilator 2 and Mini Kaoss Pad 2, on the other hand, are scaled perfectly to your hand and would tuck neatly into a pocket in your pants or bag. And while I know some readers were hoping for a new Pro addition to the KAOSS line, these little bundles of …

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Handheld Studio: Song Recorded with Just an iPhone 4S, Sonoma FourTrack; Here’s How

One of the smallest measures of time in the world is now the time that elapses between when Apple ships a new mobile product and someone has uploaded a video / album / feature film with it. It’s rather amazing. Somewhere, other tech vendors are … crying. But that said, I think the video above is a wonderful thing. Perhaps the mobile smartphone is this generation’s new PortaStudio – something so readily accessible and portable that there’s really no excuse not to record a musical event when it happens. And however you do that I think is healthy. So, in …

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mountain

Game Meets Album: Behind the Music and Design of the iPad Indie Blockbuster Swords & Sworcery

Jim Guthrie was a rockstar long before the iPad was. Paired with pixel-intense artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers) and the co-design and coding effort of a crack team of video game “wizards” at the indie studio capy, he’s made a soundtrack that’s destined to be a gaming classic. But if you don’t want to play it, you can still listen to it. And if you’re playing it, you may find that it feels as though you’re listening to it, and gazing into its artwork. From the moment you tap to launch it, Swords & Sworcery plunges you into a …

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An All-Android Hip-hop Album, and the Tools Used to Create It

Now airport lounge layover-ready and musical – the Android platform. A hip-hop release that used these handheld tools exclusively is a good window into what’s out there. Photo (CC-BY) Laihiuyeung Ryanne. From an eBay-purchased Atari ST to your phone, you really can make electronic music however you like, wherever you like. Generally, I’ve therefore been skeptical of gimmicks like all-iPad albums, particularly as it seems fairly obvious that such things should be possible. On the other hand, albums produced entirely with less-obvious, less-popular options may lead to more unexpected solutions. And they can both prove my ultimate thesis: you should …

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