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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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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Nanoloop Comes to Android, with its Lovely, Minimal Music Idea-Making Interface

I think the first time I really understood handheld music making was when I first tried Nanoloop on Game Boy. While the more-popular LSDJ tracker is powerful, Nanoloop’s interface was unlike anything I’d seen before: aggressively minimal, it embodies in its interface design the feeling of a blank sheet of paper. Adding an idea feels like composition, like genuinely exploring open-ended possibilities and discovering what melodies may result. Now, Nanoloop – already on iOS – is available for Android, too. It remains simple stuff, the sense of what a music maker looks like when designed for your hand rather than …

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FL Studio is Coming to Fruity Mobiles iPhone, iPad – Well, Sort Of

Image-Line has long promised it’d never make a version of its popular FL Studio – aka Fruity Loops – for Mac desktops. Blame the Windows-centered development tools in which this cult-hit all-in-one production studio is built. But it has found its way to a fruit-themed platform of a different sort, with FL Studio Mobile for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Leaked specs and early screenshots have surfaced (apparently unintentionally). That means anything said here could change as the app is developed. (Thanks to readers who tipped us off, though it seems I-L didn’t intend to make this public!) The app looks …

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The Handheld Studio Evolves: Beatmaker 2 Developers Explain their iPhone Workflow

Music production once meant getting into a studio. Portable multi-track tape and later the computer liberated us from that, and the “bedroom studio” was born. When capable Palm handhelds hit the market, musicians imagined yet more mobile means of production, and everything from Game Boys and PSPs to phones, even before the iPhone, have been pressed into on-the-go music-making service. In all that time, though, the way you actually make music in your palm has been a work in progress. Intua’s BeatMaker was one of the first applications to demonstrate what might be possible on Apple’s handheld, and a radical …

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Exclusive Leak: Moog Music Make Filtatron, an iPhone Filtering, Effects, and Sampling App

The Moog app sits on my iPod touch, next to its analog predecessor Moogerfooger. Yeah, okay, I still like the knobs better, but it is fun, and the Moogerfooger doesn’t fit in my pocket unless I wear really silly-looking overalls. Moog Music, they of the normally analog-only gear, have built their first iOS application. We’ve acquired exclusive details of the innards of the app, and I’ve been testing it today on my (second-generation) iPod touch. Blasphemy? Perhaps, but it’s a nicely-designed little application, and with audio input capability, could turn your Apple handheld into a tiny recording and effects-processing unit …

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Rhythm Core Alpha: New Music Making App for Nintendo DS – DSiWare

With the recently-announced Korg M1 app and DS-10, the Nintendo DS handheld remains a surprisingly-good choice for handheld music making. A new app could take that further. Nintendo may have struck a blow to homebrew music developers by successfully blocking hardware that allowed it to run. But while it’s not nearly as open to development as Apple’s iOS, Nintendo’s DSiWare can work for an independent developer. The proof: Rhythm Core Alpha, created by T.B. Trzepacz. What’s unique about this application is that it emphasizes real-time production. Sound playback never stops during editing. The crowded interface packs some fairly powerful-looking features: …

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BOSS Pedal Sketch: BOSS Stompboxes as Free iPhone Download

The BOSS Pedal Sketch application, a free download today for iPhone and iPod touch, probably isn’t what you think it is – but it is a novel concept in mobile apps, and a sign of some of the new ideas to be explored. If your first thought was that this is a handheld set of virtual stompboxes, as we’ve seen recently from the likes of IK Multimedia, you’d be wrong. (That’s okay, that’s what I thought at first glance, too.) Of course, as I’ve observed before, while these apps are cool for practice sessions, they’re no replacement for hardware – …

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Korg M1 Keyboard Workstation, Reborn on Nintendo DS

The original M1, definitely larger than a DS. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Kevin Phillips. Having made their own DS-10 instrument, Korg and DS developer AQ Interactive yesterday presented something new for the handheld Nintendo. This time, they’re revisiting one of the all-time greatest hits of digital synthesis, the Korg M1 workstation. Markus Schroeder tips us off that the M1 will be the next release for the DS. An iOS (iPhone/iPad) version may follow, as with Korg’s recent mobile rendition of the ElecTribe. Markus is also kind enough to translate the Japanese contents of the presentation: Features are (subject to change / error): …

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