‘Tis the season!

Spring has finally sprung!! Winter provided enough snow days for me to finish another EP. This one, Drag-On, features sampled loops from Lisa Moscatiello and the Window Shoppers, plus a lot of doodles created on Caustic and various iPad apps.

I am no longer releasing physical CDs but the digital download is available at Amazon, CDBaby, and Google Play, and iTunes.

I am having a release party April 25th at the Montgomery College Planetarium at 8pm. Hope you can make it!

 

Switching Teams

irig

I am an avid SPC music sketchpad user but otherwise find the Android really lacking in the music production apps department! The openness of the system makes for inconsistent support and there is a huge latency issue. And no midi!

If I have adequate setup time i will bring my laptop with Abelton Live and a controller, but for tight gigs such as Sonic Circuit’s open mic night i will use a rig consisting of a droid tablet triggering loops via the SPC app and an iPod touch played via the Fingerist for “live” keys. However I wanted a mobile alternative for DJ gigs and found the droid DJ apps didn’t quite deliver. So I finally broke down and got an iPad, albeit a refurb first generation so I appear to be an early adopter rather than a cheapskate. I now use the iPad with iRig MIX, an inexpensive mixer for iPad and iPhone.  You can either mix two devices, or use a magic cable that splits the left and right signal to use the iRig like a mixing controller between two virtual decks. I was disappointed and a little surprised that iRig’s DJ app is only for iPhone but it does run fine in x2 mode on the iPad (UPDATE: iPad version now available). Also the iRig is app neutral so other apps such as DJay can be used with it instead. Here is a photo of me at this year’ Capital Pride arts stage. This is very quick and easy to setup compared to the laptop, which was in turn much easier to setup than CD players and turntables! And I get to use the iPad to obsessively watch episodes of The Good Wife!

As far as other music apps go, I really enjoy AKAI SynthStation, and Nanostudio on iPad. But the midi connections are a little complicated. Apple mucked about with the power for USB devices to thwart aftermarket products, so even after you buy the overpriced $30 camera kit there is no guarantee your controller will work with it. Being the gear whore I am I own 5 midi keyboard controllers. Only two will work with the iPad–the Korg Nanokey and my Behringer UMX49.

Photo by Dave Dunham

NanoStudio

Blip interactive has already won the hearts of iPhone and iPod Touch users everywhere by creating the blissfully fun and feature-rich NanoStudio music app. Blip has blessed us further by being one of the first developers to add AKAI SynthStation support.

NanoStudio features 4 synths and 2 drum machines. Both synths and drum machines allow for the import of user-created samples. Patterns can be recorded in either real-time or step time via the sequencer. The transport bar allows the record function to be toggled on and off so you can easily practice parts before adding them.

The app is an intuitive delight to use! To try to write further about it almost ruins the magic. I will let my fumbling demo do the talking. This demo only scratches the surface of what this app can do–I didn’t even go into the effects mode. You can try out the app on your mac or pc before you get it from the app store.