DRC – Free Synth For Your Smartphone and Computer

Tech startup Imaginando have brought us DRC, a free virtual synth full of features for iOS, Android and PC/Mac.

The creative minds at Imaginando have created DRC, a multi-platform synth that has designed to be intuitive across all devices. The easy to use, analogue-modelling polysynth is available for free on Android and iOS devices as well as as a VST plugin for PC and Macs.

DRC offers a high quality synth with loads of features, including up to eight voices with two oscillators, one sub-oscillator, and one noise source per voice. It features an accessible interface designed to make it easy for beginners whilst it’s impressive set of features and cross-platform compatibility make it an appealing addition to any musical veterans’ instrument library. With Cloud Preset Syncing you can even store your presets you create with the synth and access them on any other platform.

Here are the DRC’s great features:

  • Up to 8 voices
  • Two main oscillators, one sub-oscillator and one noise source
  • Detune, sync and ring modulation
  • 4 pole self resonant low pass Ladder Filter
  • 2 pole multimode filter (LP, HP, BD, NOTCH)
  • 2 LFO’s and 2 analog modeled envelope generators
  • Stereo tape delay with time modulation
  • Lush stereo reverb with modulation and self growing decay
  • True stereo, analog modeled multi mode chorus
  • Arpeggiator with 4 modes, tempo sync and hold function

 

Get DRC for free now from here: www.imaginando.pt/products/drc

Find Your Top Spotify Tracks With Smarter Playlists

The man behind music tech blog Music Machinery has created a tool with Smarter Playlists that shows your top tracks on Spotify.

Using Spotify’s Smarter Playlists Paul Lamere of Music Machinery has developed a program to show you your top tracks. Using the assembled components you can create playlists showing your most played tracks in the last month, half year and over the last several years.

Spotify’s Smarter Playlists is a web app that lets users develop components to create playlists and import other users’ programs. Using simple components you can build complex programs and create unique playlists based on thousands of possible arrangements. Sourcing from artists, albums, genres, pre-programmed playlists you can develop hundreds of different playlists based on your listening, overall listening and much more, with the option to even set them to update regularly if your playlist will be different over time.

You can go to Smarter Playlists yourself and experiment creating playlist systems or go here and import Paul Lamere’s ‘My Top Tracks’ playlist creator into your profile.

Free Download Of Excellent EDM Virtual Synthesizer

The always brilliant music software devs at Acoustica have released their new EDM optimised “showstopper VST instrument” for free.


Nightlife is a fun and inspiring virtual synthesizer instrument, packed with bone rattling basses, otherworldly pads, beat-synced arpeggiated patterns and tons more, making it the ideal choice for modern dance, EDM, or trance styles. And with three oscillators, five built-in mod sequencers, dual filters with fifteen filter types plus a vowel filter, four LFOs, flexible mod matrix, a bit crusher, and five killer effects, Nightlife is a programmable powerhouse. For users who just want to rock the house without a lot of pushing the mouse, Nightlife includes a ton of edgy, evocative preset patches.
Features:
  • Sequencers: Create captivating patterns with five independent, beat synced sequencers, each with up to 32 steps. Routable to filters, pitch, amplitude and more.
  • Oscillators: Three feature-packed oscillators including sync, ring mod, and FM. Choose from dozens of included waveforms, or draw custom waves with the mouse.
  • Filters: Dual-filter architecture with selectable oscillator input routing. Choose from fifteen filter types, including classic 24 db/oct lowpass, bandpass, highpass, and more.
  • Vowel Filter: Nightlife’s Vowel Filter lets you create unique vocal-like timbres with an easy and fun “bouncing ball” graphic interface.
  • Mod Matrix: Quickly configure up to ten individual mod routings with Nightlife’s flexible modulation matrix. Choose from nine mod sources and 36 destinations.

 

Nightlife is available on Windows computers now, for free from here: acdc.acoustica.com/nightlife.

This iOS Mixer Acts As a Hub For All Your Recording Connections

Kymatica’s AUM is a new app that works as a flexible audio mixer, recorder, and connection hub in your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Connect your various music-making apps, inputs, outputs, AU extensions and more all in your iOS device with AUM. Streamlining all the elements of your recording process is important and as recording on mobile devices becomes more and more advanced AUM has launched to help you collate your connections and interfaces.

Using AUM you can route your connections to and from all of your mix-busses, effect sends, audiobus ports, and external multi-channel audio interfaces. Easily view all of your sources and mix them, select specific channels to record to and from, and save it all into the storage space of AudioShare so you don’t need to copy files.

Using Ableton Link you can synchronize your recordings and playback from other apps and devices with Ableton Live and Link-enabled iOS apps. The app also features built-in processing nodes to accurately process stereo inputs and playback, Mid/Side balance and conversion, EQs and filters, limiting, clipping and saturation or if you prefer use any Audio Unit extension or Inter-App Audio effect.

Here are all of the things the impressive AUM app features:

FEATURES
• High quality audio up to 32-bit 96kHz
• Clean and intuitive user interface with crisp vector graphics
• Extremely compact and optimized code, very small app size
• Unlimited number of channels
• Unlimited number of effect slots
• Inserts and sends are configurable pre/post-fader
• Internal busses for mixing or effect sends
• Supports multi-channel audio interfaces
• Supports Audio Unit extensions, Inter-App Audio and Audiobus
• Audiobus state saving
• Highly accurate transport clock
• Metronome and optional pre-roll
• Sends host sync to Audio Unit plugins and IAA apps
• Play in time with Ableton Link
• FilePlayer with sync and looping, access to all AudioShare files
• Records straight into AudioShare storage space
• Built-in nodes for stereo processing, filtering and dynamics
• Latency compensation makes everything align at the outputs
• Separate Inter-App Audio / Audiobus output ports
• Built-in MIDI keyboard
• Fully MIDI controllable
• MIDI Matrix for routing MIDI anywhere

BUILT-IN SIGNAL PROCESSING
• Stereo balance
• Stereo to mono
• Stereo panning
• Mid/Side balance
• Mid/Side – Stereo convert
• Invert Phase
• Parametric EQ
• Low-shelf filter
• High-shelf filter
• Low-pass resonant filter
• High-pass resonant filter
• Gain
• Hard clip
• Saturation
• Lookahead peak limiter


AUM is available now on iOS devices with version 8.0 or later. It is $9.99/£7.99 from the Apple App Store.

Compose Music By Hand With The Gorgeous StaffPad App

Write music using the Microsoft Surface’s advanced pen in the most intuitive music notation app available – StaffPad.

StaffPad brings handwritten music notation to the 21st century, without a mouse you can arrange your scores digitally yet traditionally. Using StaffPad on the Microsoft Surface (and compatible Windows 10 devices) you can handwrite your music and convert it into “a beautifully typeset score”.

StaffPad converts your scribbles into notations that you can edit, share, print and even play back using a uniquely designed sampler featuring the sounds of the Boston Pops orchestra and other world class musicians. The application is built for professionals and it’s clear with the intimacy and depth of notation features, but for newbies there’s a bunch of interactive training and tutorials included.

Last Autumn a smart ‘Composer Assistant’ was added in an a free update that intelligently responds to your voice. Ask the assistant to set up a new score, add specific instruments, change key and time signatures and much more. This is just the start of what is capable with StaffPad for Microsoft devices, see what it can really do in the video below.

StaffPad is available now for $69.99/£54.09 from the Microsoft Store.

Steinberg’s Cubasis, New Update As Version 2.0 Approaches

Steinberg have updated the iPad variant of their popular Cubase DAW adding Bluetooth MIDI and Audio Unit compatibility.

Steinberg’s mobile DAW Cubasis has been updated to 1.9.8  and brings with it some nice little features that should tide you over until the long awaited version 2.0 arrives. New with this update is support for MIDI over Bluetooth LE so that you can record into your iPad wirelessly and smoothly.

The second big new feature is support for Audio Units (AU) which allows instruments and effects in that format to work within Cubasis. The MicroSonic workstation that comes included features 28 new instruments to work with for a range of new sounds. The effects have also been made to be easier to control. Also included in the new update is the option to store files on the iCloud, hard drives or wireless flash drives.

Cubasis is available for iPad now at a discounted price until the 1st March for $24.99/£18.99. Usual price is $49.99/£39.99.

Arturia’s Excellent New iOS Drum Machine iSpark

Arturia bring their Spark drum machine software to iPads with their new iSpark app.

There’s no shortage of drum machines available on the Apple App Store. What there is a shortage of is drum machines that provide a good quality, optimised experience that is both well designed and capable of variety. That’s why Arturia‘s iSpark for iPad is a welcome addition to any music creators arsenal.

With iSpark you can play drum patterns in real time from a choice of over 600 instruments and 40 kits based on drum machines, electronic kits and acoustic kits. Tweak your sound on the fly with a variety of effects and master effects on each of the 16 available tracks.

Here’s a list of all the main features:

  • Pristine quality sound engines including: TAE® analog synthesis, physical modeling, and multi-layered samples provided by our top-tier development partners
  • 640 Instruments / 40 kits -Classic drum machines/ Electronic kits/ Acoustic kits
  • Shuffle and shift modes to humanize grooves
  • Choke groups to mute instruments naturally
  • Song mode with 16 segments
  • Song segment triggering from hardware
  • Performance master effects: repeat, tape, reverse, strobe, pan, mix, bit crusher, 8-mode filter and Roller
  • 16-track mixer with high-quality effects: multiband compressor, bit crusher, multiband EQ, chorus, delay, reverb, distortion, phaser, plate reverb, destroyer, flanger, space pan, limiter, sub generator
  • Real-time automation on all parameters
  • Compatible with SparkLE controller
  • Ableton Link integration
  • Possibility to share projects, kits and instruments between iSpark and the desktop version of Spark 2.

Don’t just take it’s impressive features’ word though, DJ and Producer Tom Demac praised it saying: “Having a lot of fun with iSpark jamming out ideas away from the studio. Very easy to get started with but you can go in deep with automation, love that you can hook the iPad up to the actual SparkLE hardware until Recommended.”

The iSpark app is ‘Inter-App Audio’ compatible meaning you can use it in your iOS DAWs with easy integration. There are also packs featuring five projects, 80 instruments and 160 patterns available for in-app purchase for $3.99/£2.99 each.

iSpark is available from the Apple App Store right now at a 50% off launch price of $9.99/$7.99. After 3 weeks the price will rise to $19.99/£15.99.

Find out more here: www.arturia.com/products/ipad-synths/ispark

Get Daily Spotify Playlists With New Mobile App

‘Playlist a Day’ a new application for iOS and Android sends you a new themed playlist for Spotify every day.

Powered by Playlists.net, a Spotify community and playlist sharing site by Warner Music Group, the app hand-picks a new playlist each day from it’s library of 175,000 human curated, themed playlists they have amassed over the last five years.

Upon downloading the app you will be presented with a new playlist via push notification daily. Click on it and you’ll be taken to the playlist in the Playlist a Day app with a unique art work and description. You will however need to be a subscribed with a Spotify Premium account to use the app.

Playlists.net founder Kieron Donghue said to Tech Crunch: “The idea came about as an extension of the reason why I set up Playlists.net some 5 years ago or so. Namely that I think there is so much choice out there when it comes to what to listen to that it becomes a challenge to find something new and interesting. Algorithms solve this problem partly but I still say you can’t beat human curation.”

That’s a point some may disagree with, partly with respect to Spotify’s lauded Discover Weekly feature which generates a 30 song playlist each week based on your listening history and habits. It really comes down to personal preference over whether you prefer playlists created by a person, who can pinpoint niches, or by algorithms that translate music data into playlists. Both are available in various incarnations across music streaming services.

Whatever your opinion on human created playlists the Playlist a Day app is free to download and try for iOS and Android now. It’s worth a try.

10 of the Best Mobile Music Production Apps

As a musician you’ve probably been in the position where you have the urge to record something as inspiration suddenly strikes but you’re in the middle of nowhere, away from all of your recording equipment, distanced from your computer and expensive software. Or how about those times when you need to get that idea down and waiting for your computer to boot up and load your hefty DAW won’t cut it.

In the 21st century a lot of you will have a smartphone or tablet on your person most of the time and guess what? With the right app, your mobile device can be transformed into the most portable music-maker you’ll find.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 great DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and sequencers that not only let you record and create on the go but also give you the tools to fine tune your tracks to perfection with professional, and some great amateur, production software.


FL Studio Mobile – $19.99/£14.99 (iOS, Android)

Image-Line already have renown for their great desktop DAW FL Studio. Their mobile version shares the intuitive and well designed notation input of it’s desktop peer. Using the built in piano roll on a bunch of various and editable sample-based instruments you can create a wide range of sounds.

Since it’s release Image-Line have been frequently updating the app with new features including audio tracks, so you can import and edit various audio files. Though it of course pales in comparison to the desktop version of FL Studio, the mobile variant still provides you with a fully fleshed, multi-track DAW to take with you on-the-go.

Image-Line are set to release the third major version of their mobile app soon: routenote.com/blog/fl-studio-mobile-3-coming-soon

Steinberg Cubasis – $49.99/£39.99 (iOS – iPad only)

Steinberg are probably the biggest name in music production software – whether you like their famed Cubase program or not. Their iOS variant Cubasis makes the power of Cubase portable. A streamlined sequencer with multi-touch compatibility using Cubasis you can record, edit and mix your projects easily.

With unlimited audio and MIDI tracks (we have no idea how) and a bunch of effects, instruments and loops to use Cubasis has plenty of creative potential. Add to that it’s extensive recording and editing capabilities and this is one of the best DAWs outside of a computer. You can also share projects between your desktop version and iOS app so no project is left behind.

Garageband – $4.99/£3.99 (iOS)

Apple’s staple in music-making software – GarageBand has been around for over 10 years in various iterations, beginning on Mac OS. These days the software is available on your iOS devices for whenever that creative mood hits.

Garageband offers great functionality through it’s built-in Touch and Smart instruments so you can record a variety of sounds directly into the app. With up to 32 tracks available you can record your instruments with MIDI and jack converters too. Featuring built in guitar amps, effects and a sequencer GarageBand is a great all round music production application. GarageBand also allows transfers from their new Music Memos app for super simple recording on the fly.

SunVox – $5.99/£4.79 (iOS, Android, Windows)

SunVox isn’t the most appealing of mobile music production apps but it does something very unique – it works on Windows phones! It is actually compatible on most OS’s both mobile and desktop.

SunVox is a pattern-based sequencer and modular synthesizer and once you get past it’s striking visuals has plenty to offer. The application supports a variety of inputs depending on what OS you are using and features real-time recording, MIDI import/exports and more. Although it’s one of the few DAWs to work on Windows phones it’s features are still very limited on the device.

Lemur – $24.99/£18.99 (iOS, Android)

Lemus is a professional MIDI and OSC controller application that makes it easy to create all kinds of sequences whilst you’re out-and-about. The app features a deep sequencer with which you can control MIDI instruments. One of Lemur’s best features is it’s great multi-touch functionality.

With the new Canvas feature in Lemur you can script custom widgets within the app from a HTML5 element. On top of it’s great features you can customise the ‘Skins’ of Lemur so that it looks however you want it to look.

TouchDAW – $4.99/£3.36 (Android)

TouchDAW is a feature-packed DAW and MIDI control app for Android. It features multi-touch compatible launchpads and keyboard, MIDI controllers and incredibly impressive mixing capabilities. Seriously, this is the one we recommend if you want in-depth mixing of individual track parameters on your Android tablet or smartphone.

One of this apps major features is it’s compatibility with desktop DAWs, allowing you to use it as a separate mixer or synthesiser whilst you work on your project which is not only really cool but incredibly useful. Although this app is exclusive to Android it’s files are compatible on iOS and Windows phones.

Caustic 3 – $9.99/£7.99 (iOS, Android – free)

Inspired by rack-mount synthesizers this neat little app lets you create racks of up to 14 built-in machines. You can then sequence and create your tracks using the variety of digitised synthesisers which you can apply up to 2 effects on each out of 16 effect types.

With Caustic you can also insert certain USB MIDI controllers on compatible devices so they you’re really playing your recordings. Though not the most diverse, feature packed recording app it’s great for laying your ideas down and even greater if you love synthesisers. For what it is, words don’t do it enough justice so check it out in the video below.

Sequencer – free (Windows)

After a gruelling search this was as good as I could find for the underpowered Windows phones (excluding SunVox). It may not be a DAW but it’s a pretty well realised sequencer (aptly titled – yes) with variable track lengths of up to 128 steps, 70 samples, 3 oscillator wavetable synthesizers and 35 synthesizer presets.

That’s not all with a 7 channel mixer, loop settings and various adjustable features Sequencer is the easiest (and one of the only) ways to create great beats on your Windows phone and best of all – it’s free!

NanoStudio – $6.99/£4.99 (iOS)

NanoStudio is a fully fleshed out “recording studio” for your iOS device. With virtual analogue synths, sample trigger pads, impressive sequencer, sample editor, a mixer, loads of effects and more. All in one app!

Lay out and record any ideas in real time and make them sound exactly how you want. It may take a little practice to get used to simply because of it’s massive set of features. The downside – you can’t record audio but an app that handles six MIDI instruments is good enough. The app also supports Audiobus and exports to SoundCloud.

Akai iMPC Pro – $12.99/£9.99 (iOS – iPad only)

Have we saved the best until last? Well that’s subjective and I won’t force an opinion on you but Akai Professional’s iMPC Pro brings together a gorgeously simple yet intuitive aesthetic with a massive set of music recording and editing functions. The fact alone that it’s a 64-track music production app for your iPad is impressive enough as it is but iMPC Pro provides so much more.

Based on Akai’s MPC series this app provides LOADS of composing, editing and mixing features to aid you from start to finish of your tracks. A massive library of sounds, instinctive sample editing, drum pads, hundreds of editing capabilities from effects, levels, trimming, splicing, timing, tuning, panning and so, so much more. Unfortunately iMPC Pro is iPad only but for those lucky iPad owners this is a music production app you do not want to miss.

 


It’s worth noting the differences in iOS, Android and Windows smartphones when it comes to mobile music-making. You may have noticed the list tends to lean towards iOS compatibility and definitely doesn’t favour Windows phones. Well there’s a reason for this.

Windows phones generally don’t have the power or compatibility to work with proper DAWs and therefore shouldn’t be your first choice, however there a couple of inclusions for those Windows users who want to make do.

Android is a big step up and features a wide-variety of music-making applications however the vast difference in specs between models of Android phones leaves a little ambiguity for compatibility and means you may not get the best results, but there’s still bound to be something for you.

Lastly iOS devices are generally considered the best mobile platform if you want to properly record, mix and edit tracks on the go. From the way they handle audio files to it’s ability to cope with all the various functions of a DAW iOS is for the most part the preferable choice. iPad’s are definitely the top dog for it’s large screen, increased processing power and it’s excellent exclusive apps.

But no matter what your operating system, there will be something for you (even if that’s a little something for Windows users), so get out there and start making music!

Apple Release New Recording App: Music Memos

“An app to capture your song ideas. Whenever inspiration strikes.”

Apple has surprised everyone with the launch of a new recording app and an update to their popular mobile version of GarageBand. The update brings some great improvements and new features to the app and Music Memos gives you an entirely new and easy-to-use platform to record your ideas with.

Music Memos is an app that resembles Apple’s built-in Voice Memos app with some extra, flashy features in the vein of GarageBand. However Music Memos promises high-quality, uncompressed audio, all through the use of the built-in microphone of your iPhone. You do have the option to connect an external microphone however it’s not necessary to create a clear recording. Music Memos has been optimised for the recording of acoustic guitar and piano but works well with other instruments too, including voice.

Apple Music Memos Verge

The most unique and exciting feature of Music Memos however is the ability to add and tweak a backing band, that follows your lead when playing. The app automatically analyses the essentials of your recording and then suggests which chords you played on a track. You can then play it back, adding a virtual drummer and bass player to jam along with you. The app will even track the tempo of your playing and will adjust it’s speed in real time, even if you change speeds during the track. As you listen you can fine tune the playing by switching between different types of drums and bass’ and tweaking the energy or style of playing.

Apple Music Memos

What if you record something using Music Memos that you really love? Easily add it into GarageBand on your iOS or Mac and even into Logic Pro X. You can also share them between friends and devices by adding them to your iTunes library, Apple Music Connect, SoundCloud and Youtube – all directly from the app.

On top of it’s impressive recording functions Music Memos also features an instrument tuner and, of course, a list of your past recordings where you can rename your tracks, add star ratings and add tags, for example Apple suggest adding tags like Intro, Verse, Bridge etc. So when recording a song you can make sure every part is perfect.

Apple Music Memos

Do you want to know what is potentially the greatest thing about Apple’s new Music Memos app? It’s completely free! You can download the app now from the Apple App Store on compatible Apple devices here: itunes.apple.com/app/music-memos/id1036437162?mt=8&v0=www-us-ios-musicmemos-app-musicmemos

Also watch T-Pain try out the new GarageBand update, courtesy of The Verge: