Tag - MIDI
We've written about the validity of the iPad as a musical outlet before, but quite a few of the music production apps available for the iPad tend to fall into one of two groups: they're either so simple they're more like toys, or so complicated that they're only for professionals. The app that we're going to talk about today, however, is a nice middle-ground -- a feature-packed, yet user-friendly app called Firo.
IK Multimedia has announced that it is now shipping the iRig MIDI 2, a portable MIDI interface with Lightning and USB connectivity for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac and PC. The device is equipped with three standard-sized female MIDI DIN sockets -- IN, OUT and THRU -- which allow for full MIDI functionality and connectivity with any MIDI-enabled device, such as a keyboard, hardware synthesizer and more. Its two blue LED lights provide monitoring of the MIDI data passing through the In and Out sockets.
Audio accessory maker Alesis has debuted a number of new devices for musicians, including three new USB MIDI keyboard controllers along with a set of iPad- and iPhone-specific amp docks. All are on display at the company's booth (#6400) at the 2012 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. The keyboards include two 61-note models as well as a 25-note compact model. The iPad and iPhone amp docks are based on the company's successful iO docks.
Keith McMillen Instruments has received enough Kickstarter pledges to introduce the QuNeo pad controller for musicians. The device integrates 27 pads, sliders and rotary sensors, with each sensor able to distinguish pressure, velocity and the exact location of touch input. Multiple LEDs in several colors are fitted beneath the opaque input locations, providing feedback and reference.
The makers of the iOS guitar interface adapter iRig are now releasing the iRig MIDI, a compact standard Apple Core MIDI interface connects keyboards or other MIDI-compatible instruments such as drum machines, drum pads and pedal boards to iOS devices. The company also announced SampleTank Free which is included with the iRig MIDI, as well as the full version of SampleTank for iOS -- an app that offers up to 400 instrument sounds, four voices and 900 rhythms to MIDI-compatible equipment.
After a hiatus of over three years and in response to customer demand, MOTU is once again shipping the MIDI Express XT, a MIDI to USB interface for Mac and Windows that offers eight independent MIDI inputs along with a total of nine outputs) and up to 128 channels. Aimed at both personal and professional users, the company has finally updated its popular ClockWorks software as a universal binary for non-Rosetta Intel Macs, and also now supports Windows Vista and 7.
Zygoat has updated its Doggiebox percussion sequencing software for Mac to version 2.0, a major update that features improvements to all parts of the app, including song editing, playback, the drum kit editor, and a new live recording mode allowing users to add beats using the keyboard or a MIDI device. The software now requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later, and now features automatic software updating along with the usual array of bug fixes.
Electronic drum and audio equipment maker Alesis has introduced the iO Dock, a pro-audio docking solution for the iPad and iPad 2 that gives users an easy way to connect the iPad to MIDI controllers, PA systems, microphones, video projectors, instruments and more. The dock is intended as a universal iPad recording, playback and MIDI device that features XLR, 1/4-inch and MIDI jacks among other inputs and outputs.
Roland U.S. is now shipping three new products to assist customers who need inexpensive stereo audio interfaces for recording analog instruments, as well as interface MIDI digital instruments to a desktop or notebook computer. The Tri-Capture UA-33 and Duo-Capture UA-11 USB audio interfaces that offer multiple connections and form factors, while the UM-One USB Midi interface offers a super-compact cable for controlling or recording MIDI devices.
Describing the software as a "virtual session guitarist" for funk, soul, disco and r&b music-making, Native Instruments today released Scarbee Funk Guitarist, a new Kontakt-based software instrument. Controlled via a MIDI keyboard, players can now easily combine grooves and chords in various combinations while retaining harmonic progressions and authentic-sounding funk phrasings. Even minor touches such as mutes and slides are intelligently added to promote a realism while keeping the creation and editing of funk sounds incredibly simple.
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French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l