Electropolis: iPad and iPhone Production Toys

This issue of Electropolis offers recommendations for iPad and iPhone music production applications. These apps are pretty impressive production and performance tools/toys I suggest for both amateurs and pros. The cool thing is you won’t be paying more than a few bucks for them, a ridiculously low price compared to expensive computer programs!

Propellerhead’s Rebirth for iPad

ReBirth followed Propellerhead’s initial software, ReCycle, that got the company up and going in 1997. Although a discontinued retail item, Propellerhead offers the software for free, as well as an iPad and iPhone application that contains enhanced graphics. Originally inspired by Mr. Kakehashi, the founder of Roland, these Swedish lads went off to design digital emulations of some of the most classic and popular Roland synths of their time. In the 1990s, Roland’s popular TR- 808 &  TR-909 drum machines and bass synth, the TR – 303, began making their way into the track titles of the most popular electronic acts of the decade”such as Fatboy Slim’s “Everybody Needs a 303” and Daft Punk’s “Revolution 909.” Today, these analog sounds have become absolutely legendary amongst the EDM culture, and they’re now available to be played on your iPad! ReBirth has been credited for its nearly dead-on replication of the original analog tones of these Roland devices. As a matter of fact, the emulations are so accurate that Roland has asked Propellerhead to acknowledge their inspiration”which they’ve been more than willing to do. As stated on the Apple’s Web site, it’s features include:

  • 2 x TB-303 bassline synthesizer with pattern sequencer
  • The original acid house and techno bass synth
  • TR-808 drum machine
  • Roland’s sub-heavy 1980 beat computer
  • TR-909 drum machine
  • The go-to beatbox for everything house and techno.
  • Tempo-synced digital delay
  • Bouncy and hypnotic, always in time with your music
  • Compressor with threshold and ratio
  • A bare-bones compression unit for added beefiness
  • Distortion unit with amount and shape
  • Raw and rugged distortion for that extra edge”works wonders with any 303 bassline
  • PCF effect
  • Pattern controlled low-pass / band-pass filter”a tweaker’s delight
  • Mixer
  • Device specific mixer sections with pan, delay sends and FX switches
  • Mod support
  • Seven original user mods with alternative sound sets and graphics
  • Sharing features
  • Share function with easy publication of songs to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks
Ingolf Koch’s ELECTRIFY

Do you use Ableton Live 8? Got an iPad? Well now you can get a clip sequencer/matrix with nearly a full rack of DAW features at a ridiculously low price on your iPad”seriously, $14 …WTF! ELECTRIFY is the name of this application, which is made by a relatively small company called Ingolf Koch. Simply type “ELECTRIFY” into YouTube and you’ll see all the potential the app has to offer. According to the website, it’ll eventually work with MIDI controller devices such as the AKIA  APC20, but for now the app essentially turns your iPad into a virtual studio.  What I found impressive is its ability to import wav/aif files, bounce your MIDI creations into audio and copy and paste them into other iPad applications! Seriously, you can make beats from home or in ELECTRIFY and simply copy and paste them into Dropbox to transfer them to your computer or vice versa”amazing!
Some of its other features include:

  • Eight-track sequencer with individual track lengths
  • Two chainable effect buses with eight different effects (more to come soon)
  • Direct access to the track’s main parameters
  • Easy to use step sequencer
  • Pattern matrix
  • Seven parameters editable per step
  • Professional Sample Library comprising more than 600 high quality samples provided by Mutekki Media.
  • Import your own samples (wav/aif)
  • Loop mode for playing stretched loops
  • Sample editing: truncate, timestretch(pitch) / normalize
  • Copy and Paste to other iPad apps
  • Bounce patterns as wav
Native Instruments’s iMachine

Native Instruments has an iPhone application called iMachine that’s pretty much an identical replication of their hardware and software, Machine. Not only is the application a MPC, but it’s an entire groove station in the palm of your hand. Wanna record vocals, synths or beats? The iMachine can do it all. In addition, you can assign your short loop recordings to the MPCs on the device and jam out an arrangement. Once your done, just upload your creation to your real Machine or put it up on SoundCloud. What makes this app even more awesome is that Native Instruments is constantly increasing its sound bank for iMachine with refill patches.

Other features include:

  • Sixteen pads for playing drums and one-shot samples
  • Library includes 100 MB of content: ten projects, twenty-five kits and over 400 samples
  • Record your own one-shot samples through the iOS device’s integrated microphone
  • Keyboard mode for playing chords, bass and melodies
  • Note repeat function ranging from 4th to 32th, for keyboard and drum pad mode
  • Audio recorder mode lets you record an audio (e.g. vocal) track
  • Assign any of the four groups to any mode, e.g. for use as a four-track recorder
  • Mixer page includes two send effects per group: delay, flanger, chorus and various filters
  • The live-mode sequencer automatically detects the recorded loop length
  • Import your own 44.1 kHz 16-bit WAV samples via iTunes®
  • Additional drum kits and instrument sounds available through in-app store
  • Export your mixdown as an audio file”or directly upload it to SoundCloud
  • Project export (including samples) to MASCHINE and MASCHINE MIKRO

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