Here is an innovative project presented by Stanford Ph.D. candidate Nick Bryan. Hat tip to my friend Simfonik for informing about this. The project, dubbed Mopho DJ, uses iPods to transmit their location, velocity and direction while rotating on a turntable. This data is then used to manipulate an mp3. There is a software application that decodes the transmitted data. In essence, the iPod takes the place of time coded vinyl as used in digital solutions like Traktor and Serato. I think it’s a very cool idea with a lot of potential. My only concern would be the uneven weight, the iPods add to turntables and one obviously has to make sure they are solidly secured. But kudos to Mr. Bryan for an idea with a lot of potential.
Moog, the historic analog synth manufacturer named after pioneer Robert Moog, has released an app claiming to replicate the authentic Moog sound on your iPhone (or iPod or iPad). The app, called Filtatron, sells for 5 bucks. Sound too good to be true? Judge for yourself in the preview video below.
Reactable is an object based musical platform that uses the shapes of objects on a multi-touch like surface to create musical patterns and effects. They have now made a mobile version for iPod, iPhone and iPad. How cool is that?
A Guy Called Tom (yes, that’s his name on Vimeo) is using the TouchOSC app on his iPhone to control a modular synthesizer. Pure Data is doing the heavy lifting, converting the data to MIDI. Here is what he says about it:
TouchOsc iPhone app sending osc data into PureData Extended, where it is converted to midi and sent to the Doepfer MCV24 which converts it to voltage and controls the modular synth.
TouchOsc XY Pad controls the pitch of two Thomas Henry VCO-1 which also crossmodulate each other.
TouchOsc Sliders control Elby Steiner filter cutoff, Plan B Model 10 env cycle speed, Doepfer BBD feedback and delay. Thomas White LPG used in both mode for amplification. Delay is a Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai. Sorry for the video quality, its done using a photo cam.
Using TouchOsc is fun, there is a lot of control right at your fingertips. Actually it can control way more than i have to control 🙂 Really cool app. Disadvantage is the steping in the control voltages that you can hear quite well, especially when controlling the pitch of oscillators. Not sure if its the midi resolution, the mcv24 or the application itself.
This is very cool. I was experimenting with TouchOSC during my Special Projects in Music Technology class last quarter. I was just using my iPod to control some sounds in Pure Data, this is taking it to the next level. Maybe even the level after that.
With the release of DJ Hero and other DJ oriented apps and games, I know there are plenty of DJs and hobbyists out there that view these types of apps with skepticism. I have to tell you, though, DJ Player, by iMecht Ltd. is a fully functional mixing app for the Ipod* that offers a number of impressive features. Having played around with it for the past couple of weeks, I can tell you, this thing is a serious mixing app. One of the things I like most about DJ Player is that the developers made a very intuitive interface that shows they are familiar with what a DJ expects, from a DJ’s point of view. In fact, if I were to develop a mixing app, this comes pretty close to what I would try to offer.
One of the key features that DJ Player offers is the ability to monitor a channel in your headphones. I did have to buy some additional cables and adapters to make this work, which I will detail below, but once the cable setup has been sorted, the ability to do pre-fader listening works like a charm. Also of note, is the ability to tap and store BPMs. Now, many of the tracks that I have purchased from places like Juno and Beatport already have the BPMs calculated, but for tracks that don’t have this, the tap ability is helpful… especially for DJs just starting out trying to learn the craft. Sure, there was a time when I would have considered this cheating, and I still believe nothing is better for learning the art of DJing than beatmatching by ear. But let’s face it, most DJ apps and many mixers already have BPM detection or matching already; the cat’s been out of the bag for some time now. The DJ Player developers would be foolish not to incorporate such a feature in today’s market.
Now, I’m not saying that this is going to replace a complete DJ rig, yet it is definitely robust enough in terms of the features to perform a complete set. For casual gigs such as house parties or just going to the beach with some friends, not having to lug around a bunch of gear and crates, this is where an app loke this can really shine. I also think this is a great set-programming tool for established DJs. Certainly mobile DJs can make use of this type of app and I think it’s a great learning tool for people who want to learn about mixing, but can’t afford a full rig.
Other notable features:
1. Ability to upload songs to your Ipod over Wifi with the included winsync program. I haven’t seen any other app that is capable of this. Just create a playlist in ITunes called “DJ PLAYER” and if your Ipod and computer are on the same wifi network, run the winsync program and input the IP address of your Ipod and hit sync. This will then upload the playlist and all associated songs to the Ipod. Pretty cool!
2. Multi-touch crossfader, pitch sliders, and pitch bend to make realtime adjustments. All of these are customizable in terms of scale and resolution and the curve of the crossfader can be adjusted as well.
3. Several effects including delay, reverb, high-pass and low-pass filters and EQ. These can be triggered via multitouch, or even controller via the Ipod’s accelerometer!
4. Low, mid and treble EQ sliders.
5. Tap function to calculate and store a song’s BPM.
6. Ability to set and save cue points on tracks. This is beneficial if you have a track that has silence, spoken word or ambience prior to the first beat.
7. Sortable playlist. You can sort by title, artist or tempo.
* When I refer to Ipod I am including Iphone and Ipad. I imagine this app would be even stronger on the Ipad with the additional real estate available.
Required cables for PFL monitoring (Headphone cueing):
1. Mini-plug to RCA Y adapter. This will plug into your Ipod’s headphone jack.
2. 2 RCA Y adapters. One for the red and one for the white ends of the mini to RCA adapter listed above.
3. Plug a normal RCA cable into the RCA Y-Adapter attached to the white side of the mini adapter. You may need RCA barrel couplers. This cable will go to your input on your amp, stereo, mixer, etc.
4. Your headphones will plug into one of the RCA connectors on the red side of the mini plug to RCA adapter. You may need one more mini to RCA adapter (not a Y adapter) or 1/4 inch to RCA adapter, depending on what type of connector is on your headphones.
The following video demonstrates real time mixing with this app. Yes, I used BPM syncing to speed things up for the sake of the video, but I still needed to monitor the speed and you will see me make bend adjustments to keep the beat-mixing proper.
I’ve been messing around with an Ipod app called TouchOSC which allows me to send data to my computer from my Ipod Touch. I can hook this up to PureData on my laptop so that I can control sound frequency and MIDI information thus allowing the Ipod to trigger and manipulate the sounds on my computer. Right now I am just playing around with this on a basic level, so I don’t have any video of it, but it is working great. Should be able to use Puredata to output MIDI which would then allow me to control my virtual synths or even outboard MIDI gear from my IPOD. All over Wifi.
Several weeks back I posted about the grand-daddy of analog synth emulators, Propellerhead’s Rebirth, which emulates a Roland TB-303 synth. The 303 is known for producing the “acid” sound in various forms of electronic music and the Rebirth software does a great job reproducing this sound. The Rebirth also provides TR-909 and TR-808 drum machine emulators to provide a nice little mini studio package for those who want to explore these classic sounds. Well now, Propellerheads has ported the Rebirth into an app for the Iphone, Ipod and Ipad!
This guy coded a custom app for the iPhone that allows him to control all of the various parameters on his Juno 2 from it.
I purchased an app for the Ipod Touch called ToneTable, which acts as a trigger control for software like Traktor or Serrato Scratch. It sends out a control pitch signal, like the timecoded vinyl records that are distributed with such mixing applications.
The app shows a virtual record and it has a pitch control to allow beatmatching as well as realtime pitch tweaking buttons. After hooking it up to my Traktor audio interface, I was indeed able to mix with it. But I really wanted to see if it was possible to scratch with it. And while it isn’t quite as precise as real vinyl; I was very impressed with the results. Below is some video I shot to compare it scratching with tradidiotnal vinyl as well as the Traktor control vinyl. It takes a bit of getting used to and finding a way to keep the Ipod in place is a bit of a challenge, but all in all this is a very impressive little app.
With a little practice, two Ipods, a mixer and a laptop, you could certainly perfrom with this amazing piece of work.
I imagine we are going to start seeing many more apps like this for mobile platforms like the iPhone. This one actually looks pretty cool. It’s called Fingerbeat. Here’s the promo…