As the year comes to a close, major iOS app developers like Moog and Liine release updates to their flagship Animoog and Lemur software, Steinberg makes a grand entrance to the iOS game with Cubasis, and indie developer Marcos Alonso brings a fresh take to interface design with Samplr.
Kicking off our iOS news this week is a surprising announcement from digital audio veterans Steinberg, who have released one of the most comprehensive sequencers that we’ve seen for Apple’s iOS platform with Cubasis. Billed as a “portable music production system,” Cubasis is a streamlined version of the company’s popular Cubase software that offers sequencing, recording, editing, and mixing in a multi-touch interface, resulting in the most DAW-like experience that we’ve seen on the iPad. But where Steinberg have really succeeded is with full integration between iOS and computer-based production. You can start a Cubasis project on your iPad and then import the full project into Cubase on your computer (using the company’s Cubasis project importer extension) to take advantage of its more comprehensive editing and mixdown capabilities. While some companies have explored this concept (Native Instruments’ iMaschine, for example), Steinberg is the first to offer this professional level of integration between iOS and computer-based versions of their software. This level of integration isn’t cheap, however. At $49, Cubasis may have you investigating options before buying on a whim. But it may be one of the most powerful music production apps available for the iOS at this time.
Moog Animoog 2.0
One of the iPad’s most popular music apps gets a major overhaul this month as Moog introduces Animoog 2.0. This update brings features such as Audiobus connectivity support, audio copy/paste, note hold and scale lock, load/save MIDI maps, and the most exciting new feature (to us at least): accelerometer integration which “gives Animoog owners the ability to tilt their iPad in any direction as an interactive 3D modulation source.” This 2.0 update is free for existing users and available to new users at a holiday sale price of $14.99 (regularly $29.99). In addition to the updates to the base Animoog app, Moog has also released a handy four-track recorder app that works well with Animoog, allowing you to record, edit, loop, import sounds from iTunes and export directly to SoundCloud without leaving Animoog. It’s available as a free download for current users and will be available for $4.99 in the Animoog store after December 31.
Liine Lemur Update
Veteran iOS music app developers Liine have also released a major update this week with their licensed and updated version of the visual MIDI control platform Lemur. The program became quite popular last year, bringing the power of the freely programmable Lemur interface to the iOS platform for a small fraction of the price of the actual Lemur hardware controller. Liine have followed up with an update that they say is “easier to use than ever, more customizable and with more out-of-the-box functionality. Any software or hardware that receives MIDI or OSC can be controlled by Lemur.” In addition, the new version of Lemur offers an in-app editor that allows you to design custom control templates without needing to use a computer. Best of all, this update is free for current Lemur users.
Another app that has been getting a lot of attention lately is Samplr, a $4.99 sampling application from Barcelona-based designer Marcos Alonso. Samplr takes music creation in a slightly new direction by allowing you to touch waves with your fingers to manipulate sounds. The app comes loaded with sounds that you can manipulate and as expected, you can also sample your own sounds. After a sound is loaded you have seven devices to manipulate the waveform that including a slicer, looper, e-bow, tape, scratch, keyboard, and loop player. The app clearly takes its design cue from Teenage Engineering’s OP1 synthesizer interface, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as the layout is clean and effective. We’ve been having fun with this app and can recommend it as an inspiration starter for your music sessions.
Sonic Touch 19: Audiobus + iMPC
As a last note to this roundup, we’d also like to call your attention to a great podcast on iOS music app developments that we enjoy quite a bit. The Sonic Touch video podcast was created by the editor of the Sonic State website and features loads of information on creating music with iPads and iPhones. In this most recent video, Gaz Williams and Nick Batt talk about the new iMPC application and the latest developments with Audiobus. Recommended for iOS music producers.