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Video Demo of the incredible iPhone iGOG Mic Trigger Mode

Posted on Sunday 25 October 2009

I recently saw a demo of the incredible new iGOG drum trigger program on Create Digital Music. This is the best drum app for the iPhone I’ve ever seen, because it processes the microphone input at the same time you’re playing to determine velocity. The drums are multi-sampled and hitting different areas of the pads also causes them to respond differently (open/closed Hi Hat, Ride Cymbal / Bell).

iGog is developed by Wave Machine Labs, the same people who created the flagship drum replacement program, Drumagog. It is $5 and available in the iTunes store and also here.

I downloaded the demo and tried it out. The mic trigger mode is amazing! I made a demo of it on youtube:

It goes crazy when you sing into the mic too, which I forgot to demonstrate. The program saves MIDI, WAVs, and allows you to loop and sequence, so it’s a great program to have on the road or to create realistic sounding drum loops.

The only drawback with this app is that it requires headphones for mic triggering mode, and performance degrades in pad mode if you use speakers, which limits the possibilities for live performance. Mic triggering only works with one instrument at a time – it would be nice if, like Drumagog, it used frequency analysis to trigger multiple samples at once. Still though, for now the sequencing and looping make up for that.

With sequencing, I would like to see an undo function, or a track editor – once you’ve recorded, it’s added permanently, so it’s easy to mess up a good sequence with a bad take. If you’re recording on different instruments, then this is easy to fix later in the MIDI file with a piano roll, but it would be a handy feature on the road.

I always wanted to create a similar drum pad app using the iPhone’s accelerometers. I would have used the three axises to trigger different samples, so that you tap on the top for bass, side for snare, and back for hi hat. I’m pretty sure this app works better than my app ever would – it also works if you tap on the iPhone body. If they could combine accelerometer data into this app though and separate samples per axis, and also allow you to transit MIDI or OSC over WIFI, this would be the ideal drum trigger.

Still though, what an incredible app, and a great value for $5! In-app purchase of free and pay per download drum kits are also available.

Filed under: Apple andaudio anddrumming andGear andiPhone andmultitouch andNew Instruments andscience
Thesis Score Head Case Available Online

Posted on Friday 18 September 2009

My MFA orchestral thesis score for the short film Head Case is available online. Download the tracks here: Vine and Ring Themes, HC Opening, Harold Emerges, Garden Alarm, and Tools Theme.

The session was an amazing experience, recorded by LA’s top musicians on the same scoring stage that they record Lost and Fringe, at L.A. Sound Gallery (formerly Evergreen Recording Studios) by Frank Wolf. My scores were conducted by Eimear Noone and myself.

Since graduating in August, I have moved back to Burbank, CA with three of my classmates and we are all pursuing careers in Film Music. Currently I am working for Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil, whose composition credits include the films Run Lola Run, Perfume, and The International.

Head Case will be screened at Columbia College Chicago’s Advanced Practicum screening, on the 8th floor of 1104 S. Michigan Ave. on October 2nd at 5:00 PM.

Filed under: audio andMusic andoriginals andvideo
A Man’s Image Feature Finished, One Track Online

Posted on Friday 18 September 2009

I’ve finished the score for Carolyn Okafor’s independent feature, A Man’s Image.

A Man's Image

One track is available for download, A Man’s Image Opening.

The movie will be screened at the DuSable Museum of African American History on October 23, 2009 at 7:30 PM.

Filed under: audio andMusic andoriginals andvideo
Convert controller data in Logic

Posted on Sunday 26 July 2009

In Logic, often when I import a MIDI file from Finale, Finale puts volume data all over the place and the fader in the mixer bounces up and down as a result. I wanted an easy way to convert this data to expression data so that I could regain control of my fader.

There are two ways to do this:

1) Open up the piano roll for the selected region (‘P’)
2) Click on Functions > Transform
3) Click Presets: New Parameter set, Create
4) Choose Status = Control
5) Choose Data Byte 1 = 7
6) Underneath Data Byte 1 = 7, choose Fix and set it to 11.
7) Select and operate.
In this method, you can reuse this transformer you created.

The other way to do this is:
1) Open up the event view for the selected region (‘E’)
2) Click on all of the filter buttons except controller
3) Find an event with Num=7, Length/Info Volume
4) Click Edit > Select Similar Events
5) Click on one of the 7s in the Num column and change it to 11
All of the volume events should be changed to expression.

Filed under: Apple andfinale andLogic 8 andMusic
Move the Garageband and Factory Logic Instruments off your hard drive

Posted on Tuesday 21 July 2009

I finally successfully moved my entire Garageband/Logic library off of my internal hard drive and cleared up about 14 GB of space. These are instructions for Logic users, I do not know if this breaks Garageband (I don’t have it/use it). Here’s how to do it:

On your external drive, make a “Sampler Instruments” folder. Then go to Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > GarageBand > Instrument Library > Sampler > Sampler Instruments and copy everything in that folder to the external “Sampler Instruments” folder. Delete everything in the internal HD Sampler Instruments folder.

On your external drive, make a “Samples” folder. Then go to Mackintosh HD > Library > Application Support > GarageBand > Instrument Library > Sampler > Sampler files and copy everything to the external “Samples” folder. Delete everything in the internal HD sampler instruments folder.

I also moved my default logic instruments:

I copied everything in Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Logic > Sampler Instruments to my external “Sampler Instruments” folder. I made two folders, “GarageBand” and “Logic 8” to separate the two libraries. Then I deleted everything in the Macintosh HD Sampler Instruments folder.

Then I copied everything in Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Logic > EXS Factory Samples to my “Samples” folder. If you made two folders, “GarageBand” and “Logic 8”, you have to do the exact same here.

Finally, on your external drive, create aliases (File > Make Alias) of the Samples and Sampler Instruments folders, and drag them to your Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Logic folder. (Garageband users, you may have to do the same in the Application Support > GarageBand > Instrument Library > Sampler folder.)

Now logic should be able to find all of your garage band and factory instruments on the external drive.

When I tried to empty the trash, I got a bunch of “file in use” errors. I hacked around this with a terminal command here (that my blog won’t let me reproduce due to mod_security). This broke my trash functionality temporarily – when I would trash new items, Finder would warn me that they would be deleted immediately – but a reboot fixed that.

The only problem with this solution is when you open old projects, you get multiple “File Path Select” dialogs saying there are multiple matches (duplicates) for the files you’re loading. You will have to point Logic to your new Samples directory, but after you save your project you will only have to do this once.

Filed under: Uncategorized
Video Blog: Using Guitar Hero World Tour Wii Drums as MIDI Controllers on OS X with OSCulator

Posted on Thursday 9 July 2009

Ever since I heard that Guitar Hero World Tour’s drums were velocity sensitive, I wanted to try using them as MIDI controllers.

Thanks to this post by Camille, developer of OSCulator, I finally got the Wii World Tour drums to work with velocity sensitivity. Unfortunately, as the video demonstrates, they don’t work too well. Either they’re not sensitive enough, or bluetooth doesn’t have enough bandwidth to transfer notes fast enough.

I also talk a little bit about being out in LA for our summer semester program.

Osculator can be downloaded here. It is free to try and costs $39 to buy. It’s a great program, though I’m disappointed with what seems like hardware limits on the drums.

Filed under: audio anddiy andGear andMusic andoriginals
Huge Improvements to the Flash Music Player – Autoresume, Volume, Shuffle, and more

Posted on Tuesday 12 May 2009

I upgraded the XSPF player to a hugely improved version I found here:
Now, as you surf the site, the music will auto-resume to where you left off. Also, if you stop the music, it remains stopped as you surf other pages or come back to my site later.
The enhanced XSPF player also allowed me to set the default volume from the start (50%), allows you to seek through songs, and allows you to shuffle and repeat tracks.
Thank you, Fabrico Zuardi (original creator), Lacy Morrow (shuffle version), and Boutell.com (auto-resume version)!

Looking at the ActionScript, I realize I was wrong, after a minute auto-resume times out and the site will go back to playing from the beginning. This was a feature programmed so that auto-resume only jumps between pages. I’m debating turning off the one-minute time-out. What do you think? Is auto-play acceptable if the volume is turned down? When you come back to a site days later, do you want it to resume playing music where you left off?

Filed under: audio andMusic andoriginals andThe Web
New Facebook App: Group Friends by Location

Posted on Tuesday 28 April 2009

I wrote a new facebook app, Group Friends By Location.
If you install it, it shows your friends grouped by city, state, or country. This can be used as a reference to create events and easily invite friends in your location. Please try it out and let me know what you think. Note: the app cannot count friends who have set their location via API access to private.

Filed under: originals andThe Web
No file or output access to iPhone MP3 library – 3.0 SDK still too restrictive

Posted on Sunday 29 March 2009

So the iPhone 3.0 SDK does allow you to play music from the iPod library from within your application. However, you do not have file access to the mp3s, nor can you control the output other than the standard iPod player controls, i.e. play, stop, skip, and volume. This means you can’t add effects, you can’t speed up or slow down a song, and I don’t think you can even crossfade songs from the library.

That sucks. The 3.0 SDK is still too restrictive. Imagine the amazing 3.0 apps that would come out if you could manipulate the output of your library. A real scratch interface for DJs. A live BPM counter. Reaktor-like stutter and loop apps. A pedometer that syncs music to your step. All of these ideas are things I wanted to try with the 3.0 SDK, and none of them are possible.

Likewise, accessories that come out are more or less going to be limited to one application. You could make a MIDI interface but it’s only going to work with your app. You could make a keyboard accessory, but it’s only going to work with your application. You’d have to copy and paste what you typed from your application to other apps. Even if you allowed other developers to use your keyboard framework to allow it to work in their applications, the keyboard still wouldn’t work in native apps like Safari, Mail, SMS, etc.

Apple, the iPhone is an amazing device, and you’re still being far too restrictive with it! Opening up the library to at least read access, allowing device makers to write drivers for their accessories, and giving users and developers at least limited shared file system access would do wonders for the potential for the iPhone.

Filed under: Apple andaudio andbad ideas andiPhone andmultitouch
Fixed Flash Music Player

Posted on Wednesday 25 March 2009

I fixed several songs that were stuttering and changing pitch in the flash music player. It turns out several of the mp3s were 48k instead of 44.1k, which were incompatible with the player. Thanks to Phil for notifying me.

Filed under: audio andMusic