GarageBand Comes To The iPhone And iPod Touch

iPhone and iPod Touch Users Can Now Run GarageBand On Their iDevices

After having been introduced on the iPad earlier this year, Apple’s GarageBand has become available on the screens of iPhone and iPod Touch users everywhere. It costs $4.99 (iTunes link), and much like its iPad counterpart it lets you plug in your electric guitar and mic to record yourself playing. Plus, the app comes with touch instruments like keyboards, drums and basses. And tons of sound effects are also included, along with a sampler and more than 250 professional loops you can use as backing for any song of yours.

These are the full features of GarageBand, as listed by Apple itself.

• Create custom chords for Smart Instruments
• Support for 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures
• Reset song key without transposing original recordings
• Transpose songs in semitones or full octaves
• Additional quantization options for recordings including, straight, triplet and swing
• New audio export quality settings for AAC and AIFF (Uncompressed)
• Arpeggiator available in Smart Keyboard
• Adjustable velocity settings for Touch Instruments
• Numerous enhancements, including automatic fade out and improved audio import options

Meet Daphne Oram, One Of The Unsung Figures In The History Of Electronic Music

Daphne Oram Was One Of The True Pioneers Of Electronic Music, And Her Work Has Finally Begun Receiving The Recognition It Always Deserved

We all know the role that individuals like Moog and Stockhausen have played in the history of electronic music, but (like always) there’s more to the picture than meets the eye.

Meet Daphne Oram, the first woman in history to direct an electronic music studio, the first woman to devise a personal studio, and the first woman to construct an electronic musical instrument. Using sine wave oscillators, reel-to-reel tape decks and other electronics, Oram managed to design and build a revolutionary device named Oramics. This could convert hand patterns to music, and that music could be stored magnetically. That’s cool-enough today, and it was even cooler way back when it happened (1965). Continue reading

Unlimited Downloads For iTunes Music Purchases

itunes logo
Ask any user of iTunes what he would change about the service, and his response will most likely focus on one thing: the inability to download music that he has purchased to more than one device.

And if he gets angry as he points that out, he is entitled to feel like that. The way everything stands right now, a person who has an iPhone, an iPad and an iPod is not allowed to download music that he has purchased to more than one of these devices.

Apple is well aware of that, and has begun negotiating a deal that (if successful) will enable users to have their music on all their devices. The key here would be either letting users stream their audio (a la Pandora or Grooveshark), or letting people download songs that they have purchased once unlimitedly. Continue reading

Have Atomic Tom Come Up With The Best iPhone Band Performance So Far?

Atomic Tom Have Put Together What Must Rank As The Best iPhone Band Performances So Far.

Atomic Tom Have Delivered What Must Rank As The Best iPhone Band Performance So Far.

The story goes that the members of Atomic Tom got their instruments stolen, but that couldn’t keep them from making music.

So, when they were on the NYC subway they got out their iPhones and began playing “Take Me Out” (the first single from “The Moment”) with them,while someone conveniently shot the entire performance. Oh, and what’s even more convenient is that within minutes it was uploaded to Atomic Tom’s official YouTube account.

But who cares about that? What matters is the band performance they managed to pull off. I frankly think it is the best iPhone band performance we have seen so far. Way better than the Stanford iPhone orchestra for sure.

You can judge it for yourself by watching the full video (embedded below).

“The Moment” is Atomic Tom’s debut album. You can learn more about the band here.

Create Music… By Drawing!

In the same way that every avid player of video games longs to create his own game, every lover of music can’t think of anything better than creating his very own song. In both cases, the technicalities at play make these objectives something that can be realized by studying a lot only, and learning a writing language that is not within everybody’s reach.

Well, we are living at a time in which these things that were previously unattainable are losing all their mysticism. Just look at the many iPhone apps that let you play an instrument, for example. And now, the ones who already have an iPad will be able to use it to create music, regardless of how technically-minded they are. Actually, they can be utter neophytes – an app that is about to be released will suit them just perfectly.

It will go by the name of Artikulator, and it will let anybody compose a song by moving his fingers around the screen of the iPad. The demo that is pasted below puts it all into clearer perspective:

As you can see, many adjustments are yet to take place. That is, you are not coming up with a song to rival “Wonderwall” in terms of melody… yet. But just give this app some time. I frankly believe it will be more than a toy or a passing curiosity.

Is This The Next Lady Gaga?

Let me introduce you to the latest sensation from China. Named PixieTea, she has already been touted as a Lady Gaga contender. Her approach to making music is certainly original – her backing tracks are composed using nothing but her iPhone.

The software and apps that she employs include DrumMeister, Bassist, iDrum, NlogSynthesizer, NESynth and iShred. The results? Have a good look for yourself:

You can say what you want, but you can’t accuse her of not being distinctive. Before being uploaded to YouTube, her video was big news in Youku (the Chinese equivalent to YouTube).

So, what do you think? Is she a rising star or another no-hoper? Let’s discuss it in the “Comments” section below.

Play Along And Jam… With A Robot!

Many people are known to use the expression “robotic drumming” when talking about 80s music. They might like to reconsider after watching this video that has surfaced recently on YouTube:

There is not a lot more that could be said. While nobody would mistake this little automated fella (named “Shimon”) for the next Stewart Copeland, it certainly does it bit. Continue reading

RjDj – Turning Music Into Something Truly Interactive


Name: RjDj

The technology we have available today might not have been put to the best use when it came to engaging users. That is the lasting impression I was left with after browsing through this site. The company (a transatlantic one) builds iPhone apps that take the music created by electronic artists, and then it lets you come up with tunes of your own by using the accelerometer from the iPhone along with the sounds that surround you. This is what the company calls “reactive music”. That is, music marked by activeness on the user instead of the passiveness of sitting while a song is playing, merely tapping your fingers away and so on.
Continue reading

The Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra

How does technology and traditionalism have been getting on lately? Leaving aside Robert Murdoch’s ongoing battle with search engines so that print media will retain its inherent force and exclusivity, I think that the year was a good one in terms of bringing together ends that might always have been deemed as too opposite. Of course, it was the year of social media (“unfriend” was voted the word of the year by the Oxford University Press), and it was a year in which we saw Twitter crowned as the supplest way to spread news – the plane landing in the River Hudson, the elections in Iran…

And where does music stand in all this? Obviously, social media has modified the way people promote and market music. I just don’t think that CDs and physical music would become a thing of the past anytime soon (look here), but there is a clearly new portion of music consumers that grows exponentially, and that is already colossal (IE, young people taken as a whole). And now, a new development has taken place when it comes to the actual performing of music. Continue reading