Posts categorized "iOS" Feed

BBC Interview "Brian Eno on Apps and Albums" with Zebra 2 Cameo


I just watched this interesting BBC interview “Brian Eno on Apps and Albums”.  I don’t see a way to embed so click here to watch it..

His latest venture is the app Scape, a follow-up to 2008's Bloom app. Scape not only contains his most recent 'album' of the same name, but is also a tool allowing people to compose their own music on mobile devices.

He developed it with Peter Chilvers, known for his work creating music for computer games in the 1990s.

The app promises "deep access to the musical elements" that the composers used to make the album itself.

I thought it was pretty cool to see one of my desert island synths Zebra 2 on the monitor behind him :^ ).


Here is a video on Scape.

You can buy Scape for 5.99 on iTunes.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

First Try at iOS6. Which Musician Apps Work, Which Don’t.


I’m between production projects so I thought I’d take a bullet for the community and just upgrade my iPad 3 to iOS6 without knowing if any apps would work – lol. If you are in the middle of a project I suggest you wait to upgrade. This is a general rule I follow for all my equipment and software.

I restricted my testing to the following criteria. Will the app start? Will it function in a basic way (GUI works, makes some noise)?   I don’t own ever app made so this is just my list of what works and what doesn’t. If you find issues with apps feel free to make a comment – and of course notify the developer so they can upgrade the app for iOS6.

App Crashes After Splash Screen Displayed
Update: Both of these apps are now working in iOS6.

  • PPG WaveGenerator
  • Akai SynthStation

If you double-click the button on your device you’ll see these apps are running in the background.

App Functions at A Basic Level

  • TC-11
  • Alchemy Mobile
  • CrustalSynthXT
  • GeoSynth
  • GrainSicence
  • iElectribe
  • iMS-20
  • iRigMIDI
  • Lemur
  • Magellan
  • Midi Monitor
  • Moog Animoog
  • Moog Filtatron
  • MorphWiz
  • NanoStudio
  • Nlog
  • Orphion
  • SampleWiz
  • SoundPrism Pro
  • Sunrizer
  • SynthX
  • TC-11
  • ThumbJam
  • TNR-i

Proceed with Caution

Again this is a basic test just to see if apps function at a basic level. I’ll let you know if I bump into more serious issues as I work with the apps on iOS6 in the comments.

Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

PPG WaveGenerator App Now Available + Show & Tell Videos by Wolfgang Palm


I’m a huge fan of Wolfgang Palm’s work and my favorite hardware synth, the Blofeld is based on PPG waveforms. After hearing that he was going to release an iPad app this week, I’ve been going to the store a few times a day waiting for the app to appear.

Well the wait is over and the new app is now available in the Apple Store here . He just released two videos showing how it works.

Watch Embedded Video

Watch Embedded Video


Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Working on Lemur Interface for U-HE Zebra


In recent posts I mentioned I was experimenting with the iPad with Alchemy, Slim Phatty, and iTnri. The Dark Zebra (ZebraHZ) release got me back into synthesis with Zebra in a big way. As I dug into the patches by Hans Zimmer and Howard Scarr,  I discovered they not only map XYs but Aftertouch and Breath controller. In considering how to map to this, I bumped into this article by Audio Newsroom Interview with Zebra creator Urs Heckman called “Off-the-record: Urs Heckmann (u-he)”. They asked:

About Zebra, in the past I remember you told me there was a remote chance to see an hardware product out of it. Did the idea evolve somehow and are you still interested in it?
I'm all for it but I can't do it alone. I've spoken to some people but I found nothing yet appealing enough to take a risk. I'd love to provide the industrial design for a zebraesque controller keyboard with 4 joysticks though.

While I think a dedicated hardware controller would be epic, it seems unlikely any time soon - so started working up an interface on Lemur with 4 XYs and thought I’d share the photo above.

Lemur Template Notes

I started with the “iPad – Studio Combo” template and:

  1. Scaled the keys and octave button down to make room for more objects
  2. In addition to Mod Wheel and Pitch Bend, I added sliders to the right for Aftertouch and Breath Controller
  3. Along the top you can see 4 XY (Multiball objects). Below the first one you can see 3 horizontal sliders that I’m going to map to physics params for the XYs for Friction, Attraction, and speed.
  4. I added 2 ADSRs (red and green) which I map to Envelope 1 & 2 in Zebra.
  5. Top right I have two custombutton objects. The first is mapped to a note so I can trigger a drone or arpegio (Zebra doesn’t have a “hold” on the arp). The second is mapped to MIDI sustain and toggle sustain on and off.
  6. Just to the right of the last XY there is a set of horizontal bars. I don’t have these quite working right but they are for the “VoiceMode” which will allow me to turn the arp on and off.

MIDI Mapping Notes

To map the Lemur to Zebra I use MIDI Learn by right-clicking on the target controls in Zebra then change the value of the corresponding object on the Lemur. This actually saves these mappings to com.u-he.Zebra2.midiassign.txt file so they work even after you close and re-open the host or add Zebra to a new set.  Note that this file is shared between Zebra 2.5 and ZebraHZ so once you map Lemur works for both which is a real time saver. Note you can edit this file in a text editor (backup before you mess with it) and delete it if you want to reset mappings (it will be re-created when after you re-launch your host and start Zebra).

In Use

Like my experience with Alchemy Mobile as a controller for Alchemy VST, using Lemur running wirelessly on the iPad to drive Zebra  is really captivating. It’s very organic and the ability to add physics with say XY ball movement takes performance to the next level.

As a result of my great experience with these controller interfaces, I find myself using iPad more  and more in the role of controller instead of iOS synth platform.

Moral of the Story

iPad interfaces to PC synths make me use the PC synths more :^)

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Camel Audio Alchemy Mobile Pro = Wireless iPad Controllerism For Alchemy Full Version


I’ve been a fan of Camel Audio Alchemy for some time. If you are an Alchemy user and have an iPad or iPhpne/Touch I’m going to recommend you pick up Alchemy Mobile Pro. Note, you only have to buy the app and content once to use on both the iPad and iPhone.

Pro edition is not only a great mobile app on its own but is also a great multi-touch surface for controlling Alchemy wirelessly on you computer.  Here is the marketing blurb from Camel Audio on latest update:

Photo Jun 30, 9 03 56 AMPro allows you so wirelessly integrate your iOS device into you computer workflow. In other words you gain a multi-touch controller for Alchemy full.  The 1.27 update allows you to:

Alchemy Mobile v1.1.27 lets you move the remix pad using the new Tilt function to translate your physical hand movements into morphing sound changes, while Inertia lets these moves continue under their own steam while you carry on playing. Other new features include quantise to tighten up the timing of your recordings, as well as unlimited record, bounce and export times, further improvements to the keyboard and menu displays, more control over MIDI input and outputs, and iPad 3 retina display graphics.

The Pro Upgrade now lets you record remix pad movements to capture complex sound changes, bookmark your presets to make favourites easier to find, adds more complex quantise functions including triplets and a new 'Clear MIDI performance and loops' option. Upgrading to Pro is easy once you've installed the free version - just tap on the preset name in the upper left, switch to the Libraries page and select the Pro Upgrade to purchase for $14.99 / €11.99 / £10.49.

How To Connect Alchemy Mobile Wirelessly

STEP 1: On Alchemy on you computer select “FILE” then “Turn On iPad/iPhone” Control”












STEP 2: On the iOS device click the Sound Library name. Scroll down to “Alchemy on..”.  You’ll see you computer there. Click the item and now your synced.


At this point the iOS synth is disabled and the surface controls Alchemy full on you computer including patch browsing. Brilliant!

Not a “Shinny Object”

A lot of iOS music apps are like “shinny objects” to me. They are fun but don’t end up in my workflow. Alchemy mobile is exception to this. Nicely done Camel Audio!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

Starting Work on an iPad Lemur Template for Moog Phatty


I've started work on an iPad Lemur template for my Moog Slim Phatty. This will most likely end up on Patch Lab at some point so signup for my email newslettter if you want to be notified. This is a very early version of what I have ultimately planned but I thought I'd share this as I went along.

Photo Jun 06, 8 58 11 PM

I'm programming the Lemur via Wifi, the Lemur is attached to the Phatty via the camera kit and straight into the USB port. I also have a Novation Remote SL hooked up via MIDI to play notes on the Phatty. You can also use WiFi via a host like Ableton live to control the Phatty.

Photo Jun 06, 8 12 11 PMIn this version of the template, Filter controls are in red. There is an XY for Cutoff and Res with physics controls for Friction, Attraction and Speed. I can also lock the control on the X and Y Axis. To the right Filter EG amount with filter envelopes. Under that Filter Overload.

Next are Arpeggiator controls that are normally hidden under-the-hood in the Advanced Menu. So I can directly control Arp on, Latch, Clock Div, and Arp Octave. To the right of this a little note trigger button.

Lastly I have an Amp Envelope in Blue. Unlike from the front panel of the Phatty, Lemur allows me to control more than one parameter at the same time, like Cutoff and Res, or all the segments of a an envelope.

Here is a video of all this in action.

More to come...

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO

iPad Experiment Controlling Sunrizer Synthesizer from TNRi

In this video, I'm experimenting with using an TNRi  on iPad to drive the Sunrizer synth which is running in the background.

I've used the physical Tenori-On W for over two years. I prefer to use it as a controller and run racks for virtual instruments running in Ableton Live or to turn external hardware rather than using it's internal synth engine. So naturally, after getting TNRi for my iPad I wanted to replicate the same idea.

Luckily, certain synths such as the wonderful Sunrizer ( can remain running in the background allowing you to switch over to a controller app such as TNRi.

This video shows all this in action. Here is the setup:

1) Start Sunrizer and find or create a patch to your liking
2) In the top-right of Sunrizer is a button labelled 'BCK". Click it and it will start blinking yellow.
3) Click the Home button on your iPad
4) Start TNRi
5) Launch the menu by clicking the status window above the play button
6) Select "Preferences Menu" and turn "Local Control" to "Off".


That's it, now all the MIDI gets pumped through to the background app.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder CO