AudioCR Midi FX Freeze Audio Unit Plug-in for Logic Pro X
AudioCR releases a really cool Audio Unit MIDI utility. It lets you render out your MIDI FX chains right inside Logic Pro X. Interestingly, I had a very similar idea when Logic Pro X came out. I wanted to build a Audio Unit plug-in that would let me do exactly what Midi FX Freeze does. I like to know what sort of magic MIDI arpeggiator might be doing and maybe tweak the resulting MIDI clip some more. But I just didn’t have time to start yet another software project. So, instead I settled for using OS X’s built-in IAC Driver and Logic’s External Instrument Audio Unit to render out MIDI FX chains. In Ableton Live, you simply right click on a MIDI clip (that’s not running through an instrument), select menu item “Freeze” and your MIDI chain is instantly flattened. Hopefully, Apple will add this sort of functionality to Logic. In the meantime, AudioCR offers a neat solution.
Introducing MIDI Editor for iPad
Here’s another app from yours truly. And, of course, it’s for making music. Say “hello” to MIDI Editor for iPad.
MIDI Editor turns your iPad into a music sketchpad. Quickly and easily compose melodies, chord progressions and even drum patterns. It works with your favourite synths and music apps that support MIDI input. Once you are done, export the MIDI clip to other apps.
Here’s a quick demo video:
Easy Drag Compatibility with Mavericks
Easy Drag is fully compatible with OS X Mavericks, however the way you turn on the “Enable Access for Assistive Devices” feature has changed. You need this to allow Easy Drag to be used with certain keys: such as esc, Space and `(grave). Previously all you had to do is enable Enable access for assistive devices in System Preferences > Universal Access. In Mavericks, you need to add Easy Drag to Allow the apps below to control your computer list in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility.
My Thoughts on Apple’s Latest Keynote from a Musician’s Perspective
Apple announced a whole lot of great products and services today. Jim Dalrymple sums it up well:
If there was any event in recent memory that demonstrated the depth and scope of Apple’s products, it had to be this one. Every new product tied into the last and the next announcement in one way or another. Whether iOS or Mac, software or hardware, the connection was there.
I’m going to concentrate what the event means to me and other musicians. I’m glad Apple emphasised their commitment to creative professionals during the keynote. They even demoed the Drummer feature from the new version of GarageBand.
GarageBand for OS X
GarageBand for OS X looks exactly like Logic Pro X. You have to inspect the UI closely before you can figure out which of the two apps you are looking at. It’s good to see Logic Pro’s awesome features, like Drummer, Bass Amps and Smart Controls, have been ported to GarageBand. In addition to this, Apple added a beautiful parametric EQ with a built-in analyser on every channel. And, it is finally retina ready. GarageBand has to be the last OS X app from Apple to get retina display support.
GarageBand for iOS
After Apple unveiled iOS 7 at this year’s WWDC, I was quite curious as to how Apple developers were going to modify the user interface of the GarageBand. The app used to be quite skeumorphic and employed a lot of metaphors from the real world. In version 2.0, Apple kept some skeumorphic elements while making the other parts of the UI flatter. The arrange view, MIDI clip editor and all standard UI elements were made flatter to adopt iOS 7 look and feel. However, the skeumorphic feel for the virtual instruments and guitar amps were maintained.
The most notable new feature is Inter-App Audio support. I played with it briefly and it works quite well. Hopefully, many more instrument and FX apps start supporting it. Audiobus is great, but having an OS level audio routing capabilities is much better. The other welcome additions include 64-bit CPU support and ability to create songs with up to 32 tracks.
iCloud & GarageBand
We’ve had iCloud support in GarageBand for iOS a while now. The OS X version of the app just gained the feature. Sadly, while the new versions of iWork apps now have unified file formats across iOS and OS X, GarageBand apps aren’t so lucky. However, you can still start working on your songs on iPhone or iPad and then complete them on your mac by importing the project files into GarageBand or Logic Pro X. I’m sure at some point in the future Apple will create a unified project format for these apps.
Apple made both versions of GarageBand completely free. Now anyone wanting to learn more about music production can easily start using these apps and they don’t have to spend a single cent. They are very powerful tools and can be used to make professional sounding records. Throw Logic Remote iPad app into the mix, which can also control GarageBand (also free!), and you’ve got a fully functioning studio setup. You just may need a decent pair of speakers and a mic. Other than that, you’ve got everything you need to make great music.
I’ve been using iPad mini for the past year and I preferred it over the full size iPad, due to how much lighter it was. Now that a new lighter and thinner full size iPad is announced I’m going give it a go. Reason I’m choosing iPad Air over mini is mainly because I use Logic Remote and GarageBand apps a lot and prefer to have a bigger screen to easily hit virtual music keyboard when I’m composing.
Earlier this year I gave up my retina MacBook Pro to try much thinner and lighter MacBook Air. I thought trying to make music at random places, like coffee shops and parks, would be inspiring and might make me somewhat more productive. I’ve learned two things. Firstly, I’m not productive at all at those places. It’s very easy to be distracted and completely lose focus. Even if it’s simply someone bringing coffee over to your table. At least this is true for me. Second, I really miss the beautiful retina display. And now that Logic Pro supports retina, I really want to go back and enjoy these beautiful screens again. I was hoping Apple would release either a retina iMac or Mac Pro with a retina Cinema Display this year. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So I’m going back to 15” retina MacBook Pro. Which I’ll mostly use as a desktop computer and won’t carry it around.
A couple quick thoughts on Mac Pro. I think the new model is absolutely beautiful and it’s a beast. It’s funny to see a lot of negative responses across the internet, described as not suitable for professional musicians because it doesn’t have PCIe slots or is not expandable or some other random weak argument. Thunderbolt people, Thunderbolt! This is what Apple said:
In creating a pro computer for the future, we wanted to provide an enormous amount of expansion — without being limited to the space inside the enclosure. Designed with built-in Thunderbolt 2, USB 3, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI 1.4 ports, Mac Pro sets a new standard in flexible, high-performance expansion. It’s our most expandable Mac yet. And it has everything you need to build a workstation completely customized to what you need and how you work.
Overall, I am very happy with today’s product announcements and updates. And, I can’t wait to play with the new MacBook Pro and iPad Air.
We hear a lot about people having problems with their music apps on iOS 7 no longer receiving audio. I thought it was time I posted an article describing why this is happening, and how to fix it. i…
John Paczkowski on tomorrow’s Apple event:
A potential wildcard here: A new display to pair with the Pro. Apple hasn’t fielded a new monitor since introducing the Thunderbolt LED display in 2011. Its latest Mac Pro has enough horsepower to drive three 4K displays simultaneously, and it’s hard to imagine the company debuting it without a new monitor that can take at least some advantage of that.
Given the power of the Pro, it would seem to make sense to upgrade the place where users actually interface with the device — the displays — to match. It has been awhile since Apple has upgraded their displays in a major way and they’re definitely starting to look dated next to the retina displays on the MacBook Pros (as well as iPad). It does feel like it’s time to make the retina (4K) jump here. Especially for professional video editors who will undoubtedly scoop up the Mac Pro. Cost (which will likely be crazy) should be less of an issue at there as well.
Would like to see a new 4K display from Apple.