Lew Hopson -I Remember (Official Video)

 If you wondered why I hadn't been posting in a while,well I've been quite busy with a few music projects, other than my own. One of the artists I've been fortunate to work is the formidable Lew Hopson, who approached me with a storyboard- wondering if I could help him materialize his vision for his video, 'I remember'- a tribute/ode to one of his favorite's James Brown. I told the young man, "Sure I can!" and here's the end result:

If you like the song, you should check out his album,'When you pick up the funk'  which you can find in the familiar digital outlets*:    




*The Icons are CLICKABLE

Android vs. iOS pt. 3:Conclusion

Find the first two posts at the links below:
Android vs. iOS:pt.1
Android vs. iOS:pt.2
Well,the latest version of Android has arrived,and while it was exclusive to Google's Nexus 5 for a few months- flagship devices such as the HTC One (M8) ,Galaxy  Note 3,Moto X and G are beginning to receive the latest update to 4.4 Kit-Kat. Android L (5.0) will be arriving this fall.
  Conclusion: My personal preference right now is: BOTH. I've been a supporter of the Android platform since Google's G1, and since then I have had the luck of owning the Galaxy Nexus, HTC One, Galaxy S3, Nexus 4. (phones) The Kindle Fire HD,Nook HD, Galaxy Tab 7.0,Nexus 7,and the Hisense Sero Pro 7. And while they all were decent little gadgets in their own right,none had the same user experience. Nor did I feel as productive as I could be away from a desktop/laptop as I should have been. Then I had the opportunity to get an iPhone 4S for a low price,and I did. After a little research into the well organized App Store, I was impressed with the amount options from business to graphic design,to music production.Some apps available for iOS is in some ways more advanced than the PC/Mac platforms.But the OS as a whole feels too restrictive,even more than OSX.Hopefully when iOS 8 is released, rumors of Apple merging iOS and OSX functionality are more true than fable. Lately the Google Play Store has been catching up to those apps in the content production dept. While the vast variety of Android  devices themselves creates inconsistencies in the user experience, flagships by Sony, Samsung, Motorola, and most notably HTC has begun to match the iPhone in build quality.For most users ANDROID WILL FIT THE BILL. If you find an Android device that you appeal to,you would probably find it more than satisfactory, as Android is just as competent as iOS in CONTENT CONSUMPTION and CONTENT CREATION.

Caustic 3 for Android/iOS

It's not everyday that a mobile app comes along and matches it's desktop rivals pound for pound,so when it does, happen producers and fledgling beat-makers better sit up and take notice.
Caustic 3 is one of those programs.
Created by Single Cell software,which is a 'sole-proprietorship' company led by lone Developer Rejean Poirier. Caustic has reached a stage of laptop-quality matureness at version 3,an achievement that almost single-handedly brought the Android platform up to par with iOS (Check the AppStore reviews below) due to it's exclusivity to Android- even though the latest iteration of the program was finally released to iOS shortly after it was introduced in the Google Play store. 
Caustic consists of ten instruments called "Machines"- the PCMSynth Sampler,Beatbox, Subsynth, Bassline, Padsynth, 8-bit Synth, Organ, Vocoder, and FMSynth. It also has an FX rack which includes 16 effects ,a virtual Mixer,a detailed Master rack, and your traditional song sequencer.For those familiar with Propellerhead's Reason, it's quite apparent when you open Caustic for the first time that it's been influenced by by the former- both in design and functionality.


Vocoder's Audio Tools
The only thing that prevents Caustic from being the best all-around mobile DAW is a lack of true audio tracks, although it DOES record audio-The Vocoder and PCMSynth combined are perfect for one-shots and short phrases, verses and choruses not so much. What Caustic lacks in audio recordng tools it makes up for with a active user community and more support from Sound Designers than any other DAW on any mobile platform.

Audio and MIDI is covered thoroughly in the effects rack
While the keyboards on each instrument are only useful for previewing sounds,and you can play them directly unto the sequencer-they each have their own piano roll views directly under them for easy pattern programming due to the complexity of the workflow for recording a performance on the sequencer.That and the lack of audio tracks appear to be Caustic's only weak points.
If you want a music production app that enables you to easily make your own sound, all while including an excellent preset library AND great support from third party sound designers-look no further than Caustic 3.
Price: $9.99



FL Studio Mobile for Android Review

FL Studio Mobile

It wouldn't be far-fetched to call Belgian DAW pioneers Image-Line the hardest working firm in the music software business- FL Studio for PC being voted the #1 DAW for two years straight on MusicRadar's annual poll can attest to that. But when you consider the broad reach of the different versions of FL Studio and the many platforms it covers (even though the Mac version,though coming soon- remains elusive as ever) you would better understand the statement when compared to other company's offerings.

FL Mobile's Start-Up Screen

FL Studio Mobile is a cut-down version of FL Studio offering unlimited Audio and MIDI tracks (depending on device specs),a reasonably-sized Sample and Loop presets library (250 instruments/kits to be exact) that can be further expanded with your own sounds or custom ones exported from FL Studio or the in-app store.It also has a re-sizable 88-key virtual keyboard and FL Studio's signature step-sequencer- equipped with velocity and pitch roll view.
I own FL Mobile on my Nexus 5 and the latency is near-zero (at least on a Stock Android device) ,making for an excellent live-performance tool-especially on a tablet. The app is broken into six tabs,with four: the Keyboard/Drum Pad View, the Instrument Browser/Editor,Tracks/Arrangement View and Effects- containing all the views and options necessary to create professional tracks. The last two Projects and Setup,organizes your projects and app settings.

In the Instruments Tab,presets are broken down into sound categories in four more tabs to the left as you can see in the screenshot above. I'm reviewing the Android version,so until it's converged with the iOS version which contains MiniSynth- there isn't much in available for sound design- give or take the Attack and Release faders above. Audio Tracks have will be added to the Android version in a near update sometime in April-May.
One thing that stands out for FL Mobile is it's relation to it's big bro-FL Studio,anyone who uses it will feel instantly at home,and in a way it actually streamlines the latter's otherwise cluttered workflow. Advances in mobile devices allow you to use your phone/tablet's accelerometer to control the virtual keyboard's pitch modulation in place of the wheel available on most MIDI controllers. 

I have been using FL Mobile for almost a year now and I find it to be an invaluable tool for my production workflow, allowing me to capture ideas anywhere an idea strikes. There are two demonstrations of FL Mobile's capabilities below:


FL Studio is available in the Google Play Store for $19.99, click the button below for more details.

                                            *Alternatively available in the App Store as well

Bitwig Studio for Linux

               It's not often that a software company reserves resources to develop a Linux version of their proprietary flagship software, in this instance it would be the first time it's ever been done for a Digital Audio Workstation. Fresh out of a lengthy three-year beta stretch, Bitwig Studio 1.0 has just been released and has generally been well-received- it got a  4.5 out of 5 stars over on Computer Music's musicradar site you can check out the review  HERE .
       Bitwig Studio's secret weapon that can be called all its own is the layout's ability to show the arraignment and clip launcher can be viewed side by side opening new possibilities for unique workflows and production techniques. I am reviewing Bitwig studio on Ubuntu OS, so this article will continue to be updated with audio snippets and video,so stay tuned.
Blitwig's Unique UI makes for new powerful workflow possibilities
   I'm running Bitwig Studio on an Acer C720p Chromebook with Ubuntu crouton'd under Chrome OS (a process in which the Chromebook is set into developer mode and Ubuntu is installed/expanded within ChromeOS),and this DAW's stability is phenomenal for a 1.0 release,at least on Linux. Bitwig has a lot of similarities in functionality to Ableton Live, and it's no co-incidence that several minds behind Bitwig Studio are ex-developers for Ableton. But as an Ableton Live user since version 5, I can attest that Bitwig Studio is no B.S. clone (pun intended)-the team behind it is definitely on to something.

                                                   Bitwig Studio (PC/Mac/Linux)=$399
    All for one, one for all. 
    The next generation of software for sound and music creation is available on all three major platforms: Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Produce, share, and collaborate from completely different machines. When it comes to which operating system you wish to use with Bitwig Studio, the choice is yours.
    Customized workflow to match any style. 
    Today it’s possible to make music with any DAW. What sets each one apart is workflow, how quickly you can realize your ideas, and the freedom to choose how you produce and perform. In Bitwig Studio, use the Clip Launcher alongside your arrangement to draft your song‘s layout on the fly, or use it exclusively as a performance tool. This is one of many features that demonstrates Bitwig Studio’s seamless integration of multiple views into your workflow as needed, the way you want it.
  • PLUG-IN SANDBOXINGNever again will a single plugin take down your entire project. The “sandboxing” feature built-in to Bitwig Studio ensures plug-in crashes will not interrupt valuable production time, or better yet, your performance on stage. Choose 32-bit, 64-bit, or choose both. No third-party bridging is necessary to run your favorite plugins side-by-side. Bitwig Studio protects your workflow while efficiently running your VSTs for non-stop creativity.* 

   System Requirements


                                                             Windows, Mac OS X, Linux

5 GB free disk space required. Minimum 1280 x 768 pixel screen resolution. Minimum 2 GB RAM, 8 GB recommended. Multicore CPU. Windows 7 or later. Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit CPU Linux Ubuntu 12.04 or later, 64-bit CPU.


*Company press release

Audio Evolution DAW for Android


Audio Evolution Mobile- Android


   Finally a crew of DAW developers have decided to get their hands dirty and try to tackle Android's audio latency issues and managed to create an app that rival's any other  desktop DAW in the Process (think Cubase or Pro Tools). And that app my dear friends,is Audio Evolution Mobile.
  Created by Netherland company eXstream Software, who seemed to have even beat the much anticipated FL Studio Mobile for iOS to the punch, (at least when it comes to audio tracks) even though Image-line has announced that audio recording  was in development for Android going for a little over a year. There isn't any MIDI functionality or virtual instuments as of yet, but the developer has those features in the update pipeline.  Update:As of April 16th, XtremeSD has updated AE  to include MIDI instruments,external USB MIDI and Soundfont compatibility!
 When you first start up AE it checks for licenses that can be obtained through IAP's (in-app-purchases) or as individual apps that can be used standalone. The beauty behind choosing soundfonts as the preset format is that it's probably the oldest, most universal sound format on the planet. And generally open-sourced,you can find a plethora of soundfonts on the internet.
 The MIDI and Audio tracks work great on a touchscreen device, the app is rock-solid and there's a superb sense of functionality that comes with completing a track in the program for the first time. I recorded of one my latest releases on Soundcloud 'Shades' in AE, and while I must add the recording is more so the result of over a decade of recording experience- the app is capable of pulling THIS off...

The ability to use most USB audio interfaces and midi controllers makes Audio Evolution the most advanced DAW on Android for now- at least until Caustic and FL Mobile adds Audio Tracks.

    Along with having an affordable Desktop version for taking your sessions to another level, the app has every standard feature that you can find in Desktop DAWs:                        

• Multitrack audio recording/playback
• MIDI sequencing (in-app purchase required)
• Non-linear non-destructive editing with move, trim, split, cut/copy/paste, remove, cross-fade and range editing
• Virtual instruments based on SoundFonts (in-app purchase required)
• Loop playback
• Volume/pan/mute automation
• Latency correction
• Import of WAV, MP3, AIFF, FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis audio files
• Import of m4a, 3gpp, amr and other audio formats that Android supports if you are running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher
• Mastering to stereo WAV, AIFF, FLAC or OGG file
• Software monitoring for USB audio devices and some Android devices that have low enough latency
• Sample rate conversion
• Metronome
• Zoom down to the sample
• Each track has controls for volume, panning, mute, solo, arm, 3-band EQ with mid-sweep, 3 insert effects and output bus selection
• Unlimited number of tracks (*)
• Unlimited number of groups (*)
• Real-time effects include: chorus, compressor, delay, dual delay, reverse delay, reverb, bandpass, highpass, lowpass, flanger, noisegate and tremolo
• Offline effects: fade in/out, normalize, reverse, pitch shift, time stretching while maintaining pitch
• Unlimited undo/redo for editing facilities
• Several grid options for aligning your samples (with tempo and time signature settings)
• Repeat samples with several options to create loops
• Add markers and quickly jump to them
• Load/Save projects including loading projects from our desktop DAW Audio Evolution 5
• Can use ES File Explorer to select samples for import     
The desktop version of Audio Evolution that allows you to open sessions from the Mobile app and expand your session with vst instruments and effects.

Everything Me for Android

Your phone is boring? You must try Everything Me! It's a Android Home Launcher that customizes the content you see (icons.wallpaper,etc.) based on what you use regularly ,or even randomly search for! Make your phone come alive with smart content. Your phone will never be the same again!