The David Ellefson Rock Shop app launched today, and here’s a video of David going over some of his new app’s main features –
IN THE BEGINNING….
Pocketlabworks ought to know a thing or two about killer bass sounds. I mean its founder and president, Kevin Robertson, has had a lifelong passion for all things audio, not to mention he previously worked for amp legends Bob Gallien and Richard Krueger, on designing their world famous bass amp products.
Set up only a few years ago to develop music software and hardware products for smartphones, tablets and the likes, Pocketlabworks already has an impressive portfolio of iOS titles, which naturally include electric guitar and bass amp apps, plus some titles aimed at vocalists too.
Not content with developing just software, the company has also released the iRiffPort digital audio guitar connection, which allows you to plug your guitar directly into an iOS device.
Formally unveiled earlier this year at NAMM 2012, Pocketlabworks’ latest product is a custom branded bass and guitar amp app, which they’ve created in partnership with founding member and bass player of metal legends Megadeth, David Ellefson.
Launched today, the David Ellefson Rock Shop (DERS) app, is a universal iOS app featuring a series of virtual amps and speaker cabinets to play through and customise the sounds, along with a versatile music player, and handful of other features fans of Megadeth will enjoy.
ALL FIRED UP…
On firing up the DERS app for the first time, you’re greeted by a short personal video message from David. I won’t spoil it by giving anything away, but it’s a nice touch, although you can choose to skip it, which no doubt some will do after a few weeks of using the app.
Within a few seconds of the app loading, you’re then greeted by a splash page promoting Pocketlabworks’ iRiffPort. You can click a link to order one, and also click a button to disable this message.
Then depending if you’re using an iPhone/iPod Touch or an iPad, you’ll see slightly different versions of the app’s main interface. I’ve only experienced the app on iPad so far, so any visual descriptions I offer will relate to the experience on this device. There are no differences as far as features go between devices, there are just slight differences in the interface layouts to allow for the different screen sizes.
FRONT & CENTRE…
If you’ve already played with Pocketlabworks’ PocketAmp and PocketGK apps, the user interface of DERS will be instantly familiar, with main amp controls on the left side, and cabinets located on the right side.
As I’ve mentioned about these apps in the past, while the adjustable controls don’t look like traditional ‘knobs and dials’ on guitar amps, the fact they are clearly labelled large sliders, make them not only easier to see, but quicker to access.
THE FIRST SOUND YOU HEAR….
In the lead up to the launch of this app I’ve been fortunate enough to talk at length with both Kevin at Pocketlabworks, as well as David about his involvement with the app (and you’ll be able to catch my interview with him here in the near future).
It became clear to me early on, that this app was never intended to be some cheap branding/promotional exercise, where David had little input.
From the very first conversations about developing the app, David and Kevin have worked together closely on the features that David wanted in this app, but more importantly the sounds that the app produces.
Anyone familiar with David’s bass guitar sound, and indeed Megadeth’s sound, will know that over years he has developed a distinctly unique signature sound, and it was a priority for everyone involved that this was readily available within the app.
So the very first time you load the app, with your bass guitar connected, the default setting has been specially configured to sound like David’s signature tone, which is a clean, tight overall sound designed for playing punchy bass lines with a pick.
This signature tone actually has all the EQ set flat, and no other effects enabled. I mainly wanted to mention this, as this setting is not saved in the presets area, and each time you fire the app up, it recalls the last settings you were using, and not the signature tone settings. I actually went ahead and made a custom preset with these settings and called it ‘Junior’s Bass Sound’ (of course) just so I can quickly recall it whenever.
TIME TO CUSTOMISE…
Of course, David understands that we all like our own sounds, so all the amp settings are tweakable and you can save an unlimited number of custom user presets.
The bass amp section features adjustable 3 band EQ, plus Brite and Limiter effects which act similar to their function on Harke amps, which David uses on stage.
There’s also a modulation section including adjustable Chorus and Flange effects. The rate, depth, and slapback of these can be modified. There’s also a handy gate feature to help keep some of the wilder sounds you might come up with under control.
As far as cabinets go, you can choose between a 4 x 10” or 1 x 15” speaker box, which again, help you to sculpt your ideal sound even further.
As part of the app, David also wanted to include some classic sounding guitar amps. so also available are 3 fairly classic sounds including Clean, British, and Metal amps. The amps feature adjustable volume, overdrive gain, and 2 band EQ, plus similar Chorus and Flange effects, with the addition of a Reverb to help fatten solos. There’s also a noise gate feature, and a selection of two cabinets, one classic and one more modern sounding.
Now I’m not much of a guitarist (or bass player for that matter), but as an experienced sound engineer, the thing that stood out about the overall selection of amps on offer here is how full bodied they sound, from super clean, warm bass tones through to dark, heavily distorted power chords. The amps all respond well to different styles of playing too, and whether you’re just practising along to a song or even recording some demo tracks, the selection of quality sounds are going to be well up for the task.
WHATS IN A RIFF?..
The second key ingredient to the overall sound of this app is Pocketlabworks iRiffPort. Yes, you can use other interface products with the app, but from my experience with some of the analog solutions, you simply can’t beat the superior sound you get through a digital connection, like that offered from the iRiffPort. It’s a quality built product that not only features a headphone output, but also a line output that isn’t affected by changes to the headphone volume. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m still not so sold on it being white, but for what it’s worth, I guess it does make it easier to see in pile of black cables.
This is probably a good time to mention that iRiffPort also works perfectly with the Dave Mustaine Rock Prodigy app, who of course is also of Megadeth fame. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can find more details out by clicking here.
Amps and cabinets aside, another excellent feature of the DERS app is the integrated music player, which provides access to the music stored on your iOS device. You have the option of selecting from single tracks or existing playlists to jam along to. The player also supports album art.
What really stands out on the player though is the Song Trainer feature.
In this mode, you can not only adjust the balance of the mix between your guitar and the song you’re playing along to, but you can change the speed of the song, without it affecting the original key. This feature is ideal for slowing songs down to work out and practise technically difficult performances.
But there’s more. You can also adjust the pitch of a song without it affecting the tempo, which saves having to re-tune your guitar to play along to a song that was recorded in a different key. David has already pointed out how handy this feature is if you plan on playing along to Megadeth’s 1986 hit album, Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?, as it was recorded slightly lower than standard guitar tuning.
The other key feature of the Song Trainer, is the ability to manually set up a section of a song into a loop, allowing you to go over the specific section of a song repeatedly. Again, this is ideal for learning tricky solos and technically challenging parts of songs.
Whether you make use of these ‘training’ features often or not, it’s still nice to have them available.
Anyone that follows the latest things David is up to will know, like many artists, he has embraced social media in a big way. He has a dedicated Youtube channel called Rock Shop which features everything from behind the scenes footage of Megadeth on the road, through to music industry advice for young bands, and bass guitar workshops.
The Youtube channel is conveniently available directly from within the app, and provided you have net access (obviously), you can flick through the list of videos available and watch them without leaving the app (they actually appear when the cabinet is located).
In addition to the online videos, The Deck social area of the app also provides external links to David’s Facebook page, his official website, his twitter feed, and Google +. Each of these load-up through the iOS device’s web browser, which takes you out of the app when accessing them. OK, this is all content you can access without the app, but to have them all neatly integrated, really helps give the app a more personal touch. It’s something I’m sure fans will get as much use out of as they do the amps and music player.
Sure, there are already some great guitar apps out there for iOS devices, and some even include more features than what’s on offer here. (If you’re listening Kevin/David, how about an integrated guitar tuner and recording function sometime in the next update?) But none, offer the same charm and personality you get from the DERS app. Every aspect of this app has David Ellefson stamped all over it, from the look and feel, and his all-important signature sound, through to the way you can reach out to him via social media. Nothing feels out of the place or forced, and it all just works harmoniously together.
As I understand it, this is just the start too, as both Kevin and David aim to continue development on the app, bringing improvements and new features over time. Bring it on I say.
The David Ellefson Rock Shop app is available now for US$9.99. It is compatible with all models of iPad, iPhone 4/4S, and iPod touch 4th generation. For the best sounding result, it is recommended to be used along with Pocketlabworks’ iRiffport.
The official page – http://www.pocketlabworks.com/David-Ellefson-Rock-Shop.html
DAW Remote received many 5 star reviews. Now, for better experience, we introduce a well-designed HD version for iPad.
DAW Remote HD is a wireless DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) software controller just like your hardware control surface. Instead of getting stuck in front of your computer to compose, record, and produce music/audio, you can use your iPad with DAW Remote HD to control DAW functions anywhere in your studio (wirelessly). Why? Because let’s face it, wires suck!
DAW Remote HD supports Logic Control Protocol, HUI protocol and Mackie Control protocol and compatible with both MAC and Windows.. It works with almost every DAW softwares. It provides three especially optimized control surface for Apple Logic®, AVID ProTools® and Ableton Live®.
DAW Remote uses Network MIDI with Apple Bonjour over WIFI network and Ethernet, you DON’T need to install ANY softwares or drivers in your Mac to enable it. For Windows user, you should install rtpMIDI to enable MIDI Network function.
By using DAW Remote, you can:
1. Forget about messy complex-functioned studio controller, focusing on your inspiration.
2. Easy to control tracks.
3. Get creativity in an environment away from the computer
4. Remotely control your DAW softwares from onstage in live performance without messy cable runs.
5. All functions just like hardware control surface.
=== DAW Remote HD Features ===
★ Supports Logic Control Protocol, HUI protocol and Mackie Control protocol
★ Three optimized control surface layouts for Logic, ProTools and Live.
★ Cross Platform. Compatible with MAC and Windows.
★ Well designed.
★ Supports the new iPad Retina display.
★ Powerful Instructions, Help and FAQ to help you setup connection much easier
★ Use Wi-Fi to connect with host computer
=== Supported DAWs ===
★ Apple Logic Pro/Express
★ AVID ProTools
★ Ableton Live
★ Steinberg Cubase
★ Steinberg Nuendo
★ FL Studio
★ MOTO Digital Performer
★ Adobe Audition
★ Cakewalk Sonar
… and any DAW supports Mackie Control Protocol
For more supports please visit our website:
The Arpeggionome is a musical instrument designed specifically for the iPad. With the Arpeggionome, you can design and perform intricate patterns of musical notes at incredible speeds and with precise control.
MUSICAL EXPRESSION AT 480 NOTES PER SECOND.
The Performance Matrix is the Arpeggionome’s main musical interface. Touch any Control Point in the Performance Matrix to trigger the notes in the pattern.
• Move your finger left and right to set the reference-note of the pattern.
• Move your finger up and down to set the pattern’s speed.
• Control up to 480 notes per second, nearly 30,000 notes per minute.
VIBRATO AND TREMOLO, ESSENTIAL FOR 8-BIT SOLOS.
The iPad’s accelerometer controls vibrato and tremolo.
• For expressive changes in pitch, tilt the iPad left and right to apply vibrato.
• For expressive changes in volume, tilt the iPad forward and backward to apply tremolo.
DESIGN AN ARPEGGIO FROM SCRATCH…
Eight touch-knobs are used to design the Arpeggionome’s pattern. The touch-knobs are also great for performance. They can be changed in real-time, and then double-tapped back to their saved value.
• Key & Scale – sets the key and scale of the pattern.
• Octave Range – sets the starting and ending octaves of the pattern.
• Octave Style – sets how the pattern moves between octaves .
• Control Range – sets the placement of the Control Points.
• Notes – sets the number of unique notes that will be triggered .
• Step Distance – sets the distance between each note of the pattern .
• Notes Style – sets how the pattern moves between notes .
• Tempo – Sets the global tempo.
…OR USE A PRESET.
The Arpeggionome includes a Pattern Library with a wide selection of presets. You can also save your own patterns to the Pattern Library.
BEAUTIFUL AND INFORMATIVE VISUAL FEEDBACK.
The Arpeggionome provides visual feedback for your position in the Performance Matrix, every note you trigger, vibrato amount, and tremolo amount.
• Your position in the Performance Matrix is represented by the intersection of two green lines.
• Every note you trigger flashes green in the keyboard above the Performance Matrix.
• Vibrato and tremolo are represented by the two sliders below the Performance Matrix.
OTHER FEATURES .
• Includes an interactive tutorial.
• Can be used as a tool for learning music theory.
• iPad HD ready.
The Arpeggionome was first a hardware project, called the Kaossonome. At Music Hack Day San Francisco 2012, the project found its new home on the iPad. After receiving some great prizes at Music Hack Day, it became clear that the software successor to the Kaossonome, the Arpeggionome, was ready to rear its head on the App Store.
Just enjoyed a quick play with this ‘new’ beatbox, drum pattern creator from Sobal Corp. It’s more or less the same as their previous beatbox app, S4 Rhythm Composer, with a set of industrial sounding percussions samples, and a fresh paint job. Still, for a FREE app, they both offer a surprising amount of features for creating drum patterns
This app is a beatbox allows that you to compose and play 64 industrial beat patterns.
You can also record the patterns.
S4-Industrial composer is a beatbox that allows you to compose 64 industrial beat patterns.
You can check all beat patterns in a bar at one view with help of iPad’s large screen.
You can enjoy “playing” a real beatbox, since various effect functions are available while playing patterns.
You can export the beat patterns as WAV files. Also, you can import the files into PCs via iTunes and use them on various DAWs.
– 10 PCM sound sources (Kick, Snare, Perc1, Perc2, Perc3, Perc4, HHopen, HHclose, Hit1, Hi2)
– Tempo (40-280 bpm), Tap Tempo, Swing, Groove functions
– Step Sequencer (up to 64 steps)
– Various Part Effect functions (Compressor, Roller)
– Various Master Effect functions (Delay, BPM Delay, Compressor, Distortion, Chorus / Flanger, LPF, Slicer, Roller)
– Audio Export function
– Real-Time Recoding function
– Wireless Sync-Start Technology (WIST) is supported
– AudioCopy is supported
– CoreMIDI is supported
StringMaster is an advanced iPad application for Guitarists and other stringed instrument Musicians. With its beautiful, natural sound, StringMaster supports a wide range of instruments. The chord building and detection, comparison between instruments, fretboard learning system, and advanced song writing tools are all supported with any instrument in any orientation, and with tremendously flexible alternate tuning and capo support.
With its high resolution graphics, StringMaster has been fully optimized for the iPad Retina Display, and also works with the iPad 1 and 2. Note StringMaster is an iPad Only application and is not supported on the iPhone.
* Play and discover a wide range of chords and fingering, all with beautiful natural tone.
* Using a set of complex musical algorithms, String Master will show you the name of a chord based on the finger positions you define!
* StringMaster’s easy-to-use Song Writer recommends which chords sound best together making it easy to write and store killer songs and progressions
* Explore and learn the fretboard, Chords & sounds of a range of instruments
* Learn to play a new instrument by comparing it with one you already know. Select a chord on one instrument, then display the equivalent chord pattern and fingering on any of the many other instruments.
Supports the following Instruments:
* Acoustic Guitar
* Electric Guitar
* Electric Guitar – 7 String
* Bass – 5 String
* Banjo – 4 String
The Noisemusick app is a collection of THREE controllable synthesizers that generate interesting chaotic sounds. Have fun creating sonic bedlam, exploring weird soundscapes, or use it to GREAT EFFECT in your live performances and recordings. It’s squonky electric FUN for the whole family!
With Noisemusick you can:
* Choose a sound to match your mood: blue, green, or pink!
* Practice and probe to find interesting interactions of sound!
* Discover weird oscillations!
* Use it as a raw input to other filters and effects!
* Run on an iphone or iPad; it’s a Universal app!
To start making sounds with the Noisemusick app, your body has to complete the circuit between the touch pads. Pressing the pads in different combinations will generate different frequencies and modulations. By lifting a finger or sliding the hold switch you can create rhythmic patterns of noise. Move your fingers to change the resistance between your finger and the pads, which changes the frequency and beating of the tone. On each board the knobs change the quality of the tone in different ways.
Voco is a touch-controlled phase vocoder for manipulating sampled sound.
The sound is mapped onto the screen, with time running left to right, and pitch up and down. By touching the screen the sound can be manipulated and played like an instrument.
Sounds can be loaded as wav files through iTunes or sampled directly via the microphone or input socket.
The creator of the DMX Assistant & MIDI Friend, both for Mac, has combined his experience developing both these apps, and just launched a universal iOS MIDI controller app, albeit a tad on the pricey side.
Really well designed MIDI slider controls.
Behave how you’d expect – always nice and smooth.
Connects via WiFi to OS X with Network MIDI.
Can send Control Change, Note On and Pitch Bend Change MIDI messages.
The team behind TB MIDI Stuff and it’s smaller brother, TB MIDI Tiny Stuff, have been busy at work on a host of new features for these flexible MIDI controller apps.
The key additions for both apps, include OSC support, bi directional SysEx messages, and built-in Missing Link™ drivers, plus there’s also New Horizontal gesture on Knobs & Jog Wheels, Pre defined scales on Value Notes, New Jog Wheel Control, and some system memory improvements.
Here’s a clip showing the bi-directional feature
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