Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 

Archives: January 2012


January 17, 2012

I Call Bullshit...

by Chris Randall
 

Synthtopia is reporting on Auria, a 48-track DAW for iOS (specifically the iPad 2) from WaveMachine Labs that will supposedly bring 24-channel recording and VST support to iOS.

I call bullshit, though. And for two reasons:

1. VST Support means what it says: the app hosts VST plug-ins built to the VST standard. However, there is no such thing as a VST SDK for iOS. This being the case, it is a physical impossibility for Auria to host VSTs; what it hosts are VSTs that have been ported to Auria. WaveMachine say they are "leading the charge" to bring the VST format to iOS. I personally like to think that, due to the nature of my business endeavors, I'd be aware of any such "charge." However, this is the first I've heard of it. Be that as it may, the sandbox design of iOS precludes any of this sort of thing at a basic level, at least in the manner we know it.

2. They claim the app can record 24 channels simultaneously. Yeah. Let's point out a couple things. First, there is no such thing as a 24-channel class-compliant USB 1.1 audio interface. So that's kind of important. There doesn't need to be a second thing. The first is enough.

I wouldn't be incensed about this except that in a situation like this we get a lot of people asking whether our plugs are going to be available on this platform. WaveMachine hasn't contacted us, which is interesting considering we're one of the largest of the 2nd Tier plugin companies. And if they did, we'd tell them we're not interested in porting a plug-in to sell it as an in-app purchase in a single DAW. We don't support single-DAW formats. Never have, never will. And rest assured this requires a port. This app can not host OS X VSTs. It is an impossibility.

 
January 12, 2012

Even More Things...

by Chris Randall
 

It's been a surprisingly busy time here in the new year, and I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and do one of the big Things I Do that warrants a Real Blog Post. So I just keep dumping these little nuggets; thanks for being patient. Anyhow, in no particular order:

1. We've just updated Replicant OS X to 1.6.2 to fix a few problems the AU was having; notably, some users were losing their presets when installing or upgrading. Also, we've added back the mono->mono and mono->stereo modes. This update is in the AD store now. The Windows version is unchanged, and the VST on the OS X side is unchanged.

2. I'm just finishing up on a big contract UI I've been working on for the last month and a half, but can't talk about except to say that it's big and I'm just finishing up. I believe the company I did it for will announce it at NAMM, and I can speak on it at that time. It is an extremely cool concept, though, and it was a pleasure to do it. Wish I could show it off.

3. In other Wish I Could Show It Off news, making good headway on the next AD product, which will be what we call internally a "top line effect." That is to say that it will be one of the non-traditional effects Audio Damage is best known for (c.f. Replicant, Automaton, Axon etc.) and in that light, it is a good one. I don't normally make a habit of talking about these kinds of products until we have a working example in-house, since it's not always clear they're gonna do what our fertile imaginations have suggested they'll do. Or that they're possible to build at all. But as longtime readers know, I almost always show off these top-line effects once they're mostly working, in order to gauge interest and get feature feedback, and we'll most likely do that with this one, as well. It's still a ways away; I'm working on new UI code, utilizing the new animation tools that Steinberg were kind enough to add in the latest VSTGUI SDK, while Adam continues his work in the 64-bit Salt Mines. He pretty much hates me, you, Apple, and the horse we collectively rode in on at this point, and I can't blame him. But we're making good headway; all the hardest ones have been done, and it should be smooth sailing for the next couple weeks until the whole line is built to current standards. Just in time for Apple to announce a new plug-in format or some other stupid shit, no doubt.

4. I'm starting to get more submissions for the AI Comp, all of which are uniformly awesome. You have just over a month remaining. I have also been thinking about the sleeves for the LP, and to that end have ordered the sample pack from Stumptown Printers. I would like to do these recycled sleeves with silk-screened artwork for extra arty-fartyness. As soon as the samples arrive, I'll take them over to my screenprinter and see what he thinks about screening them. I'll keep you informed on the progress on that front.

 
January 9, 2012

A Couple More Things...

by Chris Randall
 

1. Bigseq2 has been updated to 64-bit on all platforms, and there are a bunch of minor bug fixes. v1.1.0 is now in the AD Store for download. Free update, and recommended for all users.

2. Steinberg has released current all-platform 32/64 versions of Neon and Karlette; info here. Neon is one of a handful of synths that can lay claim to the title of "first commercial soft-synth." It kind of sucks, of course, but in its own special way. Karlette is a "tape-style" delay with a ludicrous user interface and an almost unusable sound; pretty good fun. Both are free as in your mom.

3. Starting to gear up for NAMM. I have nothing to add to that except to say that there will be knobs.

 
January 6, 2012

A Couple Things...

by Chris Randall
 

1. Just a quick note as a reminder: if you are sending me a track for the comp, DO NOT SEND ME AN UNCOMPRESSED WAV OR AIFF. Read the last two paragraphs of the instructions again. I want an MP3 with your name and contact info in the metadata, so that I know who made the track, and how to find you again. I am, of course, not going to put the MP3 out. But if I have a folder with 70 files in it named things like "submission_1.aiff" there's no reasonable way to organize it. Just follow the instructions. If I pick your track, I will contact you about getting me the uncompressed, unmastered version, and the format I need for that. Don't try to be fancy.

2. Ricochet is now 32/64 on all platforms, and is now in the AD store for download. I forgot to mention this here. Go forth. Should be a seamless transition, and it contains a number of minor bug fixes, as well.

3. Young Americans records is releasing a quadruple album set of some of the highlights of the Daphne Oram tape collection. Looks like a really nice set, even if you don't care for this sort of thing; it is available here, and there are images of the set and three sound samples here. I just went ahead and ordered it, because these things don't come along often, and it would be nice to have. If you're not clear on who Daphne Oram is, get thee to ye olde Wikipedia.

 
January 2, 2012

Submit Thyself...

by Chris Randall
 



New Year, y'all, and it's time to get this party started. Pursuant to the earlier discussion on the subject, I'm hereby announcing an open call for submissions for the first Analog Industries compilation album. Here's the rules:

1. This will be primarily a vinyl release. As such, certain restrictions are in place that one would not normally find in a digital release. The track you submit can not be more than six minutes in length, and in the event of acceptance you must be able to provide an unmastered 24-bit version, so that mastering needs that are specific to vinyl release may be met.

2. The track you submit must be new, unreleased in any form, and will be exclusive to this compilation for six months after the release of the album. When you submit it, I should be the first person outside your Circle Of Trust to hear it. Ideally, you'll write it specifically for this compilation. Obviously, we're gonna have to go on the honor system for this, but you and I want the same thing here, and that's for this to be a special release. It is going to be expensive to make, and we have to pull off the nearly impossible in 2012, and that's to store all the value we can in the release itself.

3. Financially, this will almost certainly be a losing prospect, just by the nature of how this sort of thing works. When you submit your track, you are doing so with the knowledge that the ten artists chosen may be called upon to kick in a bit to realize the actual physical product. If I'm able to pay for it all up front when it becomes necessary to do so, I will, but the nature of my income (which goes in fairly severe cycles) dictates that when the time comes, I may not be able to do so, and making a physical album, especially vinyl, is not a cheap proposition. The ten chosen artists will decide what best suits them and how to go about it. In the event, it won't be a lot of money, maybe $150-$200 at the most? But the possibility exists that this will be necessary, and when you submit a track, doing so shows a tacit acceptance of this fact.

4. Here's what you're really looking for, isn't it? The musical guidelines. We're going to avoid a genre label here, and just set the style as whatever can loosely be defined by the term "abstract electronic music." When I'm listening to all the submissions to determine the best group, I'll be listening for two things: first, does the track add to and improve our collective experience? I won't dismiss a trance or dubstep or whatever track out of hand, but the stricter the limitations of the starting point, the less likely this will fit in with the whole. Second, technical craftiness is worth bonus points, because it's me doing the selecting, and that sort of thing impresses me. If you just throw a bunch of pre-made loops in FL Studio and mix to taste, I'll be able to hear that, and the songwriting better pick up the slack. Likewise, if you did something new that pushes the boundaries of our field, I'll know when I hear that, too. If you work to impress here, you'll be well-served, and whether or not the result makes the cut, everyone will be better off for having made the effort.

5. The release will be sold via Bandcamp. Initially, it will be vinyl only, get the download when you buy the vinyl. Once the supply of vinyl is exhausted, then it will be digital only, no repress. First in, first out for money, so if you are chosen and have to kick in to make the release, you'll get paid back first. Once all expenses are met, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a charity that the ten chosen will collectively decided on. The release will be a CC A-NC-ND 3.0 license, but you, the artist, will retain all copyright to the track.

I think that about covers the highlights. All submissions must be received by February 1st February 15th. (EDIT: changed due to NAMM.) The only way I will accept a submission is as a high-quality MP3. If you feel that the transcoding removed important information, then feel free to also provide a link to a place I can download an uncompressed file. But the initial submission should be a good, listenable MP3. Send me a link to the track. Do not email the track itself, nor send me to a Soundcloud, Myspace, or Facebook embed. Make sure the metadata for the MP3 is filled out as thoroughly as possible, so that I can find you again assuming the two become separated. Due to the volume of submissions I expect, anything that doesn't meet this mild guideline will be dismissed out-of-hand. In other words, help me help you.

So, you have a month and a half. Go forth! When you're done, hit me with it.
 

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