The AudioCopy network

June 14th, 2010

iPhone apps are limited by the functionality that the iOS provides. They are also limited by the processing power of the device they run on. The iPad has way more ooomph than the original iPhone. Yet most apps have to run on all devices.

As for iOS: with the advent of OS3 almost all apps moved up to use the pasteboard.

It is the single most important secret weapon audio apps have to make sure mobile music creationists can compose on the go: it enables apps to pass on audio and receive audio.

Most audio apps are very specialized to do a certain task very well while only being marginally competent for other things. So in order to have good tools for all aspects of music creation, you will need apps that can talk to each other and pass audio on.

Apps at AppStoreHQ

Last year Sonoma Wireworks introduced audiocopy and paste. At the time, I just finished my pasteboard for audio files. While my system did have a few advantages, I still felt that audiocopy was the better solution overall and decided to scrap my work to support Sonoma and prevent a split of the community.

Audiocopy copies wav files to the pasteboard. It also encapsulated information about the audio, like what app it is coming from, bpm, length and number of channels. The latest incarnation of audiocopy has a history of 12 files available so you can in essence copy 12 files from one app to many. The support of the general pasteboard is just icing on the cake to re-unify the split of the audio-app community.

That’s what I call the audiocopy network. It is an important stepping stone to mobile music. You should not buy audio apps that do not support audiocopy as those apps will always be inferior to the audiocopy network.

Need to move your audio from iPhone to your new iPad?

May 27th, 2010

[** UPDATED ** see YouTube video below for demo]

I am talking about your audio files in Beatmaker, or Fourtrack or any other app that supports a pasteboard to interchange music between apps (for a more or less up-to-date list: General Pasteboard, Sonoma AudioCopy).
Consider using AudioView on both devices.

Will you upgrade to the new iPhone in June and want to avoid transferring all your music back to the computer via wifi and then onto your new iPhone?
Again AudioView is the solution. AudioView supports a protocol called audioX that enables two iDevices running an app supporting that protocol to exchange their music files directly. The two iPhones detect each other and display a list of available files. Selecting a file transfers it directly to the device.

On iPad, you have the choice of using Reforge and pair it up with AudioView on your iPod or iPhone. Of course AudioView works flawlessly on iPad as well.

iPhone apps at AppStoreHQ

Then what?
AudioView supports both pasteboards (general and Sonoma) which makes it a great fit for collecting all your audio in it and transferring it over.

What’s the catch?
Right now AudioView is only supporting file transfer one by one. BUT the good news: Work is in progress on a ‘transfer all files’ feature.

UPDATE: the get all feature is available now in AudioView in the app store. See it in action in the YouTube video below.

Follow @ibeatmaker on Twitter to get updates on progress and when it is available. Or check back here as I will update the blog when the ‘transfer all files’ feature is available.

For more information about AudioView and Reforge feel free to browse:

Equalizer for iPhone

July 9th, 2009

So I was always a PC/Windows guy. I just liked to tinker with ISA cards and setting IRQs in the Windows 3.1 days.

Jump ahead to the iPhone, or in my case, the iPod touch. And that did change a lot of things for me. My habits changed. I was reading my email on my morning commute. I got Beatmaker the first day (I am the first member on the INTUA forum). Beatmaker is just a great tool to make music so I decided I wanted to help make it even better. is providing space for custom bm kits. and people are still uploading new kits every week.

Now BM is great at creating music. But part of my music creation is also equalizing. There is no Equalizer app for iPhone.

Well, now there is:

Equalizer in the iTunes store
Best iPhone apps at AppStoreHQ

You can equalize your music by setting gain or cut on up to seven frequency bands.

Upload your music files via wifi (via web browser, no separate software needed!) to Equalizer and download equalized files for further processing or inclusion in your library.

Internal calculations are done in 64 bit floating point, the industry standard in digital sound processing. During conversion to 16 bit (CD quality) you have the option of dithering the sound to reduce artifacts and lower the noise level (noise shaping) both in real time while editing as well as when rendering the music file to disc. A control light warns you from over equalizing your audio. Use the pre-EQ volume slider to prevent clipping.

Best results are achieved if your music files are 44.1kHz sampling rate at 16 bit, the typical .wav format that corresponds to CD quality. Compressed file format support like ma4 and mp3 is planned for future updates.

Unfortunatly there is no direct access to the iTunes library on your device. This is a limitation imposed by Apple and there is currently nothing (short of Jailbreaking) to go around that.

So this little app is great for fine tuning your samples but also your final song. Yet again another step for music production is made available on the iPhone.
I am not done with Equalizer yet. As of right now, I am working on a frequency domain display that is a must for a good equalizer. Then I will add functionality to decode other file formats, right now only 16 bit wav is supported. So I will post back when there is more news. If you want to request any features, feel free to comment.

On a more personal note: I am quite proud of how it all turned out. Processing audio is not as simple as you would think and after working on Equalizer for 2 month I have more than high respect for the guys at INTUA.
However, working on coding audio manipulations was very enjoyable as it gave me another dimension of how making music is done and where the limitations are.

Part four of how I use BeatMaker

February 17th, 2009

Yes I know. It’s been more than a month since my last update. I did get things done though. Just didn’t have time to write home about it.

So I did work some more on the hiphop song. And after listening to it for more than two weeks on my iPod, I do like it.
I reworked the rhythm section in BeatMaker and exported the drums back to Reaper. There I adjusted the levels and applied a few filters both low and high pass (obviously to different tracks) to get the sound and feel I am looking for.

Mixdown and open it up in Ozone to equalize. This is for me a very lengthy process as I do it all on headphones and only get to listen to the mix on real speakers every other day (that’s just the reality of having a family life).
Once I am comfortable with the average eq curve and the sound, I’ll do some compressing of the drum peaks to get some more loudness out of the mix. I do prefer to have a larger dynamic range though so I am not compressing the heck out of it.
Well, this is pretty much it for now.
After listening to the song for over two weeks now, it really grew on me.
Check it out here:

My interests are currently shifting a bit as I am learning to program for the iPhone and will have my first app in the store pretty soon. But that’s a posting for another day…

Part three of BM song creation

January 5th, 2009

Please make sure to read the two previous posts to be uptodate on where I come from.

It has been a while, I know. Life is busy. Anyways, back to my little rap song. After having settled for the main layout for the rap at 112 bpm I quickly put the 128 bpm part together. More dancable.

It was time to work on the tempo change. I decided to go with a steady slow-down at the beginning to give a hint of what might be coming later. I simply layed the loops down and added tempo changes to gradually cover my range. Not sure yet if it’s going to stay like that but that’s how it is now.

For the speed-up after the rap I decided to have a different approach: first I rendered the last 2 seconds of the rap part and ran it through a heavy stereo echo with lots of residual and quite a long tail. Then I built a recap of the bass line, but just the beginning of it, repeating. And an overlay of one of the background loops.
Again, the section was gradually sped-up to prepare for the 128 bpm part.

No BM in this leg of the creation process. But that will change soon.

The drums for the 128 bpm end still need to be created. In my current version ( I have used drums from another song I previously made.

Creating with beatmaker, part two

December 16th, 2008

(Please read the previous post if you have not done so yet to get an appreciation of the progression.)

In this episode of ‘how I use BM to create a song’ I have arranged all the loops and vocals the way I want them. Mostly dictated by how the rap flows. Speeding up the vocals to 112 bpm (from 91.7 bpm) is a challenge but otherwise I feel the song is dragging.

At about three minutes, I want to change the tempo. This is the first time I attempt a song with tempo change and I am still experimenting on how to make it organic and flowing. So the second part of the song will be at 128 bpm and more dancy.

However, for now I focus on the rap and have split the vocals where I think it makes sense and introduce some relief from the very slight build up created by the vocals.

During the second verse I introduce the lead melody for the song. This raw track I split up in three wav files and import them to BM. As a base kit I use Ecken’s excellent hip hop kit and add one shots from my collection until I feel I have the needed sounds.

Then the fun part: programming the drums. I do not need a totally final drum track but I want to get a few different loops down so I can experiment with different feels. I have used the almost obnoxious rim shot and left it in for this version but this is not final. I really like the long kick drum and actually did use the delay fx of BM to modify the snare. If you listen closely you will have no problem locating the reversed kick drum either. Nothing spectacular really but I do like the sound and feel of it.

Back in Reaper I did play around with the lowpass filter on my cheesy bass and think I managed to make it more real. Then I selected the drum loops I just transferred and mixed the song down.

Check out the second mixdown here (Remember, there is no effects added yet so this is still quite a raw mix):

Authoring a song using beatmaker

December 12th, 2008

So I decided to document how I utilize BM to create a new song. I hope that you’ll get something out of it, even if it’s just a laugh: I am not even close to being a professional as I am merely making music to keep me busy during my lunch hour. So if you have suggestions on what I could do different or more efficient, please do not hold back. I will try to narrate everything I did with the current song I am working on. So let’s start:

My first step involves browsing the web for royalty free vocals. usually has some good voxpellas. I decided to go with an excellent rap. (

It is distributed under the creative commons license. So I do not have to pay royalties and can pretty much do with my finished song what I want as long as its not commercial.
The reason I selected this song is mainly my affinity to the gershwin song summertime. So I played a few melodies the way I remembered them on my midi keyboard.

Running this midi through a few presets for the z3ta plugin, I made a few loops. One of then did sound very cheesy and I had to run it through a lowpass filter to make it more real. I don’t think I am done with it yet. Now BM comes into play: taking those loops, I created a bmk and matched the loops with a vocal loop I had also beatmapped. This kit ended up being about 28 MB in filesize. Too much for me to share on my server.

So after weeding out about half the loops, I ended with about 6 good loops I want to use. After having them arranged roughly in BM, I switched to Acid and assembled the loops to have this ( first mixdown.

Next step will be arranging the complete rap and deciding if I need more loops to keep things interesting.

In my songs, I like to fuse different genres. Not sure what this is will end up with. We will see…

The 1.3 update review

December 10th, 2008

So I have tested the new update and am pretty much blown away. Lots and lots of new features that expand the functionality of BM. Zooming in the waveform chop screen is of course my favorite, especially if you know my choices bmk you will understand why. Having the choice in pattern length from one to four bars is also very high up on the list for me. Since I am a boring 4/4 kinda guy, I will not utilize the other posibilities like 3/4 or 5/4. But who knows.

The pads screen has been cleaned up very nicely and I have already forgotten the old layout. The new bandpass, hp and lp filters sound very good but I am not sure if I will use them. I prefer to use these filters more dynamically.

In the sequencer screen things have been cleared up too with an actual position bar and a zoom function.

All this added functionality has of course also made the product more complex. The learning curve is quite steeper now than it was in august.

Well, these are my thoughts while I work on another song that will never be published.

Screenshots are coming soon

Update is available

December 5th, 2008

1.3 update is available in the app store. I am downloading it now.

Upload Beatmaker kits and share

November 20th, 2008

Ok, I decided to try to host all BM kits and also give you the ability to upload your own kit.
To do this, just follow the link:

Right now, I have a few kits uploaded and will add more. However, I have not yet coded the functionality to add descriptions to the files. It is all organized in folders though and should be quite obvious. [There is also a 2 MB filesize limit right now but I am working on lifting that too...  EDIT: has been lifted up to 10 MB by now]
So if you made one of those kits, not to worry, I will add your info soon. If you want to upload your kit right now, please go ahead and email me your information so I can add it. Until I have the backend all coded.
Also let me know if you need another folder. If you do, just upload your kit into the ‘other’ folder and email me. I will fix things asap.

This gives iBeatmaker some serious content and the ability to expand on the kits.