iPhone Apps | The New "Assistant Engineer"

Feb 1, 2010 12:00 PM, By Sarah Benzuly



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Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer, Planet Waves Rig Remote

MIDI Mobilizer (below) is a portable MIDI device, and Planet Waves Rig Remote is iPhone software for use with Apple iPhone and iPod touch using OS 3.

When used with Rig Remote, the forthcoming iPhone app from Planet Waves, MIDI Mobilizer lets guitarists control Line 6 Variax digital-modeling guitars and Vetta II digital-modeling amplifiers. Line 6 Variax guitars model the sounds of 25 instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, a banjo and an electric sitar. Line 6 Vetta II amplifiers feature models of 80 guitar amplifiers and more than 80 effects. All models can be controlled with Rig Remote and adjusted in real time via its amp panel-inspired knobs.

Rig Remote features a graphical display that takes a nod from the Line 6 software commonly used to adjust Variax and Vetta II tones via personal computer. The iPhone display and touchscreen make it easy to scroll, choose and adjust models of amps, guitars, pickups, pickup placement, alternate tuning and more. Guitarists can save their favorite settings and apply them to any Variax guitar or Vetta II amplifier.

MIDI Mobilizer and Rig Remote 1 are currently in development, with pricing, availability and more detail on the complete feature set to be announced.

McDSP Retro Recorder

Retro Recorder has been updated with new features, including stereo recording capability and a high-quality Recording mode. The updates are free to existing Retro Recorder customers, and new customers may purchase it for $2.99. The app features distortion-free audio zoom-in capability and the patent-pending Audio Level eXtension (ALX) technology. Recorded files can be exported individually or in batches. Exported files can then be downloaded to a PC or Mac using a Wi-Fi network. An external mic is required.

Novation Automap 3

With Automap 3, you can turn your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless, palm-sized MIDI controller. Combined with Novation's free Automap 3 Standard software or Automap 3 PRO ($29.99), Automap provides two horizontal faders and eight buttons per page (pages unlimited) displayed on one touchscreen. Automap lets you see how every control on your iPhone/iPod touch is assigned. Control maps are automatically placed into categories depending on type, and controls can be re-assigned via the Learn mode. Users can remotely control transport functions or give an artist remote control of reverb levels. There's also a handheld crossfader for laptop DJ'ing, controlling multi-effects while tracking guitar, switching drum kits while a user is at the V-drums and more.

Sonoma Wire Works FourTrack

Offering pan controls, FourTrack (V. 1.2, $9.99) lets you upload tracks to your computer as WAV files (or directly to the company's RiffWorks software for Mac and Windows) using Wi-Fi sync. Recording at 16-bit/44.1kHz, a clip light ensures that input levels do not cause distortion while calibrated meters monitor record and playback level. A Slide to Record feature prevents overwriting of tracks; track length is unlimited. Other features include an “onboard” compressor/limiter and the ability to bounce tracks, duplicate songs, internal metronome and packaged sounds, including three beats by drummer Jason McGerr on his signature Ludwig kit recorded in his Seattle-based studio, Two Sticks Audio. An internal bounce-to-disk function and click track feature are planned in a future update.

Steinberg Cubase iC

The Cubase iC (free) remote-controller application provides control for Steinberg's Cubase and Cubase Studio Version 5.0.1 music production systems. The app is based on the Steinberg Kernel Interface (SKI) technology for integration into the Cubase software core. Cubase iC controls Cubase 5.0.1 and Cubase Studio 5.0.1 running on both Mac OS X and Windows platforms.

Studio Six Digital AudioTools, SPL, RTA

AudioTools ($19.99) bundles all of the company's audio and acoustics apps, adds more functionality for line-input audio analysis, and will work with the soon-to-be-released iAudioInterface and iProMic. The initial purchase includes the SPL Meter (with an increased range to work with the iAudioInterface mic), RTA (octave and ⅓-octave spectral analysis), level/frequency of the iAudioInterface line input (also works with any dock input audio source) and Audio Scope dual-trace audio band oscilloscope. Additionally, it offers a signal generator (sine/square waves, and white/pink noise; pictured), the ability to monitor the mic input in the headphones, audio-related calculators and File Export to upload those results to any PC or Mac via Wi-Fi, and calibration of all I/Os. In-app purchasing (upgrades) include FFT analysis, SPL Pro, SPL Graphic, SPL Traffic Light (monitor live sound level), ETC (Energy Time Curve), Speaker Polarity, THD+N, speaker distortion, impedance, impulse response and Smaart (available this year).

SPL (V. 1.4, $5.99) is a full-featured decibel meter that uses the iPhone's built-in mic or an external one. Studio Six Digital also makes the lower-priced SPL Meter (V. 1, $0.99), which is designed to emulate a familiar, budget-priced analog decibel meter from a popular electronics-store chain.

Another Studio Six Digital product is RTA (V. 1.2, $9.99), a real-time analyzer that has calibration settings for either the iPhone's built-in mic or an external measurement mic.

Thezi Studio Metronome TS

This metronome offers visual (a virtual baton) and aural (a choice of tones) references, multiple selectable rhythms, tap-tempo and more. Metronome TS ($3.99) features a 30 to 250 bpm range, with zero to 19 beats per bar. Users can play clicks through the first-generation iPod touch's internal speaker.

Sarah Benzuly is Mix's managing editor.

Click on the next page to find out how these apps are made.

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