NanoStudio Live Drum Setup

8 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/11/2015

I play drums for Gwen Stefani and thought you guys might find it interesting that I've been using NanoStudio as a brain for my Roland Octopad SPD-30 and drum triggers. I really dig the versatility of the app. At current, its really the only app on IOS that has enough features suitable for live use. I'm really looking forward to seeing some updates that might help NanoStudio work even better for live use.

Here's a link to a picture of my Setup for a show we just did at the Orpheum Theater in Downtown Los Angeles last Saturday

Here are some features I would like to see,

1. A toggle or Latch key mode setting in the TRG. For example. I'd like to have the ability to hit a pad once, have the sample loop continuously until I hit that pad agin. The Auto Beat Feature isn't versatile enough for me. I generally cue loops at different tempos through out the set.

2. Midi Learn and Midi Implementation enhancements. I would really like to have the ability to change the midi notes that the TRG pads respond to. It would be super awesome if the TRG had some sort of midi learn for the pad. I would like have the ability to assign Midi CC to Pitch, Transpose and other parameters within the TRG. Would be nice if Pad velocity could be assigned to control parameters other than volume. Having it control pitch or transpose would be super awesome! Also it would be nice to TAP in Tempo via midi note. Especially for delay sync effects.

3. Built-in LP/BP/HP filter for each pad in the TRG. It would be super if the filter responded to Velocity. For example - the harder you hit the pad the higher the LP cutoff Freq would go. This would be awesome for making more expressive dynamics.

4. Latency setting for the Mac OS app. - Don't know if this is even on Blip Interective's radar, but I was using a laptop, with NanoStudio on MacOs, as a Back-Up "B" rig, just incase the iPad went down during the show. I noticed that there isn't any way to change the buffer settings on the MacOs version. The MacOs version definitely had a tad of latency compared to the iPad.

I really enjoy using NanoStudio and look forward to it's future development.

-Tony Austin

Joined: 12/13/2014

I also use NS in a live application.
Sometimes for samples such as my bonhamesque kit that I sampled.
But mostly use it as an upright bass player.
I sequence the parts usually 8-12 bars in length in NanoStudio using a couple of samples I layered from a real upright.
Then I resample the sequenced sections and apply to pads which I trigger from an alesis control pad. Not as nice as the octopad but very gigable
I play mostly blues/jazz/funk with a keyboard player.
We then function as the rhythm section for a number of local artists. Etc.
We came up with this solution to compensate for the lack of good bass players in the Seattle area. (Also one less way to split the cash)
And I get a lot of compliments on the system and performance people can't believe how tight of a sound we get.

This arraignment allows me to use the phrases that fit the mood of the passage the best on the fly. Also allows more fluidity than a full song sequence and allows pauses and to easily improvise.
I have the pad a 2 octave keyboard and my iPad all in a carry case.
I have made changes to parts at sound check right before the gig many times. To suit whoever we are backing that night.
All in all I love NS it is my main app now.

My gear is as follows
Tama cocktail set / or Tama bop set.
An old ziljian k crash ride
13" wuhan hats.
Alesis control pad
O2 keyboard
A tascam dp32 for studio work
1 iPad mini for the brains
An old Mac mini for backups.

Joined: 09/07/2011

Welcome to the forum guys! It's nice to get some feedback from guys who are playing live and using NS in creative ways that some of us probably wouldn't think of doing. There is a Wish List thread that goes into some pretty deep detail on a variety of requested features for the new version of NS. Check it out when you have time to kill or need boring reading to put you to sleep on a restless night. Nanostudio is currently undergoing a complete re-build. The Blip Interactive Development Team is working nearly 'round the clock, of course with sensible breaks for tea time - they are civilized of course, and we have our fingers crossed that we will see the new app this year. NS as it is now is a very versatile DAW replacement, and when the new version comes out it will likely be just plain incredible.

I found suggestion number 3 above to be particularly interesting. It would be really nice to be able to get more dynamics out of the TRG, and that might just be part of the answer. Pressure sensitivity however will only work when connected to MIDI controllers, and wouldn't really work with just the iDevice. Sounds like a lot of work for features that wouldn't be accessible for most users most of the time, but I hope that the new app would have room left for things like this to be added on as IAPs. It would be interesting to find out how many drummers are using NS and what demand would be from them, but I think even keyboardists (such as myself) would be interested in having pressure sensitive dynamics, both on the TRG as well as the synth.

Blip Interactive
Joined: 04/05/2010

Tony, thanks for the feedback. I'm working on NanoStudio 2 now and will be considering features like these for the new TRG instrument. I think they're all good suggestions but as always, it's a challenge trying to add more powerful options whilst keep the operation simple for 'everyday' use. I will be trying my best though!

The Windows and Mac versions are a deficient in a few areas (which I only claim to get away with because they're free!). I can't remember why the Mac doesn't have a buffer setting to be honest, probably because it wasn't a five minute job (I guess another word for that is laziness).

Joined: 02/11/2015

Hey Mr Blip,
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I can see how balancing Advanced functionality vs. Everyday usability can be a real challenge. Honestly you've done an excellent job thus far and that's why I'm using nano studio over some of the other apps out there. I just wanted to let you know that I was using Nano Studio live on a pretty big gig. Thought you might get a kick out of it. I'm really looking forward to the release of Nano Studio 2. Can't wait!

Joined: 09/26/2010

Lots of good stuff up there, Tony.

Tony said:
> Having it control pitch or transpose would be super awesome!

I agree. Mind if I ask how you'd use a feature like this?

Joined: 11/22/2010

this is very cool thanks for sharing.

always nice to see professional working musicians making the connections between innovation coming out of one-man indie dev studios to big-name acts.

Joined: 11/21/2010

"Pressure sensitivity however will only work when connected to MIDI controllers, and wouldn't really work with just the iDevice. Sounds like a lot of work for features that wouldn't be accessible for most users most of the time…"

That's only true when you play on the pads. But you can still edit velocity information in the sequencer. If you could tie multiple parametres to velocity with different scales, it would make the velocity adjustment a one-stop-shop for expression. The TRG really needs this!

And having pitch / transpose as automatable parametres would be awesome. Lots of drum sounds respond really well to being played at different pitches, especially combined with filter adjustments. Damnit, now I want this feature really badly!

Joined: 09/07/2011

You do make it sound really nice...
Yep, I'll have to say it.
What Stiksi said.

That'll probably add another 2 months of work for the Blip Interactive Development Team
Matt hates us now. Or perhaps he is just wise enough to ignore us.