Awaiting the Return of the Magic

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Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Tonight as with many nights lately, I sit looking blankly at the screen. All those app icons, and no drive to delve into any of them. I couldn't figure out why I have a musical malaise for about the last nine months, but I understand it now.

It really is hard these days to feel enthusiasm for other apps that are hard to use in NS1. I have way too many shinny synth app and effect apps - but the sand box I have to play with those toys is too difficult to get the toys into (probably a bad analogy). I look at those app icons and don't feel it is worth the time spent to open them up. And I also think why bother creating NS1 presets or tracks? Obsolesence is looming.

The spark I need to regain the enthusiasm to use other apps will be found in NS2. I know that the combination of features will brimg back the spark that NS1 provided. Until then I feel like I'm in musical Limbo, just waiting. I'm sure there are many practical things that I could do, such as create new presets in other apps, but without the compositional context (provided by NS1 in the past and NS2 in the future), I don't know what will be useful rather than just some interesting sound effect. I should either finish old NS tracks or delete files, but I just can't be asked. Anyone else in a similar boat?

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

I know what you mean. Especially with that long list of apps :-)

But one thing I started messing with is using AUM - setup 4 or so apps, configure the on scream AUM keyboard to control a couple (either layer or split), a external controller controlling another (and if it's got some knobs map them to parameters in something like Animoog), load up masses of FX to mangle the sounds (insert and send/return), work out some chords and basically improvise.

Couple of run throughs to set levels and tweak the setup, then just record the master output in AUM, or if you are posh and have an iPad with lots of memory record each channel then mix it later!

I started doing this just as a test, but found it's a fun way just to experiment with sounds and things. I tend to record the ambient sounds using g the internal mic and interact with those.

tom_tm
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Joined: 06/29/2011

Find an excuse to create a load of percussive sounds and drones that can later be imported into NS2 when it finally arrives.

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

> And I also think why bother creating NS1 presets or tracks? Obsolesence is looming.

Presets maybe no, but tracks ? Definitely yes.. you can always export stems from NS1 and then import them to NS2, like Mr.Blip mentioned - in audio tracks - which can be even big benefit because cutting and rearranging preprared loops gives a completely new point of view to project

so .. don't be in limbo.. use NS1 as much as possible until it will die - this awesome app deserves to be used to the very end ;) - you will definitely USE that material in NS2 !!

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Yes, these are all good ideas, and I don't disagree with them at all. I'm still using NS, just not as enthusiastically as before. I still love NS1, but my workflow has gotten to be cumbersome and therefore other apps seem to be too much effort to bother trying to incorporate. The magic doesn't happen as much for me just creating sound experiments & samples. If I don't incorperate those in to a composition, it feels like effort without reward, and I don't know if what I'm doing will have any real value to me in the future without the context of a composition. The magic happens when blending sounds to create a story. Does a painter mix a bunch of colors months before he has a canvas to paint on? Industrious ones probably could..., and I know I should probably just keep using NS1 full steam ahead, but that feals like I am adding to the large list of files I would want to transter to NS2 projects so that they don't become lost to iOS obsolesence. When NS2 does come out, I'll want to focus on new compositions, but the clock will be ticking on the old files.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Just like NS1, I've tried to make NS2 an 'all in one' solution so you can stay with its environment and get things done without distraction. This is driven by my own preference but it sounds like I'm not alone.

There are loads of excellent apps out there, but personally I find that having more choice can result in less focus, particularly if it involves paging between different apps. It's not just apps of course - throughout the 90's I bought hardware gear here and there as prices went down and my disposable income went up (before having kids) but I feel like I had more productivity with just the one 'limited' synth workstation and one rack mount sampler. Or maybe I just had more time - it was before having kids ...

However - there is finally a solution on the horizon with audio units. The ability to embed an external synth or effect within the host app means you can draw on all that extra choice when you want to AND keep the integrated workflow right through to the mixdown stage. The only disadvantage I can see so far is the disproportional use of CPU resources (when compared to internal synths/effects) and possibly a more 'buggy' user experience, although I suspect the latter will become less of an issue as host and plugin developers gain more familiarity (the same happened with VSTs and AUs on desktop systems).

So I see AU's as the future - shame it's taken so long to get there!

rezonati
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Joined: 07/31/2017

Hello.
I am new here from Poland.
I am producing stock audio tracks for micro stock market, and couple of them was made in NS1. From the beginning I felt in love with this app and its easy but powerful workflow.
But while the iOS music market has grown and new apps has been launched I started to collecting them and switching from one DAW to another, newer one.
Now I realised I have to go back to 'the roots' and focus on one DAW / music environment becouse large number of music possibilities is killing productivity and creativity (as Blip said). I need to learn one DAW with its synths from 'a' to 'z' becouse in 80% of cases I can reproduce sound I am looking for in this one particular environment. Always lack of knowledge and laziness to go deep in particular synth is pushing us to go to the next, more fancy, newer one.
I am looking forward for NanoStudio 2, and I am sure if it inherits this accessibility and this 'thing' we love, it will stay unbeaten for years.
Finger crossed for 2017.

Regards,
Rafal

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

I had a similar experience with my collection of hardware. I appreciate the convenience of an 'all in one' app like NS, but I am inspired by the unique sounds of different synths. Each synth has unique features or sounds, and I never know when some tweaking in a synth app will create a spark that becomes a new track. One example is finding a cool pad in Alchemy that starts a track which may end up being 90% Eden presets, but the track would not have been started without that initial spark from a patch in Alchemy.

I agree that AU inside of NS2 will be an awesome way to take advantage of inspiring sounds from other synth apps - it is the future. Looking forward to that. Also looking forward to taking advantage of using NS2 to sequence my hardware with MIDI out. The combination of piano-roll editing of a performance that will end up eventually on an audio track will, I think, mean that CPU load will be mitigated. I doubt there will be real need to keep a lot of AU running at once.

Using NS2 as the 'one app to rule them all' seems like a fantastic solution for me. However even when just staying within NS2, I am hoping for some great things in the new synth. And I'm hoping there will be additional Blip Interactive synths as IAP, down the line. 'Cuz I'm a sucker for synths.

As rezonati suggests, it is very beneficial to choose to really go deep in one or a few apps. It has taken me a while to figure out which ones I really like enough to go deeper in to, but NS had always been the one 'go to' app, often so much so that I didn't put enough time in other apps to get over the learning curve. Even before it comes out I know that NS2 will be the app that I spend the most time with by far.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

I HATE
- dark graphics ( apps )
I LIKE
- pulse code modular : graphics & record button (wav)
- ftpmate app : ftp connect <-> other app ( same device )
- nice fonts
- telegram app ( unlimited cloud storage ) ( #folder )
- new file autorename ( sound 2 , sound 3 , sound 77 )
I LALALA
- load file sound.wav to NS
- load another file with the same name sound.wav to NS
- export project to mysong.nsp
- load project : one file will be lost ...
@
hm .. ;)

tom_tm
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Joined: 06/29/2011

I like both light and dark graphics. It all depends where you are. Outside or inside. Having a choice of being able to flip between the two is best. Having said that, iPads in the bright sunshine just ain't ever going to work!

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

"iPads in the bright sunshine just ain't ever going to work!"

Sounds like a lyric from a cyber-Country song.

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

when im use ipad in dark bedroom, and my wife and son are already sleeping, i'm very thankfull for each app with dark UI :-)))

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

.. i like 25 % room brightness & 10 % ipad brightness ( light UI )
.. i like to smoke weed with nanostudio .. ;)

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

"iPads in the bright sunshine just ain't ever going to work!"

Nope - I tried that in the south of France this summer for a bit of outdoors music making. I was beside a mountain river doing ambient-y noodling things with the sound of the water using AUM and "stuff" and was, originally, sat in the shade. However I forgot that the sun moves and after a while I and the iPad were in full sun. Turns out the iPad has a thermal shutdown.... And I got a really weird sun tan on my feet due to my footwear.

So I never did that "take #2" and had to keep "take #1" :-)

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Turns out the iPad has a thermal shutdown

Yes I remember finding that out last time I was on holiday in a country with proper sun! Next time someone in the UK complains that it's too hot I'll point out that their phone's still working and tell them to stop moaning.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

.. by the way :

Is a life of a battery decreased more by :

A) low brightness - light UI ( display - shine )
B) high brightness - dark UI ( energy for the brightness )

.. i like light UI , i can use sunglasses , low bright , room light ...
.. i hate dark UI .. i can only turn the sun OFF

ok , lets go back to groove ;) ..
youtube.com/watch?v=Fm7Ck7MhQEA

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

To my knowledge, all iOS devices still use the LCD + backlight method, so power consumption is simply related to the brightness setting rather than the screen content. This may change if the next generation uses OLED, where a predominantly dark UI may reduce the screen's power consumption by up to 30-40%.

On the subject of pointless speculation about the next generation, apparently some developer has recently unearthed an icon from an iOS 11 beta version which PROVES that the next iPhone will have no bezel around the display, despite the fact that to my eyes the icon looks like a generic phone with a bezel about 1 cm thick. Then, if the next phone arrives and indeed has no bezel he'll be able to say 'See? I was right!' and we can all agree that it's got nothing to do with catching up with Android phones.

Personally I'd be more excited about getting a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

A Brit couple that are friends of mine love to come to sunny So Cal on holiday and my wife and I love to vacation in cloudy UK (or Germany or Netherlands or...). I've never even thought about sitting in the sun to use iPhone or iPad. Interesting how our daily experiences influence us.

+1 for 3.5 mm jack!
Although I haven't heard how musicians are getting on without those. Anyone using an iPhone 7?

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

.. ok , good bye , " jack " .. ;/

.. Lightning to 3.5mm adapter.
Free in the box, $9 if bought separately

.. ou , welcome back , " jack " .. ;)

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

Well - I'm British (and grew up in the north) so I am used to grey, rain, and drizzle (and that's just July), whereas my wife grew up in the South of France so is used to blue skies and sun. Needless to say we tend to go somewhere warmer and sunnier for holidays!

If anyone is interested this is the (quickly) filmed video whilst I was doing the music thing by the river. And in the sun. https://youtu.be/AGPtpIC1XIE

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Oh dear you got me started.

Goodbye jack
.. Lightning to 3.5mm adapter.
Hello audio goodbye battery
.. plugin in charger
Hello battery goodbye audio
.. Lightning to 3.5mm adapter.
Hello audio goodbye battery

... iPhone Lightning Dock $39, not free in box, 2 star review on Apple website.

To develop audio apps on the iPhone 7 you need a dongle crapfest as you need USB and audio at the same time.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

express.co.uk :
.. Within days, more than 300,000 " jack " fans had signed an online petition against the move. Fortunately, it appears Apple hasn’t listened to the petitioners ...

everytime i need to charge device ..
i " charge " myself too .. ( shower , etc , :D )
i have never been " plugged " with headphones & charger together ..
but i understand .. sometimes it is " THE RIDE " and one cannot " stop " .. ;)
sorry for my english , i am from antarctica :D

> kitejan ..
good idea that mirror , another style to watch the clouds :D

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

removing jack was fucking bad idea. period.

but no wonder because last years apple is doing one wrong decision after one, ruining every one great aspect of company buikded by jobs... Cook as CEO was wrong choice...

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Nice job Matt! The lyrics to your new song 'Goodbye Jack' are pretty sweet.

Re: Dongle Crapfest (nice album title)
Are there lightning adaptors that allow one to plug in power, USB MIDI, and audio in & out all at the same time?

Kitejan: nice ambient soundscape in a nice ambient landscape.

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

> Are there lightning adaptors that allow one to plug in power, USB MIDI, and audio in & out all at the same time?

https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0W2AM/A/lightning-to-usb-3-camera-a...

but this is in my opinion better solution to idevice connectivity issue :)

https://itrack.focusrite.com/products/itrack-dock

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Dongle Crapfest

I'm picturing a middle 8 where I drop a 'COURAGE' sample, accompanied by slow ironic 909 claps through a massive hall reverb. Then over 4 hours of silence as the battery recharges before resolving to a final reprise of the 'Hello battery goodbye audio' chorus.

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

>I'm picturing a middle 8

That sounds like some "electro acoustic" music I've listened to.

Turns out that Sheffield University has a rather experimental music department and I went along to one of their "performances" - basically 50 loudspeakers around the room, and the composer (performer?) mixes the multichannel (and highly processed) audio through the loudspeaker arrays. Rather good, in an ambient soundscape, musique-concrete sort of way. But I know electronic musicians who perform and improvise this kind of thing in real time. Usual academic/non-academic split I think :-)

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

@Slam-Cut: thank you. It was fun doing it (I actually came back from my holiday with about an hours worth of improvised stuff made on the beach, by a river, outside the holiday cottage at midnight, on the plane and so on. Just an iPad, NanoKeys, NanoControl, unpowered hub, and Zoom USB microphone is all I need to amuse myself for hours at a time.)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

> Dongle Crapfest
Produced entirely with NS2 of course. I hope that is one of the demo tracks.

Thanks for those suggestions dendy! The iTrack Dock looks promising, although I hate that they don't spell it out on the website: does it recharge the iPad at the same time? I assume it would, but if I were in charge of that company I'd have a word with the web designer. Nice big graphics, but there is no photo of the back (I found one elsewhere) nor mention of charging on the list of tech specs. Doh!

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

.. nanostudio & wireless headphones ..
.. anybody - experience ?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

.. poor latency
.. poor audio quality (compressed)
.. questionable range/reliability