NS2 - Progress report and screenshots

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Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Some months ago I had a meeting within my own head to work out where I was and where I was going with NanoStudio 2. It was very exciting as I got to use lots of management speak and I came up with 3 mission statements:

1. Ideally I want to have NS2 out in September to tie in with the release of iOS 11.
2. Failing that, I absolutely must release in 2017 even if that means delaying the introduction of a few features.
3. Whatever happens, the features I deliver in the first version must be well thought out, robust, and stable.

So as we're all (probably) aware, September is here. Despite my best efforts Mission 1 has failed, but I have all confidence in Missions 2 & 3. Tasks are getting closed down, things are clicking into place, and unless something happens which is completely beyond my control such as a cete of particularly violent badgers overrunning my home (who could plan for that?) it's all looking good for this December.

It's been necessary to make a sacrifice to the features which will be delivered in the first release. That sacrifice will be: audio tracks. I really didn't want to do this, but there are several ways I've been able to justify this decision to myself:

- It gives me more time to ensure that all other features in the app meet Mission Statement 3.
- Although NanoStudio 2 will still most likely be iPad only for first release it will enable me to bring forward the release of the iPhone version, which I feel will suit more existing NanoStudio 1 users.
- It enables me to price the base app a little lower, with audio track support provided as a future IAP option only for those who want/need it.

In case the mention of IAP 'add ons' worries anyone, I want to stress that I'm not planning on a massive IAP money grab where you'll need to spend a load more on top of the base app in order to get a useable set of features. The initial IAP options will be an extremely efficient convolution reverb (the base app comes with a new algorithmic reverb) and a solid set of multi-sample based patches to complement the 300+ mainly synthesis-based patches which come with the base app. In the latter case, this also keeps the initial download nice and small.

To whet the appetite for what's ahead I've chosen some screenshots from areas of the app which are now more or less carved in stone. If anyone has questions then feel free to ask and I'll answer what I can!

The new Eden replacement, Obsidian:

Obsidian Performance page

Obsidian Patch page

Obsidian Edit page (1)

Obsidian Edit page (2)

Song editor:

Song Editor (1)

Song Editor (2)

Mixer and insert FX:

Mixer main page

Mixer insert FX

antrabbit
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Joined: 06/15/2011

Looking forward to it, just in time for Xmas.

pquenin
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Joined: 10/08/2011

Woaw, awesome !

shimmy
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Joined: 07/22/2010

This looks amazing !!!

TwistedGenetics
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Joined: 07/27/2016

Well impressed :)

Also don't fret about charging for add ons. Most of us have paid 100's On our Pc/mac DAW's and you will sell this for a fraction of what we have spent. We have all followed your journey on this project and understand the time,effort, blood, sweat and tears you have put into it. I'm sure I speak for a lot of us that we won't mind chucking a few extra pounds ( $ & € for our foreign friends ) for some added features at a later date :)

Regards
Twisted

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

Bummer about the audio tracks but there is plenty there to keep busy while waiting on them. I would not mind paying IAP for audio tracks. Personally I'd put that ahead of the other two IAPs you mention,but that's me.

spooky zoo
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Joined: 05/07/2012

This post has put a big smile on my face!

Looks awesome and well thought out.

I don't think I've ever described anything as 'Instabuy'... until now!

Thanks for all your hard work on this. Can't wait to repay you! :)

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Bummer about the audio tracks ... Personally I'd put that ahead of the other two IAPs you mention

Yes I'm disappointed about having to do this too. But the other IAPs are complete and ready to go, whereas the audio track work is some way there but not ready for prime time. I'm afraid of rushing it in, spreading myself too thin and the overall quality suffering as a consequence.

The good news is that it shouldn't be too far behind the initial release.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

AWESOME!!!
Love the screen shots! First question: Do we really get Unicorns & Fairy Dust? That would be fantastic, but I'm not sure if you're just taking the piss. I'm so excited and I don't even know what those knobs will do!
Second question: has parts & patterns gone away?
Third: Can I assume that MIDI out is in the initial release?
Last (for the moment): is there now just 1 X/Y pad?

I don't mind waiting for IAP of audio tracks because I know you will do a good job on that feature. I think the graphics look quite nice and from what I can tell this far the GUI looks clean and well laid out.

Can't wait for December!

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> First question: Do we really get Unicorns & Fairy Dust?

All at no extra cost. The macro knobs can be renamed - I'll admit to using poetic licence in certain patches.

> Second question: has parts & patterns gone away?

No, but they're handled a little differently. If you tap and hold the copy button you have the option of creating a 'linked part'. Linked parts work like NS1 patterns, where any edits you make to one copy are reflected in all other copies. You can 'unlink' the parts if you wish to convert them back to unique copies. There are new selection options for selecting all instances of a linked part - when making a selection, the 'link' icons on all related parts light up to indicate the related parts.

BTW, the sequencer now deals properly with overlapping parts, playing them simultaneously and visually stacking them into lanes (as can be seen on the 'Bass group' and 'Obsidian: Tech Kick' tracks in the first song editor screenshot). You can also manually add additional lanes to a track if you wish (as with NS1, but without the 4 lane limit).

Also the sequencer now supports tempo and time signature tracks (including export/import of those tracks to/from MIDI files).

> Third: Can I assume that MIDI out is in the initial release?

Yes, MIDI out is handled as a new instrument type. It's fairly similar to the Obsidian synth but doesn't have a sound generator and instead outputs to an external MIDI port and channel of your choice. It has an adjustable latency slider to help deal with any timing problems you might have with external gear and will automatically introduce audio latency to the app's sound graph if necessary if you ask it to bring MIDI events 'forward'. I've put in a lot of work to ensure that latency's handled correctly, so you can do stuff like inserting a lookahead limiter (which inherently adds some latency) on any track or group, and it'll delay all other tracks accordingly to ensure it all remains in sync.

> Last (for the moment): is there now just 1 X/Y pad?

Yes, in addition to the 8 macro knobs. This seemed the best use of screen space without the need to tab/page between macro sets which I don't think works very well in a performance situation.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Oooohhhhh.... AAAAAhhhhhhhhh.....
(In my best Minion voice)

Adjustable Latency Slider: I didn't know the concept existed, but now I gotta have it.

OMG! Are presets automatically alphabetized...?!

Wait! I totally missed it: a meeting in your head? I knew there was a team at Blip Interactive. Maybe just multiple personalities, but enough of them to hold a meeting.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

>In case the mention of IAP 'add ons' worries anyone,...

I don't think that worries anyone. In fact I think that I will be glad to have a steady stream of IAPs since I know you will have to put in time to maintain the app, adjusting for all the changes in iOS and 3rd party apps like Audiobus & Abelton Link, and develop it to meet newly desired features. IAP is an under-used method to fund this work. I for one will be glad to know that NS2 will still be an actively maintained app with continued fixes and features, and that every IAP helps keep it financially viable. No worries.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

In the sample section, it looks like there are 2 samples per octave. Is that a limit, or can more samples per octave be assiged? Most sounds would be fine with 2 samples, but for the case of very evolving/active samples the pitch-shifting/time stretching might require more. So I'm curious, although I don't want to be an Oliver Twist. Also wondering if you made any changes to the method of pitch-shifting that was in NS1. Can we assign the sample? You have D & G#, but if my samples are C and F#, can I assign the samples accordingly?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

None of it's fixed - that's just the patch used in the screen shot. You can zoom in and change the sample zones or automap samples based upon their filenames, stuff like that.

Each of the 3 oscillators can have up to 32 sample zones, with configurable range, crossfade, level/pan/pan/pitch/loop type etc. You can layer the oscillators or switch/fade between them based on velocity. Or you could assign LFOs/envelopes to crossfade between them or ring modulate them for evolving sounds. There are various options and tools tucked away behind the 'hamburger' icons on the top right of each panel.

Maybe this helps:

Sample Osc

iammane
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Joined: 03/09/2011

What kind of automation options do we have? ie, all macro knobs can be automated, x/y? I know x/y could be in NS1 I used the heck out of that, but if all the knobs can be too I know I will be head over heels :)

Also, what kind of integration with iCloud Drive/Files or whatever it's called in iOS 11? Being able to suck down samples from iCloud without needing dropbox or etc would be sooooo slick, not to mention project backup as well.

Haven't been this excited for another iOS DAW since Gadget.

Crossing fingers the sequencer is as good or better than NS1, you nailed that Matt... best iOS sequencer I've used hands down.

Yikes! What a day, Apple keynote and then seeing this haha, very excited.

Jeppan74
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Joined: 03/01/2012

Looks yummy!! Feeling peckish ;)

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

All macro knobs and the X/Y pad can be automated. Or maybe I should change that to 'will be automated' - that's one of the things I'm working on right now :)

With regards to sharing, I had such a bad experience with working out how the hell to use iCloud that I've gone with Dropbox. I kind of feel happier with this choice as it doesn't tie me in to Apple so much - which typically means less stuff getting broken/deprecated every year and greater cross platform compatibility overall. Apple 'technologies' it does support are iTunes file sharing (which is crap, but everyone knows that), AirDrop and the usual 'Open in ...' and 'Send to ...' iOS dialogues.

Files (projects, patches, samples and MIDI files) are typically zipped before transfer when there is more than one file involved. The synth patch browser and file browsers support multiple selection so you can select a range (or all) of your patches/files/folders, choose 'export' and then import them at the other end (eg. another device), where it will automatically unzip them and install them in the destination device's library. It's also fairly painless to transfer a complete project to another device over AirDrop without worrying about missing samples - similar to NS1's project export option, but with the zipping/unzipping automatically handled. You can do a similar thing via email or Dropbox too.

Audioshare is supported.

NanoSync has been replaced with a WebDAV server. I can now actually manage NanoStudio 2's files via Windows Explorer or OSX Finder without having to install anything, although Cyberduck (free 3rd party WebDAV client) beats both of these hands down for performance.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

sometimes before (i tried...)

caustic (or bm2) & ftpmate (same device , wifi)

1) caustic = start ftp
2) ftpmate = manage caustic files (caustic ftp adress)
any file operations :
play , rename , move , copy (to ftpmate or cloud and vice versa) , zip , unzip , anything

on the same device (!) or any other .. it was crazy :) 100%

but all we need is " open in " & " audiocopy " (no retronyms)

& web access for " general import ns>ns2 " & " general backup " ..

passive defence
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Joined: 09/08/2016

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

passive defence
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Joined: 09/08/2016

will it run on an ipad mini 3rd gen?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> will it run on an ipad mini 3rd gen?

Currently I've got it set to support anything from iOS 8 upwards. However, when it comes to the iPhone/iPod touch version I'll need to exclude devices with the smallest screens (3.5") so I'll need to increase this to at least iOS 9 before release.

To make life easier I'd ideally also like to exclude phones with 4" screens and just target iPhone 6 onwards, but the problem here is the iPod Touch, which only comes with a 4" screen.

So right now it's looking like NS2 will most likely support anything which can run iOS 9 onwards.

Just to be clear: I can only guarantee iPad for initial release - universal support will most likely come a little later.

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

> WebDAV

This is superb, WebDAV server inside NS2 is super-wise decision, because there is app named "iFiles" in appstore which suppors all possible existing clients including dropbox, icloud, ftp, anything you can imagine including WebDAV.

so basically, you run NS2 with WebDAV server turned ON, you run iFiles and you can download files from any sharing service you can imagine and simply upload it then into NS2

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

To be honest, I hadn't actually considered this (nano suggested the same)!

So if you're running a WebDAV client on the same iDevice as the app, does it still need a need a network connection, or can it do a local loopback even without a network connection?

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

> will it run on an ipad mini 3rd gen?
> So right now it's looking like NS2 will most likely support anything which can run iOS 9 onwards.

This means it will run even on iPad mini 1st generation :-)

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

This all sounds fantastic - cant wait to have a play :-)

However getting worried that my aging iPad Mini 2 (on iOS 10.whatever.i.cant.remeber) wont cut the mustard - but we will have to see. So the iPod Touch 6G (also iOS10.whatever) will be supported (as it stands at the moment)?

Jan

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

I've got an iPad Mini 2 but I haven't tried the app on it for ages. I'll try to find some time to try it out and give you an idea of performance.

> So the iPod Touch 6G will be supported

As I understand it, it's not possible to for a developer to exclude support for the iPod Touch if including support for the iPhone. I think it's possible to play some tricks and games such as making the app require support for the gyroscope (which older iPod Touches didn't have), but newer iPods have a gyroscope.

Have you come across any apps which work on the phone but won't run on an iPod Touch of similar generation?

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

>> on the same device , wifi :(

ifiles2 is okay (booth apps are by imagam) ..
.. works with alien files as its own ..

but all we need is " open in " ..
.. then you can go anywhere you want

spooky zoo
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Joined: 05/07/2012

Hi Matt.

Super excited for Nanostudio 2.

The screenshots and info are the best iOS news in ages.

Can I ask how detailed you intend the midi stuff to get.

Will there be midi learn for all parameters?

Will the sequencer be able to send CC data externally?

Bank & Program change etc?

Thanks again for indulging us. :)

pianoyan
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Joined: 03/11/2013

lurked for far too long - congratulations, Matt, this looks fantastic. I no longer have the time to learn the workflows of new apps (BM3 totally lost me), but my first complete track on my ipad2 was on NS1 and I've been hoping for something to live up to it on my ipad pro. No joy so far, but NS2 looks superb. I'll look forward to audio tracks as and when. I'll buy it on day one, get all the IAPs and devote such time as I have to learning how to use it so that when audio tracks drop, I'll be ready to go. In the meantime, fingers crossed re badgers. Ian.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

OK ...damn. Obsidian is looking to be quite awesome and deep! (to my wife) "Sorry honey, no holidays for 2018. I'll be ...'working'".
The multi-sampling features sound flippin' fantastic. Obsidian will be worth the time to invest in creating a vast library of presets. Any thoughts on a Librarian...?

I'm also curious about the answers to spooky zoo's MIDI questions.

sch
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Joined: 06/20/2010

Matt, I'm wondering if NS2 will be optimized for the 12.9 iPad Pro at some point? Be nice to be able to take advantage of the extra screen real estate.