NS2 - Progress report and screenshots

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Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> 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?

This is some of the stuff I'm working out now along with the automation. I'm certainly intending the sequencer to be able to send external CC, program change etc. I'm aiming for the idea that when using the external MIDI instrument, that track pretty well behaves like a general purpose MIDI recorder/editor - not sure about sysex yet though.

Similar to NS1, the synth's editing controls won't be directly mappable via MIDI, but the macro controls will be - and the macros can be mapped to a large majority of the synth parameters (including multiple parameters).

I've been struggling a bit with the best way to do MIDI control map/learn. I could do an 'instrument map' where you set up the mappings for a given instrument type which then works on whatever instrument is selected. Or I could do a 'global map' where you have to set up a mapping for every individual control. The first is faster to set up but the second is more flexible. Or I could do an instrument map with global override. If you've got opinions on this then feel free to start it in another thread.

jwmmakerofmusic
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Joined: 01/12/2012

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

1. I purchased the 6-to-16 tracks IAP for NS1, so I was wondering if there'd be for NS2 and pretty much expected it. ;)

2. I've dumped more money into Korg Gadget than I care to admit (i.e. purchased all the IAPs in it and synth apps that work within it and their IAPs), so what's a few more bucks on top of a base price?

3. If IAP add-ons help sustain development, I'd say keep making more! Keep adding new sample-based patches for NS2, such as a symphonic orchestra, world instruments, and all of that.

So, first question, maybe give us a list so I know how much to save up before the initial NS2 release? ;)

Maybe I missed this, and if so, my apologies for being thick like a Dory. I wonder, how will FX work? Do you get one instance of each effect per track that you simply turn on and off? I assume you can switch the order of FX?

I need to ask you, how will file importing/exporting work? Again, apologies if I missed this. Will we be able to import/export directly from and to AudioShare? Will your file system be similar to that of the flexible ones in AudioShare and Beatmaker 3? I'm a person who likes to keep organised whenever I can, and let's just say I hate Korg Gadget's file system given they don't allow folders/subfolders/sub-subfolders/folderception. :P Thanks.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Any thoughts on a Librarian...?

The new synth has a patch browser where you can filter by bank, attribute, text or initial letter. If also allows you to delete, import or export single or multiple patch selections.

jwmmakerofmusic
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Joined: 01/12/2012

Also, my other question for you is, is there a way to contact you so I can get on the beta testing team? I've been an alpha tester for one major music software company as well as a beta tester for a few other companies, I know about Test Flight, about NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), etc. Thank you mate. Cheers.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> 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.

Should be easy (in theory) as I mostly develop it on desktop where I can resize - and going up in size is a lot easier than going down!

However I don't have one at the moment so I probably won't launch with native support. I suspect a good time to look at it would be when I'm sorting the iPhone version out.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> I wonder, how will FX work? Do you get one instance of each effect per track that you simply turn on and off? I assume you can switch the order of FX?

You can have as many effects on a track as your device will support before it falls over. Yes, you can re-order effects, and also do stuff such as copying/pasting an effects chain from one track to another, or saving the chain as a preset to load up in another project.

> I need to ask you, how will file importing/exporting work?

There should be a pretty good description a few posts back:

http://forums.blipinteractive.co.uk/node/11615#comment-33572

> Will we be able to import/export directly from and to AudioShare?

Yes

> Will your file system be similar to that of the flexible ones in AudioShare and Beatmaker 3?

Yes, multiple selection, copy, move, create folders and subfolders, import, export, renaming, trash bin, file preview with file info, all that sort of nonsense!

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Also, my other question for you is, is there a way to contact you so I can get on the beta testing team?

I will be looking for some people a bit later, I'll let you know. I want to keep it fairly small though for operational efficiency!

jwmmakerofmusic
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Joined: 01/12/2012

With direct import/export to and from AudioShare and a flexible internal file system and flexible FX rack, I have no doubt I'll get a lot of quick work done with NS2. :) Seems to have the same straightforward workflow that NS1 has (and streamlined too given the fact when you copy clips, they are unique now), and no confusing aspects either (like banks and such).

Okay, so my next question is, will NS2 have various buffer sizes for playback (such as 256 samples, 512, 1024, and 2048)? I know this is a seemingly insignificant feature for many people, but for me, I like reducing crackling and such in case I start loading in a lot of effects or whathaveyous and need to pick my iPad back up from falling over. ;)

Also, will NS2 have internal sidechaining, or at least an auto-ducking effect like Audio Damage's "Pumphouse" effect? https://youtu.be/Hau8UlVENaQ I'd pay an IAP for something like Pumphouse. :)

Finally, thank you in advance for letting me know in the future when you'll need beta testers. Hopefully once Apple pumps out the official version of iOS 11.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Audio buffer size options are 64, 128, 256 and 512 frames.

The new compressor supports an external sidechain input, and the new mixer supports arbitrary send/return wiring (but won't allow feedback loops). Basically you just add a send from the track of your choice to the compressor's sidechain destination.

The compressor has an optional LP or HP filter on its sidechain input, but if you want to be really clever you could disable this and instead wire a track to an aux bus, apply insert effects of your choice to that bus and then wire the output of that bus off to the compressor sidechain. I'm not suggesting this would be a normal workflow, but hopefully it helps give an indication of what's possible.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Previously you said NS2 would have unlimited tracks, depending on hardware limitations. Is that the same for Presets?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Previously you said NS2 would have unlimited tracks, depending on hardware limitations.

Yes

> Is that the same for Presets?

and yes

jwmmakerofmusic
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Joined: 01/12/2012

"Audio buffer size options are 64, 128, 256, and 512 frames." Cool. :) Maybe I'll make one feature request, and that will be for a 1024 frames buffer option if you're able to swing it.

Anyways, everything you described regarding the compressor and sidechain routing and such sounds absolutely immaculate. :) Like, I can use vocals as a sidechain signal to subtly duck backing instruments, and of course the usual SC pumping for EDM, etc. NS2 is shaping up to be the newest iOS DAW to beat.

Doucetephemere
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Joined: 06/15/2012

Oh how great all of this sounds, especially file management via Dropbox suits my workflow a lot.

Audio tracks is a must have for me, as I use a fair bit of field recordings. Will the 190. seconds limit go away (I currently use the TRG as audio track work around)? And the overall song length will go beyond 25 minutes?

And my two cents for IAP as well: I support the approach to charge for additional features and presets for the sake of continues app maintenance. Don't be shy, I am sure you have a solid fan base from NS1 users willing to pay back all the joy we had with your app!

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016
Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Will the 190 seconds limit go away

Yes, I'm going to take the limit away but what I've never liked is that iOS tends to indicate it's run out of sample memory by simply crashing. There's no good way for apps to ask if they're going to get the memory they want before they ask for it, so it looks to the user like the app's unreliable. This was the original reason I imposed an artificial limit for samples.

Unlike synth samples, audio tracks (when they come along) will be streamed so there will be no real limit there other than the maximum supported size of the file (or file format).

> the overall song length will go beyond 25 minutes?

Yep there is still a limit but it's 256,000 quarter notes which works out as around 36 hours @ 120BPM if I've got my sums right.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016
syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

> Yep there is still a limit but it's 256,000 quarter notes which works out as around 36 hours @ 120BPM if I've got my sums right.

I'm aiming to claim "FIRST!" on SoundCloud by uploading for a 36 hour NS2 exploration of 32 sine waves modulating between 432hz and 448hz at different speeds. Hope to have it up 37 hours after release.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

You are welcome to that FIRST, syrupcore. ;-)

technokowski
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Joined: 07/19/2017

Drooling....

I'm totally down for IAP of the audio tracks if it means that they will be solid (it's one of the only reasons I ever had to leave NS1; recording vocals for songs). I realize how hard they are to get right, and I'm glad they are not half assed. I've waited years for this, what's a few more months ;)

I noticed there's not real screengrabs of the pattern sequencer up close? I'm a note placer, and NS1 has this down perfect. I wonder how you will make it even better in NS2? It would be nice to incorporate the apple pencil, in how it changes depending on angle. Maybe angling it down could change the velocity of the note, or something? Angling it to the right would extend a note, or whatever. A man can dream...

Also, what does the drum pad look like? It was perfect in NS1, too. Just curious.

I'm really excited about the sample rates; my iPad pro will now be able to compete with Logic Pro, and then some.

Other than that, I can't friggin wait! Feel free to tantalize us with many more screen grabs. I know I'm not the only one who tried pressing a key. lol

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

In order for it to count syrupcore, you'll need to have all 256,000 quarter notes.
Or 4,096,000 hemidemisemiquavers, if you're 'in' to those.

Devvy
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Joined: 03/26/2013

The other device that is still current, and having a 4" screen, is of course the iPhone SE. I know, because I just bought one :-) So, yes, please, support 4" screens!

tom_tm
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Joined: 06/29/2011

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

First up. Wow Matt. Just Wow!

Then this.... ^^^.... Wow again!

Any sign of microtuning or is this just an extra mindfuck you could do without at this early release stage?

spooky zoo
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Joined: 05/07/2012

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the thorough reply.

Great news on the CC data

I'm always a fan of flexible midi control. So 'option 3' sounds good to me.

Not that you owe us an answer, but can I ask why the Synth Editing Controls won't be midi-learnable?

This is something I always miss with Nanostudio. I'm sure there's a good reason. :)

Another quick question.. will we still be able to quantize a track post-performance? I use that loads!

Cheers

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

> Any sign of microtuning

Man, this one's been on my list so long I don't see it anymore. To be honest, there's always something more important/requested to do instead. Out of interest, are you looking to be able to microtune each note in the MIDI editor, or just for the ability to set a microtune scale which the whole instrument (or project?) would use?

> can I ask why the Synth Editing Controls won't be midi-learnable?

Yes you can. In NS1, the sheer number of parameters involved would have made it a difficult simply due to the way it worked internally (I seem to remember parameter automation as something I hacked in, as the initial version was never really designed to do it). With so much to do in NS2 I've decided to follow the same route for now, but the way it works internally means that this would be easier to add. So for now it'll be just the macro controls, but the path would definitely be clearer for adding it in a future update.

Micgees
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Joined: 09/27/2010

Questions that I have

How many and what types are the oscillator types?
Does the sampler oscillator type have granular, or any pitch stretch/time behavior?
What filter types are available?
the fm oscillator looked to have 8 operators?
What effects will there be, are the effects shown on the screenshot the entire set?
Will it use audio unit instruments or effects?

Now my comments: looks very good thus far, of course I'm buying it!
I know I can probably erase several iOS synths if Obsidian is killer as it seems it is.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

In the same tradition as NS1's Eden synth, the new synth is intended to be a good general purpose 'workhorse' synth to get stuff done with high CPU efficiency. I'll probably leave more weird and wonderful stuff to all those wonderful developers of Audio Units out there ...

It has 3 oscillators, any of which can be:

- Analogue (all the basic waveforms with the choice of sync)
- Wavetable (for interpolating between a range of new waveforms on the fly)
- Phase distortion (similar to 80's Casio CZ range)
- 3 Operator FM with various different waveforms and envelopes for each operator connection/feedback parameter
- NanoSaw (8 detuned saws, similar to Roland supersaw), with stereo option
- Noise (a range of different noise spectrums with additional LP/HP/Band/Notch filter)
- Sample (including multisamples with crossfades etc), with stereo option

Each oscillator can be assigned to a velocity range (with variable crossfades) or used in the usual layered mode. You can set one of the oscillators to bypass the filter section if desired, and two of the oscillators can ring modulate.

I really wanted to do some granular stuff but I could see it taking a long time so I shelved it for the time being. However, the sample oscillator has a 'spectral loop' mode in addition to the usual time based looping, which can make some pretty interesting effects - think of putting the sample through an infinitely long reverb, sampling part of that reverb tail and creating a seamless of loop of that.

There are 2 filters which can be:

- LP/HP/BP/Notch with a range of different slopes and the choice between 'digital' or 'analog' (the latter has a drive control and much more resonance).
- EQ peak or shelf
- Comb
- Formant
- Waveshaper

The 2 filters can be configured in parallel or series, or switched to stereo mode to become a Left/Right pair.

There's an additional global stereo filter with the same options as filters 1/2. However, this filter is applied globally to the output (all voices together) rather than per voice. It's handy for tweaking the EQ as a whole or applying distortion to the whole mix, that sort of thing.

The synth has 3 effects which can be applied in any order:

- Multi-FX (chorus, flanger, phaser, ensemble)
- Delay (stereo, cross, ping-pong etc.) with beat sync
- Reverb (various rooms, plate and hall)

Of course you can apply more effects as mixer inserts, but the ones above seemed the best candidates for inclusion in the synth itself.

Finally, there's a mod matrix similar to NS1's Eden, but it's now easier to use as you can just tap on a destination control create a mapping.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

WOW!! This is amazing. NS2 is shaping up to be way better than I was hoping for.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Sorry, forgot to answer these:

> I noticed there's not real screengrabs of the pattern sequencer up close? I'm a note placer, and NS1 has this down perfect.

Not quite ready to show yet - but it has similar differences to those between the old and new song editor. I've pretty well followed the NS1 model, but I've tried to clean up and extend it without breaking any of the original principles. Nearly all the feedback I had was to leave the song/pattern editors alone, so I've tried to do that as much as possible. Eg. it still has original drag handle editing style, but you can also tap and hold the selection to 'free move' it in both axes - that sort of thing.

> Also, what does the drum pad look like?

Similar answer. The UI needs a tidy up before I feel it's ready to show.

l.b
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Joined: 08/15/2012

I'm speechless. This may actually go on my Xmass list, this year!

One question, as I cannot seem to find a definitive answer - sample based oscillator (no multi samples), will it have any clipping prevention measures when modulating sample start and length?

TwistedGenetics
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Joined: 07/27/2016

Hi Matt

I have a couple of questions... Is the waveshaper in NS 2 (I love that thing) and can we export to ableton project files?

Regards