Whats a good alternative until Nanostudio 2 comes out?

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DowncastVII
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Joined: 05/22/2018

Normally I would have had my new iPad on IOS 10 at the most, but when it came in, it was already ready in ios 11.4 I cried. So i'm just wondering from you guys what apps are good to use in the meantime?

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Good question but hard to answer. ‘Good’ being subjective, it really depends upon the genre and personal workflow. I’d say use what you have. What I did is use Garageband, since it’s free, and I mananged to create one track with it, even though I don’t really like working with it. It was a good lesson and really made me appreciate NS1. I also created a couple tracks in Music Studio, which is easier for me than GB, but like GB also doesn’t have a built in synth. Both apps are just romplers, but they have the ability to use other synth apps via either AUv3 (GB) or IAA (Music Studio & GB). I’m not big on loop-based music production, so even though I have some of the loop-based apps I never use them. I like the sounds on Gadget, but I have never actually been able to make a track with it. So use what you have and just consider it a limitation project.

Another good tip was made ny Kitejan who suggested using various synth apps in AUM to create the building blocks of future tracks in NS2. Really you can jump into any of your favorite synth apps and create some cool presets to use later. Since NS2 will be able to host AUv3, emphasizing some of the AUv3 apps will get you a good jump start when NS2 launches. If there are synths you like but are not AUv3, you can make samples and store them in AudioShare, retrieving them later to make sample-based presets in Obsidian. Collecting your favorite drums samples or creating new ones now will be handy when you want to create drum kits in Slate.

There is a lot that can be done right now.

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

Try Beat Maker 2 .. it has a bit similiar workflow to NS1 (obviously, because they steal half of UI from NS1 :-))).. it's a bit old app so have not for example AUv3 support, some "not so great details" (those which were NOT stealed from NS1 :)), but you can still use AB and IAA, it has build in decent multisampler, drumsampler, audio tracks, set of basic FX (they are not great but they works) - so lot of possiblilities .. i did a lot tracks in BM2 (on other side, after i spend 3 weeks with BM3, i completely gived up on it, unusable crap for me) ...

Also good alternative is Gadget, lot of different interesting synths, some clones of famous HW synth (korg polysix, oberheim ob-x, korg m1, oddysey,.. etc etc)

For me problem in Gadget is too much limited sequencer, not ideal for long linear music structures, it's better for more or less loop (or pattern) based music . I finished one complete track in Gadget, but it was pain (because of sequencer)

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

As Slam-Cut has said - I like just setting up some "stuff" in AUM (usually 3 synths, FX loop, either live microphone to capture the ambient sounds or another audio loop, FX A (Reverb) FX B (Delay)) then going with it. I have a Korg NanoKontrol and NanoKeys attached via a CCK - so what I often do is split the AUM on screen keyboard with the lower notes controlling the Arp in one of the synths, and the rest doing pads or "held" notes, and I play the Nano Keys, swapping to an onscreen keyboard sometimes (if Im using Animoog or TC-11 for example). The Nano Kontrol is mapped to AUM and I control some key AUM FX parameter using the rotary knob. Of course this is a "single take" way of working with no sequencing beyond the synths Arps, and apps like Fugue Machine and xsynthezier. I like it because its all in the moment so I do a few takes and keep the one I prefer - and of course its often out and about using the ambient sounds. This is a very recent result from a couple of pleasant hours sat on a bench in a Park in Paris (on my birthday as it happens - had hoped Matt would release a little "something" as a present but as he didn't I had to make do with a AUM session :-) ).
https://youtu.be/kd-tvDyI7IQ

It is a good way of getting to know different apps and a different way of working (at least for me).
(If you want to compare/contrast NS1 with AUM the music to "Paris Metro Cloudburst" video is actually 100% Nanostudio and made on the same trip to Paris - neither audio tracks have been mastered by the way).

Other sequencer alternatives - Caustic is worth a look, sounds are nice but personally I dont like the sequencer and it just feels clunky. Some people really swear by it though (you can try this free on Android and the PC version). Also you have Cubasis which I tried briefly but didn't get on with, and Auria Pro.

I'm thinking about trying Rozeta Sequencer - as that is designed to give a load of Midi tools in an AU setting so could be a good companion to AUM. However its iOS11 and I've retains iOS 10 to use NS1 - so it would mean leaving behind NS1..... Not quite ready for that yet :-)

tom_tm
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Joined: 06/29/2011

My suggestion would be to buy an iPad 1 for around £25 and get a £2 version of NS1.

Alternatively, just go through all the apps you're purchased over the years, but ignored because Nanostudio was so ace, but so closed to anything else (yes, I know, there was no time for all the other stuff..), and rediscover them. You'll be way on your way to sample-city, just in time for when Nanostudio 2 arrives. :D

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

I think Gadget, Caustic and BeatMaker 2 or 3 are some common "all-in-one" alternatives. There's also BeatHawk and Sunvox. I'm a fan of Rozeta and AUM and random AUV3s these days. All of the other all-in-ones eventually piss me off because they're not Nanostudio.

peanut_gallery
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Joined: 03/10/2011

My vote goes to GarageBand. I keep going back to Gadget because I like the sounds, but I've never completed a full length track in it. I now have about a dozen half-formed ideas, some of which I REALLY like, but I just can't wrangle out a full track in that environment.

But GarageBand, while it still has many frustrating aspects, has been slowly getting some nice features over the years. With Auv3 instruments and effects, and a lot of good auv3 apps for the iPhone now, I can get some pretty good sounding stuff. The built in Alchemy synth can be quite nice, and I like that you can program drums in a traditional drum machine format.

It can't hold a candle to NS1, but I finally did complete a new track last week, and it was in GarageBand. Link is below. It meanders a bit, and I chalk that up to a combination of being distracted by kids as I was writing/recording and GarageBand just not being super conducive to modifying a song arrangement very easily (I miss NS!)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Nice track peanut_gallery! One track is all I have been able to get out of GB, and I agree with your estimation of Gadget. Great sounds but horrible music production environment. Korg has never been strong with the sequencers on their keyboards, at least not in the ones I’ve tried, so I guess it is no surprise how Gadget turned out. I wish it was easier to get sounds out of Gadget for ise in NS1...

peanut_gallery
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Joined: 03/10/2011

Thanks Slam-Cut!