Dennis Sindram, better known as Galaxy Explorer, only started learning to play music in the spring of 2011. Producing music only on his iPhone allows him to focus solely on the music and not get distracted by thousands of knobs or fancy DAW software that, to most artists, seems like the most professional way to produce. Even after trying the iPad (and returning it) Dennis continues to produce only on his iPhone!
Tell us a little big about you and your music!
My music bio is not very long. I started producing music with NanoStudio and ThumbJam in the spring 2011. I had never made music myself before in my life. I had never learned to play an instrument and had no prior knowledge of notes, keys, scales ect… I learned by doing! That was and still is my way. Of course now I know more about how these things work together… But I’m still learning …and I better with each track! I’d made about 60-70 tracks (but deleted most of them) in the previous year and a half. I began with trance, which I still love, but I changed to more atmospheric music. I try to make music that makes pictures in your mind!
Your SoundCloud says that all of your tracks are %100 produced on your iPhone 4, you use an iPad at all? What can you say about making so much music on such a little device?
I use no iPad! I bought an iPad for Christmas 2011 but it was not the right thing for me. I like it all in my pocket. So I brought it back. Sometimes I think about getting the new iPad to have more tools for creating music but I think I`ll stick it out for the new iPhone. I really like that “100% done on a small smartphone feeling!” It was really hard to create a full track at the beginning. But with “copy/paste” from app to app and things like “virtual midi,” it was the right deal for me.
Tell me a little more about that “100% done on a small smartphone feeling,” have you ran into any limitations working on only the iPhone? Do you think that it hinders creativity or productivity?
Yes, especially with tracks like “Away” or “Endless,” the app I was using crashed! For example, in the last 1:30 minutes from “Away,” I layered about 250MB of samples from different apps! Some parts were only a few seconds while others were 1-2 minutes! I had to change the format to handle it without any issues. Every now and then I think about Pro Tools for high-end desktop production, but a “big” DAW and VSTs with thousands knobs and all that extra stuff would kill my inspiration and workflow for sure… Give me a genre, a BPM and a theme and I’ll make a track in a few hours! On a desktop, I would waste hours with the buttons! I also thought about just using the desktop for mixing and mastering, or using the touch screen as desktop controller (with Alchemy possibly)… but no way!
Being able to “draw” live my sounds like in the Animoog synth is such a great thing! My friends also have a good laugh when I express the violin vibrato/tremolo in ThumbJam by shaking the phone. With the iPad? I didn’t even try. Almost looked like a conductor on drugs. 😉 At the end of the day, I can live with the limitations! Learning with them can be such a great thing. I’m sure the iOS music scene will grow fast. I don’t need a keyboard, no expensive desktop or software! Just my phone. And it will only get better in the future for sure. So I’m sticking with 100% mobile producing! I love it! And the love for things you do is more important than any limitations!
What’s your typical song workflow like? Do you come up with ideas in certain apps and then expand them in other apps or do you bring musical ideas from elsewhere onto your iPhone for finishing off?
First I think about what feelings or emotions the track should bring out. Dark and melancholic, uprising and happy, mystic and ethereal, or whatever… Then I think about a beat. Should it be a 4/4 bumping beat or a heavy drum and bass, break beat or whatever, or should it be a pure sound scape. Sometimes I change my mind complete when I´m about 50% done with the track! Sometimes I’ll use up to 10 different apps for one track. Other times I’ll think about a track for 1 or 2 weeks, but right when I play the first note, I’ll finished in a just few days. Either way, it all begins and ends on my iPhone!
Favorite iSynth / Favorite app and why?
My favorite apps are Alchemy Mobile and NanoStudio. Others would include Animoog, SunrizerXS and ThumbJam. NanoStudio is always my mother ship. Sometimes I’ll use it just for sequencing but most of the time I’ll also use it’s Eden synth. Alchemy also blows my mind. I love to program my own patches/presets in NanoStudio, Sunrizer, Animoog. Alchemy also has a lot things like a BMP range of 5 to 999, special knobs / FX for each preset. Also the pad changes are awesome! There are also a ton of other features in Alchemy that I just love…
What’s in store for Galaxy Explorer? Now that your first album is out, do you have any thoughts on what you might be working on in the future?
I’m really happy to finished a complete 12-track album called “The Journey-Escape from Earth”. Which is available here: http://www.galaxyexplorer.bandcamp.com/
My next project is a special Halloween EP with 6 dark and haunting tracks. Two tracks are finished. You can listen to all my other music here:
by Blip Interactive Ltd
NanoStudio is a recording studio for iOS, OS X and Windows. It has virtual analogue synths, sample trigger pads, a comprehensive sequencer, a sample editor, a mixer and multiple effects all integrated into a single application.
Record your ideas in real time, mix synth layers with samples, compose and arrange your tune using the powerful sequencer and bring the mix alive with effects such as reverb, compression and EQ. Share your tune on SoundCloud from wherever you are or use the comprehensive audio mixdown options and MIDI export feature to get your ideas over to your desktop DAW when you get back home.
NanoStudio's intuitive user interface frees you to get creative yet has loads of depth for when you need it. To try it out head on over to our website where you can download the OS X and Windows versions for free!
Up to 6 simultaneous instruments (including mixer) or upgrade with the '16 Instrument Tracks' in-app purchase, particularly recommended for newer devices.
'Eden', a powerful 16 voice subtractive synth with dual oscillators, 2 pole resonant filter, 3 envelope generators and 4 LFO's per voice and 2 dedicated insert effects. Eden's virtual patchbay lets you hook up almost anything for modulation mayhem.
The 'TRG-16', a performance pad for triggering samples. Adjust pitch, pan, volume and envelopes and assign each sample to one of the 3 output busses, each with its own effect sends and filter setup.
Record samples with the built-in mic (iPod Touch requires external mic), resample NanoStudio's own output or upload your own samples using NanoSync for OS X/Windows. Edit your samples using NanoStudio's built-in wave editing tools (with multiple undo/redo) and process them offline with custom effects chains.
Record performances in real-time using the keys and trigger pads or create patterns and controller sweeps by drawing them in the piano roll editor. Arrange your patterns into a complete song using the track editor. You can edit while the song is playing and every operation has multiple undo/redo.
Nanostudio's mixer has 2 global effects sends, 4 insert effects per channel and you can record, edit and playback all your fader and pan changes. When you're ready to share your mix with others you can upload it direct to SoundCloud or use NanoSync to copy the exported .wav file to your Mac/PC.
NanoStudio's reverb, compressor, parametric EQ, waveshaper, delay, chorus, and bitcrusher effects are all highly optimized so you can run lots of them.
FEATURE SHORTLIST (loads more at www.blipinteractive.co.uk/specifications.php)
* 6 simultaneous instruments, up to 16 with in-app purchase
* MIDI input with the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer, Akai SynthStation 25 and Core MIDI
* Audio copy/paste for sharing audio with other compatible apps (Sonoma and Intua standards supported)
* Upload your mix directly to SoundCloud
* Eden synth (also plays samples) - single or dual keyboards, XY controllers, pitch bend and accelerometer control
* TRG-16 sample trigger pads
* Sequencer with up to 64 tracks and a piano roll editor for note, velocity and controller events, all with undo/redo
* Mixer with 4 inserts per channel, 2 global send busses and volume/pan automation on every channel
* Sampling and resampling, sample editor and effects processor with undo/redo
* Transfer samples, final mixes and individual track mixdowns to your Mac/PC using NanoSync
* Send projects, samples and MIDI files as email attachments
* Built in help
Support for Akai Pro's SynthStation25 keyboard controller is included. SynthStation25 delivers instant hardware control for improved performance capability and expression. For more information on SynthStation25, visit http://www.synthstationapp.com.
"This really is the synth that keeps on giving! Inspiration and intuition truly blend together in this musical instrument." Alan Parsons
Sunrizer Synth is a virtual analog synthesizer that takes the definition of iOS synthesizer to the next level.
Thanks to carefully designed architecture and heavy usage of coprocessor it blurs the boundaries between iOs and hardware synthesizers.
Sunrizer was built to perform and works perfectly with any MIDI keyboard or sequencer. A lot of research has been done in order to achieve unheard warmth and clarity.
· True SuperSaw sound emulation, first found in the legendary Roland JP-8000 synthesizer. SuperSaw is a layered waveform consisting of multiple saw waves which are detuned to create an extremely full and epic sound.
· Two filters per voice with configurable routing. 15 filter types available, including less common like Comb, Formant or Frequency shifter.
· The Morph Group function lets you continuously morph of up to 30 parameters in a sound (including effects), using only the modulation wheel.
· Full support for CoreMidi, MIDI mapping, Virtual Midi Ports and background audio.
· Multi mode lets you multiply oscillators to get unbelievably fat and full sound.
· Support for microtuning - load scl and tun files. Create fascinating microtonal music which uses intervals not found in the Western system of 12 equal intervals to the octave.
· 2 warm-sounding analog modelled oscillators, 2 sub-oscillators (except SuperSaw). Available waveforms: Saw, PWM pulse,Triangle, SuperSaw, FM (frequency of phase modulation). 6 oscillators per voice in multi-sono mode.
· Oscillator 2 hard-sync and configurable routing
· FM (true frequency modulation) and PM mode
· Osc-mix, ring modulator
· White noise oscillator
FLEXIBLE MULTI FILTERS
· Two independent filters per voice with configurable routing. Filter types: LPF, HPF, BPF, Analog LPF, Notch, Comb, All pass, Power LPF, Power BPF, Wave shaper, Resonator, Resampler, LPF+Resampler, Frequency shifter.
· Configurable routing: serial or parallel with bypass option.
· ADSR envelope, keyboard tracking and full LFO control.
· Two LFOs per voice. It's possible to assign each LFO to almost any parameter. 3 LFO running modes: trigger, 1 shot, global. 6 waveforms, phase and fade-in knobs.
· The Morph Group function lets you continuously morph of up to 30 parameters in a sound (including effects), using only the modulation wheel.
· Two Modulation ADSR Envelopes for amplitude and filters cutoff.
· Pitch and modulation wheels.
· A number of effects are built in: distortion, hi-q reverb, chorus, rotary speaker simulation, equalizer, phaser and stereo delay. Dual-band FX processing.
· Sunrizer incorporates very powerful programmable arpeggiator. You should think of it more like a small step sequencer.
· Over 380 presets, 7 additional banks available for FREE in web library (more coming soon)
· Hold button allows you to to keep notes sustaining until you play new notes
· With Chord Memory function you can play the chord by only pressing single keys
· Phrase sequencer
· Compatible with AudioBus
· Adjustable polyphony: 6-20 voices
· Playback modes: poly, solo, arp
· Built-in recorder supporting AudioCopy, DropBox and iTunes file sharing.
· Supports MIDI, IAA, AudioBus 2.0
Visit www.beepstreet.com for user manual and audio demos.
* Sunrizer is now available on Mac and PC, check our website for more info
"Specs aside, the most important thing is the sound… and it’s great." musicradar.com
"Sunrizer is the first truly mature polyphonic synth for the iPad, a real, smooth and powerful sounding option for all sorts of stage and studio performances."
Mark Jenkins, author "Analog Synthesizers"
by Sonosaurus LLC
ThumbJam is a powerful musical performance experience. You get over 40 high-quality real instruments multi-sampled exclusively for this app. Hundreds of included scales allow you to effortlessly play in any style from rock to classical, whether you are a musical novice or a seasoned professional.
Jordan Rudess, the world-renowned keyboardist for Dream Theater says:
"ThumbJam stands at the very top of the overcrowded music app world. The sounds included absolutely rival those found in pro instruments and making music on the app is a total joy. The only problem I have with this app is that I did not make it myself! Luckily, I'm able to work with the developer and offer a few good feature ideas as well as some choice sounds from my personal collection!"
Even if you've only played air guitar, ThumbJam lets you sound like a pro. Pick an instrument and jam -- with all the scales to choose from you'll never hit a wrong note. The high quality instrument samples will make you sound like you just skipped years of music lessons.
For the performing musician, this app is awesome for soloing on an instrument you didn't bring along. Play in any key, any style -- go from a string ensemble to a wailing guitar. ThumbJam was developed and tested by musicians to feel and sound like a real instrument. You'll be surprised at how expressive it can be, make sure to check out the videos and audio at thumbjam.com.
ThumbJam makes use of tilt and shake to add vibrato, tremolo, note bends, and volume swells for more realistic and expressive results. It supports up to five (eleven on iPad) simultaneous touches and up to 32 voice polyphony, for each of up to 8 loaded instruments! Delay and stereo reverb add depth to the sound, and a resonant lowpass filter gives you more tone shaping power. Put on your headphones or plug in to your home stereo to experience some of the highest quality instruments in the App Store.
Build your own loops from the ground up or import your favorites and jam from there. Layer as many loops as you want, with different instruments for each. Export your loops as audio files or Ardour DAW sessions via WiFi. Copy and paste audio from other apps using AudioCopy/Paste as well the general pasteboard, via email, AudioShare, iTunes Document Sharing, or open directly in another application. Supports Audiobus and Inter-App-Audio for streaming sound to/from other apps in real-time, including state save/restore with Audiobus2.
Extensive MIDI input and output support over WiFi or Bluetooth, with any CoreMidi compatible device, or other apps on the same iOS device with virtual MIDI. Now also supports Ableton Link for tight sync between apps on the same network.
New powerful arpeggiator feature lets you play patterns with perfect time sync, from the screen or via MIDI control.
The app includes a huge variety of scales, from western to eastern. Save your favorites for quick access, or create your own in-app. You can even import new scales in the Scala format for complete flexibility.
You can also record your own multi-sampled instruments using a built-in or attached microphone, or from file import.
+ Cello, Violin, Viola
+ Upright Bass (plucked and bowed)
+ Several drumkits
+ Electric Guitar
+ Electric Bass
+ Tenor Sax
+ Low Whistle
+ Acoustic Guitar
+ Hammered Dulcimer
+ Grand Piano
+ Drawbar Organ (2 types)
+ Pipe Organ
+ Synth Strings
+ Synth Choir
+ Sawtooth Waveform
+ Sine Waveform
+ Triangle Waveform
And from Jordan Rudess:
+ JR Zendrix
+ JR Smooth Steel
Many more for immediate FREE download in the app including several drumkits, Mellotron, basses, banjo, tabla, ukelele, guitars and more! New instruments posted regularly.