Monday, 29 November 2010

iPad goes on sale in Denmark today!

And to celebrate, here's Tim Christensen, Denmark's finest export (apart from certain rather special beers!) playing M3000 HD in Copenhagen a couple of months back. Totally Mellotronic!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Ellatron - the missing manual

The guilt got too much to bear. All those users but no user manual.

So finally - real soon now, i.e. before the end of 2010 - there will be a user manual, and because all our customers have iPhones or iPads it makes perfect sense for the manual to be an iBook.

Monday, 15 November 2010

C30 C60 C90 - GO!

Melloman, as featured on Tara Busch's smash hit Motorcrash.

It's like a Mellotron but the tapes are thinner, it has more wow, more flutter, more tape hiss. And there's only one of them. In the whole damn world.

Coming to an App Store near you in 2010 - Melloman, the App. Just 99c.

Because an idea this good shouldn't be owned by one man alone.

*yes, we know Motorcrash wasn't a chart smash - but in our preferred parallel universe, where quality is the only thing that counts, it busted the charts to bits.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Cassandra and the well-tempered Ellatron

Finally, the MIDI-enabled Ellatron was in the hands of somebody who can actually play the piano - albeit rustily, at least 15 years since the last time she tickled the ivories. But didn't she do well?

Next time I'll request she gives us a blast of the Toccata and Fugue on the M3000 Church Organ ...

Friday, 12 November 2010

First project for 2011 ...

... or even very late 2010 if we can get it together - a sweet, fun, 99c app featuring the weird and warbly, cheap and cassettey, hissy but haunting, achingly awesomely wackily walkman sounds of - Melloman! For iPad and iPhone!! How truly brilliant is that?!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ellatron via CoreMIDI

Following on from the video of 2 days ago which was made with a genuinely brilliant but not yet on the market pro-level MIDI interface, this illustrates the most cost-effective way to turn Ellatron / M3000 and soon Jordantron into a MIDI-powered instrument if you don't mind repurposing other bits of hardware you have hanging around the house ...

Take 1 iPad.
Take 1 Ellatron. Or M3000. Or Jordantron.
Take 1 powered USB hub. The 'powered' bit is important
Take 1 Apple Camera Connection Kit.
Take 1 M-Audio Axiom 49. Or similar. But we really do like the Axiom 49 ...

Instant MIDI-enabled Tron.

CoreMIDI really is brilliant, and will be the way forward for iOS devices and performance music. Unfortunately the iPod Touch 4G (and therefore I assume iPhone 4) don't recognise the Camera Connection Kit, so this route is only available to Paddies. Now I'd better put the USB hub back where it came from ...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Ellatron via MIDI

A small group of people will remember our first MIDI video about 10 months ago that needed a jailbroken iPhone. Well here is the real thing. Excuse the totally amateurish nature of this footage, but dammit it's exciting. Cinéma vérité and all that.

Filmed with an iPod Touch in one hand, our intrepid cameraman's free hand attempts to show some of the features of the Ella MIDI implementation. We have 3 voices at once (upper, lower and pads), and all can be played concurrently if you have enough hands or somebody else around/on stage who can hit the pads. Programmable keyboard split for upper and lower, programmable chord pads if your keyboard supports it (and the Axiom 49 has 8 of them - mighty useful). Ella can be seen responding to controllers on the keyboard with on-screen information keeping you up to date, and controllers are used to change voices, volume, pitch, tone, reverb parameters, and level/pan for each of the upper, lower and pad instruments. Ellatron and the Lite Trons now all feature the same rich reverb unit first seen in M3000, and the MIDI Ellatron is going to hit the shops with a handful of the real Tron voices from M3000, albeit with the usual limitations - shorter loop times, major third sampling intervals etc. Mellotron purists will want M3000, people who just want a handful of Tron sounds for occasionally spicing up a song will love the new Ella.

Plus the MIDI implementation is ultra-responsive, despite this being a debug build and having a dozen printfs per played note - printfs going over WiFi to the Mac, because you can't really printf with an attached dock accessory...

A bit more work to do on the user interface to de-stupid it - for example, I still am amused by 'What's this for?' at the left of the screen - cannot for the life of me remember what those user interface elements were supposed to do ... and it needs an upgrade to the saved/restored preferences file, and we will be ready to roll out for testing. If all goes well we should be good to go by early December.

And a final word - all apps universal. So M3000 for the iPhone for the first time. Jordantron universal on launch date. And having pretty much all your controls exposed to the MIDI keyboard makes the iPhone / iPod Touch so usable as a performance instrument - no squinting in the dark and carefully positioning fingers to make changes, just move a slider or change a rotary control and you can select different voices, tweak reverb, change chordbanks - suddenly makes the iPhone a genuinely amazing performance or practice instrument.