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Reviews by Darwin Grosse In this installment of iOS Music Tools, we take a look at two approaches to controlling your studio—whether hardware, software, or both—from your iOS device. One, touchAble from AppBC, is tightly bound to a single DAW (Ableton Live), while the other, Lemur from Liine, is so flexible as to be mind-bending. These applications aren’t cheap, but the power they give you is impressive; this is a rapidly growing area of iOS music development, and we’ll be looking at more such apps in a future issue.—MM
Lemur is an iOS controller app that lets you design an interface to control most anything, just the way you want it. For people who have experienced the interface of Liine’s Lemur software, the reaction is almost always the same: “That looks like it’s from the future!” The original Lemur, developed by JazzMutant, was a desktop hardware multitouch surface from the dark days before the iPad, accompanied by special software to configure it for all kinds of control applications. Thanks to Liine, the Lemur software portion has transitioned into an iPad app, but it has lost none of its luster. Working with a Lemur interface is about as obvious as can be on a general-use device, and the interface design system is amazingly flexible. Previously tied to very expensive hardware, the Lemur software has been freed to work on the more affordable iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad hardware. While physically smaller than the original Lemur surface, these devices provide much more mobility while still offering ample room for designing complex interfaces. And yes, I did say “design”. The Lemur software is a system where you create your own interface rather than depending on someone else’s definition of efficiency. While a Lemur design runs on the iOS device, you have to do the interface design on a standard computer (Mac or Windows), and then upload
RECORDING February 2013
the design to your device. From there, the touch device can work standalone, or it can be tethered to the design software for further design, testing and modification. There are a number of controls available for on-screen use, from simple (but attractive) sliders and knobs to full-on multi-touch surfaces filling the palette. Each of the controls has a built-in physics engine, so you can control the amount of friction and gravity to which each responds, and (in the case of the multi-touch system) create attractions to and collisions with other elements. Thus, you can create animated mixes by “throwing” a set of balls on a multi-ball surface and having them bang around like billiard balls in space. Not only is this fun, but it can produce some very interesting control results as well! Once elements are placed on the display surface, you can set up the content of messages that Lemur will transmit to a receiving device. This includes both Open Sound Control (or OSC, see below) and MIDI. You can also control labeling, colors, and size using the design tool’s object editor. From a musical standpoint, there seem to be a few missing pieces. For example, there is no intrinsic keyboard device, so creating a keyboard in the Lemur software means building it up from scratch, one button/key at a time. This can get pretty tiresome if you have a lot of keyboards you’d like to create. Luckily, there is a lot of material available to reuse when creating your own interface. When you download the software onto your iOS device, you will immediately have access to a number of pre-programmed projects that include everything from bouncing balls to a studio-focused control surface. In addition, you will also find many projects available for download on Liine’s website (www.liine.net) and from their user library. Almost anything that you will want to do with the Lemur (beside very basic use of the preset projects) will be managed by the Lemur Editor application. This program, available for Mac or Windows, allows you to create new projects and modify existing projects, and provides a centralized location for device management. The Lemur Editor interface can also manage connections between a Lemur and other applications or hardware—although it is not required for this task. Another small application, called the Lemur Daemon, is a less complex alternative to the Editor. The Daemon program sits in the background,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2013
Recording - February 2013
The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
Big Money Drums.
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
Stereo From A Mono Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Cover2
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Recording - February 2013 - Fade In.
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Recording - February 2013 - Contents
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Recording - February 2013 - Talkback.
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Recording - February 2013 - Fast Forward.
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Recording - February 2013 - The Production Of Clare Fischer’s CD ¡Ritmo!
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Recording - February 2013 - Big Money Drums.
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Recording - February 2013 - Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 14: Sweet Spot Conundrums—Part 1.
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Recording - February 2013 - Sonodyne SM200Ak Studio Monitors.
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Recording - February 2013 - AKG D12 VR Reference Kick Drum Microphone.
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Recording - February 2013 - Shure KSM9HS.
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Recording - February 2013 - Radial Engineering Firefly Tube DI.
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Recording - February 2013 - Audio-Technica AT4047MP.
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Recording - February 2013 - Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder.
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Recording - February 2013 - iOS Music Tools: Take Control!
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Recording - February 2013 - Emotiva Pro airmotiv 4 and airmotiv 6 Powered Studio Monitors.
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Recording - February 2013 - DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics.
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Recording - February 2013 - Sony Creative Software Sound Forge Pro Mac.
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Recording - February 2013 - Lewitt DTP 640 REX Dual-Element Kick Drum Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Readers’ Tapes.
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Recording - February 2013 - Miking An Orchestra—Rock Band And Symphony.
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Recording - February 2013 - Stereo From A Mono Mic.
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Recording - February 2013 - Advertiser Index.
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Recording - February 2013 - Fade Out.
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