Pure Acid, the best drum and bass machine on the iPad (and iPhone!)

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Pure acid
Here’s Pure Acid with a fetching gold makeover.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Pure Acid is a bass synthesizer and drum machine app for the iPad, and it might just be the best drum machine app ever. It is, for me, the first app that actually feels like you’re using physical drum machine hardware instead of just another touchscreen app. Part of this is down to the one-screen interface, where everything is (mostly) always in the same spot — just like real buttons. And part is due to the app design genius of Pure Acid’s creator, Dmitrij Pavlov (aka Jim Pavloff).

This app puts a multitrack recorder inside almost any music app

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MultiTrack Recorder Plugin
This is how we recorded multiple tracks in the olden days, kids.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

4Pockets’ MultiTrack Recorder Plugin is an audio-recording app that can be loaded inside other music apps. If you’ve ever seen an app like GarageBand or Logic in action, you’ll be familiar with the layout of multiple tracks on a horizontal timeline. MultiTrack Recorder Plugin offers exactly that, only it’s designed to be used inside other music apps. Apps that don’t have their own recording functions.

Today in Apple history: Logic Pro 7 shows Apple is still serious about creatives

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Logic Pro 7 was a great music creation tool for Apple fans.
Logic Pro 7 was a great music creation tool for Apple fans.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

September 29: Today in Apple history: Logic Pro 7 launch shows Apple is still serious about creatives September 29, 2004: Apple debuts Logic Pro 7, its pro-grade music creation and audio production software. The update brings new tools and a streamlined interface in line with other Apple software.

Coming off the success of the iPod and iTunes Music Store, the Logic Pro 7 launch — alongside its stripped-down sibling, Logic Express 7 — serves as a reminder of Apple’s dominance in music tech, for consumers and professionals alike.

Patterning’s new shortcuts transform iPad keyboard into drum kit

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Street drummer with buckets
This guy makes better music with buckets than I can manage with any app.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Patterning is probably the best drum machine app on the iPad, and one of the best iOS music apps, period. Which makes it criminal that we’ve never written a dedicated post about it. That can change today, because the developer, Olympia Noise Co., just added keyboard shortcuts.

Wait, come back! These aren’t just any keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts let you use your iPad’s Smart Folio Keyboard, or any Bluetooth keyboard, to fingerdrum on the iPad.

Roxsyn app turns your electric guitar into a synthesizer

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Roxsyn app on ipad
Roxsyn -- a synth that rocks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Roxsyn is the “world’s first metamorphic guitar synthesizer” for iPad. The app lets you plug in your guitar and, when you play it, synthesizer sounds come out. It also offers a full suite of knobs to tweak and shape the resulting sounds, just like a regular, keyboard-driven synth.

But — and this is important — it’s not just using your guitar as a MIDI controller for a normal synthesizer. Let’s take a look.

How to use the OP-Z’s new sampler with your iPhone

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This is all you need to make a hit record. Well, maybe a few dongles, too…
This is all you need to make a hit record. Well, maybe a few dongles, too…
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Teenage Engineering’s awesome, pocket-size OP-Z synth can now record and use samples. Thanks to a massive software update, it can now sample live audio in through its mic, or via its USB-C port. And yes, if you hook it up to an iPhone or iPad via USB, it shows up as a standard audio interface: You can record from, and send audio to, the OP-Z in lossless digital quality.

Today we’re going to check out these new features. A few limitations prove annoying, but Apple users should feel accustomed to that by now.

AudioKit’s retro ’80s synthesizer now works inside your favorite music app

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Even the promo pictures are pretty 1980s.
Even the promo pictures look pretty '80s.
Photo: AudioKit

Here’s some pretty big news for iOS musicians: AudioKit’s Digital D1 synth is now an Audio Unit. What? That means that, instead of running as a standalone app, you can now run it as a plugin inside your music app of choice. It also means you can run more than one copy, putting one instance on each track of GarageBand, for instance.

And what makes D1 more interesting than other synths for iOS? A few things. One, it’s open source and built by volunteers. Another is that it looks and sounds amazing. And finally, it’s totally ’80s, giving you the synth sounds of pop music’s best decade. Radical.

Ableton puts a synth inside your browser

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Ableton has put a synth school into the browser.
Ableton has put a synth school into the browser.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Did you ever wonder how a synthesizer works? It’s all just “electronic noise,” right? Well, yes, it totally is. But if you’d like to know a bit more than that, Berlin-based Ableton will teach you. The electronic music giant launched a website that puts a synthesizer inside your browser, and uses it to teach you exactly how a synth works.

The synth simulator works great in Mobile Safari, too, but if you use Google’s Chrome, you can hook up an actual keyboard to your Mac and use it to play. That’s thanks to Chrome’s support for Web MIDI, which Safari doesn’t offer.

Let’s have a quick look at this cool teaching tool.