Archive for November, 2011

ISS Time Lapse

Wow, this is beautiful and so very hypnotic

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.


iKaossilator Review

I spotted this on the app store and as I have been pleased with all of Korg’s music apps I felt duty bound to give it a whirl. First of all, this is not an emulation of the kaossilator, although it shares some of the features and has a few quirks of it’s own. The app works on iPod, iPhone and iPad.
When you load up the app you are confronted with a touch pad, five “slots” and info on bpm, loop length, scale and key. Even on an iPad the touch screen is smaller than on a kaossilator pro, obviously on a pocket device the touchpad is even more restricted, so bad news if you’re a fat fingered fop like me.
On an original kaossilator you had no means to save your patterns, on the kaossilator pro you had four banks to save phrases as well as the ability to save patterns to an sd card. The iVersions take advantage of their larger memory and display screens and so you have much more flexibility and capacity to save, select and recall your efforts.
As well as saving individual patterns you can also save blocks of patterns which can be recalled later of mixed with other existing loops. This is very useful, especially if you want to add variations of bass lines and drum loops to your performance.

Each slot can have a specific sound and pattern assigned to it (much like the KPro’s memory banks). You can mute and solo each slot but unlike the KPro there does not seem to be a way of altering the volume of each part. Also lacking is a means of gating patterns. An interesting difference to the hardware versions is that once you have recorded a pattern, you can change the original voice and the iKaossilator will play the same pattern with a different sound. Another useful feature is that as your patterns play, the touch pad lights up the positions you originally touched which is handy if you want to overlay a pattern to follow an existing one.
The hardware kaossilators were able to respond to the pressure of your touch whereas the iVersions don’t. Similiarly, although apple devices support multitouch, the app follows it’s hardware equivalent in only allowing to only play one note at a time (to program chords you would have to record and play the notes individually).
The iversions come into their own in actually selecting pre recorded loops. You can record your own parts into the slots and then swap these with pre existing loops on the fly. So you could add an existing dubstep drum loop and swap your bass line for a tech house loop to creates more varied performance than would be possible on a hardware version.
The app is WIST compatible which means devices running software such as Electribe, ims-20, reBirth or even another device running iKaossilator; will all sync together via bluetooth.
The app is a lot of fun and very easy to use. It not a complete music package like synth station or FLMobile but it’s more than just a sound toy. The actual sounds themselves are ok , nothing mind-blowing and there is no means of importing or sampling your own sounds. It’s currently on sale for £6.99 which is expensive in app terms but cheap when you consider a hardware kaossilator will cost you at least £100.
Definately recommended as long as you understand that it is not a hardware emulation.

The 50 Year Old Beaver

After all these years I never realised PWEI’s Beaver Patrol was a cover…Still prefer the Poppies version.
PWEI are touring again, well Graham and Mary Mary (Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds) are gigging under that name. Apparently it is the 25th anniversary of Box Frenzy, I downloaded it the other week, expecting to find the music had aged very badly. To my cloth ears it still sounds good and puerile, Evelyn and Inside You sound suprisingly sweet and innocent, Beaver Patrol and Time to Get Ugly managed to induce a grin. There is No Love Between Us scratching and guitar samples still work well together although it is apparent now that it is more of an interesting idea than a fully formed song.
Anyhow, time to get in my Roll’s Royce Limousine (battered Skoda hatchback doesn’t have quite the same ring).