Tag Archive: werkbench


Werkbench

I bought Werkbench from the app store a couple of months ago when it was plugged on the B3ta board. I’ve been playing around with it for a while and I’m still finding new ways to use and abuse it. When you load it up you’re presented with a 2 4X4 matrices. You can sample sounds into each cell using the iPad’s inbuilt mic or recording directly into the iPad by using the camera connection kit and something like a Belkin iRig. You can mute and unmute individual cells as well as adjusting their pitch and volume levels. Cells can also be arranged and you can apply delay and filters to each matrix as well as being able to alter the sample envelopes on the fly.

At first I thought this app was just a cute little drum machine, but after watching the video below you realise that with the right sounds you can create your own expressive instrument.  You can get strange vocal effects by recording phonemes and fiddling with the pitch and envelope settings in real time.

You can switch between 8 different banks of sounds and you can save and load any particular favourites. It also allows you to record live jams which can be transferred to your computer by iTunes file sharing or email. You can also use audiocopy to paste your loops into other apps.

I highly recommend this app, it’s fun, flexible and intuitive and I’ve enjoyed it’s beatmashing capabilities.

The next video is worth checking out, I really like how using a simple piece of kit like a monotron with Werkbench opens up even more possibilities.

 

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This track arose from this week’s assignment by the Disquiet Junto Soundcloud group. The brief was to pull four items out of the bin and use them to compose a soundtrack whilst avoiding using effects that rendered the samples unrecognisable. I’m enjoying these challenges as the restrictions force you to try avenues that you may normally pass over.

I used a pill bottle (beat), a coupon (pad), an empty bag of crisps (texture) and an empty can of tango (twangs and pops). I recorded loops of the can being crumpled and the ring pull pinged into iPad Garageband and the ran this through a KP3 and resampled it. The “beat” was made by sampling flicking and banging the pill bottle into an app called Werkbench (see next entry for a review) and then playing the resulting loop through filter and delay effects.

I am kinda pleased with the crackly texture the can crumpling gives although I know have a metal splinter in my thumb from a ring pull solo 😦 Please check out the disquiet junto group for the other entries, there’s some very interesting pieces uploaded.