Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Beat: Jerry Pizzini 🎶

Introducing The Beat

In The Beat we check out producers who craft beats with our apps. Join us today to find out about Jerry Pizzini, a hip-hop producer and avid iMPC Pro 2 user with an ear for sick samples.

Jerry Pizzini has been making beats for years, and it shows. His rhythms are tight, and his choices in sound are uncommon.


From well-known artists like Michael Jackson to more obscure songs from the 70s and 80s (similar to G-funk samples), Jerry chops up all kinds of music in unique ways. He will take the high point of a song, speed it up, and lay down a beat to complement the sample. The tracks Jerry makes reflect his own patience; after carefully choosing the sounds to put under a sample, he allows each part of a song to establish its groove and hang in your ear before moving on.

Pizzini’s beat samples I Miss You, a ’72 classic by  Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes.


For sound design, Jerry is inspired by Kanye West’s bold use of samples, and the minimalism in his beats. He told me that old soul, rock, and gospel are some of his top genres to sample from, and he looks to DJ Premier’s beats, and Swizz Beatz’s energy for inspiration.


















Jerry has always been interested in music, and taught himself production techniques. After doing a lot of cratedigging for samples, and working with different production brands, devices, and software, like Korg, Triton, and the MPC2000. Once he discovered iMPC Pro 2, he switched to almost exclusively use the software to make beats. Now he can go from an idea to a full song anywhere, anytime.

















Listen to more of Jerry's songs here, and create your own by posting with AudioCopy. iMPC Pro 2 for iPhone and iPad is on sale for 50% off until the end of June.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

✨Phase84: Universal AU 🎶

With the revamp of Phase84 becoming a universal Audio Unit (you're welcome, iPhone users!), we wanted to take a few minutes and interview the creator, Louis Gorenfeld. To learn more about Phase84, Louis shares some additional thoughts here. 


Retronyms: Why did you want to make Phase84 into an Audio Unit?
Louis: AudioUnits on iOS are really exciting; for years I was hoping to see an audio plug-in format on iOS like we have on desktops and laptops, and as soon as I saw AU was coming to iOS, I thought, "We need to do a version of Phase84 for this." There are a few things that give plugins like AudioUnits or VSTs an advantage over IPC-based technologies, like Interapp or JACK; first, they integrate with your music software. You load your song project, and all the plugins you use load with it. It appears inside your music software, as if it were built right into it-- there's no tabbing over to a different app. Second, you can have more than once instance of any given plugin instrument, where with Interapp you're limited to one. There's also a general bonus when it comes to reliability.

R: What are some aspects of the app that make it unique from other synths?
L: I don't know how many people know this, but Phase84 started out life as Digits VST. When I designed that synth, I wanted to make something that was a bit different, and something that I would want to use in my own music. So, I started out basing it on one of my favorite semi-forgotten synth technologies: Phase Distortion. 

Phase Distortion was invented in the 80s by Casio, for their CZ line, and the idea was to create something competitive with Yamaha's patented FM. In the process, Casio created something that had some of the sonic characteristics of FM, but also captured some of that "Moog style" sound of subtractive analog synthesizers as well. But I already had a real Casio CZ synth, so I wanted something that was a little different. I put a few twists on it: The "resonance waves," if you have experience with those, work very differently on Phase84 than on a Casio CZ. 

I also generalized the waveshaper-- the heart of a Phase Distortion synth. What this means is that you don't just get a few simple waveshapes, but can customize them further with the "skew" knob. There's also a Pulse Width like on analog synths, which bends the waveforms even more. All of this adds up to a synth with complex oscillators, and that's before you add in the optional analog-style filter: I didn't want "clean" or "creamy" with this filter. It's decidedly dirty, adding a bit of that analog sound but it's also just nasty and overdriven. And it has an unusual feature: You can select different filter curves, all the way down to a 6db/oct filter that still has resonance. So, my approach to filtering was quite different from many other synths. 

Between all of these features, there's just a ton of sound molding potential that you didn't find in the synths that inspired it. Finally, one feature I like a lot is the Unison knob. Many synths have this, but there's something about Phase84 that just comes to life when you use it. It's also randomized in a way, so that the voice spread is a bit different with each note. This lends an organic characteristic to the sound.

R: What does creativity mean to you?
L: Wow, that's a hard one! Creation, in the literal sense, is the act of bringing into existence something that wasn't anywhere in the universe before. It's crazy to think about, right? If you write a song, this thing you're building might not have even existed in your mind an hour before, and suddenly it pops into the world. But what makes it creative I think is when you put your own twist on it. When you channel part of yourself into it, or you combine two things that hadn't been combined before, that's what makes  it creative. And some people take this as, "Oh, I have to do something radically different." But a lot of times, this just comes out of you doing things however you do them. You might start out even trying to clone a song you like, but at some point that inspiration strikes and you say, "But what if it went this other way instead?"

R: Can you tell us about your background in music? What kind of music do you play and create?
L: I write jazz-funk and chiptunes, sometimes both at once. I never studied music formally or had lessons, but I grew up banging on an old upright piano. At some point, we got Instant Music for our Amiga computer, and that had these music scale and chord guides, and that helped me get comfortable with different scales and song progressions. Eventually, I was writing freehand, turning all the guides off. When we got a modem, I got into trackers, and for a couple decades wrote music on those, swapping tracks with people across the Internet. That scene was ultra competitive, but what was cool about it was that you'd trade music files, not just MP3s. So, you could see all these different approaches to how they used the software. These days, I have a room full of synths and use Reaper, but Digits/Phase84 is still my go-to workhorse synth. 

R: Who are your biggest musical influences at the moment?
L: I love video game soundtracks-- a lot of the soundtracks for Japanese arcade games really keep 70s/80s jazz fusion alive, but they have this edge that the albums that inspired them never had. A lot of times, you listen to fusion like Return to Forever or T-Square, and it sounds a bit pleasant. But, since video games have to keep the tension on, they take that fusion base and they just make it rock more, or there's more dissonance. 

Speaking of having an edge, I also love Herbie Hancock, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jan Hammer. Outside of jazz fusion, I've always been inspired by 90s electronica (FSOL, Fluke, Prodigy), metal-leaning classic rock (Deep Purple, or Slash-- who is also self-taught-- was kind of a hero), funk (Funkadelic has amazing guitar solos and keyboard lines), and heavy multilayered loop-based golden-age-of-hip-hop stuff like Public Enemy.

R: What's an interesting or hidden feature within Phase84? How do you imagine a user might want to incorporate it into iMPC Pro 2?
L: Phase84 adds a lot to Pro 2. The sheer versatility of it means it'll fill in almost any gap: need a phat synth bass? An electric piano or strings? A nasty sweep? Thick pads? G-funk lead? It covers all the bases and then some. And its CPU usage is quite low, so you can rack up a bunch of them on most iOS devices. This makes it a great complement to Pro 2's beat-centric sampler engine.

Phase84 is available now on iOS as a universal app. 

✨ iMPC Pro 2.1 Updates 🎶



Our biggest feature in these updates is increased AU support! For the remainder of June, both iMPC Pro 2 for iPad and iPhone are 50% off. Drop in our newest universal AU app, Phase84, for your next project. Here's the latest with Phase84.

iMPC Pro 2 iPhone Changes

FEATURES:- We’ve added numerous AU stability fixes and performance improvements! 
- AU keyboard can now go to higher octaves. 
- Be alerted if your project is missing an AudioUnit when you load it. 
- Export mute groups to MPC Desktop. 
FIXES: - Access your Spotify playlists now. 
- Fix bug in which all AUv3 parameters would appear in Timeline>Params if one automation lane was added.
- Fix crash on cancelling AudioCopy export.
- Fix crash caused by toggling between AUTO/GRID slicing when in the middle of an edit.
- Fix unicode-related crash when exporting to MPC Desktop.
- MPCPro Pack selector automatically dismissed when switching from drum track to another type.
- Fix unresponsive note grid pulldown in audio tracks.
- Strict enforcement of monophonic pad behavior in 16 levels mode.
- Audio tracks no longer echo the old recording as you record over it.
- Last remaining sequence in song is cleared if user attempts to delete it.

iMPC Pro 2 iPad Changes

FEATURES:- Export your mute groups to MPC Desktop. 
- Customize the name of your project with emojis and other special characters. 
- AU features include higher octaves and general AUv3 improvements for stability. 
- Users can seek in Timeline and Tracks view by tapping the ruler. One tap sets the restart point. Drag for fine adjustment. Tap stop while already stopped to reset it, or simply tap on the left-side of the ruler.
FIXES: - Spotify playlists may now be accessed again.
- Inter-app works at correct pitch on 48khz-based iPads (newer models).
- Fix bug in which Audio track automation could be lost. 
- Sound Editor: Fix bug when trying to select first slice in certain auto-sliced sounds. 
- Sound Editor: Fix buzz when holding down audition pad after performing certain edits (amplify, fade in/out, etc). 
- Fix bug where new tracks could pick up a previous track's Mute and Solo settings.
- Gain is scaled properly for MPC Desktop exporting.
- Fixed FluxLink buzzing/crashing during overdub.
- Disallow deleting the entire sound in the sound editor (use the Tweak workflow for replacing/removing sounds). 
- Fix bug in which all AUv3 parameters would appear in Timeline>Params if one automation lane was added. 
- Fix crash when going from page to page during MIDI learn. 
- AUv3s which perform disk buffering now render correctly during Mixdown and Stems bouncing.
- AU keyboard can now go to higher octaves.
- Projects now warn the user when a project is loaded with a missing AudioUnit.
- Fix crash on cancelling AudioCopy export.
- Fix crash caused by toggling between AUTO/GRID slicing when in the middle of an edit.
- Fix unicode-related crash when exporting to MPC Desktop.
- MPCPro Pack selector automatically dismissed when switching from drum track to another type.
- Fix unresponsive note grid pulldown in audio tracks.
- Strict enforcement of monophonic pad behavior in 16 levels mode.
- Audio tracks no longer echo the old recording as you record over it
- Last remaining sequence in song is cleared if user attempts to delete it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pro 2 FAQ 🎶

Our support cue gets a few common questions, so we wanted to leave you with these resources! Curious about something that isn’t answered here? We’d love to help. Email us at support@retronyms.com and we’ll help you out.

Q: I’m trying to load xx Audio Unit and it isn’t working. What do I do?
iMPC Pro 2 can host AUv3 instruments, but currently doesn’t support AUv3 effects. iMPC Pro 2 itself also cannot be hosted as an AudioUnit, but may be used over Inter-App Audio. Here’s a comprehensive list of AUs available!

Q: I downloaded iMPC Pro 2 but there aren’t many sounds available. How do I get the sounds?
First, download our free app, AudioCopy (available for both iPhone and iPad). Once you download the app, tap “Content Store”. You’ll need to sort by genre, and scroll until you see “Pro 2 Packs”. Tap the “Buy” button and follow the suggested steps, but you won’t be charged! The content is free.

Q: How do I use the app?
We recommend you start here to get a quick overview of iMPC Pro 2. We partnered with Loopmasters and Akai to make these tutorial videos as well. To dive into the iMPC world, check out our iMPC Pro Log series and learn how all of these features work at a basic level.

Q: I want to make an AU track, but I don’t have any Audio Units. How do I get one?
We made the ultimate AU list, and it’s constantly being updated! Developers email us with submissions and our team adds them as soon as we can. Check out the list to find your new AU, but we recommend using instruments to be compatible in Pro 2. Note* These links are affiliate links, so when you click on them, we earn a small profit.

Q: What is an iMPC Pro Pack and how do I get one?
An iMPC Pro Pack is a Sound Pack curated to lay out perfectly in iMPC Pro 2 with kits, programs, sound adjustments, and mute/solo groups. iMPC Pro 2 comes with free iMPC Pro Packs, which are located in AudioCopy. To purchase additional content, tap the “Sort by Producer” section to see all of the Akai iMPC Pro Packs! We release one to two iMPC Pro Packs per month.

Q: I wanted to use the Spotify feature, but I don’t have very much control. Why?
This is due to a limitation on Spotify’s streaming service, which limits streaming to a 30 second clip of the track. If this increases in the future, we will be sure to extend the feature. To have more creativity, we recommend using Spotify to figure out what track you want and then purchasing the song via Apple Music! Then you can import any section of it in our iTunes Sampler (right next to the Spotify button).

Q: How do I get my project into MPC Desktop?
Great question. Here’s how:

1. Open the session you wish to export
2. In the session menu, opened by tapping the icon on the upper-left corner of the screen, select “Export for MPC Desktop” under the Options heading.
3. On your desktop machine, go to iTunes, select your iDevice, and then tap File Sharing  
3. Select iMPC Pro 2 from the list of apps
4. Drag the MPC Export folder to your desktop
5. Inside of this folder is the xpj file which can be opened in MPC desktop.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

New releases for you.

#FreshFriday is Here 🎶

We've got two new Sound Packs for you to sample in The Content Store. Our Retronyms producers want to know what genres you're wanting more of. Comment below with the packs you want to see! We're all about increasing your creativity, so we're going to expand our collections to meet your needs.

The Latest Pro Packs ✨

Our new iMPC Pro Pack Nu Skillz contains high-quality heavy hip-hop beats with various melody loops.  It is the perfect collection of vintage hip hop samples, so check out our demo song in AudioCopy and get this newest addition to your latest project!

Developed exclusively from the ground-up by Snipe Young whose production credits include many of the top artists, Dark Parallax Vol 2 delivers a brand new collection of breathtaking kits and melodic loops processed to the highest quality. DP2 includes an unstoppable rugged collection of drum hits, bass, key melodic, and vocal loops, transforming your production to a new level. Inspiration starts here again!

Monday, March 18, 2019

UPDATE AVAILABLE: iMPC Pro 2 for iPhone 2.0.2 🎶

Let's Dive In

iMPC Pro 2 for iPhone is our newest app, and we're here to make it as exciting as possible for you. Here’s the full list of features and fixes included in this update. Need help? Feel free to email us at support@retronyms.com. If you are enjoying this update, please leave us a review :) 




FEATURES: 
  • Users can seek in Timeline and Tracks view by tapping the ruler. One tap sets the restart point. Drag for fine adjustment. Tap stop while already stopped to reset it, or simply tap on the left-side of the ruler.
  • Fix Track (time correct) now has an Undo
  • Basic Files support so you can transfer sounds and sessions without involving your computer
  • Warn and clear pad when a user tries to load a malformed wav file
  • When tabbing between categories in the sound browser, you can actively clear search (it used to stay on but it wasn't clear to the user). 
  • Demo Session/My Projects tab stays in sync. 
  • AudioPaste in Tracks view now pastes onto the track whose timeline is tapped, not the selected track. 
  • More efficient InterApp and AudioUnits
FIXES: 
  • Fix Track (time correct) now works on AudioUnit tracks 
  • Fix buzzing/crashing bug when overdubbing Flux Link
  • Fix mix-to-mono-R bug fixed
  • AudioPasting a large sound into an Audio Track is now more stable 
  • Ableton Link audio track desync issue has been resolved 
  • AUv3 plugins properly bounce offline (this caused gaps in audio when bouncing AUv3s which streamed audio off the drive)
  • Fix mismatched pad colors when loading a program that has mute group information while in Tweak view
  • InterApp FX work on iPhones which do not have headphone jacks (48khz-native audio device bug)
  • You can now delete the entire sound in sound editor
  • Adding a new track properly resets Mute and Solo settings. Fixed update bug with Mute and Solo in Tracks view. Fix Mute and Solo bug when deleting tracks out of the middle.
  • Fix bug in which all AUv3 parameters would appear in Timeline>Params if one automation lane was added
  • Fix bug in which sometimes the first slice of a sound in Chop or Slice mode was not selectable
  • Fix buzzing in sound editor in Slice mode after certain edits were made in Chop mode
  • Fix MIDI learn crash when navigating from page to page
  • Audio track general stability and fixed visual bugs
  • Sequencer note selection more visually consistent (notes did not turn blue upon select all)
  • Fix sync bug with audio tracks and Ableton Link
  • Fix disappearing Ableton Link dialog after a bounce
  • Fixed bug where deleting a user program could delete the wrong program
  • Fix waveform stretching visual bug for Audio Tracks
  • Fixed mis-slicing bug in chop/slice audio editing when set to auto and when combined with trim
  • Current MIDI learn mapping clears when turning MPC Mode on
  • Fixed MPC Desktop gain (it was too loud), and fixed MPC Desktop exporting per-pad settings on projects with multiple tracks
  • Better handling of unicode in filenames (fixes crashes)
  • InterApp working better on 48khz devices. AudioUnits at correct pitch on 48khz devices.
  • Fix bug where Audio Track parameter automation could be erroneously cleared
  • Fix layout issue when backing out of "e-mail support"

Thursday, February 7, 2019

🎸UPDATE AVAILABLE: Looperverse Version 1.3🎶

Here's What's New 🎁


We've been working hard this month on a Looperverse update for you. Let us know what you think of version 1.3! If you're enjoying this update, will you consider leaving us a review on our App Store Page? If you need help or have questions, please email us at support@retronyms.com. :)

New Features: 
  • Metronome volume saves with the scene
  • Name your .wav when saving a scene
  • BPM now goes down to 20 for Ableton Link purposes (30 was the old limit)
  • Simple iOS Files app support
  • Build number is now displayed on the help screen
Universal Fixes:
  • Fixed clicks in mixdown
  • Fixed instability when pasting audio in with AudioCopy
  • "Audio in Background" now shown as enabled and greyed out when it cannot be disabled (Ableton Link is on, InterApp is on, or AudioBus is on)
  • Fixed bug where wrapped region of sound can lose sync
  • Fixed bug where duplicated region started playback immediately
  • Minor visual fixes
  • CC82 with value 0 now turns off the metronome as expected
  • Various other small bug fixes
iPad Specific Fixes: 
  • AudioPaste destination app dialog looks better
  • Layout of MIDI learn overlays fixed for iPad Pro 10.5"
iPhone Specific Fixes: 
  • Fix crackling sound on some iPhones (models which don't have headphone jacks)
  • Fixed keyboard covering up the save dialogs on some iPhone display sizes
  • AudioPaste no longer dismisses before users can select destination app
  • AudioPaste doesn't freeze the UI or distort the waveform after dismissal
  • The toolbar is now scrollable during MIDI learn so that owners of smaller phones can learn all transport controls