Friday, August 16, 2019

Fireland Sound Pack 🔥

#FreshFriday is Back 🎶

After a short break, we're back with #FreshFriday! Look forward to sound packs coming out more frequently in the content store, and get ready to make some fresh beats.

Find your flame with Fireland, our newest sound pack 🔥

Fireland is a combination of visceral breakbeats, pristine melodies, and dark bass lines.

Together, these sounds make a whole greater than the sum of its parts, and light up the imagination of the listener and the producer. Its mid-tempo electro-hop flavor is sure to heat up your workflow.

Fireland isn't a typical collection of sounds. It's a quirky, surprising, and delightful mixture of outstanding textures.

Jump into Fireland's mystery today in the Content Store.

Weekend Sale

For this weekend only, Slo-Fi Sessions is 40% off! Enjoy lo-fi sounds produced by Raw Cutz. This is a great sound pack to pair with Fireland.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Beat: William Russ

In The Beat we check out producers who craft beats with our apps. Join us today to find out about William Russ, a producer, father, and actor from Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.

William Russ been making hip-hop beats since after secondary school and played a lead role in Edge of the Knife , a film with a script completely in the endangered Haida language recounting a traditional story. Since the film's premiere in September, it has won several awards in Canada, and internationally. Although there are many musician/actors, William's story is different than most-- he grew up on a Native reservation in British Columbia, Canada called Haida Gwaii. The Haida people have an ancient and rich culture which has informed William's art since childhood. I had the opportunity to chat with William about his inspirations and recent work.

First, I wanted to know how Haida culture affected his music writing. William told me, "Haida culture has four rules that one must follow, Respect, Ask First, Make It Right, and Everything Depends On Everything Else. So, all acts must be done with respect, all acts must be done with consent, if an act is not done with respect or consent, or is witnessed, you must make it right, and take only what you need, because if you take too much you can destroy the balance of nature. So those responsibilities created the perfectionist side of my character. I used that to learn and work at being the best Hip Hop producer that I could be.”

After listening to traditional Haida music, which is very different from hip-hop, I couldn't help but wonder what elements of the culture shined through in his own music.

"Haida people are very much a strong-willed nation willing to stand up for what's right and fight the powers that be -- and Hip Hop, when I first got into it, had the same energy.  It shared the same stand up for yourself and your people vibe that was ingrained in me... It was another way of self-expression that I had never heard before. And it was real. We as Haida people are taught to keep it truthful (keep it real) and that made Hip Hop so much better than anything else."

William told me that, although hip-hop is one of the main genres of music on Haida Gwaii today, when he was growing up this wasn't the case. However, when he did discover hip-hop, he became obsessed.

"My great grandmother was half Haida and half Black, and she was my favourite person in the world. She had this loving and caring nature that was infectious, so I looked for ways to connect with that part of my culture and found Hip Hop. It was like having audio books, and history books for the ears. So I would spend all of my money from after school jobs on as many Hip Hop albums as I could get my hands on. I would have to wait weeks for my special orders to come in from the city, and I would be impatient as hell going to the store every day to check if they had come in yet."

After being encouraged by his girlfriend and coworkers, William reluctantly tried out for the Edge of the Knife. Without any previous acting experience, William impressively got a lead role in the film. He told me that once he got the role, "I made it a personal goal of mine to kill it every time I had to get on camera and do my part. I spent hours and hours of sleepless nights working on the language on my own and with the elders who speak Haida fluently to get everything just right." After proving to himself that he could accomplish great things, William returned to making music after over two years. Now, with the iMPC Pro 2, he is constantly making beats that sound pretty damn good. I asked him how.

William on set.
"Man, coming back to Hip Hop music has been such a blessing. Before the movie, I had several downs in my life and the inspiration to make music wasn't there anymore, I was tired of my programs on my PC crashing and losing beats, and I wasn't in the headspace to make music anymore. I lost confidence in my product and it faded away for at least two years. I thought I was done forever with music and tried to move on with my life. Then a friend of mine told me about iMPC Pro 1. I had always wanted an MPC, so I purchased it and started hitting the pads. From there, iMPC Pro 2 came out with full song making capabilities.

I opened up the iMPC University program and realized what a powerful D.A.W. this program really is. I banged out my first complete beat called “ MC ” in about 25 mins, and like Hip Hop and I, it seemed like the perfect fit. The fact that I could hit pads made me love making music all over again. In only a short couple of weeks I've completed a full instrumental album and working on my second. Hopefully soon I'll start writing rhymes again and have a full Hip Hop album on the go.”

You can get the iMPC Pro 2 on the app store for iPhone and iPad.

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 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!