Monday, October 3, 2011

Tabletop 1.1 in the App Store!

I know these past couple months have seemed like forever, but finally the wait is over, and Tabletop 1.1 is available featuring six new devices!

Also, to celebrate the update, we're putting all the new devices on sale for today & tomorrow only, so get 'em while they're hot!

This release offers a slew of new fx: a high-pass filter, bit crusher, compressor, expander, limiter, and splitter.

Whether you're looking to change your sound or add mastering effects, this set of devices is sure to let you shape your compositions to your exact needs.

In addition to the new effects, we've also been hard at work squashing all the bugs we could find in the 1.02 release as well as making some enhancements to the app UI! To name a few:

  • New compressor sidechaining template.

  • Added a button that previews sounds in the Gridlok load menu.

  • Improved RS3 performance for fast note triggering.

  • Fixed a bug in the turntable that made the tonearm vanish.

  • Fixed an issue where individual samples from factory presets did not appear in gridlok menus.

  • Improved sample previewing in sample-browsing menus.

  • Fixed a bug that cause devices to lock up when dragging from device list.

  • Fixed a routing bug that caused cables to be drawn from the wrong device.

  • Various performance and stability improvements.

To celebrate the release of the new update, we're offering the X2 Splitter device for free and all the new effects for just $0.99! The X2 will remain free forever, but the effects are only on sale through the end of the day on Tuesday, so make sure you act quickly to get in on this special offer!

Finally, you may notice a new "Register" button on the song browser screen. By entering your email address here, you'll be the first to know about any new releases & limited-time sales like this one, as well as finding out about other goings on in the Retronyms universe. We don't always send out newsletters, but when we do, we prefer them to be pretty awesome!

Enjoy the new release & keep the comments, suggestions & new songs coming!


  1. Very nice but this release is much less stable thsn the previous one. Been playing with the new compressor and I've had a few crashes already.

    Bit hard to test the new fx this way and sad since existing users also didn't get any advantage of the recent 50% tabletop discount I would expect a few free fx to be thrown in to be honest.

    Still cool software though. Can we expect a tr like drumsequener any time soon?

  2. Sorry to hear about the crashes. Are you on iPad 1 or 2? As for the drum sequencer, we can't discuss any specifics from forthcoming releases just yet, but we are defintely hard at work on more instruments, effects & etc. so stay tuned!

  3. Excellent, I've just updated.

    I'm waiting for any means of having a matrix-style sequencer on the drums as the pad mode is not doing it for me. Also what's with the confusing undo function if any? Cheers

  4. I have to agree with Ricco. New effects are very welcome, but what I really want is an ability to edit sequences after I've recorded them. If Tabletop had this it would be PERFECT!

  5. Anon - have you tried restarting the iPad? In our testing, we didn't encounter much crashing while using the new effects so I'd love to track this down.

  6. Just grabbed all the news effects... I have a feeling I'm going to run out of table space! Hahaha.

    Just while I'm thinking about it, I'd also really like a proper programable synth, not just the preset RS3. Don't you guys make "Synth" as well? You must have plans to move it into Tabletop, yeah?

  7. • Programmable synths
    • Sequencer (even if just matrix style)
    • A proper undo function
    • Sound preview, as it is now we have to first select the sound or sample and if we don't like it we have to open the menu and select it again
    • Better sound navigation, it is quite hard to go and find a sound as it is now

    This features were already present in any Yamaha Portatone or PortaSound of the 80's and 90's with I think a 20th of an iPad's computational power, a little more work on the ergonomic aspect of sequencing and previewing sound and you are golden!

    You have to PROFIT from the fact that to this day no iPad app has this features correctly implemented. Cheers.

  8. @Ricco

    "• A proper undo function"

    The history should allow you to do undo most actions. Are you having any specific issues?

    "• Sound preview, as it is now we have to first select the sound or sample and if we don't like it we have to open the menu and select it again"

    1.1 brought sound previews to Gridlok sounds.

  9. I'll try restarting the iPad when I get home. I'm on Ipad 2 32GB by the way.

  10. I think I'll just grab those fx anyways. Been playing with the compressor yesterday and while it's not anything special on it's own, within the application it's excellent value. Still in doubt about the expander etc though.

    Would be cool if a demo mode was supplied where a demo song has a new module in it an one would be able to preview it shortly to decide to buy it or not.

  11. @Keith: Yes, try to undo a hi-hat or a note that you've just recorded on a loop.

    1. It does have a history but it is not at all an undo function. It will not do that, the events in the 'history' are too far away from each other, I've just recorded some notes on the synth, then when thinking, those last two notes I've added don't sit well on the loop I'll undo that, except that no you cannot, you have to stop the sequence and find the 'record' message in the history which will completely erase your loop but not the individual notes you've decided to add in the second bar run. Or if you record beats, same story, if the hi-hats happen to fall on the wrong side of the quantization you cannot immediately undo that. It is cumbersome, again you will have to re-record the whole loop again, which is counter-intuitive and tiresome. Also because there is no way of seeing the sequence you've just recorded nor editing single notes.

    2. When having recorded your loop and you would like to change your sound you have to hit the 'load' button each time you want to load a preset.
    While Gridlok sounds may have preview that is not the case for the RS3 nor the M8RX. So I guess you can say 'preview' is implemented for 33% of the instruments.

    In sommation 1. there is no proper undo function, 2. One out of three instruments has a preview function of sorts which by the way will not let you prelisten to the sound when playing a sequence, it would give you a one-shot preview of the sound but you will not be able to test how your sequence sounds with it applied.

    Again these are features of very basic hardware workstations from the 80's


  12. @Ricco - it might help if you know that a new state is added to history every time you stop recording.

    This is handy to know cause once you have a take you like, just toggle record, and you'll be able to preserve it.

  13. @Anon the expander can be a lot of fun - the sidechain allows you to create really cool noise gate effects.

  14. @John-Paul, yes I'm aware of this feature but it not being an undo function is exactly what I am saying.

    It is not to say that I don't like your app, I love it but my creative process needs tons of undo since I like to go fast.

    I am too used to sequencers like the one in Cubase or in Logic, no tablet application has ever gotten close to that user interface, which by the way came to be from years of evolution.

    The fact that now we have touch devices makes me hope one day someone will implement it right. NanoStudio comes close but barely.


  15. I think what we really would like to see, and I'm sure Ricco would agree, is a sequencer-stle editor, even if it's just a matrix, or step-sequencer interface. As it stands, there is no way to edit a musical phrase to remove bum notes, the only option is to re-record something you've played. Bum-note removal is not the only benefit, often it's benefitial to just move things around and try different notes, or chord voices, and this is so much easier in an editable sequencer.

    Please don't take this as a harsh criticism. Obviously you've spent a large amount of time in development and you've produced a unique, and wonderful, intuitive and functional app for the iPad. Your focus wasn't on making this a traditional, sequencer-style music profuction tool... but that's a shame... and a missed opportunity for you.

    Why? Well, no developers have yet produced the perfect music production app, one that will make everyone drop what they're using and switch to it. There's a reason for this, everyone hasn't quite got it right, it's like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, and everyone is missing one or two pieces. What you have here is an opportunity to put it all together and have an app that's missing nothing. You are so close. So close!

    Implement some kind of editable sequencer page, even a simple one, which I know is probably a big undertaking from a development point-of-view, but market it like crazy that you're the guys that bring it all together. I'd buy it a hundred times, I'd like it so much!

  16. Is it possible to include a demo session so that we can see examples of these new efx before buying?

  17. As Retronyms has no forum, I choose to make my observations about Tabletop here.

    Spinback offers sonic capabilities that I believe no other iOS DAW offers. Turntable scratching sounds in music projects. The ability to warp sounds beyond a static time-stretch or pitch bend for use as samples in Gridlok or RS3 for further audio-mangling. Playing back long-form audio like a vocal track or a previous mixdown in projects to further layer a project. Spinback is very unique asset.

    The splitter (X2) is an interesting idea. Creating two versions of the same signal to be processed two separate ways has the potential for sculpting complex audio from a simple signal. Other DAWs would handle this by just making a copy of the original signal.

    Mr. O. I understand it, and yet I don't understand it. Maybe it should be called Mr. Y. In the workflow of Tabletop, it makes sense that all this noise has to end up going out somewhere. Monitoring signal strength and CPU usage is needed information. However, do we really need a module for this? Couldn't these parameters reside in the top bar with the rest of the UI? That way this global information would always be accessible and would save the space taken up by what is otherwise a useless device.

    The inability to trim audio recoded in R2 before exporting seems glaringly absent.

    I don't know of any way to purchase modules in bundles. True, the tedium of buying all the modules one at a time could be considered a negligible first-world problem. However, there would be potential to not only offer convenience to the customer, but also provide opportunity for future sales by offering bundles at a discount.

    Let's do the math, shall we?

    Full price of base app: $14.99
    Price of mixer module with with send effects ability: $9.99
    Price of single effect module: $2.99

    So as of now, with ten effects and the sale over, we have:
    $14.99 + $9.99 + (10 x $2.99) = $54.88 [£34.49, €41.12]

    With the price of the base app at the time of this posting of $6.99, full functionality costs $46.88

    This math, along with the possibility of new modules coming that could drive the total price even higher, along with design decisions such as making three separate modules out of FILTR (low-, band-, and high-pass) that cost the same as a more 'complete' device like WHIRL or EKKO makes the business model of Tabletop look plainly greedy.

    Just for fun, let's say the decision was made to make the base app free (bringing new meaning to the phrase 'free to play'). If Retronyms plans to keep coming out with new devices, it would be worth considering taking the freemuim path many iOS games enjoy. With the rest of the IAPs as they stand, the grand total will still be $39.89.

    I don't expect Retronyms to switch rails based on this comment, and I still find Tabletop something I would like to obtain. I look at my current setup of Beatmaker 2 and Rhythm Studio with a total cost of $21.98 ($19.99 + $1.99) and do not see the benefit of adding Tabletop to my arsenal at this time.

  18. Thanks for the feedback!

    Yes, Mr O takes space on the Table. The truth is that if you fill the table completely with devices you are often going to be reaching the limits of the CPU. We designed the table size to relate to the power of the iPad.

    As new iPads come out I think we will address this.

    Yes, the Recorder module doesn't have trim. My personal feeling here is that iOS is best utilized as a active playable environment. So far if we have the choice between an detailed editor and a playable instrument we try to lean towards playable. The recording module has a signal detector and a couple of other features that make it easy to grab little samples by ear, easily capture your live session or simply record a song you programmed into the Triggerator.

    We don't want to simply recreate a PC DAW. However, yes, a trim feature would be useful! It's in our Recorder app. I hope it will make it's way to Tabletop someday.

    I understand your comments on pricing. Our base price includes a *ton* of functionality. I think its a fantastic deal. You absolutely do not need all the modules to have a total blast with this thing.

    There are many iAP in Tabletop that allow you to customize what you use in your studio. I completely love your idea of bundles. I also want you to know that we are still learning about exactly how to price Tabletop in a way that allows us to keep developing and growing the product for many years, yet allows any musician to get involved.

    On thing is for sure, there are many types of musicians and many possibilities with Tabletop. We want to be able to create different modules that some people absolutely love while others don't really care for. DJ's can focus on Gridlock, Spinback and the cross fader. People who want to create spacey rhythmic electronic music might spend time with the Matrix, Ekko, MX4 and Verve. Yes, it's pricy to go for it all at once. However we try to have amazing sales all the time. As I said, we are listening to musicians and we want to make the most accessible, incredible environment possible.

    If you still don't feel like Tabletop is for you now, stay tuned. With the support of iOS users there is more to come. I think we are building something really great together and it's getting better all the time.


  19. I've had a thought, and though you didn't actually address the suggestion that I had raised, I thought I'd harp on about it a little more anyway...

    Rather than re-invent the wheel, why don't you simply turn the M8RX into a device that can trigger notes in other devices, such as Gridlok and RS3, not just it's own internal sounds? I know you're resistant to recreating a DAW, though I'm not sure why, but this could be an easy compromise. It won't give all the functionality of a fully-fledged, editable sequencer, but it would give another option to those used to programming in this way... and that's a lot of people!

    Honestly, Steinberg, Cakewalk etc. will soon realise the potential of the iPad "revolution" and release their own cut-down versions of their flagship DAWs. Those already dedicated to a particular DAW will see a way to bridge that gap and have projects running between their iPads and their PCS and Macs. I'd be very surprised if they're not already in development. FL Studio has already done it. The NI Maschine app will do the same thing. You need to have Tabletop fully realised so musicians already find it indispensable, and can build an association with it, and have established brand loyalty. That way it's an ingrained part of their workflow and artistic process, not something that can be discarded when iSonar or iReaper or iCubase comes along.

    I know that your modular, tabletop system is unique, and I personally love it. I couldn't give a rat's about prices, or bundles, if it works the way I want it too, then I want it, and I'll use it. At the moment, it just misses the mark... but only by a little. In short: make M8RX "fully modular" and add a proper programmable synth (like your very own "Synth") and then any other issues, for me, are completely negligible.

  20. As Tabletop app user, I've been closely following this thread. So much can and already has been said, so let me offer two thoughts:

    1. Users need a forum!! I feel that this would not only be great for feedback to the developer, but also would enhance the users experience. I'd love to see the tricks others are doing.

    2. If I wanted Cubase or Logic or whatever, I'd put it on my laptop. I like having a different interface that doesn't offer the same workflow that I always use. Change alnd limitations inspire creativity.

  21. Im having a hard time with the rs3 keyboard... Every time i record something with it, when i play it back, it just plays all the notes at the same time insteadnof playing them in the order i wanted... How do i fix that ?!?!?!

  22. I am on the iPad PRO and I thought that having a better chip would prevent CRASHING!!! I guess not.. This is such a great app, and after I invested a little money to get more IAP's this app doesn't stay on for more than a few seconds. I can't mess around, create custom pads with iMPC pro, or DO very much of anything before the app. CRASHES!!! THIS TRULY SUCKS WASTING TIME FOR NO REASON.. Unless you back out every 5 seconds to constantly quick save, your wasting time on these projects that don't ever let you get any work done. Having to create pads, synths, etc. OVER & OVER & over.... I don't want to give this a bad rating but seriously this isn't really fun at all anymore, putting in work only to have it crash will building up your set. Haven't even pressed play yet while still formatting a song and crash CRASH CRASH!!! LAME!!!