Wednesday, January 6, 2010

DopplerPad 2.0 available now!

We're happy to say that DopplerPad 2 is available in the App Store! This free update adds some serious features, so I'm just going to jump in and give a rundown.

The first thing you may notice is that the pads now have an effect button next to the instrument button. This pops open a menu similar to the instrument menu. Tapping effects toggles them on and off. The great thing about this is that you can now apply any effect to any instrument (including samplers and drum kits)!

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New Tools
The heart of this update is in the Tools menu where we find 2 new items. Synths and Effects. These are powerful editors that let you create and edit your own custom synth instruments and effects.

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In the Synths Tool, you'll find that you can freely edit the parameters of the synthesizer that powers DopplerPad. This editor gives you access to every parameter we had when creating the original set of factory instruments.
  • 2 Oscillators – including 5 waveforms, phase control, frequency difference and more
  • Amplification Envelope
  • Filter – Low Pass or High Pass
  • Mod Envelope
  • LFO – which includes beat sync, waveform, destination and more
  • Mod Y – which lets you control how the Y axis of a pad effects different synth parameters
  • Velocity – which lets you control how tap velocity effects different synth parameters

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Each item above gets its own panel in the Synths editor, and they all have many more parameters than I've listed here. If you ever want more details on what a given parameter does, tap the info button on the panel for a detailed description.

Similar to the Synths Tool, Effects lets you create and edit custom Effects to use on the pads. When editing Effects, you'll find
  • Delay – which can be beat-synced
  • Delay Filter – which lets you apply a Filter to the Delay
  • Distortion
  • Mod Y – Similar to Effects, this lets you control parameters of the Effect on the Y axis

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We've been having a lot of fun with this version, and we hope you will too!


  1. Hey, I love the update! Thank you so much!
    But one thing, I was getting some noise hiccup on every first bar. Also, I tried toggling the effect but once it's one I can't seem to toggle it off.

    Also, I think when you first click on the notes sometimes you hear a static pop (sometimes subtle but other times, noticeable.) <-I'm pretty sure you already know this.

    Second, once the gate arp is turned on the original pattern is 2 beats in the beginning of each bar but unless you actually open up the gate arp, the notes are always just one beat per each bar.

    3rd. when editing effects when you click on the test pad, am i supposed to be hearing popping noises?

    I think I might have more stuff I found but for now, this is the major stuff that I've been wanting to address.

    Thanks and just thought I might give you guys a heads up on what people might bring up :)

    God bless!

  2. Thanks for the feedback. We'll be looking into these. Can you tell us what version of iPhone (and OS) you're running?

    AS for the effect toggle, are you tapping the effect itself to toggle it? For example, if I tap DelayBeat once, the effect turns on, it I tap DelayBeat again, the effect turns off.

  3. Regarding Gate Arp: the default is one note per bar. The display of the pattern draws a gap between even single notes when they are more than 1/16th long.

    For example, this (old) image of the gate shows one long note in bar 1:

    Let me know if this helps.

  4. Hey JP, thanks for the reply :)
    1. I have a 3GS and 3.1.2 running.

    2. I thought I tried tapping on the same effect but I guess I didn't! haha thanks clearing that up!

    3. I just tried and it seems the 'hard' mode is the only mode that allows long notes. And the issue I mentioned previously seems to be a bug.
    Yes the sound of the pattern is one note per bar as the default but the pattern you see shows different.

    1. From the title screen, I click pad 'A'.

    2. Click on Gate to turn 'on'

    3. Find a pad/lead/bass/drum etc and hold a note. It will play one note in the beginning of each bar

    4. I then tap on the 'gate pattern(?)' button to pull up the pattern and out of the four slots for each bar, the first two slots are filled in per bar (med).

    5a. hold a note again and I would still hear one note per each bar.

    5b. now when I remove a pattern from a slot (any slot) and place the pattern on the same slot, again and hold a note, each time it reaches that bar will have two consecutive notes instead of one. (but the other bars will still play one note though there are two slots selected)

    6. When I change the patterns from med to hard (two consecutive slots), the note will be longer, but everytime I change it to med or soft I would hear two consecutive notes.

    So I guess from what I'm seeing, the default is one note per bar but the gate arpeggio is not displaying the proper pattern in the beginning. I'm assuming it's an easy fix? Just not draw the second slot when you start up a new pad?

    I hope this made sense and thanks again for a great product! :)

    My quest with dopplerpad is to make equal or close to what this marvelous talent has made!

    (which I think the melody goes higher than what dopplerpad offers )

    haha wish me luck! ;)

  5. Great update thanks, when are we likely to see quantize and a click/metronome?

    This is the one feature I really hoped to see.

  6. kd: Awesome, thanks so much for the youtube video! That is a gem. Some real talent there.

    Matt Hooper:
    People ask for this quite a bit which makes us want to add it. However, we use DopplerPad quite a bit and never really want this. We use the gate/arp as a quantizer. If we want a click track, we lay one down. We try to think of DopplerPad as a instrument. It's like asking to have a metronome built into a guitar.

    We will continue to consider adding these features. However there are some technical challenges to a midi style quantize.

  7. Thanks Matt, we're looking at both of these features for future updates.

    A click track would be very handy. You can create an adhoc one with a 16th note drum sound on each bar on the other pad. It's not the same as a true click track I know, but it works in a pinch

    To follow up on what Dan is saying a bit: Quantize is a bit tricky. It is a "piano roll editor" type of concept. Not that its impossible, but it requires some thought. Personally, I rely on the gate/arp heavily if I'm needing to create precise patterns (for drums, etc).

    Generally, quantize works in such a way that if you play a note "off a beat", it plays with your "bad timing" first but is recorded as "quantized" (either forward or backward in time). Because the way DopplerPad does recording is more "true audio recording" rather than creating a midi piano roll, the traditional "feel" of quantize may not be possible. Instead, you would have a delayed reaction when you tap -- at best (because there would be no way to move the note ~forward in time to before your tap, right?).

    In a way, the DopplerPad (or Kaossilator) style of recording is very different from what we're used to with Midi style sequencers. On the upside, I feel its a more organic, expressive form of playing with sound and rhythm. On the downside, its not about precise, granular control of patterns.

    All that said, it might be very cool to start merging in some "sequencing" type concepts, but it will require careful thought.

  8. kd. Thanks for your detailed info about this issue. I followed your steps, and still wasn't able to reproduce anything I recognized as a bug. So let me ask some more questions, etc:

    you say:
    "4. I then tap on the 'gate pattern(?)' button to pull up the pattern and out of the four slots for each bar, the first two slots are filled in per bar (med). "
    While the first two slots are filled, they are combined into single 8th notes. An 8th note is "two slots long". You can tell its a single note by the rounded corners (where the rounded corners mean the start and end of a note, and flush, squared corners mean its many slots connected to make a longer note). You can drag to create notes of any length (up to 4 bars long).

    So even though you're seeing the first two slots filled, this represents one 8th note. Try dragging to create longer notes.

    Let me know if this information helps, or if I'm way off base here ;)

  9. "AH HA" moment!!! :) I didn't even recognize you can drag a slot to make a longer note!!! that makes sense now. haha Thank you so much! If I see anything that I see, I'll make sure to let you guys know ! Free QA'ing lol.

    Oh and sorry to be a pest but a feature I'm really really hoping for is maybe an undo button? or some way to undo a rec for maybe the previous action or a specific pad/bass/lead etc. that we put. As of now I will have to maybe save every time I add a pattern to it so I don't mess up the whole recording.

    so the first approach maybe a simple 'undo' button and the second suggestion about the specific instrument is maybe you want to undo a certain instrument and you go and choose that instrument and when the 'clear' is activated, when you hold your finger for specific bars it'll clear out that specific instrument and nothing else. (I guess this'll bring up a question "what if you have more than one pattern recorded for that same instrument?..." and that I haven't thought of yet.. haha)

    God bless!

  10. I can understand you do not want to add quantize but IMHO it essential.

    Tapping on a screen is not quite the same as playing ie: a guitar or drum
    where the latency response is instant.

    I have to stress how important quantize is, using the arp is miles away from playing in a performane then using q to tighten it up.

    Look forward to this feature.


  11. Guys you've really created an amazing instrument here but I have to agree that the lack of a quantize feature or at the very least an undo feature are holding dopplerpad back from being a near perfect workstation. Especially now that you have added these amazing synth and effect editors!

    I really can't stress enough how awesome of an app you've created. With an undo function I would definitely use this thing wayyyyyy more than I already do.

  12. I'd be after a 'save project' myself, and hopefully with that the ability to load other peoples loop-banks.

  13. I'm not that into a Quantize feature myself, either. One could be added, I suppose, but please make it optional and turned off by default. As suggested above, I'm quite happy to us the Gate/Arp if I need my beats to be strictly quantized.

    Now, along the same lines as an "Undo" feature, I could see a feature where the user can listen to the last recording before it is merged into the current recording.

    I.e., when you Record, it is saved as a "take" that plays alongside the real recording unless the user presses a "Keep" button to merge it with the real recording.

    Just an idea. My current practice is to save each layer of a recording into a slot on the mixer as I'm experimenting with various takes before I settle on a final loop that I keep.

    That more or less approximates the "undo" functionality for me. :-) If I don't like what I just recorded, I re-copy the last version from the mixer.

  14. save/load scales? i'm not brilliant at remembering a aeolian scale off the top of my head... :)

  15. How about "reverse sampler"? A sampler that just plays in reverse from where you tap? Should be easy to implement.

    Great app!


  16. More cool ideas! thanks guys.

    "My current practice is to save each layer of a recording into a slot on the mixer as I'm experimenting with various takes before I settle on a final loop that I keep."

    That's exactly what I do. An undo would be super helpful for live situations though :)

    Yeah, more ways to play with samplers would be great.

  17. (Breaking this up over multiple comments cos of the character limit.. This is part one.)

    Hey -

    Writing this on my iPhone, so I apologize for any weird formatting. I'll put a couple extra spaces following the end of each paragraph so that, should this editor not recognize the phone's line-breaks, there'll still be *some* kind of organization (seen this from time to time).

    Anyway, your stuff is amazing. Been using FourTrack for ages. Stuck with it through all the bug-fixes, and it's now at a very functional state. I'm uber glad you guys didn't stop development the way so many iPhone app devs do.

    Just bought DopplerPad as a way to prototype songs (combined with FourTrack). At first the proprietary nature of AudioPaste and AudioCopy bothered me, but after using it, the benefits were obvious (tempo sync, blah blah blah). It's totally changed how I use FourTrack. A couple hours after getting DopplerPad, I had it down enough to (don't remember why I chose this song) do a dirty little cover of Bjork's Hyperballad. All happened organically as I messed with features. But it came out well enough that the potential for these products (especially in tandem) is just insane.

    Now... I understand the quantization issues (it's implied here that each loop is a single audio recording rather than an actual sequence (which explains a lot - like how changing the tempo doesn't alter the length of the loop (which can be done, of course, but this thing was less than ten bucks, it's already amazing, and I'm going to shut up about that part right now))). I can live without a quantization feature. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like one, but these things are always nice.

    Before I go on - I'm running a 32gig 3GS. Shoulda said that sooner :)

    (End of part one...)

  18. Please stand by. I'm having technical difficulties pasting the rest of my comment in. There seems to be some weird JavaScript bits that are fiddling with what I type and pasting isn't working. Might have to enter the rest from my laptop when I can get to it.

    On the bright side, that gives you time to read the first comment :)

  19. Aaaand back to the whining...

    Like others, I want to see an undo feature. I understand the workaround (saving versions of the loop as you go), but this should really, *really* be there automatically (based on available disk space, obviously).

    Not just undo, but three levels of undo. Sometimes I don't realize how Not Awesome something I'm doing is until I've layered too much. I'm sort of stupid with music apps (I usually get my friends to operate the studios (and I'm no longer at their mercy all the time thanks to your apps, which is effing fantastic)). It's hard for me to re-create, say, an arp pattern. I realize this is *my* problem, but I'm using your apps in part to make it possible for me to record ideas (and entire songs, which I've done using FourTrack alone) without needing six months of training at NASA on how to, you know, do really complex computery stuff (I'm a dev, so it's weird to feel like I can't Get something - but music apps have ALWAYS been my weak area - they're often made for musicians who expect to see virtualized gear on the screen (like patching rack devices in Reason - somebody shoot me, please - thank you so much for finding a healthy middle ground)).

    Basically, I'm asking you to save me from my incompetence.

    As for other features (I know some or most or all of these have been mentioned here and elsewhere, but I want to add another voice to the pile of complainers who don't realize that they've spent ten bucks on something that'd cost a bajillion times more in meatspace or apps for desktops THAT DO THE SAME THING (the AppStore has completely skewed the value of a dollar - it's nuts, man - I'm telling you - LOCO)):

    1. Better autosync. Gimme a button I can push that will automatically restart both pads so I don't have to time it myself.

    2. Keep the current loop storage system, but give us a "More..." button that let's us access loops we couldn't fit in the slots (and let us add metadata of our own - I'd like to be able to name loops and group them by song).

    3. When using AudioCopy, gimme a screen that lets me set: A) The tempo (it's silly to have to set the tempo of both pads for a proper export), B) Which pad to export (rather than *having* to use the slider (let me specify A, B, or Slider (which automatically does A and B like it does now))...... As a dev, and I don't know how DopplerPad is written (I'm guessing it's a lot of ObjC++, for which I'm sorry), but it doesn't seem like it'd be hard to do this.

    (End of part two...)

  20. (Start of part three...)

    4. As others have suggested, let us select from a list of scales rather than leaving it up to us to know or remember. I'm just not a theory guy. I play stuff that sounds good - I have no idea *why* it sounds good. I like having assistance there. Also, transpose the suckers for us. Take a look at Euphonics for an example of an absolutely brilliant implementation of thee features. That app, like your stuff, is mind-blowing. And the way Euphonics lets you swap between modes at a tap while handling all kinds of adjustments for you is... just... you know... It gets my little nerd heart pumping with joy. I'd love to see that guy's stuff integrated with yours. You either need to buy him out and use his tech in DopplerPad or get him to implement AudioCopy.

    5. You guys created AudioCopy and AudioPaste. So... why can't I paste things into DopplerPad? I'd like to be able to create my samples that way (as well as with the mic).

    6. And why are the samples only four seconds long? I'm guessing it's a memory issue, but... You guys are seriously ranking on the Genius level of coding. Can you quadruple that limit? Also, while on the subject, I've noticed that some effects just won't work with my samples. Like delay - just not happening. No biggie - the app is so frikkin' neat that I'll be all right. But... still. And maybe it's just me - maybe it works for everybody else. Dunno. Mentioning it just in case.

    7. Also like Euphonics, maybe you could add an arp just for chords - you select the notes for each trigger, but DopplerPad, based on the current scale, creates chords that "work" - again, if you don't have it, get Euphonics and see what I'm talking about.

    I could go on, but that's a start. Plus, I'm getting carpal-thumb from tapping this out on my phone.

    If I could choose the features I want most right now, and that seem easy-ish to do, it'd be the undo (even one level would be nice - but if you do three, I'll name my kids after you when I start breeding - how about one kid named after you for each level of undo - I think that's a fair deal).

    The other feature is automatic scale selection. Now *that* would be easy. I know your UI is vey customized, but just pop a table view out there with a list of the scales (and maybe a Preview button to see what they sound like), then kill the view - that'd save me (and others) *so* much time while also making it way easier to make better music.

    Anyway... Amazing work. I'd love to see these features implemented, but as it is, your apps have completely changed the way I write music. Seriously. That's not just over-the-top-I-got-a-new-toy-and-a-dopamine-rush-with-it gushing. I've been using FourTrack for almost a year (has it really been that long?) and it's made it possible for me to write more songs more often (cos I don't have to go to a studio or set up a mic or patch this or patch that or wait for my drunk flakey friends to show up to turn knobs and push buttons just so I can do a scratch vocal take).

    I've even accidentally recorded songs while passed out (wearing earbuds with the integrated mic and fumbling around, in and out of consciousness, as my sleep meds do their thing - I NEVER could have done that before - these little ten dollar apps aren't just novelties, but tools that literally change the way I write, and that alone is worth much more than you're charging).

    In short, I love you. And your work. And I'd love it even more if you caved and added features based on my whining. I know how this works. Eventually you'll add the features just to shut me up. If I can write about them at length here on my phone, how might I be able to pester you with my laptop and its real keyboard?

    Be afraid.

    Be very afraid.

    And thank you for being geniuses :)

    (That's all the parts...)

  21. More thoughts...

    If I didn't mention it, it'd be *really* nice to be able to organize loops by song (or, for more flexibility, categories or tags).

    That way I could save all the loops I've created for a particular song.

    Been using this app every day - it's freaky how much one app can affect your life. Combined with FourTrack, I've been doing rough drafts of songs in about one bajillionth the time it'd take me on the desktop.

    You guys did such an amazing job. I know I'm gushing more, but... for reals. For way reals. This thing is fantastic.

    The only drawbacks are the lack of the features I've written at length about.

    And now that I've been using it enough to assemble half a dozen song prototypes (I take them, transfer some parts to the desktop, and then add/modify from there - but Dopplerpad and FourTrack together have cut out so much busywork - there's something much more natural about composing with the touchscreen and the brilliant UI design of both apps), I've gotten to the point that I'm having to replace loops I'd much rather hang on to. I've resorted to taking snapshots of the patterns and keyboard configurations and effects - also writing them down - so that I don't have to completely start from scratch later should I want to work on them again.

    That's where having groups - songs - categories - tags - whatever they'd end up being - would come in *so*... *very*... *useful*.

    And if I tap and hold on a loop in the bank (on the center screen), I'd like to see metadata pop up - the name of the loop (because, as in a previous comment), I'd love to be able to name the loops (it's only natural to divide a song into sections, and I'd like to be able to say something like "Percussion for Section A" or "Pad for Sections B and D"). That way I can use AudioCopy much more easily (I could just throw loops into FourTrack sequentially without even having to preview to ensure it's the right loop - like, if I had that metadata, I could look for, say, the bass line to Section A (which is likely a verse), and then paste it to my satisfaction, then moving on to percussion for Section A and so on).

    Not complaining here - just being vocal about a great product that could be greater. If you added these features (along with reverb and delay plugins for FourTrack that ship with the app for free), I probably wouldn't even bother with my desktop anymore.

    Just sayin' :)

  22. Hey Rory, just caught that you had written so much here! Hadn't been keeping up wit this post. Thanks for all the thoughtful feedback. I'm forwarding this on to the rest of the team... Lots of great ideas. Need some time to give this a solid read and properly respond :)

  23. Not sure if I commented on another blog/site/what have you, but would be neat to get a little more control over the LFO/gate, especially in terms of how it responds to y-axis modulation.

    Basically I've been trying to get a dubstep style bass. Its close, but not quite right. Nice little youtube tutorial with NI Massive to show what I'm after:

    I think sound-wise dopplerpad is capable of it, its more how the gate is controlled. Fanastic app btw, great fun!

  24. Hah I've been thinking about how to create that dupstep sound with our LFO. Thanks for the link!

  25. my work in progress...

  26. wow so great! Definitely keep me posted as you make progress and/or songs with this

  27. Really love the app. However I agree, you really do need at least one undo. not too bothered about quantize. I do however REALLY need some way to mix the volume of the elements of my loops. I like to layer up drums bass and keys into one loop, but there is always something that is too loud. Please include some kind of mixing, fader level for the instuments within a loop. Thank you. Charlie.