SquareSynth Demo video

Today I learned: How to make an on-device video, of an audio app performance. I did so in order to make little promo vids for the AppStore. Turns out the AppStore only accepts up to 30 sec. per video. So I had to trim it down a lot, which was disappointing. But here’s the full version of my 4Inch iphone demo.

Squaresynth back in the AppStore

Hello dear friends, recently you may have noticed that Squaresynth was not available for download. Well, all has been rectified; Sorry for the inconvenience. I’m sure a lot of new people came here only to find a broken link. Hopefully all you curious folks came back.

Rock on 🎸

(photo unrelated)


MIDI Blues

Hi all. I’ve been notified by users that the Genome MIDI sequencer has problems with SquareSynth. Note On messages are getting through, but Note Off isn’t.

I’ve looked into it and it looks like Genome is sending a lot of extra Sysex data, and SquareSynth is missing some messages as a result.

If you are using Genome, I have a temporary work around.

• Go into the settings.
• Tap the Sync tab.
• Make sure all sync options are OFF. It’s not useful in SquareSynth anyway.

This issue will be fixed in SqrSyn 2.0.7.

Take care of yourself, and each other.


I had these screen shots on my Windows machine. These are from 2011. CMFeed started as an app for
8bc.org, but it was in December of that year that the old site finally bit the dust. I switched it over to chipmusic.org. Anyway, this is what 8bc looked like at that time.



Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt 2

Aphex Twin is a singular voice in the dance music world. He has had a tremendous impact on the music industry, influencing popular and underground artists alike. In recent years, he has been lauded for his idiosyncratic brand of electronica. It’s kind of hip to like him now, but I seem to recall reading a very harsh review of Drukqs (his 2001 2-disc masterpiece) in Rolling Stone, at the time of its release. He has always been little-understood, in my opinion, and remains so today.

Taking us back to the good old days, Ben Beaumont-Thomas at the Guardian describes his new album as “unlistenably irritating”, at times. He describes diskhat1 as being “like a steampunk viscount prancing around and poking you in the ribs.” What in the holy hell is that supposed to mean? He decrys white artists who release what are essentially “rap instrumentals.” I mean, how can a musician justify releasing an entire album without a discernable human voice to make us sing along. And we all know that breakbeats come from rap, right?

Some can’t appreciate the voice of music itself. Reviews like this make me think Aphex is in familiar territory, which is that of an avantgarde producer, tossing grenades into the music industry at large.

This album is absolutely on par with prior Aphex tracks on Drukqs. Many of these songs sound quite similar to the John-Cage-esque prepared piano pieces therein. I believe you could mix together the tracks from Syro and Computer Controlled Instruments, and end up with something in the vain of an updated Drukqs. He’s simply refined his stylistic tendencies, dropped the re-triggered drum and bass, and programmed some robots to carry out his acoustic experiments. Robots! If we can’t count on Aphex Twin to do stuff like this, who can we count on?

Yes, Richard D James has been hard at work, constructing machines to carry out his bidding. In Drukqs, James toyed with acoustic sounds, such as cymbals, plucked strings, and machine gears. In Computer Controlled, he adds a drum set, strange vibrating metal plates, and the unidentifiable. On top of that, these new computer controlled contraptions can render James’ famous erratic percussion. This kind of IDM-type rhythm construction has never been brought into the real world as it is here.

A beautiful solo piano piece — piano un10 it happened — also helps fill out the album. It is reminiscent of the kind on Drukqs and Syro, though perhaps not reaching the heights of Avril 14th. James’ machines hammer out extra-human piano traversals as well — such as in the 9 second track disk aud1_12 — which are quite cool.

Some people will never understand this kind of experimentation. Some people don’t understand the joy of stripped down, atonal piano pieces, and syncopated beats, executed by robots. That’s okay. But don’t claim its Aphex who is dropping the ball. He’s the same as ever.

New music (not mine)

Two new releases from two very different dudes. Both are British though. Go figure.

Aphex twin is dropping a new album tomorrow. He’s on fire lately! Go weird team. He’s shared a promotional remix of the first track on soundcloud:

And Burial has released a new single, which is a very straight-rhythmed garage/house track:

So yeah, I’m pretty stoked about these. Especially the new Aphex. It really sounds like he’s been experimenting with new sounds, and I think it will blow our faces off of our skulls. đź’€
Alright then.

New Software in Progress

Last summer, I began working on a new iPhone app. I had in mind a complete solution for writing songs on your iPhone. I was looking for a layout and flow that let the user move quickly and focus on composing. It turns out that type of flow has a name — it’s called flow! Flow is a concept proposed by Mihály CsĂ­kszentmihályi, which describes a state of intense absorption in an activity, such as writing music. All self-awareness falls away, and the activity of composing music becomes effortless. There is a study that was conducted, which attempted to measure which types of software can facilitate flow. It was found that a key component in achieving this state is a tight edit-audition cycle.

Trackers were found to be superior to traditional DAW sequencers in this regard (among others). That’s why I chose to build a tracker for iOS music composition. Less fiddling with piano rolls; more editing and listening. Windows are also a problem. Time spent managing Windows is time spent losing your inspiration.

All of this is to say, I’m building a tracker for iOS, and it rocks. It’s too early to post a lot of details, but as I approach a finished product, I’ll post some updates.