My next music application – SoundGrid Live!

April 18, 2011
As I promised, now I’ll tell you about my next music application that’s under active development currently. It’s called SoundGrid Live!.

As the name suggests, it’s member of SoundGrid family and is based on the same ideas, audio engine and user interface layout. The main difference - SoundGrid Live! is focused on live performance and recording. This changes so much that I had to develop it as separate application. And in turn this allowed me to made more changes, visible and internal, without worrying about compatibility. Here is an outline of the most important changes:
  • No ‘Song Mode’ to automatically advance from one pattern to another. Instead…
  • More performance modes. Each layer can be assigned one of 3 program modes and one of 3 manual modes independently. Some of them are similar to Tenori-on performance modes.
  • More layers and blocks. Number of layers increased to 9 and number of blocks (block is a set of currently active patterns, one per layer, switchable instantaneously) increased to 16. This allows to program twice more melodies (or maybe just variations of some parameters) to be switched between during performance.
  • Full support for musical scales. Any supported musical scale/octave can be set for any voice in case of pitched instruments.
  • Super-easy addition of user samples and voices. To add new pitched or unpitched voice just upload archived folder with some samples via web interface or iTunes file sharing - and it’s done.
  • Streamlined user interface. Many UI elements were replaced and optimized for convenient and fast live operation.
  • Improved audio engine. Performance greately increased on modern iOS devices. Support for background audio.
  • More sound effects. Unified place to store all reusable and exchangeable assets (patterns, layers, blocks and whole projects). Better mixer. Better recording (later). MIDI out (later). And more.
  • SoundGrid Live! will be released for iPhone, iPad and OS X.
Rather than giving any more details about new modes and other features, I will post very short demonstration videos from time to time until the release. Follow me on twitter, check tagged posts here and SoundGrid Live! home page.
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Deleting saved and shared grids in SoundGrid

January 29, 2011
From recent user review in AppStore I see that some users don’t know how to delete saved and shared grids and think that it’s impossible.

Of course this is possible - you can use standard ‘swipe to delete’ gesture in Load Grid menu to delete unneeded grids, and also in Shared Grids it’s possible to delete your grids the same way (you have to do this on the same device from which the grid was published).
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SoundGrid has true 128 note polyphony

January 28, 2011
On iPhone 4 (and other latest devices) SoundGrid can perfectly play all 16 notes in all 8 layers with different instruments (128 stereo samples total) simultaneously with all 3 effects turned on for each layer. Load special grid I published in Shared Grids and try it yourself.

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SoundGrid 3.30 & a new instrument: Steinway Piano

January 23, 2011
SoundGrid 3.30 is out. This is minor update with some UI fixes and one improvement related to musical scales.

Now list of possible scales to show in instrument selector is automatically determined from set of samples included in instrument packager. Scales definition file is updated every time user opens "Get More Instruments" menu. Also a new instrument is available - Steinway Piano. It contains 85 stereo piano samples from http://theremin.music.uiowa.edu/MIS.piano.html
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Storing images in iDocument library

January 18, 2011

There are a lot of applications to manage and edit photos - iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture and others. But what if I need to organize and keep in one place images that aren’t actually photos and will never be edited? For example, wallpapers, scans, some random images from the web and so on. I couldn’t find good application for such needs.

But there’s very good app for organizing documents (iWork, PDF, Web Archives and others) - iDocument. It doesn’t allow to import anything except predefined list of file types. Luckily this list is simply stored in Resources/SupportFileList.plist file. So you can add any other file types into it and iDocument will handle them just like all other supported formats, with quick look, tagging (but synchronization with iPhone app does NOT work).

I wish they would add official support for more file types in future versions (images and ebooks at least, and get rid of external helper daemon btw) and maybe some very basic additional support for images (eg. image size in info panel).

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Grooveshark Player for Mac

January 15, 2011
Grooveshark is a great service to explore and listen to new music as well as upload tracks from your computer to listen to them anywhere. However their desktop client is slow and constantly uses CPU even when completely idle (yes, it’s f*cking Flash/Air) while their new website is pure HTML and fast. So I decided to develop very small stand-alone application that actually just displays Grooveshark website and adds some useful commands to Dock menu. Note that this menu is only activated for users with paid subscription. More features to come in next versions.

Download Grooveshark Player for Mac UPDATE: Please check out our new application — omPlayer. It’s similar to Grooveshark Player but supports several other online music services along with Grooveshark.
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December 20, 2010
Will at least the simplest things ever work in Linux right after clean install of a ‘stable’ release? (Xubuntu 10.10)
vit@vit-VirtualBox:~$ sudo apt-get install mc

...

vit@vit-VirtualBox:~$ mc
TERM environment variable needs set.
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SoundGrid 3.2

October 19, 2010
SoundGrid 3.2 has been released. Not so many changes in this new version:
  • Layers scrolling in different device orientations fixed
  • Notes now played on touch even if the song itself is stopped
  • Support for copying recorded audio tracks to clipboard to use in other apps
SoundGrid on the AppStore
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