Showing posts tagged #SoundGrid - Show all

Browse and listen to Shared Grids in web browser

September 22, 2010

Great news! Now everybody can browse SoundGrid shared Grids and listen to them right in web browser! No iDevice required.

Just navigate to Sortable by date or user rating. Only Grids created in Song Mode are available.

Note: encoding process is taking place now, not all grids are available on the site yet, be patient. 


Duplicate shared Grids in SoundGrid

September 18, 2010
While SoundGrid users are free to download shared Grids, modify them to create their own Grids and share back, sometimes users publish Grids that exactly duplicate Grids shared by other users, either by mistake or intentionally. Sometimes even duplicate Grid gets better rating that the original one. This is obviously unacceptable. 

From now on there are two rules when sharing Grids:
  1. When publishing Grid that duplicate another Grid published before by another user, the new Grid won’t be published.
  2. When publishing Grid that duplicate another Grid published before by the same user but with different name, the old grid will be renamed without publishing the new Grid.
All already shared duplicate grids will be removed leaving only originals.

What’s new in SoundGrid 3 – part 2

April 21, 2010
In the first part we talked about new features accessible from main application screen, so now I’ll tell you what’s new in the menu and about Web Console.

Actually besides the new design there are not so many changes. One of them is possibility to export recorded tracks in uncompressed WAV format (previously only AAC compressed files could be exported). List of additional downloadable instruments now has special button to automatically download all missing instruments for the current project. Sort by rating in Shared Grids now works better taking into account number of ratings too. And finally most awaited new feature in this version in Web Console. It currently has three functions. First, it allows users to send crash reports in case of application crash. This will help me to diagnose and fix problem. Second, it’s possible to download recorded tracks from Web Console. This is especially useful for downloading uncomressed WAV files because it’s usually not possible to send so large files via email. And lastly (and actually what it was created for), Web Console allows you to manage instruments, including uploading of your own samples to create new instruments. Not so much to comment here. You can upload your samples to newly created instrument (uploading of many files at once in ZIP archive is supported), specify MIDI note name and/or sample name…  …And then assign these samples to grid rows. Now creation of new instruments is very easy. If you want your instrument to be publicly available, click Download button and then send me archived instrument. 

What’s new in SoundGrid 3 – part 1

April 16, 2010
While SoundGrid 3 is being reviewed by Apple it’s time to tell you what’s new in this version.

First of all it has greatly optimized sound engine for even better sound quality and lower latency. And of course many bugfixes and other improvements. But sound engine is inside. What’s most of all visible for users is surely completely redesigned UI. It now has landscape orientation which allowed to place more controls on the main screen to quickly access most important options. Middle part of the screen is occupied by the matrix itself (not surprising) and on both sides from it various buttons are located, most of which show additional panels instead of the matrix in the middle part. No need to explain Play/Pause/Record buttons so lets move to others. On the left side there are buttons for switching current layer and pattern, and for showing panels related to current layer. On the right buttons related to entire project or system are located. Following image shows Instrument Selector panel overlaid over the grid. These buttons are smart - if you touch them briefly, panel will show and stay but if you hold them longer it will close when you release it. So you can quickly activate panel with one hand, make changes with another and it will automatically hide when you remove finger from the button. Next new thing is the Mixer panel. It allows you to see levels for all layers at once and change any of them (multitouch supported). Next, Amplitude Envelope control. You see, some panels may have different modes of operation switchable by buttons located on the opposite side from the panel activation button, controls themselves are always located in the middle part of the screen. Play button always stays on top so you can stop/resume at any time. I hope you will like these interface changes! By the way, on the above picture there’s current sequencer mode indicator just above Pause button. Modes now switched by touching and holding Play/Pause button. In addition to sequencer modes there are now two used input modes - usual Normal Mode and Draw Mode in which notes will play as you touch the matrix or draw over it, of course multitouch is supported too. Current mode indicator/switch is located in top-right corner of the screen. Normal mode slightly upgraded too, now if you touch the matrix briefly, note will play; touch hold longer to activate note (this can be switched off in settings). If you touch and move slightly over the grid (preventing note activation), translucent hint with note/sample names will slide from the left to help you find the one you need. Next, new pattern menu with clear and randomize pattern buttons and new function - copy/paste pattern between layers or projects. One more completely new mode of operations - Live Play mode. It gives you overview of all layers and patterns on the one screen and allows to quickly switch pattern for any layer. If you touch any pattern, it will be activated, if you touch twice, the same pattern (by number of course) will be activate for all layers. But if you touch and hold longer, pattern will be queued and activated after the current one! I hope this mode will make live performances and recording much more comfortable. That’s all for now, in the next part I’ll tell you what’s new in the Menu and about powerful Web Console.

Web Console in SoundGrid 3

April 13, 2010
…allows to quickly add your own samples to the app (and download recorded tracks too).

Live Play mode in SoundGrid 3

April 3, 2010
New Live Play mode in SoundGrid 3 shows overview of all layers and patterns on one screen. It allows to quickly switch pattern for any layer and (new!) to select next pattern that will be automatically activated after the current one. This will make SoundGrid better suited for live performance/recording.

SoundGrid 3 screenshots

March 29, 2010
As I promised on Twitter, here are screenshots of the upcoming SoundGrid 3. No comments at this moment, only pictures. And some things still need to be done, mostly related to web-based management console. Planning to finish and release next week.

New SoundBank: Dubh Drums

January 15, 2010
Jonny McEwen contributed great soundbank for SoundGrid - Dubh Drums. To install it go to Get More Sound Banks in Community menu, then select Official Server and find this soundbank.

Thank you, Jonny! And by the way, here is his music:

Explanation of the idea with SoundFonts

October 12, 2009

You know I’m going to add exporting to MIDI files in one of next versions. This will allow users to import SoundGrid Grids into any other DAW and each layer will become MIDI track. But this will not give you the same sound output without samples from soundbanks that were used in original Grid.

So I’m going to create SoundFont files matching all my soundbanks. Then you can assign appropriate SoundFonts to MIDI tracks (DAWs have either built-in support for SoundFonts or plugins) and hear the same sound. Unfortunately filters and effects can’t be exported/imported but I think this solution is still better than nothing.


SoundGrid 2: Creating and installing your own Sound Banks

September 27, 2009
This instruction is out of date, SoundGrid 3.0 includes Web Console for easier creation of new Instruments with your samples.

Many users asked me how to create sound banks and add them to SoundGrid after version 2.0 became available. And it’s actually my fault that I didn’t provide appropriate documentation in time. In this post I’ll describe anatomy of sound banks, how to create your own and how to add them to SoundGrid. Samples Format SoundGrid accepts samples in uncompressed wav/aiff formats, 44100 kHz sample rate, mono or stereo. Little-endian better but it’s not usually controllable by regular users. Sound Banks Sound bank contains (obviously) samples in said format. It can have unlimited number of samples inside but only 16 of them accessible on the grid at a time. To solve this problem sound bank can define some number of musical scales that determine what notes are accessible. For example, sound bank can include samples for all 12 pitches in several octaves and define C major scale among others which will project only corresponding pithes onto the grid. Same mechanism can be used for drums kits even ‘musical scale’ term isn’t appropriate in this case. Every sound bank has unique ID so that all other properties can be changed at any time without breaking existing projects. Sound Banks Server Sound banks server hosts number of sound banks and allows users to download and install them after configuring that server in the application. One official server is preconfigured for all users. How to create your own sound banks Later I will provide easy to use applications for Windows/Mac platforms that will simplify this process as much as possible. Until that the procedure may be somewhat complicated, I’m sorry and working on releasing these applications soon. To get started let’s take a look at one of available sound banks. Download and unpack it. You will see folder (or bundle on Mac, use Show Package Contents in context menu to get inside) Waterdrillo.bundle with number of audio files and one Info.plist file inside. Assuming you have your samples prepared in good format (btw, of course you can include less than 16 samples, then not all rows in the grid will produce sound) you can now delete these audio files and replace them with your samples. Then open Info.plist in any text editor (or property list editor on Mac if available). It’s actually an XML file that defines all properties of sound bank, replace them with appropriate information about your sound bank.
  • Title - name of your sound bank as it will be visible to users
  • Author - your name, email and so on
  • Descr - description, any text; currently not shown anywhere but will be in future
  • ID - unique ID, any short text
  • Type - type of audio samples, 'wav’ or 'if’, this corresponds to extension of audio files
  • DefaultScale - ID of default scale if several scales defined below
  • Scales - array of scales definitions. Five scales defined in example sound bank, you may remove some of them but one scale must always exist. Below is description of scale properties:
  • ID - unique (for this sound bank) ID
  • Name - name as it will be shown in scales list
  • Descr - description, currently usually list of note names (will be deprecated in 2.1)
  • Tones - space-separated list of names of corresponding audio files from lower to higher (without extension)
  • MIDINotes - space-separated list of corresponding note names for upcoming exporting to MIDI feature. Examples of correct notes are: C2, F#3, Ab1 and so on (even D#-1). To skip note (eg. if there’s no sample provided) enter - (minus sign). This property isn’t actually required but will ensure correct mapping when exporting to MIDI.
That’s all. After you places your samples inside and modified Info.plist file you can rename Waterdrillo.bundle to anything you like, compress entire folder to get Now, important moment. If you want to share your new sound bank with other users just send me resulting archive and I’ll upload it to official server for all users and first of all for you. If not, read the rest. Setting up sound banks server Sound banks server is just regular web server with compressed sound banks and one additional Info.plist file with brief information about hosted sound banks. So you need any web server to which you can upload files and then access from your iPhone / iPod Touch. On Mac you can use Web Sharing feature, on Windows I recommend using free HFS application. Create some folder and place all your sound banks inside. Then download example Info.plist (use Download Linked File or Save As in context menu) to that folder, open it in text editor and modify following properties:
  • ServerName - name of your server, will be visible in server list
  • SoundBanks - array of sound banks definitions, use provided definition of Waterdrillo sound bank as example, all properties have self-explanatory names (file sizes are in kilobytes). Don’t forget to change waterdrillo1 to ID of your sound bank.
When you finish editing server Info.plist just launch SoundGrid application go to 'Get More Sound Banks’ in Community section, click on plus button and enter address of your web server. Hope it will work! Again, sorry that it’s currently too complicated. Af you have any problems or questions always feel free to contact me, I’ll do my best to help you. Note that although you can share grids that make use of your private sound banks, other users won’t be able to play them correctly.