Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Seriously, everyone needs a (virtual) 303

303 by oldlibmike

Since using ReBirth, I am loving the Roland 303 sounds. I've been experimenting with tons of them on the iPad including ReBirthtechnoBox2 and BassLine.

As an "etude" I have been taking pieces of Fatboy Slim's EveryBody Needs a 303 and trying to emulate some of the sounds with the virtual offerings. My first effort is above - nowhere near the mix of the original but I did get some of the Acid House sounds of the Low-pass cutoff/Resonance tweaking that work so well on the original.

The challenge is in putting together a mix. ReBirth and technoBox2, sort of expect you to mix 303 synths with the 808 or 909 drum machines which is famous in techno but still limiting. To mix in other bass sounds, beats, etc requires a DAW of some sort. I wanted to do everything on the iPad with software I already own so my choices were a bit limited.

This example uses sounds from several music programs that support Audio copy/paste on the iPad to make moving samples around easy. The beats are from Korg iElectribe. The 303 was taken from BassLine in this sample - it does one thing and does it extremely well - just the 303 with full copy/paste support. Neither ReBirth nor technoBox2 support copy/paste so if I wanted their sounds, I would have to export to WAV, upload and then download back to the iPad.

The other bass line (a bit lamer I'm afraid) is from Xenon Groove Synthesizer. This has some nice synth tracks and a very easy way to enter bass patterns. Not the strongest part of the song but it does support copy/paste.

The DAW in this example is NanoStudio. This does allow samples up to 1 minutes to be imported which in this case was sufficient.

I first tried using another favorite of mine - Mixtikl and had it going very well but with several tracks with the same number of loops cycling, the sound drifted off 1/2 beat or so with the pasted WAV files.

In NanoStudio I recorded the simple vocal with the iPad mic and then pasted in the other samples. The low-pass filter Cutoff and Resonance tweaking on the fast 303 bassline were recorded on the NanoStudio against the sample after importing.

So there - more information than anyone needs to know about sound creation on the iPad. I am thinking of going for a more efficient DAW that emphasizes WAV files over MIDI/synth - maybe the next "impulse buy".

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