Monday, August 5, 2013

Noatikl for iPad pt. 7

In the past six parts of this tutorial, we have built up a nice piece using drum voices and several melodic voices all in Sampletank. Played together, the parts harmonize and sound very good together. To add interest to the piece though, we probably want to position the parts in the stereo field, bring them in and out of the piece over time and record the final results.

You'll notice that Noatikl really doesn't have a record function. Sampletank does, sort of, but is limited to track by track recording - my advise, don't use it! The best solution is to utilize audiobus and record your piece into a DAW such as MultiTrack DAW or GarageBand. My recommendation is Multitrack DAW since it uses very little CPU but you can use any supported Audiobus target app.

Before recording, let's position the voices and set volume. Noatikl supports volume and panning for each MIDI channel. Remember, though, that we are just pumping out MIDI messages with Noatikl. It is up to the receiving app to react to the messages. Different apps have different levels of support for MIDI. The good news for us is that Sampletank supports both volume and panning MIDI messages.

In Noatikl for iPad, the Blend screen lets you set up both volume and panning by dragging each voice up or down for volume, and left or right for panning. You can see below that I've moved the voices around slightly.

One thing to note is that the volume and panning are per MIDI Channel. Remember that all of our drum voices go to channel 10. What this means, is that only the first voice (Kick) will have any effect on volume or panning. If you move the kick voice around, you will hear the changes. Any other voice on channel 10, such as the snare, will have no effect. Since all other voices are on their own channels, they will work as expected.

So now the voices are panned left and right and are the proper volume. Next we would like to have the song open with a beat and gradually bring in the other sounds. For that we will press the speaker with an 'x' button and bring up the voices - mute screen. While playing the piece in Noatikl, we can tap individual voices to mute and unmute them.


Here you should take some time practicing. Start the song playing with only the drums active and gradually unmute the parts. At the end, gradually mute the parts to exit to drums. In between, mute and unmute for variety. Once you have a plan, its time to start recording!

In Audiobus, we will set the target to be MultiTrack DAW and the source to be Sampletank. We won't be using the effects bus in this piece. You may need to set the buffer size to 512 in Audiobus using the button at the top.


For recording, we will first mute all voices except the drums. We will then switch to the Multitrack DAW app to press the record buttons. Make sure you know how to task switch in iOS! We will need to start recording, double-click the iPad button and quickly switch to the Noatikl app and press play. This will put some blank space at the start of the song but we can easily edit that out later.

As the song is playing, gradually unmute and mute parts to add variety. Remember that if you have any "following" voices in Noatikl, they will not play if the voice they follow is muted. This may take you a few tries to get right, but this is basically it! Once you have a take you like, you can eq or compress in the DAW, add a Fade in or fade out and edit as needed.

I will wrap up in the next post on where you might go next with Noatikl. I hope this tutorial helps whet your appetite!



  1. Well, that gave my iPad2 a workout! I can't run everything at once it seems.
    I wonder if something like Genome would 'record' or capture just the MIDI output from Noatikl? Then I could record a session using the Partikl just to get an idea, close Noatikl and then use Genome to output the captured MIDI one channel at a time to an appropriate app. That way I could record the drums first then the guitar and so on until I have recorded all four MIDI channels.
    Hmmm...just thinking out loud really!

    1. Not sure you can get MIDI out of the iPad version - the desktop version does that by default - you record the MIDI events into your DAW. I don't have an iPad 2 - probably a bit less CPU than the Retina version unfortunately. Still, you might try creating a Piano piece or something where you can pump multiple voices into one instrument.

  2. Yes, the iPad version pumps out MIDI events (that's how SampleTanks works I guess).
    Yes, the iPad2 does struggle these days.

    Off to have a play!