Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cubasis and Noatikl

Well I'm a sucker for a sale. Cubasis for iPad, a high-end DAW recently went on sale and I grabbed a copy. As is often the case, I put it to work with my other favorite - Noatikl for iPad. Using Noatikl with Cubasis is much closer to the Noatikl desktop experience in that you can actually concurrently record multiple MIDI tracks and later edit them.

Anyone who checked out my earlier Noatikl for iPad tutorials saw that I recorded the sounds as audio files into MultiTrack DAW. Here I recorded the sounds as MIDI into Cubasis. The bad news is that you are limited to the software instruments in Cubasis - the good news is that they are pretty good!

One thing I noticed is that when doing virtual MIDI with Noatikl on the iPad, right when the song is played, Noatikl sends a BLAST of MIDI messages which often cause problems for the receiving application. For example, with iGrand Piano, the app will "reset" to the default piano every time when you start recording. In the case of Cubasis, you have to reselect the app to restart it immediately after hitting "play" in Noatikl.

To work around this problem, I would start Noatikl playing with all parts except the drum muted. I would then click on Cubasis to restart it and let the drum start playing. Then I switch back to Noatikl and can mute/unmute tracks while recording the MIDI.

Here is the end result - in this case a syncopated frenetic piano piece in 6/8 time with a jazz drum kit and piano - all recorded as MIDI.

I hope I find a way to prevent the "app reset" issue when starting the song but I have managed to work around it for now. It is great to be able to edit the generated MIDI after the fact and to have every track on separate channels.