Friday, October 31, 2014

Cubasis with StepPolyArp

In my last posting, I discussed using DAWs on the iPad and hoping to work more or less in the same way that I do on Logic X on my desktop. Feature-wise, I found that Cubasis offered the closest thing to logic on the iPad.
  • Cubasis has a track based interface with both audio and MIDI support.
  • Cubasis has a fair set if builtin instruments and sounds
  • Cubasis supports Audiobus and IAA
  • Cubasis supports IAA tracks as MIDI as well as audio
With all of this, I can, in theory, plug in any IAA synth, record my track as MIDI and work on larger compositions. In reality, though, stability suffers the more apps that are involved and at times things just get flaky with IAA.

For my most recent track, I wanted to use the excellent sequencer, StepPolyArp to create several rhythmic tracks of jazz. Instead of stressing out my iPad, I decided that I will first set up the sequences and record them into Cubasis native instruments. After recording, I could then replace any native instruments with IAA alternatives.

This worked out very well and I put together a nice jazzy piece below:

The StepPolyArp sequencer is capable of sending individual lines of rhythmic patterns to different MIDI channels. I used several MIDI channels to send rhythms to Cubasis for the Bass, Piano, Trumpet and Sax tracks.

The lowest line above is transposed down 12 steps and only plays note "1" of the arpeggiated chord for the first long 3 notes and then the other notes for a little bass break. This goes to the bass part in Cubasis on MIDI channel 1.

The 2nd from bottom in this pattern goes to the Trumpet MIDI channel 3.

The top 4 lines all go to the Piano on MIDI channel 2 to play some nice chords (using the transpose number for chords).

I then went into many notes and played with probability of playing to make some fire all the time and others from 40% - 80% probability. Lastly I added some "swing" to the pattern.

With all of this, when playing chords on the keyboard, I get a nice alternating rhythm from StepPolyArp which I recorded as MIDI into Cubasis (see below).

In Cubasis, I added the Drum part later using some MIDI loops and I duplicated the Piano into another track and used a better IAA instrument (iCMP Grand Piano). 

That was about it for this track. A little minor MIDI editing and it was ready to post.

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