Follow us on Twitter

July 9th, 2012

Since we now have, we won’t be posting many updates on this site. I’d recommend following us on Twitter @whitenoiseaudio or @bleepboxapp if you want to keep up with the latest news.

Genome MIDI Sequencer – Available Now

August 29th, 2011

We’ve released our full-featured MIDI sequencer for the iPad. More info at:
White Noise Audio Software

Genome MIDI Sequencer Screens

July 12th, 2011

Here’s a couple screenshots from the upcoming Genome MIDI Sequencer. We’re very close to being ready to submit a 1.0 version. Just a few things left to do…

Summer Bleeps

July 12th, 2011

It’s become a tradition for me to whip up some bleep!BOX patterns while I’m on vacation at the shore. This year’s results are up on the bleep!BOX SoundCloud page.

Sale today (June 18th)

June 18th, 2011

To celebrate bleep!BOX player cracking the Top 100 for Free Music apps in the app store, we’re lowering the bleep!BOX price to $6.99 USD (see store for your region’s price) for today, June 18th.

MIDI App – Testing Closed

June 13th, 2011

Thanks to those who have offered to test my next app – We have enough testers now, so unfortunately I won’t be sending out any more invites to the beta group. I will post if that changes. I have finally settled on a title for the new app. It will be called ‘Genome MIDI Sequencer‘ and I posted a quick video of me triggering some MIDI chips and showing a couple screens. I’m controlling a couple voices on the Access Virus and a Korg Electribe SX2 using an iPad2 and CoreMIDI (CCK).

Looking for Beta testers for MIDI sequencer iPad app

May 25th, 2011

UPDATE: This generated quite a lot of interest! I have enough testers for now, but I will let everyone know if that changes. Thanks!

I’m looking for a few dedicated individuals who:

  • Own an iPad
  • Own MIDI gear
  • Own some kind of iPad compatible MIDI interface (Camera Connection kit + USB Midi interface, or Line 6 Mobilizer, etc) or are willing to do network MIDI to their Mac.

The app focuses on sequencing songs and patterns using the iPad to control other synthesizers over MIDI. It supports CoreMIDI, network MIDI, MIDI Sync, .MID export and import, and the Line6 Midi Mobilizer interface. It also features a great multitouch interface to quickly and easily get down your ideas and hear them live.

If you are interested in getting your hands on this app, get in touch with us.

MIDI space quickly expanding on iOS

May 12th, 2011

It seems that MIDI is the new hotness for iOS music apps. Every week brings more apps adding MIDI features. Among the best so far are Bassline, Modrum and Funkbox, all of which have implemented MIDI Sync and local Network midi. This allows for cool stuff like this.

Looks like more big names are getting in the game when it comes to MIDI peripherals. We already have stuff from Line6 and Alesis. Yamaha has also announced the i-MX1 which looks a lot like the Line6 Midi Mobilizer but supports CoreMIDI. Still waiting to hear what the price will be.

All the attention that MIDI is getting validates my decision to work on developing a MIDI sequencer app. I expect to post some more info on it within the next month; all major features have been implemented and I am currently working on implementing the final interface designs.  MIDI updates are coming for bleep!BOX and bleep!Synth too, most likely after the launch of the sequencer app.



Free synth patches

April 4th, 2011

I recently got a request for help with making pad sounds in bleep!BOX. I’m reposting my response here for the benefit of other users.

Generally to make good pads you need the following elements:
1. Long attack / decay / release time
2. ‘phattened’ up oscillators – either using detuning or chorus or modulated with an LFO
3. lots of reverb and delay
4. generally clean sounds (no distortion or heavy resonance). dial down ‘drive’ on the filter page.
Since bleep!BOX only has a delay effect (no reverb / chorus) and no LFO, getting good pads can be a bit of challenge. But, people did pads with 8-bit chips that had even less options. I included some patches below for getting some pads in bleep!BOX. The patches have longer attack times and take advantage of the per-part delay effect. People are used to hearing chords with pads, so you can try loading the same sound on two Synth parts and playing different notes at the same time. This is also good to do even if you aren’t playing chords – since each synth part is ‘mono’, alternating notes on different parts allows you to keep the old note ringing out instead of interrupting it right away it with a new note (the ‘release’ part of the sound gets to keep playing). Think of it as a poor-man’s polyphony.
Here’s a few sounds that I came up with:

For help on getting these onto your device, see the FAQ or help.

Got some good patches you’d like to share? Email it to me or pick the ‘Submit’ option in the app!

My thoughts on CoreMIDI vs. Midi Mobilizer

March 18th, 2011

There are now several companies developing MIDI interfaces for iOS devices and I’ve noticed many users wondering which is better to buy.  Since I am currently working on my own MIDI app and have worked with both the Line6 Midi Mobilizer and the built in CoreMIDI API, I have some insight into the pros and cons of both methods.

First, the Midi Mobilizer. It has the advantage of working on both iPads and iPhones. It’s very compact and requires no external power. You just plug it into the dock connector and you have a 1×1 midi interface. Price wise, it costs a little more than your average 1×1 interface for a desktop computer. It’s still fairly affordable, considering that the Camera Connection Kit (CCK), which is necessary for any CoreMIDI stuff, is about $30 and you’d still need to buy a USB midi interface if you don’t have one. With CoreMIDI on the other hand, the iPad is notoriously stingy when it comes to supplying power to USB devices, so you may want to find an interface which can be powered externally. CoreMIDI also only works on the iPad (haven’t tested this, but I’ve heard it from multiple sources). [UPDATE: CoreMIDI does in fact work on the iPhone, but the CCK does not. So it’s network MIDI only on the iPhone.]

As far as the two API’s go, the Line6 API is easier to get up and running. It’s an Objective C library (as opposed to a pure C library), which will probably be easier for most iOS devs. The CoreMIDI framework is not terribly hard to figure out, but it has more complexity to deal with since you have to manage multiple devices with multiple inputs. You also have to deal with host timing and MIDI packets more directly than you do with the MIDI mobilizer. Also, finding examples dealing with CoreMIDI was difficult whereas the software engineers behind the Mobilizer were fairly responsive to my questions.

The area that musicians will probably care the most about is performance and I can honestly say that both interface have pros and cons. With the Mobilizer, my main disappointment right now is that there seems to be some issues when mixing ‘Timestamped’ events (midi events queued up to occur in the future) and immediate events (midi events you want to happen immediately). My application is a sequencer, but I want to have an on-screen keyboard so people can play along and record realtime. The Midi Mobilizer seems to be unable to do both at the same time and the ‘immediate’ events end up being delayed by half a second. This could be something that is fixable in the Firmware, but I haven’t reported it yet.  CoreMIDI seems to be able to handle this case perfectly well, but it has other drawbacks. When testing CoreMIDI with dense event streams (such as when issuing lots of CC messages) the whole playback stream slows down and does not keep the proper timing. My guess is that since CoreMIDI is an OS level thing, it depends more heavily on the iPad’s CPU for the timing and playback of messages. The Mobilizer was able to playback these streams without slowing down or losing timing, so maybe it offloads some of this processing to the actual attachment. I am just speculating here. I hope to get my hands on an iPad 2 in the coming weeks so to see if it does a better job handling dense MIDI streams with it’s two processor cores. I should also clarify that I was testing with a couple hundred CC messages per second so while it is disappointing, I think most musicians can work around the limitation by using sparser CC events or modulating less parameters.

Overall it seems that CoreMIDI is lower latency than the Mobilizer, but more CPU dependent. Recommending one over the other would really depend on what  your needs are and what kind of USB interfaces you already have in your posession. But, I can say that some people have been overly quick to dismiss the Mobilizer because of it’s proprietary nature – it’s a good piece of gear. I imagine I will probably get some good use out of both interfaces. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for news about my new MIDI app. I think it will really change people’s minds about what is possible on the iOS for sequencing MIDI gear.


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