The Setup

Here I would like to explain what I will be using and a little bit of what I already know.

Hardware

I will be utilizing my 7″ inch kindle fire tablet. Due to many reasons, I long ago ditched the stock OS and have replaced with a custom Android 4.2.2 rom (Hashcodes official CM10.1 ROM if anyone was curious). Once I land myself a job I will be upgrading this to a Nexus 7 (not planned specifically for this project).

A side benefit of upgrading will be a severe drop in audio latency. According to caustic the Kindle Fire has an Audio Latency of 160ms. In other words, once I tap a key or a button on my screen it takes 160ms (milliseconds) for the sound to come out of the speakers. This is more or less unusable for live music apps, which is why I will be focusing on the sequencing app for the time being. According to Google they have gotten the Audio latency issue down to about 12ms on the Nexus. This is still not great compared to an ipad which is well under 10ms, in other words completely unnoticeable.

Production Tools

cuastic

Caustic 2 – $7.99

This will be my main production app. It is a music production suite that utilizes “digital hardware.” You basically get to choose 6 machines at once and with them sequence pieces of music. You run them through an “effects rack,” then through a “mixer desk” and finally into the song sequencer. As I mentioned I will be providing links to resources of where I learn these things, so I have included the Caustic 2 website and youtube tutorials below.

App Website: http://www.singlecellsoftware.com/caustic

App instructables: http://www.youtube.com/user/CausticApp

MPA

Su-preme MPA – $5.99

Su-preme MPA is a Sample based music production app. It is meant to emulate a physical “Akai MPC 500” drum machine down the T. Sampling is more or less self explanatory. In the system you have “samples” that can range from instruments, to sound effects, to bits of already made songs that are then tied to pads (literally big square buttons). When you push a particular pad, it plays the sample attached to it. These are then sequenced live to create a beat. Since it is modeled after a physical machine, it is important to note that you DO want to watch at least the first few tutorials below. It involves a lot of dial turning and junk that isn’t very intuitive.

I originally intended to use Supreme MPA to make base beats to use in Caustic, but it turns out it won’t work that way. The exported .wav files you would use for samples in Caustic range from 1mb – 3mb which is larger than I want the final product to be. The other issue for the time being is that with the 160ms lag, it is difficult to keep in time with the beat. Imagine a metronome, you press the button as it “clicks” then shortly after you hear your drum. So instead of “clickpressdrum” you get a “clickpress—drum.”

App Website: http://www.boombappz.com/index.htm

App Instructables: http://www.youtube.com/user/boombappz

edjing

edjing PE – $10.56 ($3.56 on sale)

I’m not entirely sure how this app functions yet. I saw it on the Google App store being the most highly rated DJ’ing app and it has something to do with mixing tracks and live recording. It was  very cheap on sale, so I picked it up just in case I wanted to check it out later. I’m sure it’s straight forward, I just haven’t looked into this kind of thing yet.

App Website – http://www.edjing.com/

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