Bram Bos updates – Troublemaker, Ripplemaker and Ruismaker all updated with MIDI out

Download from iTunes App StoreI reviewed all of Bram Bos’ various iOS music apps here on the blog including Troublemaker, Ripplemaker, Ruismaker and Ruismaker FM. They are all very good indeed, but the first two on this list are something special. I suspect both will make my ‘top 10 of 2017’ list when the time rolls around.

Anyway, all four of these apps received similar updates on the App Store late yesterday. As well as ‘minor housekeeping’, there are some interesting – and very welcome – new features. For example, all the apps now support CoreMIDI based Master Clock options and, allied to that, the ability to bridge between MIDI Clock and Ableton Link; this should mean that even more apps can have the playback synchronised if one of Bram’s apps is involved in the process.

Troublemaker – and Bram’s other iOS music apps – now offer MIDI out from the standalone sequencer.

However, perhaps the very obvious highlight new feature for all four apps is Core MIDI note output from the sequencer when working in standalone mode. This means that you can, of course, run the apps standalone and route the MIDI data out to a suitable sequencer. And, if you have utilised the various mutation and variation options within the sequencer, as you playback via the standalone app, all those variations should also be passed to your MIDI sequencer for recording.

…. all that lovely ‘random’ sequencer variation can now be captured in an external MIDI sequencer.

I’ve only had the briefest of experiments with this new feature this morning using Troublemaker and Ripplemaker, while routing the MIDI output from both apps into Cubasis. With one qualification (I’ll come to that in a minute), it worked very well. Indeed, if you just want to experiment with the Troublemaker/Ripplemaker sequencers, I also set up the AU versions of both apps within Cubasis, turned the volumes of the AU versions down (so I couldn’t hear them) and had the MIDI output from the standalone versions driving the playback engines of the AU versions….

I had no problems capturing the MIDI note and velocity data in Cubasis…. but, somehow, not the pitchglide elements? In Cubasis, the solution lay in the quantize settings.

And that catch? Well, I was able to record all the note data and velocity variation without any problems…  but, at first for some reason, while the AU instances within Cubasis responded to the pitch-glides coming from the standalone version of (for example) Troublemaker in real-time, that pitch-glide information did not get reproduced when the recorded MIDI sequences were then played back.

Having dropped Bram a line on the issue, the solution was actually pretty simple….  and involves the quantize options within Cubase. Troublemaker’s ‘pitchbend’ is not, of course, actual pitchbend MIDI CC data but actually note ‘glide’ (portamento) created by the mono synth engine when two notes overlap. All that was happening in Cubasis was that the quantize settings, when recording the MIDI note data, were quantizing the notes so that no notes overlapped…..  Anyway, if you have an issue with this in Cubasis – or any other MIDI sequencer – just check that the software is getting over zealous with the quantize settings on the MIDI note data coming from Troublemaker :-)

Here, the standalone version of Ripplemaker is sending MIDI data directly to the AU version running within Cubasis….

While I’m sure Bram has plenty of further ideas in mind for future updates, I think Troublemaker and Ripplemaker are already absolutely fabulous and both Ruismaker apps, after a solid start, have blossomed into great options….  especially for those keen to go down the AU-only route under iOS. I love the design ethos and the AU support seems to work really well. The sequencer option in the stand-alone versions of both apps was always a bit of ‘keep it simple’ genius…  and the new MIDI out just makes that genius of design much easier to capitalise upon even if, eventually, you prefer the AU format for final playback. All four are also very competitively priced….  and the updates are free to existing owners.

Oh, and, most importantly, all four apps  sound great; if you are looking for synth-based fun in an friendly format, then these apps will be right up your street. Check out the full reviews via the links above, the demo videos below…  and then hit the App Store download buttons to find out more.


Download from iTunes App Store


Download from iTunes App Store

Ruismaker FM

Download from iTunes App Store


Download from iTunes App Store

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