Layr review – Living Memory Software launch impressive multi-timbral synth app for iOS

Download from iTunes App StoreLong-standing Music App Blog visitors might well recall that I reviewed Ostinator – a sort of app-based emulation of a hardware looper pedal (and, in concept, not unlike an app such as Quantiloop) – and released by Living Memory Software. Ostinator is a cool little app and, because of its key function, perhaps attracted most attention from iOS-using guitar players.

However, as I posted on Friday, Living Memory are now back with a new app – Layr – and, this time around, it is most definitely aimed at those with an interest in synthsr. Indeed, while I still wouldn’t class myself as a Layr expert after just a few days exploring, I’d go so far as to say that almost every iOS musician with an interest in synths will at least want to take a look at Layr; this is impressive stuff. And, however many iOS synths you already own, I think this is going to prove very tempting….

Layr – it’s an iOS synth Jim, but not quite as we know it….

The first Layr

Living Memory describe Layr as a multi-timbral synth and the ‘Layr’ title comes from the fact that you can layer multiple instances of the synth engine to construct your sounds. This layer process is pretty flexible and, providing your iOS hardware can keep up, you can get pretty serious with the number of layers.

In fact, an entire preset in Layr has three ‘levels’ to it and the basic structure involved is perhaps the most fundamental concept to get your head around when starting with Layr….. so let’s get that under our belts before going any further….

At the top level is the Performance which contains a complete configuration for the app. This includes effects and arpeggiator settings (more on both of these later) but also includes one of more ‘instruments’. You might be tempted to think of each of these instruments as a single synth but, in fact, the flexibility of Layr means there can be more to the structure than this….

Layr’s top-level preset is the Performance… and the app ships with some good examples to illustrate just what it can do.

However, if you want to keep things conceptually simple, then by all means have each ‘Instrument’ respond to a different MIDI channel…. and you therefore have the essence of a multi-timbral synth-based sound source within a single app. There is a separate preset system for Instrument-level patches (which, as we will see later, is very useful).

However, an Instrument is built from a Layer or multiple Layers. A Layer is, therefore, the fundamental building block of your sounds…. you build an Instrument from one or more Layers and a Performance from one or more Instruments….. And a Layer is, in it’s own right, a complete synth engine with dual oscillators, dual filters, modulation options and envelopes. You are, therefore, building an Instrument from either a single instance (Layer) of this synth engine of multiple instances (Layers)…

There is also a preset system for Instruments….

And while a twin oscillator synth engine might not set everyone’s heart racing compared to some of the more powerful software synths iOS has to offer, the Layer engine is still pretty capable, comes with a rather elegant UI and a single instance can make some pretty stellar sounds even before you start stacking Layers up. That stacking up can soon get you building really complex and rich sounds and textures though and, with 128 voices (polyphony; and actually 256 on an iPad Pro), and a rather neat ‘note stealing’ algorithm that will gracefully manage things if you do run out of simultaneous notes, this really could be a single app that supplies all the synth parts for a complete electronic music production…. providing your iOS hardware can keep up.

What about some other basics? Well, the app requires iOS9.0 or later, is universal and seems to support all iO hardware from the iPhone 5S/iPad Air/iPad mini 3 and upwards. It’s a 26MB download and launched at UK£19.99/US$19.99.

… and the building block for Instruments and Performances is the Layer…. each of which is a twin oscillator/twin filter synth in its own right.

Graphically, the UI design is both modern looking and slick, and there is support for both iPhone and iPad formats in the same app with some flexibility over how the UI presents itself to suit the users preferences and screen size. Audiobus and IAA support are included from the off (although no AU as yet; it will be interesting to see if that’s a plan in the development roadmap), import/export of patches is possible, a multi-channel arpeggiator is included and the MIDI control options seem to be good.

The MIDI routing within the app allows you specify different MIDI channels for each Instrument (as well as defining MIDI note ranges for each Layer within an Instrument) for your multi-timbral workflow. Multiple audio outputs are also available if you want to send separate sounds to different destinations (DAW tracks, for example).

The second Layr

When you first launch Layr you are presented with the default Performance loaded. This consists of a single Instrument and that Instrument is built from a single Layer (so about as simple as a Performance can get).

At the base of the screen you get a virtual piano keyboard. This is pretty standard stuff with options for tweaking key sizes, scrolling left/right, a ‘hold’ (sustain) button, the ability to change the MIDI channel for the keyboard (if you need to play a Layr Instrument that uses a different MIDI channel to the default channel 1) and an arpeggiator button (this opens the arpeggiator panel; more on this later). On the left, there are also some status indicators in terms of notes used and CPU load.

The other button (the keyboard icon) open up a panel for customising the virtual keyboard. This includes confining the keys to specific key/scale combinations. While this is now pretty commonplace in iOS keyboard apps, it’s good to see included and, as well as being very colourful, Layr offers enough options here to help you avoid too many duff notes.

In this example, we have four Instruments… and Instrument three features two Layers….

On the right side of the main screen is a ‘master’ fader plus buttons to access the help system, a MIDI ‘panic’ button, the settings menu, the MIDI dialog (so you can specify the MIDI sources for Layr) and the buttons to load/save the Performance presets. The app is supplied with a good crop of these organised into some obvious categories and, as ever, these make for a good place to start your exploration. There are some really interesting Performance presets amongst each category and, thankfully, you can audition them right from the preset browser. I suspect Living Memory will add more presets over time as they are already encouraging early adopters to offer up their own Performance presets for consideration….

Further button in this strip offer you access to a master transpose and tempo setting plus the master effects section. The effects section features EQ, delay and reverb and these are all easy to use and very functional, if not the most comprehensive effects panel that you might find on an iOS synth.

The Settings menu includes various configuration options including a choice between UI formats if you are on particular iOS hardware.

On the left hand side of the screen you see fader strips associated with each Instrument and, if you toggle the expand/contract button for an Instrument strip (located at the top of the strip), then you will also see individual strips for each Layer within the Instrument. At the top of each Layer strip is a synth panel graphic; tap this and you then open the synth engine controls for that Layer.

The options on the Instrument and Layer channel strips have some things in common (fader, mute and transpose options for example) but also some differences. The Instrument strip includes options for setting polyphony for the Instrument as a whole, setting the MIDI input channel, selecting the audio output to be used and loading/saving Instrument presets (as opposed to Performance presets). Again, the app ships with a good selection of Instrument presets to explore.

The option for constraining the MIDI note range for each Layer within an Instrument is rather cool….

There is also a button for opening the panel that allows you to specify the MIDI note range each Layer within the Instrument responds to. If you are building more complex, multi-Layer, Instruments, this provides some interesting additional control over how those Layers are blended together when you play some notes. The panel includes ‘fade’ options so you can define a range of notes over which a sound gradually blends into the Layer mix as you play; very neat.

An actual Layer

An instance of Layr’s synth engine is what creates the sound for each Layer. Depending upon your hardware (iPhone, iPad mini, iPad, iPad Pro), there may be two different UI options offered, with a more compact, tabbed screen suited to the iPhone and a ‘one screen contains it all’ view of the same controls for those on a larger, iPad/iPad Pro screen. I was using the latter in my own testing so all the screenshots show this single screen view.

The controls are divided into a number of sub-panels (these form the separate screen when used on the iPhone). Top-left is the dual oscillator panel. A range of waveform types are offered and the sound from the two oscillators can be blended or morphed over time. You can also add noise and there are various frequency modulation options based upon two LFOs and the first of the three envelopes.

The ‘i’ icons scattered throughout Layr’s interface bring up some instant ‘help’ for the onscreen controls.

Top-right are twin filters with various standard filters types offered, again filter modulation options via the LFOs, envelopes and MIDI velocity, key tracking of the filter parameters. While you might find more complex filter options on some synths, there is actually plenty here you keep you busy and to keep your sounds dynamic.

Bottom-left are the envelope (three ADSR envelopes including a main amplitude envelope), LFO and Random panels. This is pretty straightforward stuff in the main but the Random option is quite interesting as it adds a random (surprise!) modulation effect and, if you look closely into the Oscillator and Filter panels, you can adjust how much ‘random’ modulation gets added.

The basic Layer synth engine strikes a good balance between features and ease of programming.

Finally, located bottom-right is the ‘mixer’ panel that allows you to define how the oscillators and filters get blended, how that mix itself can be modulated, modulation of the amplitude by the two LFOs, the overall velocity response of the Layer and the pan (and, yes, this can be modulated also).

Phew…. as I suggested earlier, perhaps at the level of an individual Layer, this is not going to be a contender for ‘most complex iOS synth engine ever’…. but then you start combining multiple Layers into Instruments and multiple Instruments into a Performance. That Layer-level synth engine – solid, capable and (thankfully) manageable in its own right – then takes on another dimension and can deliver some wonderful, rich, and harmonically complex, sounds. The sum becomes much more than the raw parts…. and the sound design potential is obvious.

The master effects options are fairly limited…. but get the job done well enough.

Layr by Layer

So, the underlying synth engine building block is good…. but not so difficult to find your way around. You can then take that building block and stay simple or, by stacking Layers, – and building multiple Instruments – make Layr as complex as you (or your iOS hardware) can take.

Obviously, hooked up to a suitable MIDI keyboard (or via the touchscreen virtual keyboard) you can then trigger those sounds quite happily. If you are just using a single Instrument (and, therefore, a single MIDI channel), that’s easy enough to configure, whether for recording or live performance.

Layr performed well for me when used via IAA in Cubasis… and was happy to receive MIDI data from multiple tracks.

However, if you want to get all multi-timbral with more than one Instrument, then you either need to send Layr MIDI data on different channels from your DAW/sequencer app or, in a live performance context, have an external MIDI keyboard with an option for keyboard splits (and enough keys to make that useful. I gave this a quick try via my main Novation MIDI keyboard controller and it worked a treat. If you like the way Layr sounds, this could make for an impressive live performance option.

The app also seemed happy to handle multiple MIDI tracks coming from Cubasis (for example). However, when using the app stand-alone (that is, not via IAA and hosted within Cubasis), or as a multi-timbral IAA app, then I did find myself doing a certain amount of faffing about to ensure I had the right MIDI channels finding their way to Layr from my MIDI keyboard as I was actually recording each track. If you have a MIDI keyboard that lets you easily change the MIDI channel it is sending on, then that can be a help.

Layr also worked well via Audiobus with the multiple audio output options allowing you to route audio from each Instrument to a different DAW track if required.

That all said, once you have got the routing sorted, Layr plays very nicely as a multi-timbral sound source, either directly from a keyboard or from your sequencer. That said, AU would be great to see, even if you were restricted to running a single Instrument (as opposed to a Performance) within each instance. I only did brief testing in Audiobus and AUM but both seemed to work fine and I’m sure there are all sorts of interesting ways you could route audio and MIDI to/from the app as required via all these various routes, especially given that Layr offers up to eight separate audio outputs.

The arp layer

If you have hung around the blog for any length of time then you will know that, as a guitar player (sorry!), I do quite like a good arpeggiator (it compensates for my poor keyboard skills)…. and Layr does seem to offer a very interesting take on the arpeggiator concept.

When you open the arpeggiator panel, along the top are typical options for up down, up/down and ‘as played’ for ordering the MIDI notes that are currently being received by the arpeggiator and also options for making the playback speed multiples of the current tempo.

Layr’s keyboard offers a colourful scale/key experience :-)

The rest of the panel is split into two sections. On the left is an eight lane ‘event sequencer’ with 16 steps in each lane. Lanes can be set to send MIDI data to any MIDI channel so, while the arpeggiator only accepts incoming MIDI note data on a single channel (by default, channel 1), it can output MIDI note data to up to 8 different Layr Instruments within your Patch.

Did I mention I was a fan of Layr’s arpeggiator?

There are four types of ‘events’ that you can program into each step of each lane. Play events play the next note in the arpeggiator sequence and you can also specify the length of the note (it can be more than a single step). Repeat events repeat the last (previous) note in the sequence.

Loop events send the sequence for that lane back to the first step and, as it can be set differently on each lane, means your lanes can operate over different step length; yay! Polyrhythms J And, to make something already interesting even more interesting, you can also assign MIDI events to steps and send MIDI controller data, all of which can be specified via the sub-panel on the right-hand side of the display.

Have you got all that? No, I wasn’t sure I had either and it does take a bit of time (and experimentation) to get your head around it (this feature is a great candidate for a tutorial video from the developers!). However, starting with a few of the arp-based presets does help and also demonstrates that this is actually a hugely creative feature within Layr.

The iPhone UI adapts for the more compact screen… but is still very usable.

To take one example, imagine each lane is feeding a different Instrument but you have specified different note event patterns (and note lengths) within the various arp lanes. When you then hold down a chord on your MIDI keyboard, the arp then steps through these ‘events’ and will output MIDI note data to the different Instruments…. except as the events are different for each lane, so the arp pattern, while based upon the same MIDI pitches for all lanes, will trigger those notes in different ways from each lane. The results can be mesmerising as the same cores notes cycle around in different ways via the different lanes. Add in a few Loop events (so that some lanes are shorter than others) and things can get even more interesting.

I know I’ve not fully explored what’s possible with Layr’s arpeggiator but, equally, I know it really is rather good and you could lose yourself here for quite some (very enjoyable) time.

Icing on the Layr cake?

Oh, and did I mention that there is a rather sophisticated MIDI control/learn feature built into Layr? Well, alongside good support for MIDI-based bank/program change options, there is also a good MIDI Learn system. If you tap and hold on a synth parameter within a Layer editing screen, a MIDI panel pops up. This provides all sorts of options. For example, to can confine the range of values associated with a particular synth parameter to a certain range. Equally, if you have a suitable external controller, you can use a MIDI Learn process to link a software control to a hardware controller.

Layr includes good option for external control of the app….

The system also includes a set of four colour-coded ‘linked’ parameter groups. For example, you might have two Layers in an Instrument and want to be able to adjust the filter cutoff value in both at the same time. By linking them, if you adjust the parameter in one Layer, it is automatically adjusted in the other also. This is very useful in you create Instruments built on multiple Layers…. and, as that’s a big part of what Layr is about, then this is a very useful feature.

Yet another Layr?

OK, so if you have stuck with me so far then I suspect you will have guessed that I’m impressed by Layr. There have already been a couple of contenders in 2017 for my ‘top ten new music apps of the year’ list (Troublemaker and ReSlice in case you were asking); Layr is another very obvious candidate.

The whole concept is just very clever, the UI modern and easy to navigate and, while things can get complex, the basic synth engine building block – the Layer within Layr – is not so challenging that a guitar-playing, synth programming phobic, soul like myself would feel too intimidated. And then, of course, there is that arpeggiator…. Oh, and the most important thing after all….. Layr actually sounds very good indeed.

You can, of course, save your own Layr Performance or Instrument presets for later recall.

OK, if you just like to load a few synth presets and spend most of your time strumming a guitar or writing piano-based tunes, then maybe Layr is not a ‘must have’; this is definitely an app that’s more likely to appeal to the synth-head audience. Even then, you might feel that you are already in iOS synth overload…. and that’s something lots of use will empathise with given just how easy it is to synth overload because of the App Store’s user-friendly pricing model.

But none of that stops Layr actually being (a) very good indeed, (b) a highly desirable synth app and (c) excellent value for money. We are, of course, back to ‘need’ vs ‘want’… and a discussion with your personal financial inner voice about whether UK£19.99/US$19.99 is something you are willing to part company with to get your hands on yet another example of just how good iOS music apps can be…..   I’ll move to one side now and let you discuss that with yourself…. :-)

In summary

If you have an iOS synth habit, Layr is going to be very tempting. The potential is very clear…. and the app delivers in lots of different ways. I do hope Living Memory can get plenty of support for this project because this is a brilliant start. Yes, even more presets would be good to see… as would some indication about whether AU is a possibility. The developers have already got some useful introductory videos about the app available via YouTube….   and more of those (for example, on the arpeggiator) would also be welcome.

Anyway, Layr is an impressive concept, with an impressive sound and, given the features, an equally impressive price point…  and it is, in my opinion (and for what it’s worth), something just a bit unique even in the wonderfully diverse universe that is iOS synths. Check out the demo videos below and then hit the download button to find out more from the App Store…. Layr is a bit of a gem :-)

Layr

Download from iTunes App Store


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    Comments

    1. Thanks for the review, I was going to hold until AU was possible…but will instead invest now

    2. Thanks for this great review, John. I finally think i’ve got my head around the structure, and routing in this machine. As I’m unable to determine if a similar thing has existed, or endeed does exist on other platforms, I think it’s safe to say that this synth concept is something completely new on IOS. Really lookning forward to where this leads to, however exiting and lush as it is now. An instant claasic is born.

    3. Good concise write up.

      I understand the arpeggiator component much better now. And, it sounds incredibly versatile. I kept thinking in terms of using LayR’s arpeggiator to drive other external synths instead. But, midi out isn’t supposted currently is it? Or, can you indeed use LayR’s arp to drive external synths via midi?

      Also, can LayR’s key color coding be used to specify which ranges of the builtin keyboard are contolling specific instruments? ie, if I configure instrument 3 so that it only plays when a specific range on the keyboard is played, can I color cord that range to green as a visual cue where my instrument 3 is triggered?

    4. I can’t get around to the fact that a totally new synth in 2017 does not support AU! On the plus side, due to its multitimbrality (is this a word?), you may not need to launch several instances.

    5. ConfusedKitten says:

      Thanks for the helpful review John, and I feel for you as that was truly an epic conquest (but was very eloquent regardless) and I’m sure I’ll find myself referring back to this post frequently (as a useful starting guide) whilst I continue to explore the labyrinth of creative options that is LayR! I agree with the points you’ve made, LayR is very sophisticated and will definitely take some time to understand and fully appreciate, but from some initial noodling I’ve been getting some really interesting and unexpected results (and it’s fair to say I’m already nuts about it though)! ;)

      I just wanted the mention with regard to AU and LayR that I’ve recently spent a little time communicating with the developer as he was kind enough to explain things (that I was confused about being a kitten) and has also published some further information about the topic for anyone who’s interested (in the FAQ section of his website I think)! Anyway (to summarise) apparently LayR was always built from the ground up for AU but there’s currently some kind of bug in the Apple API which is creating an issue (and some other areas of concern) so AU is not enabled right now (but may be in the near future if the situation changes etc).

      However, importantly a lot of end users (like myself) clearly are excited about and want more apps to use AU; but it’s difficult for us to fully appreciate/understand the technical problems that surround trying to integrate it due to current restrictions placed on the developers (as some apps clearly aren’t suitable as it stands). Some of these iOS AU issues (for example) relate to how certain applications (such as LayR) access and utilise CPU resources/RAM and the fact that the AU widow size is severely limited currently (but is likely to change in the near future and then early adopters will have the pleasure of redesigning their GUI’s or leaving them as is etc).

      From what the developer mentioned it’s definitely AU friendly to make compact FX and instruments that benefit from multiple plug in usage, but as LayR is essentially a vast multi timbral workstation, it doesn’t really benefit from multiple instances as it uses a continual CPU load (via access to 100’s of synths) whilst providing multiple simultaneous outputs (which is essentially the same as using multiple instances of AU really) so you can appreciate the need for AU with LayR isn’t very obvious! Another issue is that the current Apple AU API doesn’t allow you to control how many instances of AU plug ins a user can open on iOS. As such LayR (with potentially 100’s of synths running simultaneously) isn’t designed to have multiple versions open at the same time (and there’s no hardware currently available that could run it anyway even if it did) so again this missing AU need isn’t very obvious (once you consider this).

      That said, at the same time AU provides greater integration which we all appreciate (so that would be a strong reason to enable it) but as you’d be able to crash the target iDevice (by opening more than one) Apple wouldn’t allow it to be submitted for review and release anyway as it has to pass stringent safety/usage checks before acceptance (so until the iOS AU API gets a little more sophisticated it’ll have to wait)!

      So hopefully as you can see developers hands are somewhat tied currently on the AU front (depending on what it is they’ve made and how complex it is etc). Unfortunately everyone wants AU but with out fully understanding some of the current problems associated with integrating it, so I hope this sheds some light on it (as it’s basically everything I’ve been able to find out to date)! Hopefully in future when some of these issues are resolved (e.g. things like allowing developers to control the app window size, allowing them to store presets in AU nodes, allowing them to force single plug in use etc) we’ll see a lot more AU apps on the horizon (yay), and until then I guess the ones that can use it (as it stands) will do so – which is still awesome and promising!

      Brilliant review anyway John, and thank you very much for taking the time to provide us with a thorough insight into this amazingly deep (and creative) new addition to iOS! I’m certainly looking forward to spending some more time (when ever possible) investigating it further over the coming weeks, but my initial experiences are very positive (to say the least) and your review certainly helped provide some much needed orientation – as LayR is truly a sonic labyrinth! :)

      • Thanks for this post. It’s probably the most enlightening information I’ve had on AU implementation.

        It made realize that we users should state why we really want AU. As I see it, AU gives us 3 extra functionalities (relative to IAA):

        1 – The plugin state is saved on the project
        2 – Multiple instances
        3 – AU window

        IMHO number 1 is the most important one. It’s a PITA having to recall the settings of every app you use each time you re-open a project. I find it to be the best relief offered by AU.

        I find number 2 to be important mostly on effects. Less so on instruments, since the choice is so wide. And it certainly is almost irrelevant in the case of Layr, given the number of instruments already contained within.

        As to number 3, I don’t really give a damn! I actually prefer to swap windows instead of cramming the display.

        I’m curious to know if I’m the only one with these priorities. Comments anyone?

        • Hi Joaven… nope, I think you are pretty much spot on here (at least from my own perspective/use of AU)…. I’d be happy enough under 3 is AU involved slipping between different full-screen windows….. The ‘total recall’ within a DAW/sequencer project is a big deal for workflow so that’s obviously one of the plus points of the format. In terms of multiple instances, yes, for effects it is a real help, and while it is also great for instruments, I agree that with a multi-timbral sound source such as Layr (or SampleTank for example), providing having a single instance within your project allows you to use that multi-timbral functionality in an elegant fashion (multiple MIDI tracks in and multiple audio streams out; as you with, for example, with Kontakt on the desktop), then that’s fine by me….. Best wishes, John

        • ConfusedKitten says:

          Thanks joaven, I’m really glad it helped as I’ve been equally frustrated and eager to understand things better as the whole AU thing seems somewhat enshrouded in mystery currently! :) However, I completely agree with your list, which I’m sure will resonate (pun intended… I know I’m despicable) with a vast portion of the iOS music making community, but at least you can be rest assured that AU adoption is merely hindered (for many developers I’m sure) by initial technical restrictions currently (which on the positive side continue to be unshackled with every new iOS release as John importantly points out) and as such, as we are on the cusp of the upcoming release of iOS 11; perhaps we’ll see a further expansion of the iOS AU API (wow that was a mouthful)! :0

          Even if iOS 11 only provides a tiny incremental step such as “…developers can now chose their own bespoke AU window size etc…” (rather than our entire AU wishlist) it will undoubtedly move things forward again and subsequently keep the AU adaptations flowing (and all the iOS AU bunnies happy)! Further you can appreciate that a lot of developers are likely on the fence currently purely because they are reluctant to potentially introduce an endless sea of bugs into their beloved software through making sporadic changes to a well conceived engine (based on temporary and uncertain AU design specifications etc). I think when the AU specification reaches a certain level that allows developers to do what they need to do (& do it right) then you’ll see them adopt AU! ;)

          I also think you hit the nail on the head regarding the absent dialogue that desperately needs to take place between developers and end users so as to express/communicate our interest and eagerness for the adoption of AU (why it’s so important in particular common usage scenarios etc) in a constructive and reciprocal manner. Something like an online iOS music making developers meet users to discuss “The future of AU & iOS” type affair as that would be helpful! I say this as despite our own excitement with how everything AU makes iOS music making better (e.g. whilst doing x/y/z) I’m pretty sure it’s not always obvious how varying users needs affect how a specific app is approached, and I think if more users would provide context (like you’ve done here) as to why it’s useful and important (to you), then they would be more receptive to getting onboard! :)

      • Thanks for this…. I’m sure lots of folks will find this interesting and some very useful context in terms of the development of AU under iOS. I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts and via the newsletter that I’m sure Apple still have AU as a bit of a work in progress…. It is certainly implemented better than it was but, obviously, still some technical issue to be sorted out…. And I’m equally sure that this is, in part, why some developers have been slower to adopt the format than us users might have liked…. Anyway, understanding that context is useful because it might help folks be a little more willing to cut some developers (if not Apple) some slack…. Again, thanks… and very best wishes, John

        • ConfusedKitten says:

          Thanks for your kind words John (much appreciated) I’m just happy it was useful! :) I have to say I find the ongoing iOS AU development discourse/discussion really interesting as it’s seems to have really captivated, inspired (and also polarised) user opinion! There appears to be a combination of lots of background excitement (as to the increasingly progressive AU adoption/adaptation taking place) interpolated with creative frustration due to its current limitations (and subsequently the inevitable misdirected negativity towards developers etc) which isn’t really fair seemingly! :(

          As such, hopefully the above will at least help to redress the balance (even if only a tiny amount and then only for those willing to listen with an open mind etc). I’m pretty sure some users are convinced its a conspiracy! :0 However it’s still always good to see/hear lots of vibrant discussion taking place in the iOS music making community; I just wish there was more of a (significant) opportunity to hear from the developers themselves as unfortunately they’re often the silent component in the equation.

          Further, due to the often unpredictable nature of people’s behaviour online I’m sure developers are somewhat reluctant to engage with users (generally) in a public forum because sometimes people have a tendency to act in a less suitable manner than they would face-to-face (hiding behind their anonymity etc), which is why it would be amazing to see some embodied active participation in an organised event (like a casual conference with iOS music workshops in the background, live iOS music and various developer guests delivering interactive panels on pertinent topics etc)! :)

          And I’m sure these kinds of much needed (more academic) opportunities will increasingly happen (they’ve already begun) but they’re definitely more inclined to promote healthy discussion and debate (in a creative/social/cultural/artistic context) that will hopefully help iOS music making push forward (and be taken more seriously by the industry etc)! Here’s hopeing anyway (a not so subtle hint to any iOS music organisers/fund raises/organisations listening out there) he he! ;) A huge thanks for your own ongoing commitment and efforts via the ‘MusicAppBlog’ anyway which is always appreciated (and without which we’d surely be lost)! …I know I would be anyway… ha ha :)

    6. ConfusedKitten says:

      Sorry forgot to add, there’s a new FORUM for LayR (link below) which is going to be a valuable resource for learning how to use it and ask questions (or provide answers to other users etc)! Also the developer mentioned that he’s in the midst of creating a ‘user preset repository’ (in the next few days) where you will be able to share and download patches (which will undoubtedly help with learning how to use it too) whilst exploring what weird and wonderful patches other users have come up with etc! My own efforts (unfortunately) make cats shriek/run away currently – but hopefully this will improve as I begin to learn what all those magical colours, lights and patterns are actually for! Hope this helps anyway! :)

      http://www.livingmemorysoftware.com/joomla/

    7. eustressor says:

      Nice review John, and I agree with Skip – your explanation of the arpeggiator was the easiest to understand of several attempts. I finally feel like I understand it at the 20,000 foot level, at least, so thank you for that!

      Have fun with layer after layer after layer after … Cheers!

      ~Sean

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