Oscilab update – 2beat bring their excellent EDM production app up to date

Download from iTunes App Storeoscilab logoAs I posted back in May 2014 when it was first launched, Oscilab – from developer 2beat – brings a very interesting, novel, and very intuitive approach to the creation of electronic music.  The interface looks fabulous and the app provides a combination of electronic-style sounds based upon modelled analog synthesis, samples and drum sounds.

Indeed, I enjoyed working with Oscilab so much that it was a shoe-in for my personal ‘top 10 new music apps released in 2014‘ list back in January 2015. If you are a fan of electronic music production and have not given Oscilab a try as yet then do take a look; and at UK£7.99/US$9.99, it packs a punch well above its weight (price).

Oscilab – 2beat’s all-in-one EDM production tool – features some brilliant design elements that make use of the touchscreen.

With Audiobus support added in the v.1.1.0 update, the much awaited MIDI sync in v.1.3.0 and, the excellent addition of MIDI out in v.1.5.5 in mid-2015, Oscilab is great fun to work with and very capable of producing some excellent results. The interface is slick and, while have a bit of musical background knowledge will certainly help, this is also an app that producers without traditional instrument skills can also get a lot out of.

The app’s name is derived from the various ‘virtual’ oscilloscope displays you get of the oscillator waveforms and which you can interact with and adjust via the touchscreen. Essentially, Oscilab provides you with six channels of sound with four of these based on the synth/sample engine and two dedicated to drums/percussion.

The approach to sequence creation is both novel and clever.

The various preset sounds are very good indeed and, with the new MIDI out feature, you can also use Oscilab’s intuative pattern-based sequencing to drive other iOS synths or drum machines. The way that you create your own sounds or modify existing sounds makes great use of the oscilloscope-style views and your ability to draw waveforms within them. This is both fun and pretty painless; just tap, drag and pinch to tweak settings for the frequency, filter, amplifier and pan.

Anyway, the app has remained a very firm personal favourite of mine and, if I had to place it somewhere as an all-in-one EDM toolkit, it sits firmly between an app like Figure (super-simple) and Gadget (not so simple but fully featured). However, as the most recent update was back in September 2015, while it has continued to work well for me under iOS10, I had begun to wonder whether 2beat had put the project to bed. Today, therefore, it was a very pleasant surprise to see v.1.5.8 appear on the App Store – yay!

As well as scene based song construction the app also offers a host of other features including a set of XY pads for some real-time sound shaping.

The update doesn’t bring any new features and the only comment is that a fix has been applied for the file menu system under iOS10 (although I suspect and loose iOS10 ends have been tided up also) but, if that means I can get another 12 months or so of use out of a favourite app then that’s fine with me. That’s not to say it would be great to see Oscilab join the ranks of the Ableton Link and AU ready….  but this is still a very cool music making tool.

Oscilab is well worth exploring if you are a fan of electronic dance music. I think the workflow is great and the sounds very engaging…. The real strength is the very creative process by which you generate your sequence patterns as it is a beautifully executed bit of touchscreen design… and with MIDI out, you can send those pattern to another synth or a sequencer if you want to take your Oscilab ideas onwards to a wider project. Anyway, watch the video below and then hit the download button to find out more. Highly recommended app for those with an electronic bent and, if you have not yet given it a go, well worth a look.

Oscilab

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. Sean aka eustressor says:

      Always good to hear development continues on a fav app. I think it’s fair to say you can create synth sounds with Oscilab you won’t hear anywhere else, yet it’s so easy to use. Thanks for the heads up, John!

    2. Hey, it’s also available for android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.soundapps.modulab

      Cheers

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