As I’ve noted before here at the Blog, the Android smartphone uLoops application has been an unbelievable find for me. As a musician, the community there is awesome; hundreds of like minded individuals sharing their passion for music. For in a world of email, Twitter and Tetris games, these musicians are making MUSIC, good music, on their cellphones…an unreal achievement technologically and personally for uloops developers Sebastian Marconi and Juan Bordon.
I was fortunate enough to have one of my first songs on uLoops “featured”, a nod from the developers that puts the song on the home page and is more or less a sign of respect and accomplishment sought by the community. I was flattered and still am. Well, I’m lucky enough to have another featured song, but this time it’s a shared honor with a great rapper/DJ from Denver, CO named Trilla.
I published a piano instrumental dedicated to my cousin Sean, who passed away unexpectedly this time last year. It’s a melancholy piece in Em called “SpearFish” (http://uloops.net/bank/5036132), and it’s one of my “experiments” that I’m very proud of. Trilla immediately informed me on the comments page of the song that he wanted to remix it and add some vocals. I was beyond flattered, as Trilla is one of the best rappers on uLoops OR anywhere else! He’s that good.
His remix, “Sands Of Time” ( http://uloops.net/bank/5216816), floored me! When I played it for my wife Michele she started to cry! Yeah, heavy shit. It’s beautiful, if I do say so myself. The fact that two different artists could collaborate on a song hundreds of miles away without even meeting in person speaks volumes for where we are in 2010 technologically speaking. uLoops is on the cutting edge of the “wave of wonder” we take for granted so easily. I encourage anyone who loves music to check it out and to use the links above to listen to the songs in this article. Thanks again Trilla and to everyone in the uLoops universe.
Be cool, JRSIV
“Sands Of Time” & “Monkey World” on the uLoops.net feature page.
As part of my Recording Technology class, the Studio at the Palms in my hometown of Las Vegas gave a tour to my class today. Just a beautiful facility! The main studio features a Neve AMS mixer that was originally used in Abbey Road during the late 1980’s…
The Neve mixer at the Palms Studio.
The staff were great and the equipment was to die for. Many top acts have recorded there over the last few years and the studio is probably one of the most popular for hip-hop and R&B acts to record at. I certainly thought the idea of being able to have a session at the Palms one day was really cool…is was that kind of place. Thanks to Prof. Jacobson and the Palm Studio staff for setting up the tour and taking the time to talk about recording, etc. It was a masterclass, great information.
Apps for smartphones are so varied and wide ranging anyone can find something they like. Plus, the technology of today is so amazing, (especially coming from someone who remembers the Commodore 64 and Beta tapes), these apps offer a dizzying amount of features and incredible visuals.
For a musician like myself there are some great apps for iPhones and Androids (like my smartphone, the Fender MyTouch3G). Most are music players (mp3, WAV files, etc.) the remaining a mix of guitar tuners, monophonic “pianos” and ringtone makers. The real drool worthy apps though are the ones that allow the user to create new music. iPhone’s iTune App Store has had a few step sequencers and even a four track recorder application, but the late blooming Android AppMarket , with a few exceptions, has been pretty limited to drum machines.
Until the excellent uLoops app was released in January of this year, I didn’t see much hope for a legitimate music “studio in a phone” app. Happily, with a year full of updates and improvements under it’s belt, uLoops fits the bill and is easily my favorite Android app. Period.
The mixer section of the uLoops App for Android.
A step sequencer with the ability to record vocals and other instruments through the phone’s mic, this little powerhouse can turn out kickin’ jams with some talent and a few recording skills. I recorded my first song on it in 30 minutes or less (listen to “Livin’ It Up at http://uloops.net/bank/4461029). The uLoops website is also home to an online community that shares their tracks and loops while giving each other advice on the program. It’s so cool to have other musicians to bounce ideas off of and have help when stumped with the App’s many features.
I can’t think of anything better than to build up drum grooves or even song demos while waiting in line somewhere, in an office waiting room or stuck in traffic, etc. Just to be able to chill on the couch and turn out a funky rhythm is cool! Download this App if you’re a musician and even if you’re not. You might be suprised how much time has flown by why you were mixing a new track…all on a cellphone. Be cool…JRSIV