A couple of posts ago, I gave a write up on Rob Jackson’s moodscaper. I mentioned that there were some updates coming that would drive the app further towards live use. I have great news to report. That update happened today!
After the initial release of his app, Rob has been listening to those of us with a wish list of things that his app could accomplish. Little by little, those wishes have been coming true. In his version 1.6 release, moodscaper gets some incredible features that have taken this app to a whole new level.
Moodscaper has gone from a loopable ambient drone machine with auto accompaniment and simple interface to a deep and interactive audio tool geared towards live performance. While moodscaper does have more features, it’s interface still remains refreshingly simple and inviting. Through use of symbols, you can easily identify the function and effect controls. Speaking of effects, Rob has given the user three effects with easy to operate parameter adjustments. All three of the effects are simple, one-slider-fits-all adjustments. The slider for each effect are as follows:
The low pass filter’s cutoff frequency is swept from low to high, while the resonance is also increased, making sure to hit all the sweet spots along the way.
The slider controls the delay’s decay time, low pass frequency cut off and wet/dry mix.
The reverb, I believe, uses the control to change the wet/dry mix and the amount of reverb time.
Another neat little feature(something I had contributed as a suggestion, along with MIDI control) is that you can add your own samples. The caveat here is that you can add to, but not replace the existing samples included in moodscaper. According to the manual, Rob states that he hopes the user embraces the sound of the app as an instrument and build on that sonic character rather than ignore it and create something totally new. The only other minor itch about loading samples, at least for now, is that you must use iTunes file sharing to load your samples(a la Animoog). I wouldn’t have issue with this personally, if I owned a Mac or PC. Everything I do is almost exclusively based on iOS, so loading my own samples is not much of an option. In the manual, Rob hints at the idea to later update this process via another iOS based app that many of us musicians know and love(coffAudiocoffSharecoffcoff). I can’t find fault in that, as moodscaper went from being a personal project to an app that has appeal to the masses.
You’d think that having five loopers, effects and the ability to add your own samples would be enough to make this a fine app that one could use on its own(and it is!). Rob, again, being gracious to the needs of other users, has added IAA and AU support. This means the user can open up an app like AUM(also highly recommended) add moodscaper on a channel, insert an effect of choice, use other apps for melodies and/or beats, and create your own one-musician improvisation. Bravo!
Now, I haven’t covered all of the updates and aspects of moodscaper, but believe me, this update brought the app to a whole new level. Not only was I impressed enough with the app that my co-producer and myself have each composed tracks in which it was used, but now, I’m planning to work on an EP of live improvisations with moodscaper and a few other apps, simply because what I’ve heard so far of the update really floored me.
Warning: Make sure you open this app only when you’ve allowed yourself plenty of time, because you will suffer from time displacement. Hours will have lapsed before you know it.
All in all, Rob had done and continues to do some fine work in updating his labor of love and making it into a world class ambient music app. As if there wasn’t enough to say about moodscaper, Rob has also made it a universal app, as it is now compatible with the iPad. If you are a fan of Ambient sounds, even if you’re not a musician, you owe it to yourself to get this app.
You can purchase moodscaper right here:
As always, be sure to keep an eye out right here for a link to an upcoming video demonstration of moodscaper.
Thanks you for reading, now stop making excuses and start making music.