music for app: thesys - an eternal album

by dave stafford

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about

hello and welcome to the first eternal album of 2015: "music for apps: thesys - an eternal album". thesys is a fantastic app, a brilliant MIDI step sequencer, with a lot of very advanced technical features, too, that I have had the pleasure of working with for some time now, and I felt that it was a great candidate to get us going in this new year. the manufacturer of thesys, "sugar bytes" are a remarkable company that makes some of the most stunning and innovative applications in the world of (ios) music today.

thesys is what I would call a very...modern app, and it creates a very unique and wonderful kind of music, even on it's own, but when you combine it with a variety of powerful effects units, it immediately enters a new and fantastic sonic arena. the music that occurs while you are busy working to create a piece of music that is as challenging as it is creative as it is interesting to listen to, is absolutely out of this world - and some of the effects that I've been working with (such as effectrix, turnado, and wow - all three of which, are also made by sugar bytes!!) are equally as impressive and exciting, and they totally enhance the basic sound of thesys - they work together very well indeed,


nowadays, generally speaking, anyone making music on an iPad or even an android tablet,, is probably using audiobus, to chain together different musical tools, in the input, effects, and output slots; I am no exception to that, it would be a rare day when I record an app outside of audiobus. and I also use the excellent audioshare, sometimes to record the output of audiobus, or for file movement - audioshare (with dropbox, for example) is a very useful utility, and I think an essential one,

what this means though, is that it's no longer a completely straightforward situation - when I first started working exclusively with the ios music applications, audiobus did not even exist, so setting up a chain of instruments was makeshift at best. so often, it was just easier to record an application on it's own; use it's own effects if possible, or run it through a hardware or software reverb once it's off the tablet.

how sugar bytes was able to create such a remarkable suite of powerful musical tools in such a relatively short time, I am not sure, but I can tell you, it's made me a very happy boy indeed. so when it came to working with thesys, the limitations of the 2011 ios, are now gone, and in one live session, I can use thesys itself, as the powerful source of extremely mutate-able sounds - even on it's own, what comes out of the device, is pure genius - but for some of the tracks I will be uploading in the future,

I was able to combine the power of thesys, with effectrix, turnado and wow - and running something with as complex of an output as thesys boasts, through no less than three ultra powerful effects applications - and the sound of that, can become pretty intense and pretty amazing, too.

so thank god for progress, because the existence of audiobus, as well as it being one of the most innovative applications ever created, has created this scenario that has allowed musicians to combine the power of three or four intense applications at once, which musically and technically, gives us new sonic worlds previously unimaginable, while the creativity that combining interactive applications, and the flexibility of audiobus, gives us the ability to manipulate our set of four or five powerhouse music apps, as it's being recorded - so you can sit with effectrix open, and effect the whole track with it, and then switch back to thesys, and alter a playing sequence, then jump onto wow to mess with the filter in real time - and do it all "live" as the system now permits,

this was simply not possible three years ago, so the addition of audiobus to our musical arsenal, has really changed things for everyone, for the better - and, I really can't wait to see what new innovations appear over the next couple of decades..

in the meantime, I hope you will enjoy the beginnings of the "thesys" eternal album, starting with three early tracks, and moving forward to more tracks later, many featuring the three other sugar bytes effects applications - so please watch this space for those - thanks!

credits

released 17 March 2015

dave stafford: sugar bytes "thesys" application

additional effects added live in real time using the following effects applications:

sugar bytes "effectrix"
sugar bytes "turnado"
sugar bytes "wow"

audiobus output recorded with, and files managed with, audioshare; from Jonatan Liljedahl of Kymatica - a fantastic utility.

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