BeatCleaver 1.2.4 Released!

We’re pleased to announce a small update to BeatCleaver, bringing it to version 1.2.4.

Screen shot 2012-08-02 at 1.59.55 PM

BeatCleaver is our music sampling and beat slicing software for chopping up songs, recordings, and drum loops. Its efficient workflow and fluid zoom make it great for slicing up MP3s, WAVs, M4As, and more.

This minor maintenance release for BeatCleaver focuses on improving soundcard selection on Windows. The changes include:

  • Added improved soundcard preferences and backend.
  • Fixed a rare crash when dragging loop points.
  • Improved loop point dragging feel (more consistent).

Existing customers can download this free update from the bottom of the downloads page.

JamDeck reaches “On Fire” status in the Chrome Web Store

Our Chrome App has become more popular than ever this holiday season!

Our Chrome App has become more popular than ever this holiday season!

Here at Oscillicious, we’re long time fans of Google’s Chrome Web Browser and were early supporters of new technology Google put into Chrome that’s allowing the creation of a new generation of high-performance multimedia applications on the web. In 2011, we released a demo version of SodaSynth that runs directly in Google Chrome, which became the world’s first “Native Client” application in the Chrome Web Store. SodaSynth for Chrome even included a little live looper, which spurned some new ideas that we eventually brought to life in JamDeck.

Earlier this month, we launched JamDeck for Chrome, allowing you to quickly jam out ideas and make music or beats instantly in your browser. It’s easy to use, responsive, and gives you a good taste of the full desktop JamDeck experience.

JamDeck for Chrome has been gaining so much popularity lately that Google’s now tagged it as “On Fire” in the Chrome Web Store, pushing it to the top! In a sea of Flash-based virtual pianos and toy sequencer applets, JamDeck for Chrome stands out by delivering better instruments, unbeatable responsiveness, and studio sound quality that professional musicians expect. Try it for yourself today!

SongStarter is now JamDeck

 

We’re pleased to announce that a new, major update to SongStarter is now available. We’ve made many improvements to SongStarter and are continuing to shape the entire experience to make it an even better environment for songwriting.

As part of this new release, we’ve given SongStarter a fresh new look and a new name that better fits where we’ll be taking it in the future: JamDeck.

JamDeck is SongStarter remixed, refined, and evolved.

It’s the SongStarter you know and love, the songwriting environment that gets you creating and capturing music, but is even more refined now. JamDeck 1.1 is available today as free upgrade for all SongStarter owners.

Visit the new JamDeck website today for more information.

Now with Drum Kits, and lots more.

New in JamDeck 1.1:

A Redesigned User Interface
The new, sleek user interface drops you right into the Jam Setup screen to streamline startup even further.

New Instrument Browser
Includes Categories, allowing faster access to pianos, orchestral instruments, etc.

New Instruments
Since SongStarter 1.0, we’ve continued to add new instruments with every release, and JamDeck 1.1 is no different. New instruments in JamDeck 1.1 include Tack Piano, Harp, Jazz Guitar, Nylon Atmosphere, Sweep Pad, Piccolo, Rock Organ, Synth Bass, Synth Strings, Sweep Pad.

Drum Kits
We’ve added 5 drum kits, so you can now make beats with JamDeck. Laying down a quick beat and throwing a few instrument tracks over top has never been easier. (And with the Freestyle Recorder, you can lay down a beat without even picking a tempo.)

New Drum Loops
We’ve doubled the number of drum loops available, bringing the total to 29. The new beats are extremely fresh.

Mastering Presets
We’ve built on the multi-band compressor we introduced in SongStarter 1.0.2 and added more DSP modules to create three simple, but effective mastering presets that keep things simple, but enhance the overall sound of your jams.

Loop Recorder Erase
A new “Erase” button for the loop recorder allows you to clear specific sections of a loop, great for fixing mistakes. Simply hold down the erase button when you hear the section you want to clear, and it gets swept away.

Transport Controls
Pause and rewind buttons have been added for basic transport control.

MIDI Sustain Pedal Support
Most of the pianos and some of the other sampled instruments now support MIDI sustain pedals. These MIDI CC messages are also captured by the Loop Recorder and exported.

More Soundcard Options 
The preferences dialog got a bit of an upgrade as well, adding an API filter and buffer size (latency) setting for advanced users. JamDeck 1.1 also has improved compatibility with ASIO recording devices.

Improved UI Performance
Users with slower computers will notice animations are a bit smoother in this release.

Bug Fixes 
Over a dozen bugs including:

  • Fixed a bug saving muted loops.
  • Fixed a bug with increased capture latency after changing recording devices.
  • Fixed a rare crash when switching sampled instruments while playing.
  • Tweaked the volume of a few slightly unbalanced instruments.

Oct 8th SongStarter for Chrome Update

SongStarter for Chrome Updated

An updated version of SongStarter for Chrome is now live on the Chrome Web Store! This update includes a handful of bugfixes from the desktop 1.0 release and other small changes:

  • Fade the drum loops in when previewing to eliminate a click (will be fixed in the next desktop version too)
  • In the Jam Setup screen, the BPM now changes when you select each drum loop.
  • Adjusted the volume of a few of the instruments
  • Integrated the new instrument engine from the desktop version, though no new instruments for Chrome yet. We want to keep the download size small to make everything load quickly but still add more instruments, so there’s a bit of work to do there before we add instruments powered by the new engine to the Chrome version. (In the meantime, the desktop version has all the instruments!)
  • Other changes included from the desktop 1.0 version include stability improvements, new graphics, and lots of bugfixes.

And if you dig what we’re up to, don’t forget to rate SongStarter in the Chrome Web Store!

SongStarter 1.0 Released!

After many months of development, I’m pleased to announce the release of SongStarter 1.0!

The new SongStarter 1.0 Release

SongStarter is an organic music production app for jamming. It’s a sandbox for musicians that lets you write music naturally by recording and layering loops.

We created SongStarter to give musicians a new way to write music. We love jamming away from our computers because it’s easier to get into a groove, but it takes more work to transcribe or record our ideas. But when we’re at computers, sometimes the complexity of a digital audio workstation is distracting, and we miss the flow of a real live jam.

SongStarter is a bridge between these experiences – It feels like a live jam yet captures all your ideas so they can be loaded into a DAW and produced later. All that’s left is for you to jam and experiment. So download the trial today and find out what you can make with SongStarter.

SongStarter is now available for purchase directly from the Oscillicious online shop, or you can download a free feature-limited trial.

End of Public Beta

Many thanks to everyone who downloaded the SongStarter beta and send us feedback. Several new features were added recently as a direct result of your comments and suggestions, including the external recording feature and improved instruments.

Here’s some of the changes in SongStarter 1.0 that were made after the last beta:

  • Added System Default soundcard on Mac OS X (especially useful on Mac OS X Mountain Lion)
  • Fixed the Freestyle Recorder going bonkers sometimes with the built-in instruments
  • New jam graphics
  • Added a slightly better loading indicator for instruments
  • Added a close button to the instrument picker (if you couldn’t figure out how to close it the first time, you weren’t alone!)
  • Reworked the loop recorder widget again so it paints short notes now
  • Added scanning for DAWs on Windows

The final beta release will continue functioning until October 2nd, but if you’d like to check out out these latest changes earlier, you can grab the SongStarter trial version.

We’re also currently working on SongStarter for Chrome, which is still in beta. We hope to offer an updated version with better instruments within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more information about that as we get closer to a release.

Bugfix Songstarter Beta Update

Download the new SongStarter Beta for Windows and Mac OSX here!

Whoops, time for an emergency SongStarter beta update. The old desktop beta releases expired yesterday and redirected everyone to download the latest beta update from September 17th – except that I botched the beta activation code (again), and it turns out that updating wouldn’t actually reactivate your expired copy of SongStarter.

Today’s beta update should actually work and reactivate your copy of SongStarter until October 1st, and includes a number of other bugfixes from the last few days:

  • Fixed freestyle recorder tempo detection graphics (beat chooser)
  • Fixed buzzing bug if you tried to add a beat before previewing a freestyle loop
  • Fixed one rare assert (*cough* crash) on saving
  • Freestyle recorder properly restores the loop length when you bail on creating a freestyle loop
  • Freestyle recorder now wraps MIDI notes properly
  • One obscure Jam Setup bugfix
  • Fixed bugs in the project modified logic
  • But last but not least, this beta shouldn’t expire until it’s meant to expire. (Oct 1st, 2012)

New Instruments, New SongStarter Beta

We’re pleased to announce another new beta update for SongStarter for Windows and Mac OS X! This update brings more bugfixes and new, great instruments:

New Instruments Coming for SongStarter by Oscillicious

Download the new SongStarter Beta Here

New Instruments in the September 17th, 2012 SongStarter Beta

The new instruments, which are part of the Jam Essentials collection, include:

  • Classic Piano
  • A revamped Studio Piano
  • Cello
  • Claves
  • Mute Guitar
  • Electric Piano
  • Organ
  • Tremolo Strings
  • Tubular Bells
  • Glockenspiel

So hit the front page and download the new beta update now!

This new beta release takes us very close to a final 1.0 release, and we’ll be focusing solely on bug fixing for this final development sprint. There’s a couple more known issues that we need to iron out over the next two weeks, but this latest beta is a huge improvement over our first beta release back in August.

The new instruments are not quite ready for the Chrome version of SongStarter yet, but we’ll be updating it over the next few weeks as we start to wrap up the desktop version of SongStarter.

Stay tuned for the final release, and in the meantime, happy jamming!

SongStarter Beta Updated – Now with External Recording

The new SongStarter icon.

We’re pleased to announce that a new updated beta of SongStarter is now available.

Download the updated SongStarter now from our SongStarter page.

This update adds two new features and a slew of bugfixes that take us closer to a final 1.0 release:

External Audio Input Recording in SongStarter

Input devices (soundcards, microphones, etc) now appear as instruments in today’s SongStarter Beta update.

External Audio Recording

Each recording device on your computer now appears as an instrument in SongStarter, and allows you to capture audio right into the loop recorder. This is handy for recording from instruments like a guitar, layering quick vocal ideas, or even for beat boxing. As an added bonus, if you have Soundflower (Mac) or Virtual Audio Cable (Win) installed, you can now record audio from other programs into SongStarter.

VU Meter and Waveform View in SongStarter Beta 090912

The new VU Meter for recording and Waveform View in SongStarter Beta 090912.

Clicking an input device “instrument” displays a VU meter in place of the piano keyboard and when you record, you see a waveform visualization drawn instead of notes. We think this design keeps the SongStarter just as fast and fluid as before, but creates another useful way to help you brainstorm for music production.

External recording also works with the Freestyle Recorder, for automatic hands-free recording. It works by listening for background noise and then triggers recording when there’s a large deviation from that. It’s not perfect, but you can create some cool rhythms and jams if you create a loop out of your recording. We hope that we can work on the triggering mechanism more and make it more reliable, but for now, play with it and let us know how it works for you.

New Loop Recorder Note Visualization

While we were reworking the loop recorder visuals to support waveform drawing, we rewrote the way note rendering works too. Instead of the “scrolling notes” visuals that the previous betas had, we’ve changed it so that a white marker (the vertical line in the screenshot) tracks the playback/recording position and paints notes on the fly. This new technique always remains in sync with the audio and now matches the appearance of loops when they’re copied to ideas. One remaining issue is that sometimes very short notes don’t get visualized, although everything you play will always get recorded.

New Loop Recorder Note Visualization

The new Loop Recorder note visuals in today’s SongStarter Beta update.

 

Other Bug Fixes and Changes

  • Latency improvements on Windows. We now prefer WASAPI audio devices on Windows Vista and above, and this gives us better latency out-of-the-box for all Windows users. We also show the audio API in the preferences beside the name of the device.
  • Fixed problem with only getting silence from certain input devices. (If you downloaded SongStarter before today, you’ll want to update.)
  • Added a tiny bit more info to the Help screen. More to come…
  • Moved preferences to the options menu (Windows).
  • Default save path is now Documents/SongStarter
  • Remember the last save path.
  • New and improved icon! (at top of the post)
  • Confirmation before hitting “back” and resetting a project. Better integration of projects with each platform (Win/Mac/Chrome).
  • Fixed a rare crash on startup.
  • Freestyle Recorder now tells you what state it’s in (Idle/Recording/Waiting). There’s a short wait time of about 1 second after any audio recording, just to stop it from triggering again too quickly.

Known Issues

  • Recording is not yet supported in Chrome. Right now the APIs we need don’t exist in Native Client yet.
  • Very short notes don’t paint in the loop recorder widget. However, they’ll always be recorded.
  • Confirmation is missing before closing the application.
  • Still a handful of cases where the loop recorder length buttons are in the wrong state.

That’s it for now, but there’s more bugfixes to come as we keep polishing. Lastly, if you’re playing with SongStarter, leave us a comment and let us know how it’s working for you!

SongStarter Beta Updated – Bugfixes, REAPER, and more…

Though it’s only been a few days since the SongStarter free public beta release, we’ve already started getting good feedback and have some bugfixes to push out.

The biggest problem reported so far was that the beta version appeared expired for many Windows users. I’ve done a bit of tinkering and I think I’ve managed to fix this one, so if you couldn’t get SongStarter to run before, try hitting the SongStarter page again and download the new version for Windows (songstarter-1.0-beta-082312-win32.exe). The Mac version has been updated with these fixes too.

Other changes in this version (1.0-beta-082312) include:

  • Drag and drop MIDI export for REAPER added
  • I quietly fixed the OS X package having some broken artwork and instruments earlier in the week.

That’s actually it, it’s been a slow week. I spent one day tackling some bugs lurking in Analog Extracts and SodaSynth (updating coming for those tomorrow), and I’ve been working on gathering feedback on SongStarter. There are a handful of high-priority features I have on my TODO list, but I want to make sure my priorities are right, so if you dig SongStarter, your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll keep you posted on SongStarter as it develops!

SodaSynth 1.1 Released!

Oscillicious is pleased to announce the release of SodaSynth 1.1!

This new update includes 4 new presets (Sleep Walker, Sleep Walker Remix, Squish, and Crystal Strings) and brings full compatibility with 64-bit AU and VST hosts on Windows and Mac OS X 10.6+.

Here’s a new video that starts off with a brief demo of two of the new presets (Sleep Walker and Crystal Strings), and then goes on to show some sound design possibilities by taking Sleep Walker and tweaking a bunch of the knobs.

The SodaSynth VST and AU plugin is also fully compatible with Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8.

Grab your copy of SodaSynth from the Oscillicious Shop via instant download, or save nearly 20% by purchasing SodaSynth and Analog Extracts together in the Oscillicious Plug-in Bundle!

Existing users can upgrade for free using the download link in their original registration email, or by hitting up our downloads page.