Egoist, the new ReCycle

Discussion in 'Mobile' started by fiction, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. fiction

    fiction Platinum Record

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    I’ve been playing with the new iPad toy from Sugar Bytes for a few days now: Egoist.

    Arranger page:
    [​IMG]

    Effects:
    [​IMG]

    Simplistic Bass Synth and Drums:
    [​IMG]


    Now why have I bought this $20 app?
    In fact, it’s a couple of things that are still somewhat rare in the iOS audio world:
    - Properly working MIDI Master and Slave Clock Sync including MIDI START/STOP support
    (hard to believe, but iOS devs still seem to struggle to implement a simple, 30 years old protocol ;)
    - Slicing any audio file either automatically or manually
    - Rearranging slices in arbitrary order
    - Per-slice effects

    It can do much more, but that’s what caught my attention.
    You could do slicing with other apps too (Yellofier, Beatmaker2, Electrify NXT), and while Yellofier has quite fun FX and Beatmaker has great MIDI sync, nothing comes close to Egoist’s Effectrix-alike FX matrix, slice modulation parameters and especially spontaneous way of working.

    I was skeptical at first, because some controls like the slice slider are a bit fiddly and there’s only one sliced loop that can play simultaneously.
    The more I used it though ,the more I started to enjoy it, and I find its strength in the combination of features that well suits any loopable, or even interesting one-shot sample.
    I’ve been a ReCycle user since the days of SCSI sample transfer and I always wondered how the propellerheads couldn’t care less about this product. More than ten years with features only removed instead of new ones being added. :dunno:

    For newcomers:
    ReCycle offers automatic or manual slicing of rhythmic audio material, changing the BPM of the file without changing its pitch and save the slices as individual audio files, as sound font + MidiFile or as ReCycle (.rx2) files for use in most current DAWs. You cannot go too extreme with ReCycle: BPM changes like from 120bpm to 90bpm are about the limit for most files without too many artefacts, depending on your material.
    The big advantage is that a sliced audio file can be time-stretched or compressed at much better quality, like in Stylus RMX, which works with sliced audio as well and imho sounds much better than ReCycle at extreme bpm stretches.

    Now Egoist starts where ReCycle soon gave up: After more than ten years, here’s the software that adds so much functionality to ReCycle’s bare bones feature list that it’s even more remarkable to hold it in my hands in the shape of an iPad app. And one that works well enough for serious use.

    The experience of working with this app is hard to explain - the simplest percussive or melodic loop can come to new life in a playful way. But you could also use it to easily change the rhythm, sound and feel of a sampled drum beat completely. Or just add a bit of shuffle feel. Or remove it. Or…


    I’ll summarise my review in a few highlights and downsides, there’s enough text already.

    Highlights:
    - Rock-solid MIDI slave and master sync with MIDI START and STOP message support
    (both core audio and external MIDI)
    - Some controls can be mapped to MIDI CC
    - Tight envelopes
    - Full support of the Audio Pasteboard v2.0 for import and export of audio
    - Audio can also be imported or exported using iTunes File Sharing (or automatically exchanged with your Mac/PC DAW if your iPad is jailbroken)
    - Slices can be pitch-shifted, Attack/Decay-enveloped, reversed, disabled
    - Each slice can have Filter/Delay/Reverb/LoFi/Chorus/TapeStop/Repeat individually (similar to Effectrix from Sugar Bytes)
    - Editing slice points is a breeze, with wave zoom etc.
    - Sugar Bytes have a history of fiddly iPad apps with too tiny controls, but Egoist is already an improvement
    - An additional simple bass synth and very simplistic drum sequencer will, if nothing else, help in giving your sliced creation more punch at least.
    - Patterns can be switched in real time, arranged in song mode and copy/pasted between patterns
    - Can be integrated with your DAW directly using iConnectMIDI2+ or 4+


    Things that could be improved:
    - Slice selector faders cannot be mapped to MIDI CC (And this would be great with a Behringer BCR2000!)
    - Not for iOS 5, so iPad 1 is out (but seems to run well on iPad 2)
    - Missing zoom for slice faders: A zoomed screen mode should conceal the grey waveform and loop settings area by the tap of a zoom button, then zoom back when tapped again.
    - Midi “Continue” support (current version always starts from the beginning)
    - A “finger-lift-off” detection to avoid accidental value changes when lifting the finger
    - A more sensible knob tweaking response, like e.g. finer adjustments the further the finger is moved away from the control (Propellerhead’s thor is a good example). Some knobs are fiddly to set back to zero or any precise value.
    - The Chorus effect would better be replaced by a good vowel filter

    Maybe Sugar Bytes read this and dare to improve it further - apps like this can help make the iPad be used for serious work in many different environments.
    Zoomed: zoomed8.gif
     
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  3. Quakeaudio

    Quakeaudio Producer

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    Amazing Tool. I bought the Mac Version on Release day...
     
  4. fiction

    fiction Platinum Record

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    Indeed. There's no doubt Sugarbytes have great ideas.
    Turnado is another monster app :wink:

    It's only that some of their iPad apps desperately need a user interface overhaul.
    They always look nice but some are hard to use without a stylus, and that's not the point of a touch app really. :dunno:
     
  5. ovalf

    ovalf Platinum Record

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    Probably they will release an Android version...
    There is already an ipa to download on The net...
     
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