Category: App Review

Open Labs Stagelight Review

                      Stagelight 3.0 Review

  • What is it?: Music Production Suite/DAW
  • Company: Open Labs
  • Operating System (s): Android 4.4 and up, Windows 7 and up
  • System Requirements: Android: 2GB RAM,  Windows: 1GB RAM
  • Price: Android: Free (In-App Purchases), Windows: $9.99 (Free Trial)

Stagelight, a Music Production DAW made by Austin Based Open Labs has a few tricks up it’s sleeve. Check out the video review below.

Audio Evolution Mobile for Android

Audio Evolution Mobile- Android

Finally a crew of DAW developers have decided to get their hands dirty and try to tackle Android’s audio latency issues and managed to create an app that rival’s any other  desktop DAW in the Process (think Cubase or Pro Tools). And that app my dear friends,is Audio Evolution Mobile.
Created by Netherland company eXstream Software, who seemed to have even beat the much anticipated FL Studio Mobile for iOS to the punch, (at least when it comes to audio tracks) even though Image-line has announced that audio recording  was in development for Android going for a little over a year. There isn’t any MIDI functionality or virtual instuments as of yet, but the developer has those features in the update pipeline.  Update:As of April 16th, XtremeSD has updated AE  to include MIDI instruments,external USB MIDI and Soundfont compatibility!

When you first start up AE it checks for licenses that can be obtained through IAP’s (in-app-purchases) or as individual apps that can be used standalone. The beauty behind choosing soundfonts as the preset format is that it’s probably the oldest, most universal sound format on the planet. And generally open-sourced,you can find a plethora of soundfonts on the internet.

The MIDI and Audio tracks work great on a touchscreen device, the app is rock-solid and there’s a superb sense of functionality that comes with completing a track in the program for the first time. I recorded of one my latest releases on Soundcloud ‘Shades’ in AE, and while I must add the recording is more so the result of over a decade of recording experience- the app is capable of pulling THIS off…

The ability to use most USB audio interfaces and midi controllers makes Audio Evolution the most advanced DAW on Android for now- at least until Caustic and FL Mobile adds Audio Tracks.

Along with having an affordable Desktop version for taking your sessions to another level, the app has every standard feature that you can find in Desktop DAWs:                        

• Multitrack audio recording/playback

• MIDI sequencing (in-app purchase required)

• Non-linear non-destructive editing with move, trim, split, cut/copy/paste, remove, cross-fade and range editing

• Virtual instruments based on SoundFonts (in-app purchase required)

• Loop playback

• Volume/pan/mute automation

• Latency correction

• Import of WAV, MP3, AIFF, FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis audio files

• Import of m4a, 3gpp, amr and other audio formats that Android supports if you are running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher

• Mastering to stereo WAV, AIFF, FLAC or OGG file

• Software monitoring for USB audio devices and some Android devices that have low enough latency

• Sample rate conversion

• Metronome

• Zoom down to the sample

• Each track has controls for volume, panning, mute, solo, arm, 3-band EQ with mid-sweep, 3 insert effects and output bus selection

• Unlimited number of tracks (*)

• Unlimited number of groups (*)

• Real-time effects include: chorus, compressor, delay, dual delay, reverse delay, reverb, bandpass, highpass, lowpass, flanger, noisegate and tremolo

• Offline effects: fade in/out, normalize, reverse, pitch shift, time stretching while maintaining pitch

• Unlimited undo/redo for editing facilities

• Several grid options for aligning your samples (with tempo and time signature settings)

• Repeat samples with several options to create loops

• Add markers and quickly jump to them

• Load/Save projects including loading projects from our desktop DAW Audio Evolution 5

• Can use ES File Explorer to select samples for import     

The desktop version of Audio Evolution that allows you to open sessions from the Mobile app and expand your session with vst instruments and effects.




FL Studio Mobile for Android Review

FL Studio Mobile

It wouldn’t be far-fetched to call Belgian DAW pioneers Image-Line the hardest working firm in the music software business- FL Studio for PC being voted the #1 DAW for two years straight on MusicRadar’s annual poll can attest to that. But when you consider the broad reach of the different versions of FL Studio and the many platforms it covers (even though the Mac version,though coming soon- remains elusive as ever) you would better understand the statement when compared to other company’s offerings.

FL Mobile’s Start-Up Screen

FL Studio Mobile is a cut-down version of FL Studio offering unlimited Audio and MIDI tracks (depending on device specs),a reasonably-sized Sample and Loop presets library (250 instruments/kits to be exact) that can be further expanded with your own sounds or custom ones exported from FL Studio or the in-app store.It also has a re-sizable 88-key virtual keyboard and FL Studio’s signature step-sequencer- equipped with velocity and pitch roll view.

I own FL Mobile on my Nexus 5 and the latency is near-zero (at least on a Stock Android device) ,making for an excellent live-performance tool-especially on a tablet. The app is broken into six tabs,with four: the Keyboard/Drum Pad View, the Instrument Browser/Editor,Tracks/Arrangement View and Effects- containing all the views and options necessary to create professional tracks. The last two Projects and Setup,organizes your projects and app settings.

In the Instruments Tab,presets are broken down into sound categories in four more tabs to the left as you can see in the screenshot above. I’m reviewing the Android version,so until it’s converged with the iOS version which contains MiniSynth- there isn’t much in available for sound design- give or take the Attack and Release faders above. Audio Tracks have will be added to the Android version in a near update sometime in April-May.

One thing that stands out for FL Mobile is it’s relation to it’s big bro-FL Studio,anyone who uses it will feel instantly at home,and in a way it actually streamlines the latter’s otherwise cluttered workflow. Advances in mobile devices allow you to use your phone/tablet’s accelerometer to control the virtual keyboard’s pitch modulation in place of the wheel available on most MIDI controllers.

I have been using FL Mobile for almost a year now and I find it to be an invaluable tool for my production workflow, allowing me to capture ideas anywhere an idea strikes. There are two demonstrations of FL Mobile’s capabilities below:

FL Studio is available in the Google Play Store for $19.99, click the button below for more details.

*Alternatively available in the App Store as well