Tag Archives: Reaper

HMV Hybrid Analog / iOS Live keyboard rig

In the late summer of 2019, I joined an oldies band for a month which is another story, but for the first time since my severe health issues in 2016, I felt as if I had regained enough of my former cognitive, physical and musical talents to re-enter the performance marketplace in my community.

The previous year, I had restored my Korg X5 by replacing the internal battery and all 25 micro switches. A new battery was also installed into my Roland D50 LA synthesizer so that it could again hold it’s patches in memory.

While these old (1995 and 1987) analog pieces of gear are great at what they do, they do not have a realistic acoustic instrument soundset to them. It became quite obvious that I needed a drastic update to my live rig.

So I set out to learn as much as could about the various ways to accomplish this. There was only a hand full of people using iOS devices for this purpose at the time. And the audio iOS apps had only just become suitably adept enough to handle the job. The easiest and most cost effective direction I chose was to use a hybrid analog / iOS system.

On my keyboard stand, I had the Korg X5 on the top tier and my Nektar Impact LX61 MIDI controller keyboard on the bottom.

I use a powered USB hub and an Apple Camera Kit to connect the the iPhone SE / 64gig together. This allowed charging and connection at the same time. An iConnectivity MIDI-to-USB interface was used to connect the 5-din MIDI ports on the Korg to the USB hub. This is only a 1 MIDI channel interface and I should have gotten the 16 channel version instead like this or better for more flexibility. With only one MIDI channel with this interface, I could not use the splits feature in iMIDI Patchbay for the X5.

On the iOS side, I chose the KORG Module Pro app for my bread and butter sounds. I purchased the in-app purchases for some expansion sound libraries as well including:

KORG Module Performance Expansion
KORG Organ & Clav Collection
KORG KApro Dreamy Synths
KORG TRITON Best Selection

The controller application was the iMIDIPatchbay by Johannes Dörr. This was where the true magic happened. Within this app a song list could be composed that held the patch change commands for both the Korg X5 and the iOS instrument in Module Pro. It could import a PDF document that could be attached to each song for lyrics and chords. Audio files could also be added. MIDIPatchbay uses Dropbox to store the documents in the cloud.

These songs could then be organized into set lists. With the touch of one button, the app would populate both keyboards with the correct patches for that song and bring up the chord chart with the lyrics. No more searching through printed out lists of songs and then inputting the programs manually into each of the keyboards on a dark stage. A vast improvement from the “olden days” of hunt and peck while multi-tasking with the audience.

Within the Korg Module Pro, I set set up a list of 70 instruments that covered all of my instrument needs. Basic sounds, split/layers, volume and other continuous controller data could be programmed into it. From that list I chose the appropriate instrument for that song. By using the inter-app communication midi setup, they all could talk with each other.

Now with this whole setup then connected to the desktop MacMini, even MIDI and audio recordings could be accomplished into my DAW (Reaper) to further integrate iOS sounds and performance into my compositions.

In this way, all of the basic keyboard sounds, piano, electric pianos, organ, clavinet, acoustic / electric guitars, strings, horns, woodwinds, synthesizer, mellotron, FX were triggered by the bottom Nektar keyboard and the top analog Korg X5 keyboard triggered it’s own sounds.

After all of this work, I learned how to use my iPhone as a virtual instrument in an effective manner in a live setting. I programmed analog patches for the Korg X5 and the Roland D50 using CTRLR which is a MIDI Editor made for hardware synthesizers. Plus I learned 150 songs with all of the lyrics, background vocals and chord arrangements made into PDF documents. In one month.

The next step will be to archive the oldies set list and create a new one using my own original compositions.

Hopefully all of my experimentation can be useful in some way for the way that you like to work. Enjoy.

HMV Favorite Free Audio Plugins 2018

I thought I would make my own list of favorite free audio plugins that I use in my main DAW which is Cockos Reaper v5.80 (Purchased).

They are all for Mac OS X (I run them 64bit on OS X 10.10.5 Mac Mini (Late 2014 [7,1]) 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 / 16 GB RAM / 2 Core / 1 TB HD /)



Amp Simulators

Blue Cat – Free Amp

Brainworx – bx_rockrack V3 Player

Ignite Amps – Emissary and others

Le Pou Plugins – Impulse Responses

Mercuriall – Free Stuff (Stomp Boxes, Pre Amps & Cabinets)

Voxengo – Boogex

Voxengo – Tube Amp


Blue Cat Freeware II



Plugin Alliance

Sound Hack Freeware

TAL / Togu Audio Line



Acon – Digital Multiply

Blue Cat – Chorus


Klangheim – MJUC jr

Tokyo Dawn Records –  Kotelnikov  (Mastering Compressor)

Vladg/Sound – Molot (Compressor/Limiter)

DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)


Cockos – Reaper (Purchased / Main DAW) Free Demo available to try

Harrison Consoles – Mixbus (Purchased)

Propellerhead – Reason (Purchased / Secondary DAW)



GSI (Genuine Soundware and Instruments) – Wat Kat

Musical Entropy – Spaceship Delay

vacuumsound – ADT

Valhalla – Freq Echo


Mellowmuse – EQ1A

Plugin Alliance / Brainworx – bx_cleansweep

Sonimus – SonEQ

Tokyo Dawn Records – Nova (Dynamic EQ)

Tokyo Dawn Records – Slick EQ




Brainworx – bx_subfilter

Ohmforce – Frohmage


Blue Cat – Flanger


Blue Cat – Gain Suite


Alex Hilton – A1 TriggerGate


accSone – crusher-x

Ajax Sound Studio – Soundgrain

C. Rolfe – Macpod2

Michael Norris / Soundmagic Spectral

Michael Ourednik – Argotlunar 2

New Sonic Arts – Granite

Rajmil Fichman – Clouds

Sound Guru – The Mangler (Purchased)

Xenakios – PaulXStretch

Harmonic Saturation

iZotope – Vinyl

Klanghelm – IVGI

Softube – Saturation Knob

Tritik – Krush


Thomas Mundt – LoudMax

Vladg/Sound  – Limiter No6


Hotto Engineering – Mastering Suite and others


Blue Cat – FreqAnalyst

Sonalksis – FreeG

TB Pro Audio – dpMeter II

Youlean – Loudness Meter


Brainworx – bx_solo

Modular Synthesizer

VCV Rack



bigcat instruments- Keyboard Instruments

Sound Magic – Piano One

Noiseash – Sweetcase (Rhodes)


Blue Cat – Phaser

Pitch Shifting

Full Bucket Music – Frequency Shifter


Best Service – Halls of Fame 3 Free

Denis Tihanov – OrilRiver

Nu Space Audio – Riviera (Hyper Room reverb)

u-he – Protoverb

Voxengo – OldSkoolVerb


Sound Hack – Delay Kit

Ring Modulation

Physical Audio – PA2 Little Ringer



Magix – Independence Free

Plogue – sforzando (SFZ Player)

SampleScience Player (Rompler)


Stereo Image

Alex Hilton – A1 StereoControl

Flux – Stereo Tool

iZotope – Ozone Imager

Sub Harmonics

Metric Halo – Thump

Transient Shaper

Flux – BitterSweet


Adam Monroe – Tremolo/Panner

Tone Generators

Virtual Instruments

Alphakanal – Automat (Subtractive Synthesizer)

Ample Sound – Ample Percussion Cloud Drum,  AGM Lite II,  ABP Lite II

Applied Acoustic Systems – AAS Player

Alan ViSTa – Melodic Percussion

Brain Control – Tunefish Synth 4

Full Bucket Music – Various Analog Synthesizers

Futucraft – Kairatune (Synth)

Green Oak – Crystal

Matt Tytel – Helm (Synthesizer)

Native Instruments – Free Products (Kontakt Player 5, Reaktor 6 Player, Blocks Wired, Mikro Prism, Guitar Rig 5…)

Versilian Chamber Orchestra 2 or here

Samplesound – Guitar, Bass & Steel Tongue Drum

u-he – Zebralette

If you are interested in other resources for plugins, check out:


Don’t Crack

Granular Synthesis

KVR Audio

VST 4 Free

Other software of interest:

Captain Plugins

Orb Composer

Score Cloud 4