Q: Sometimes the sound is making a lot of glitches when I play, why is that?
A: This will depend on many things – the power of your iPad, how many instruments you are playing on, how fast notes you play, which soundfont you are using, if you have other audio apps open at the same time and so on. If you experience more glitches than usual, please terminate Gestrument and all audio apps (by double clicking the home button and swiping the apps up (or in iOS 6 and earlier by tapping the minus-sign) in the iOS multitasking bar) and restart you iPad. Then open Gestrument again before any other audio app. You can also try setting the synth quality to “Mid” or “Low” to ease the CPU burden, and if you use Audiobus, make sure you set the hardeware buffer size to 512 frames instead of 256. Finally you can always turn the internal synth off and use Gestrument as a MIDI controller to play on sounds in other iOS apps or on your computer.
Q: I have some issues with the built in sounds, some instruments don’t seem to work very well, especially the piano sounds. What can I do?
A: UPDATE – We have now optimized the soundfont we are using so it will work much better in iOS. Please make sure you have the latest version of Gestrument installed 1.3 or later.
(We keep the old answer to this question as well since it might still be helpful)
Gestrument is mainly made to be a MIDI controller to control other apps or synthesizers, but we wanted to include some sounds in the app as well and we were happy to get the opportunity to add a full GM sound bank through the help of Christian S. Collins – www.schristiancollins.com – and his soundfont “GeneralUser GS”. We are aware that some of the sounds included there doesn’t seem to work very well in iOS and have therefore added the possibility for the user to change soundfont so you can use whichever sounds you prefer from inside of Gestrument. If you experience more problems than usual – see the answer to the question above.)
Q: How do I connect Gestrument on my iPad to my synthesizer or sequencer program/digital audio workstation (DAW) on my computer?
A: Use any of the Core MIDI compatible MIDI interfaces available for the iPad, or use WIFI to set up your iPad as a MIDI instrument in the MIDI settings (this might result in a slower response and some dropped notes). Here is a tutorial on how to connect your iPad to your computer through WiFI thanks to MusicAppBlog.com
Q: How do I synchronize Gestrument to my DAW?
A: Gestrument can send and receive MIDI Beat Clock, which can be sent to and from many DAWs and hardware sequencers (but not all – some DAWs, like Logic, only listen for MIDI Time Code (MTC) and not MIDI Beat Clock when acting as a slave). In the MIDI settings in Gestruments Editor you can decide if you want to send or receive MIDI sync and on which port.
Q: Why can’t I play on Gestrument from my external synth now when Gestrument allows MIDI input?
A: Gestrument is not a synthesizer, it’s a MIDI controller and/or MIDI generator. The reason we added MIDI input into Gestrument is to be able to control the different parameters of the app by outside sliders and other controllers. If it were to listen to outside sources for MIDI notes there might be a problem as to which information it should focus on, the external MIDI or the MIDI generated from the touch screen. It would conflict and give strange results. If you like the Soundfont we have included it is much better to load that to a Soundfont player (there are many free sf-players for Mac and PC) in you computer or to an app like bs-16i that is a pure soundfont player for iOS.
Q: How do I load new soundfonts?
A: Soundfonts are imported by adding them through the iTunes filesharing or by “Open in” from an email or website from you iOS device. For iTunes file sharing – add the soundfonts to Gestrument in iTunes and sync and then they will show up the next time you open Gestrument.
Q: Since all instruments in Gestrument are controlled by one finger, does that mean that they play the same pitch and rhythm all the time?
A: No. Since all instruments define their own range of pitches, rhythms and dynamics they interpret the input from the controlling finger differently. When your finger is at the lowest point every instrument plays its lowest pitch, but that pitch is very different between a piccolo flute and a double bass.
Q: But doesn’t that mean all instruments play parallel intervals all the time?
A: No. They do go in the same direction, but if one instrument has a very small range and another has a very large, they will not play parallel intervals even if they go in the same direction.
Q: Can I play polyphonic music on Gestrument?
A: Gestrument is polyphonic in the sense that it plays eight individual lines on eight different MIDI channels. But as of now the only way to play polyphonic music in its music theoretical meaning (with individual lines going in different directions) is to either play one line at a time and record them on separate tracks in your DAW, or to use the different randomizations (Rhythm randomness and Pitch fluctuation). But we have several very interesting ideas for future upgrades going in this direction so stay tuned and be amazed.