Hokusai 2.0

Hokusai Audio Editor is one of Wooji Juice’s oldest apps — it’s been on the App Store since 2011, and work started on it even earlier, in June of 2010. It’s received a whole bunch of updates since then, but a lot has changed in the world of iOS in the past six years, and it was time to bring Hokusai up-to-date in a more comprehensive way.

Today, Hokusai 2 is released on the App Store. This is a complete, ground-up rewrite of Hokusai, using Swift (and many other technologies that weren’t available back in 2010) to create an app that’s faster, easier to use, and more reliable.

This has been a considerable amount of work, and traditionally the App Store hasn’t supported paid/discount upgrades, forcing developers to either release new versions as updates and give their work away for free, or else release new versions as a brand new apps and charge everyone full price again.

With Hokusai, I’m doing something a little different.

The quick overview is:

  • The update is free, including lots of new features and improvements.
  • Some additional features are available to purchase in the new Hokusai 2 Pro Pack.
  • If you bought the Hokusai 1 Pro Pack, you can get the new one at a discount.
  • If you choose not to, your old Hokusai 1 Pro Pack will still continue to work just fine in Hokusai 2.
  • Likewise, any other purchases you may have made in Hokusai 1 (FX Pack, Tools Pack, or Fun Pack) will also continue to work just fine.

Or, put another way: regardless of whether you have a free or paid version of Hokusai 1, you keep everything you had before, and also gain a bunch of free improvements. But if you want to support independent development, there’s even more stuff available for a modest fee.

You can check out some of what’s new in this video, or read on for more details:

What Everyone Gets

Everyone who downloaded Hokusai 1 can update to Hokusai 2, free of charge, and enjoy these additional benefits:

  • Project search: Quickly search/filter the list of projects to find the right one by name.
  • Updated Time Bar: Includes a Play Head showing where playback will next start from. You can move it by tapping or dragging, and it “scrubs” the audio as you move it, so you can hear where you are in the project. It can also be used to line up where new audio will be recorded or imported.
  • Live preview: Many of the effects can now be previewed live instead of having to wait for them to be processed first. This is easier than ever with the new Preview Bar that places play/pause and time controls at the bottom of every effect’s control panel.
  • Zooming sliders: You can now “pinch to zoom” on sliders so you can zoom in to make fine adjustments. You can also swap them out for a curve editor, allowing you to create complex, custom variations, as well as a new, simpler way to set start/end points.
  • Autosave: Your project is always saved, not just when you remember to.
  • Undo/redo: You can undo changes even after closing the app and coming back later.
  • Bluetooth compatibility: You can listen to your projects with Bluetooth headphones or speakersfootnote 1.
  • Services: Instead of a dedicated button for Dropbox, there’s now a Services button that lets you pick from any services you have set up on your device — this can include Dropbox, but also supports iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Box, and many more, as long as you have their app installed.
  • Mini keyboards: Used to set pitch/frequency in some effects, these now can be scrolled to access a complete 88-note piano keyboard range.
  • iPhone: Supports Portrait as well as Landscape orientation
  • iPad: Supports split-screen multitasking (on devices that are compatible with split-screen). And the panels for recording, importing and applying effects are all more spacious to make them easier to use.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: If you have a keyboard connected (via USB, Lightning, iPad Pro Smart Connector or Bluetooth) there are plenty of keyboard commands to work with.

The Hokusai 2 Pro Pack

Hokusai 1 had several packs you could purchase. In Hokusai 2, this has been made much more simple. The old packs aren’t on sale any more — but if you already purchased them, they still work just fine, and will continue to do so in Hokusai 2.

Going forward, there’s a single purchase available: the Hokusai 2 Pro Pack. This includes all the features of all the old Hokusai 1 packs, and also some exclusive new ones:

  • Multi-track selection: Extend selections across multiple tracks and cut, copy, paste, trim and apply effects across them all.
  • Panning: Non-destructively pan tracks to the left or right.
  • Presets: A number of effects now come with handy presets, and you can add your own, saving settings you’ve found useful so you can use them again later.
  • Favourites: Mark effects and presets as favourites, and they’ll show up in a special section of the Effects panel for quick access.
  • Project Archives: Makes a .zip file out of a project, which you can store on services like iCloud or Dropbox and retrieve later to continue editing. Useful for backing up projects you don’t need right now, or sending projects to other devices.
  • Separate Track Export: Export each track of a project as a separate file, so you can import them individually into other apps. Includes the option to put all the tracks into a single .zip file.
  • New effects: Autopan to swirl audio around the stereo field, Mid/Side Decode to decode audio recorded using certain field recorder equipment, Mid-Channel Reduction which can sometimes help create a capella or karaoke tracks, and Noise Reduction.

If you purchased the Hokusai 1 Pro Pack, you can upgrade it to the Hokusai 2 Pro Pack at a discount. In fact, if you purchased Hokusai 1 very recently, you’ll actually get the Hokusai 2 Pro Pack completely free!

Note that to receive the free or discounted upgrade, your old Hokusai 1 Pro Pack must be installed — so if it isn’t, make sure you Restore Purchases before attempting to upgrade.

Questions? Please get in touch!

1. Bluetooth audio isn’t supported while recording because current Bluetooth standards don’t allow for high quality recording and stereo playback.