Hokusai updated


Another new Hokusai update, v1.0.4, should have hit the App Store by the time you read this. It’s quite an interesting one… so what have we added?

Well, the biggest “crowd-pleaser”, if your emails and tweets are anything to go by, will be the per-track gain control dials. These allow you to set the volume level of each track, nondestructively. You can also double-tap them to mute a track.

For screen-space reasons, the dials only appear when you’ve zoomed in vertically. A little tip: you can still access mute while zoomed out, though — double-tap the mono/stereo speakers.

(Oh, and you’ve always been able to solo — when a region is selected, that track is soloed. It’s even more convenient if you enable the “Double tap to select” gesture in the system settings.)

Note that mute and gain control are Pro Pack only features!

Also new to the Pro Pack are a couple more filters: the classic Phaser effect, and — since a few folks asked for it — a click track/metronome generator.

We’ve also upgraded the Time Stretch and Pitch Shift filters, to add high quality (DIRAC LE) processing. The default setting is to work the same way as before (as the old method is much faster!) but you can simply enable High Quality mode for slower, but much nicer, results. Note that DIRAC LE only works between 0.5x and 2.0x speed/pitch adjustment, so if you set the adjustment outside this range, the high quality option will be disabled and it’ll use the old method.


This one gets its own section, because it’s my personal favourite :)

Many effects in Hokusai have sliders to set their properties. And many of those sliders are what we refer to as “multisliders”, meaning that you can set more than one value for them. The filter then adjusts the value while processing, starting with one value, and ending on the other (or oscillating between them). For instance, you can use this with the pitch setting in the synthesiser to generate a rising, falling or warbling tone.

We’ve upgraded this so that as well as start/stop or oscillating values, you can actually fingerpaint custom changes. Pick fingerpaint mode and the slider is replaced by a tiny graph showing how the value changes over time. Tap this to see a much larger view (full screen on iPhone, “pretty big” on iPad) that you can edit.

Here’s a demo, showing the various multislider modes, including the new Fingerpaint:


Some minor changes:

  • If you’re using the iPad, you’ll know that the various control panels that pop up can be dismissed just by tapping the background (on iPhone/iPod touch, they’re full-screen, with a “Cancel” button). This is nice and smooth to use, but did cause an issue with recordings, which is that (since tapping the background was the same as tapping cancel), it was too easy to cancel a recording without meaning to. Now, if you tap the background while recording, the recording is added to your project, just as if you tapped the Stop Recording button.
  • When you pick AudioPaste, Hokusai shows you a list of recent AudioCopied data. It also lists the General Pasteboard, which is actually a completely separate thing from AudioPaste — it does the same job, but it’s for backward-compatibility with apps that don’t support AudioCopy. We’ve improved this compatibility, to work better with a wider range of apps that only provide General Pasteboard support.