Buy "D550 MIDI" on the iTunes App Store
The app doesn't produce any sound on it own, it is designed for playing hardware and software VST-style MIDI synthesizers such as Kontakt via a CoreMIDI compatible interface connected to the dock connector or virtual MIDI instruments like Roland Sound Canvas for iOS, IK Multimedia SampleTank, or Sonosaurus ThumbJam running on your iPad.
The app has the full 3.75 octave chromatic range of the flagship Dusty Strings D550 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer, plus can be transposed up or down one octave in semitone increments.
To play, just touch the strings on either side of the left (Treble) bridge or the left side of the right (Bass) bridge just like on the real instrument.
To get repeated note "drag roll" effects, drag quickly horizontally across the strings. The drag roll sensitivity can be set on the settings screen. The higher the sensitivity, the shorter distance you need to move your finger to get the effect.
Touch the iPad icon on the playing area controls to toggle between "Full" and "Treble/Bass Bridge Only" style instruments.
"Full" provides the full D550 instrument including the Superbass bridge.
"Treble/Bass-Only" focuses on the treble and bass bridges and provides the maximum string spacing for easier play on smaller screens like the iPad Mini.
Touch the MIDI connector icon on the upper left corner to show the settings screen where you may:
- Set the overall instrument transpose up or down up to one octave in semitone increments
- Set the MIDI channel independently for the treble and bass bridges
The treble bridge notes include the C#6 and D#6 notes on the accessory bridge at the top left of the instrument and the D#5 on the accessory bridge above the bass bridge.
The bass bridge notes include the notes on the Super bridge on the left side of the full instrument layout.
- Adjust the MIDI velocity and volume independently for the treble and bass bridges
- Use the "Transmit MIDI Port" switch to choose between "Omni" sending MIDI data to all CoreMIDI apps or "Virtual Port" sending to a named CoreMIDI virtual output port. When the "Virtual Port option is selected, D550 MIDI will show up as an input option labeled "D550" in apps that support virtual ports like Sonosaurus ThumbJam and MIDIBridge. "Omni" mode is selected by default.
- Show or hide the hammer touches + note label highlights
- Enable or disable the drag rolls as well as set the sensitivity for how far you need to drag to get the roll effect
- Visit the AppCordions website
- Visit the Dusty Strings website
Touch the "?" on the upper left corner to show the note names for the strings.
Touch the "Shhh" button on the upper right corner of the main screen or on the settings screen to send a MIDI "All Notes Off" message to quiet any stuck notes.
The app works most effectively with MIDI patches that are percussive and have a long release decay time, like harp, guitar, and other plucked instruments.
- In "Preferences", under "Options", enabled "Background Audio".
If using the "Virtual Port" transmit port option, enable the input port under Preferences / MIDI Control / MIDI Input Connections.
Under Preferences / MIDI Control / Input Options, change the "In Channel Start" from "Omni" to channel 1.
See "MIDI Setup Tutorial for use with ThumbJam" video below for specific details.
- In Settings (touch the gear icon), enable "Background Audio".
- For simple direct connection, in D550 MIDI, set the "Transmit MIDI Port" option to "Omni".
- If using a MIDI filtering app like MidiBridge to modify the data stream, in D550 MIDI, set the "Transmit MIDI Port" option to "Virtual Port".
Other CoreMIDI compatible synth apps will have similar settings.
Demonstration Videos and Screen Shots
"Treble+Bass-Only" Portrait Mode Demonstration
MIDI Setup Tutorial for use with ThumbJam
Creating Custom Instrument Patches in ThumbJam and SampleTank
Demonstration with "Kontakt 5" for Windows Using an iRig Hardware MIDI Interface
Using Styluses from the 99-Cent Only Store as Hammers
Sam Rizzetta, one of the world's masters in the design and building of hammered dulcimers,
has come up with an innovative design for conductive hammers to use with my apps.
Click the image below to download his design as a .PDF file.
Main Screen (Full Instrument Mode)
Touch the iPad icon to switch to Treble+Bass-Only Portrait Mode
This mode provides the most space between the strings and is great on the iPad Mini
Touch the MIDI Connector Icon to Show the Controls
Touch the image below to visit Dusty Strings and learn all about their amazing handmade handmade instruments:
Here are some great websites where you can find free instruction and more information on learning to play the hammered dulcimer: