For Girls (and boys): The GM Diet Day 1, weight loss article

•July 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Soooo I have been trying to lose weight since February of 2014, going to the gym like 3-7x per week…I got to the point where I was running 5 miles on the treadmill, but kept looking at the scale and watching it stick in the same spot. If you have ever been an over-achieving gym rat, you could understand my frustration after hitting a plateau when I lost 15 lbs. After I lost 15 lbs, the scale never moved again, no matter what new exercises I tried, food I ate, etc. I even stopped drinking for like 10 days and still, nothing. Pissed off? Totally!

So, I met this gym owner and she looks like she’s cut to the hilt…60+ years old and she admits to me that she drinks wine everyday and smokes out…lol. She tells me my problem is my diet. So I started checking out Ketogenic diets, and accidentally found an iOS app for something called the “GM Diet”. It was free, so I downloaded it. The claim on it was you could lose up to ten lbs in 7 days. Well, if you read anything I wrote before, even losing 5 lbs in one week sounded awesome to me… So I stalled on doing the diet until the weekend was over. Today is Day 1 of the GM diet. I weighed myself in the morning (uggh, same weight as last 4 months), and said to myself, I can do this for 7 days. What if I lost 10 lbs? Awesome!

I also read that some lady did this diet back to back 2 weeks before her wedding and lost 25 lbs. I don’t know if its true, but if I can handle doing two weeks (or more?) of this GM Diet, its worth a try.

It’s around 7pm now and I haven’t been too hungry or anything. I ate fruit and drank a shit ton of water (at least 7 glasses already). I still went to the gym and worked out during lunch. My knee was bothering me so I didn’t schedule a dance lesson for tonight. Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow. No headaches, but have been visiting the bathroom a lot. No coffee…no tea. Just water and fruit. Mostly watermelon, cherries and cantaloupe. My boyfriend came home from work and had a beer. I wasn’t jealous. We’ll see how long that lasts…I love to drink wine.

Click here for a link to the GM Diet, so you can see what you’re supposed to eat for each of the 7 days.

EZ Voice and iRig Voice – for the beginner recording & karaoke peeps!

•July 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

How can I start recording my vocals?

Do you like to sing? Do you find yourself singing along to your favorite songs and think you might even sound better than Beyonce sometimes? Why not take your first dive into recording that song with her voice canceled out and your voice in its place, along with cool effects to make you sound even better??!!!

IK Multimedia's iRig Voice microphones. Low-cost, fun and flirty colors, made for beginners of recording vocals and karaoke stars!

IK Multimedia’s iRig Voice microphones. Low-cost, fun and flirty colors, made for beginners of recording vocals and karaoke stars!

IK Multimedia’s EZ Voice is a free app from the App Store, or Google Play store, that will let you import your favorite songs right from your sound library, then you can cancel the “voice” of the singer and sing over it, using cool effects like the pros use, called “delay, auto-tune and reverb”, record yourself, and then send it/share it with a friend or to SoundCloud. Cool right?

EZ Voice, a free karaoke and recording app with tons of features, and easy-to-use.

EZ Voice, a free karaoke and recording app with tons of features, and easy-to-use.

How do you get the sound into your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android device? The iRig Voice microphones are low-cost, fun and flirty, and come in 5 colors, just the same as the iPhone 5c. They are just $39 from your favorite music or electronics retailer (or from the IK Multimedia online store). Plug this microphone into the audio jack of your device (where you plug in your headphones) and you can plug your headphones into the separate audio output on the iRig Voice’s cable. This way you can hear yourself singing, or you can output the sound to computer speakers (using and 1/8th inch to 1/8 inch cable) and hear yourself out loud.

How to plug in iRig Voice, and output to headphones or speakers.

How to plug in iRig Voice, and output to headphones or speakers.

Check out this video of people singing with the iRig Voice and EZ Voice combo. Looks like a lot of fun, right?


For more information about EZ Voice and the iRig Voice microphones, please visit the IK Multimedia website. Click here.

How do I connect a MIDI controller or keyboard to my iPhone, iPad or Mac/PC?

•July 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

This is a question every budding musician asks themselves when trying to construct a computer music studio, “How do I connect a keyboard or other MIDI controller to my mobile device or computer so I can make music?” There are some new products on the market that can help, considering what you might already have in the studio. Here are some easy-connecting solutions for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac/PC computer:

New: IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2: It’s all about the Connection…and the Ports

From IK’s website:

Connectors for iRig MIDI 2, include Lightning, USB and 30-pin (may be purchased separately).

Connectors for iRig MIDI 2, include Lightning, USB and 30-pin (may be purchased separately).

At the center of iRig MIDI 2 is its detachable Mini-DIN connector, which lets you attach a Lightning (included), USB (included) or 30-pin cable (sold separately) depending on the mobile device or computer that you’d like to use. This makes it possible for you to use it with your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Mini, Mac, PC etc. There’s a list of compatible devices from the IK website for iRig MIDI 2, click here.

Attach at computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, external MIDI controller keyboard, etc to make music with your mobile device or computer.

Attach at computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, external MIDI controller keyboard, etc to make music with your mobile device or computer.

iRig MIDI 2 features three MIDI ports: IN, OUT and THRU. The ports are standard-sized and require no adaptor or special cable to use — in fact, you can use any standard MIDI cable you’d like. These ports give you all the control and connectivity that MIDI allows: Use the IN port to use external keyboards and controllers to play your favorite software sound modules and synthesizers. Use the OUT port to control external hardware or synthesizers from your mobile device or computer. And you can use the THRU port to send MIDI data to multiple instruments at once.

Still confused? Watch this iRig MIDI 2 Video from IK Multimedia, click here.


OK, so you don’t have a MIDI Keyboard, or other MIDI controller, but you want to make music? Here are some more IK Multimedia products that can help you plug in and play!

From the IK website:

iRig KEYS with Lightning is MIDI and USB class compliant for a true plug-and-play experience both with iOS devices or Mac/PC. No additional apps, software or drivers are necessary to get it up and running. For total mobility, iRig KEYS with Lightning is also an ultra-low power consumption unit.”

iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO from IK Multimedia, affordable mobile MIDI controllers with USB, 30-Pin and Lightning adapters.

iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO from IK Multimedia, affordable mobile MIDI controllers with USB, 30-Pin and Lightning adapters.

There are two flavors of iRig KEYS. iRig KEYS (37 velocity mini-keys keyboard controller) and iRig KEYS PRO (37 FULL-Size Keys MIDI controller). What are the differences between the two? Well, if you have a backpack, the smaller version (iRig KEYS) is going to fit in there, making it very easy to get around town with just your laptop, or iOS device in tow. The iRig KEYS PRO version is going to be a Full-sized key keyboard controller…which some people prefer to use in the studio (since they might be used to using real piano-sized keys). There is also a cost difference between the two (iRig KEYS costs less money).

Both iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO work equally well in true ease-of-use situations. You won’t need any special software or drivers to install and use these products. Your computer or device will automatically “know” how to use them. If for some reason your computer DAW can sense multiple controllers, you will have to choose iRig KEYS in your “preferences” for MIDI controllers for it to be the main mamma jamma.

Still confused? Here is a video of iRig KEYS PRO in action, click here to watch the video.


Of course, there are many different keyboard controllers and MIDI adaptors on the market, but none are so versatile and easy to use with all devices to make music with than the three aforementioned products. It’s important to purchase products that will work with new mobile devices, tablets and computers, this way you won’t have to re-invest immediately if you get a new laptop or mobile device.

Thanks for reading Starr Ackerman’s Music Production Blog. ~ Keep Making Music!~

Introducing ModeAudio’s new website, sample libraries, sound packs and more!

•July 8, 2014 • Leave a Comment

ModeAudio is a brand new loops, samples and soft synth presets provider, specializing in audio packs that are versatile, work straight out of the box and, of course, sound incredible!

ModeAudio’s loop and sample packs are created specifically for the best DAWs available, featuring extra production tools beyond the core audio material. Examples include Ableton Drum Racks, FL Studio DirectWave patches, Reason Combinator presets, Logic channel strips and more. All integrate seamlessly within their host software, cutting out unnecessary legwork and speeding up the process of transforming ideas into music.

From Dubstep to Ambient, EDM to Hip Hop, ModeAudio’s sound libraries are typically aimed at specific genres but are always built with flexibility and utility in mind. This ensures the sound packs have the scope to excite producers working in other styles too.

Check out ModeAudio’s website for regular articles covering soft synth tutorials, DAW tips, music tech news and beyond.

To celebrate their website launch, they’re offering 3 for 2 on their entire catalogue. From vintage analogue synth loops, intricately recorded found percussion hits, presets, patches and more, there is something to inspire everyone.

USA Today Video: iRing – the future of motion control for musicians on mobile devices

•February 28, 2014 • 4 Comments

Jefferson Graham from USA Today interviewing Starr Ackerman on IK Multimedia's iRIngs

In this video from the NAMM 2014 show in Anaheim, California, USA – USA Today’s Jefferson Graham interviews Starr Ackerman from IK Multimedia on the future of motion control for iOS/Mac & PC for musicians, called iRing.

iRing is the first motion-tracking controller for iOS music apps and more. iRing is a patent-pending, double-sided ring with dotted markers that allows the user to control effects, notes or other music parameters by waving their hands in front of the iOS device’s camera. The camera detects the motion control, and you can set the MIDI parameters that you want to affect via the software you are using.

Learn more about MIDI control for your music apps, visit the IK Multimedia website, click here.

Starr Ackerman / IK Multimedia / Public Relations

The reviews are in, “That Speaker is so Loud!”, iLoud – 40 Watt Bluetooth Speaker/Amplifier

•November 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

IK Multimedia iLoud Bluetooth speaker reviews

IK Multimedia iLoud, 40 Watt Bluetooth speaker, amplifier.

IK Multimedia iLoud, 40 Watt Bluetooth speaker, amplifier.

iLoud Launch Day Review Quotes The sound is most impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Queen’s We Will Rock You, The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Louis Armstrong’s take on Hello Dolly.”  “The iLoud delivers a solid performance in a small footprint. if you need that crisp clean sound and extra power for your performance and wireless capability for streaming your tunes, then iLoud would certainly more than fit the bill. And for musicians, it’s a great choice.  iLoud’s portability and the ability to plug that guitar or dynamic mic right into the iRig enabled jack and play live, makes it for a funky 40w amplifier.” Greg Gazin, Canoe.Ca, Gadget Greg I’ve been clinging to a quixotic dream of replacing the pedalboard with an iPad and a small Bluetooth pedalboard. With the recent of release of the BlueBoard and the iLoud, I was able to start trying to make my dream a reality. Guitarists don’t need to lug around huge pedalboards anymore if they want to tap into a variety of sounds. The BlueBoard and the iLoud are up to the task. I was really happy with the iLoud as well. The on-board iRig is nice, and since it doesn’t use the main connector on your iOS device you can charge your device while playing through it. It gets plenty loud enough…” -Mark Crump, GigaOM, CNN Money

 “It’s…markedly better in treble and clarity than the Big Jambox and Braven 850 HD, rendering songs with additional layers of apparent depth that make the same-priced speakers sound flat. This new accessory is one of the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested. Overall, iLoud is a very good portable Bluetooth speaker—superior in audio quality and top volume level to similarly priced rivals, and equipped with musician-specific benefits.”

Jeremy Horwitz, After wirelessly pairing the iLoud with my iPad, I raised the volume. At the mid-point, the iLoud was already as loud as typical wireless Bluetooth speakers. By the time I reached the loudest volume setting possible, my wife made a comment that confirmed the product’s namesake.  She said, “That speaker is so LOUD!” Oh yes, it was loud alright. So loud in fact that I could see compression of air pulsating from the rear opening with every deep bass beat. Yet even at that volume, the audio was crisp and clean, not at all saturated by muddy over modulation.” Mike Riley, iPhone Life

 “I’ve been using the iLoud for a few days now with Netflix and have been amazed at how much I can actually hear on these movie soundtracks that would otherwise remain hidden.”

iLoud is the ideal speaker for musicians and audiophiles who demand an accurate reproduction of a wide range of musical styles from rock, hip-hop and electronic dance music, to more nuanced and sonically demanding genres like jazz, classical and acoustic.” David Cox, The Examiner

 Before I even plugged my guitar into the iLoud, I connected my iPhone via Bluetooth and turned on A Pale Horse Named Death. With the bands heavy bass, I figured I could distort the speakers with the first song and be done with it. I was wrong.”

“When the song started playing, I sat back and smiled. The song wasn’t just loud, it was clear. The bass was pumping through, heavy guitars were screaming and there was no distortion whatsoever.” “I tried a number of other songs and bands, in a variety of genres, with the same results. It just sounded really good.” “The other part of the iLoud that sets it apart is that you can plug your guitar into the device. IK Multimedia made this so simple, it’s amazing.” Jim Dalrymaple, LoopInsight

 IK Multimedia designed an audio system with musicians in mind. I have had a chance for a first look, and it is awesome. What impressed me from the start was how portable and light iLoud was … well, honestly that was the SECOND thing that impressed me. If it wasn’t for the tremendous sound coming out of the speaker, nothing else would have mattered.” “But once I heard iLoud in action, I noticed everything else. The ease of connecting my iPad using the 3.5mm cable, or plugging in a guitar directly to the 1/4 jack; the ease of pairing devices to iLoud over Bluetooth made getting started easy, and allowed all of us to take turns sharing our music.”

Michael Anderson, Gear Diary “It sounds great. Even if you’re not a musician, iLoud is one of the best-sounding portable speakers you’re going to find that’s this compact. It’s a 40 watt sound system that lives up to its name – a front-facing dial surrounded by a red light (steady when on, pulsing when in low-power mode) lets you turn it up until it gets really loud.” “Ultimately, iLoud plays to IK Multimedia’s core strength as a tool for musicians. If you’re familiar with IK’s Amplitube or VocalLive and you can get the sound you want out of its collection of effects processors, iLoud goes from being a great-sounding playback speaker to a great-sounding performance speaker.” Peter Cohen, iMore

iLoud Bluetooth Speaker/ Amplifier – Hear the difference – comparison videos!

•November 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Until now. the mobile music revolution was just a dream…but this may be the final piece to your puzzle (how to have the best PA, Bluetooth speaker, or small amplifier that fits in your backpack) for gigs, home life, and just general partying. The answer? iLoud. 

The specs: 40 Watts (freaking 3 to 5X louder than anything else you’re able to get for a Bluetooth speaker). The website says 2 to 3x, but if you listen to the comparison videos…I would think differently. Also, has an input on the back, so its an AMPLIFIER – instant PA system for someone needing a direct input for a microphone, bass, guitar, keys…or any other LINE level instrument. This feature makes it unique in the market, and besides being loud as f***, its definitely worth plugging into and playing through. Not only that...pair it with your phone or iPad and just play tunes, DJ at your next party…or, for the musician, use it as a personal portable studio monitor! Flattened frequency response will ensure you get the best representation of the sound while creating and performing music on your iOS device or BTLE enabled device. Plus, it has 7-9 hours of Li-ion battery life. Awesome!

Okay, enough with the gushing…so here are the comparison videos so you can make YOUR OWN DECISION :-)

Here are comparison videos for a very popular “pro-sumer” BT speakers on the market (which I might add, none have an input for a line level instrument, and therefore, iLoud is unique in the market as also being a 40-watt BT speaker + amplifier!)

iLoud vs other popular speakers – Part 1

iLoud vs other popular speakers – Part 2

iLoud vs other popular speakers – Part 3

To learn more about iLoud from IK Multimedia, please visit the IK Multimedia website, click here.

Thanks for reading Starr Ackerman’s Music Production and Technology Blog.  Never Stop Making Music!




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