The Playstation Paradox – Guest post from Bram Bos, developer of Ruismaker, Troublemaker and Ripplemaker

How a software-first approach can be an answer to the iOS hardware rat race - by Bram Bos X marks the spot It feels bad every time I retire a precious hightech gadget; like an iPad, iPhone or laptop. I tend to take good care of expensive things (I have never cracked or even scratched a screen) so usually they still work and look as if they were just unboxed. However, OS updates or the latest music app requirements are constantly nudging me towards an inevitable upgrade to the latest and … [Read more...]

Starter for 10 – an iOS AU synth app selection to plug(in) a hole

I posted a bit of a discussion piece this week looking at the status of between-app connectivity for iOS music makers. My broad conclusion (hope?), while I’m sure not original in any form, is that I think the Audio Units plugin format under iOS has the potential to do what a combination of VST, AU and a couple of other formats, have done of the desktop. Workflows will, therefore, become based around a suitable AU host (a DAW/sequencer or a software-based audio mixer) and a collection of AU … [Read more...]

Format Fitness – iOS music makers need a plugin standard to stick

When Apple first launched iOS on the world, one of its key ‘features’ was the nature of the software (apps) that were intended to run on it. These were intended to be focused, ‘single-function’, tasks – a weather app, a stocks app, a memo recording app, a casual game app, a book-reading app, an email app, a simple photo editing app….. well, you get the idea. The software might well have been quite polished and slick but the vast majority of the apps offered a simple workflow and a tightly … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 6 – a compact ‘AU-only’ iOS music app collection for music production

When I did my usual crystal ball gazing and ‘wish listing’ post to mark the end of 2016 and the start of 2017, I speculated – and hoped – that this year might (finally) see the Audio Units plugin format make a real impact under iOS. This wasn’t a risky prediction, nor an unusual wish, as I’m sure lots of iOS music makers would have shared both thoughts. Indeed, many would also comment ‘about time’ considering AU was first introduced by Apple in iOS9 and we are only a few months away from seeing … [Read more...]

Music making with iOS; the pros and cons; no. 5; iOS KISS vs iOS KISS

This short series of short(ish) articles is taking a lighthearted – but hopefully thought provoking - look at the pros and cons of iOS as a music technology platform. It is intended to provide a balanced view of the merits (or otherwise) so that those considering what iOS might have to offer them are better placed whether it forms a good match to their particular needs. The topic of this post – part 5 in the series – is all about KISS. The ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ phrase is, of course, a bit … [Read more...]

Music making with iOS; the pros and cons; no. 4; the touchscreen vs the touchscreen

So far, in this short series of short(ish) articles looking at the pros and cons of iOS as a music technology platform – and intended to provide a balanced view so that those considering what iOS might have to offer them are better placed to judge - we have considered the issues of storage format (part 1), size (physical footprint; part 2) and price (hardware vs software; part 3). In part 4, I’d like to look at one of the very obvious highlight features of iOS (and any modern smart … [Read more...]

Music making with iOS; the pros and cons; no. 3; its price vs its price

So far, in this short series of short(ish) articles looking at the pros and cons of iOS as a music technology platform – and intended to provide a balanced view so that those considering what iOS might have to offer them are better placed to judge - we have considered the issues of storage format (part 1) and size (physical footprint; part 2). In part 3, let’s tackle what is perhaps a critical theme when for anyone making a purchase decision; costs. Premium product, premium price; it’s a … [Read more...]

Music making with iOS; the pros and cons; no. 2; it’s compact vs it’s compact

This series of short(ish) discussion articles is focused on the pros and cons of iOS as a music-making platform. I’m a fan of the approach but I’d also be the first to admit that it is far from ‘perfect’ (whatever that might be given that we all make our music in different ways anyway). The various pros and cons of the iOS music technology manifest themselves in all sorts of ways and, hopefully, by giving some air time to some of the more significant of these ‘good vs bad’ aspects, the articles … [Read more...]

Music making with iOS; the pros and cons; no. 1; no hard drive vs no hard drive

As a regular user of iOS in my own personal music-making workflow, I take no convincing of the various useful roles my iPad (or iPhone) can play. They are many and varied (itself a topic for another time) but, while I’m more than happy to exploit what IOS can offer, I do realise that I’m in a music tech minority. There are lots of musicians who (a) are aware of iOS technology but get their job done without needing an iPad to do it, (b) have perhaps been exposed to what iOS can offer but remain … [Read more...]