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...]

Less is more; part 5 – a compact iOS music app collection for music production

Starting around May of last year, I posted a short series of articles built around the concept of 'less is more'. The underlying idea here was not a new one but, if you are the kind of person who gets easily distracted by the geeky side of music technology and, as a consequence, sometimes finds it difficult to actually produce any music (which is kind of the point of owning the technology in the first place), then perhaps those articles will have resonated? Partly because I'm one of those … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 4 – Can you buy a mixing magic bullet?

I posted a short series of articles on the blog recently loosely connected around a 'less is more' theme....  the idea being that getting great results within an iOS-based music production system doesn't always require an extensive - or expensive - list of equipment. As I mentioned in the most recent of those articles, I had a few other ideas around which I thought I could explore that theme a bit further....  so, as I'm travelling away from the Music Blog HQ at present, and had a little … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 3 – a minimalist iPad recording studio on a budget

I posted a couple of articles (here and here) last week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps and, in particular, a set of apps aimed at recording applications. In this third instalment, I want to pick up where I left off in part 2…. Before I do, however, let’s remind ourselves that this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 2 – a compact iOS music app collection for recording

I posted an article earlier this week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps. As I commented in that post, this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under some other sort of workflow constraints. The bottom line here is that access to shed-loads of ‘gear’ is not what limits musical creativity for most of us; it’s our skill level in … [Read more...]

Why less can be more – just how many iOS music apps do you really need?

I’ve been running the Music App Blog for just over four years and, in that time, I’ve published reviews of…. well, I’ve lost count of how many iOS music apps…. but it is well over 200 (use the 'Search' box located top-right of the side-bar area to find any you might have missed!) and I’ve used, dabbled with, and sometimes discarded, many more. That’s a lot of music apps but I suspect there are plenty of iOS musicians who can easily match – and exceed – those sorts of numbers. Like me, I’m … [Read more...]