… and the wind still whistles….

If you were a regular visitor here at the Music App Blog in the past then you will know that, over the last few months, things have been pretty quiet because I’ve been busy focussing on other work activities. While I’m more than a little sad to see the tumbleweeds blowing through the website, on the flipside, I’m very happy that those other work activities are including a lot of interesting stuff.

Anyway, prompted by an email from Lars at Steinberg (see a further blog post this morning), and the trickle of emails I get from some of the blogs former regulars, I thought I’d just add a quick line of ‘hello’ for anyone who does still drop by (and folks do; much to my surprise, the website still gets plenty of hits every day.

On a personal front, I’m happy to say that I’m following my own mantra and getting some music made. This post finds me straight off the back of two, back-to-back, library music projects with a short break before I start the next one. No production/library music is not at the more glamorous end of the music industry but, with a little luck (and a lot of perseverance), it is possible to carve out a living with a working routine that can be both fun and flexible. At present at least, that’s going well and I’m keeping busy.

I’ve still got one eye on the world of music technology though through the work I do for Sound On Sound (I rack up my 20th year of writing for them this year; how did that happen?)….  and I’m keeping track of what’s going on with iOS because I use it as part of my own music making workflow. While I might well have missed something while I’m distracted with other things, my personal impression of the last few months of iOS music tech development would perhaps best be summed up as ‘incremental improvements and changes’ rather than ‘breakthrough new developments’. There have been some cool new apps appearing and some very useful updates to existing apps….  but nothing that – to me at least – has shouted ‘revolution’. Is it just me or are things slowing down a little?

Maybe that’s just a sign of the development stage the technology is currently in? It’s reached a level of maturity where, while change can still come, maybe it’s now harder for developers to find that killer new approach/idea? That’s not necessarily a bad thing as incremental change is perhaps easier for users to handle while still being productive and not being disrupted by the regular arrival of a hiatus. Alternatively, you might argue that things have been taken as far as the technology/platform context currently allows? That could include some economic realities as the app market place becomes saturated and the majority of iOS using music makers who are going to adopt the technology have now done so.

It will be interesting to see what (if anything) might provide the next stimulus to kick thongs forwards. Apple to either (a) bring a game-changing new iPad technology or (b) make iOS hardware suddenly more accessible to a much wider market (that is, drop the price)? Not sure we are going to see (b) anytime soon….   but (a) could be interesting. Another possibility might be one of the existing major players in the music technology world – and Ableton and Native Instruments spring to my mind – bringing elements of their desktop software to iOS. Live or Kontakt on an iPad would be very cool and spark a lot of interest I’m sure…..

Mind you, I’m still waiting for some core apps to make it over to AU….  so for my own use, I’d like to see a couple of my favourite drum apps and guitar rig sims offering AU support. Maybe that’s more of an incremental wish but it does seem to be a long time coming….

Of course, I might well have missed something and, if you feel so inclined, then feel free to drop me a line and bring me up to speed. And, as ever, be happy this week and beyond…   Here’s hoping that you will be fortunate enough to get some time to create some music whatever the platform you use to make it :-)

Best wishes,



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    1. Good to hear from you, John. While I’m glad that you are pursuing your real passion I must say, selfishly, that I do miss your activity on what was or, rather, still is, my fav music blog. I agree with you that app development seems to have peaked, at least from the types we have seen in the past.

      I’m still hoping for some facsimile of Band In A Box, though. Think it could be a massive hit.

      All the best,


      • B-I-A-B would, I think, work well on an iPad…. It’s quite a while since I used it and perhaps my main observation from memory would be that the GUI is a touch on the busy side to work on a smaller iPad screen….. Still, it would be interesting to see :-) . Very best wishes, John

    2. I still keep MAB in my feed-reader, as it’s always good to hear from you when you drop by here :-) Glad to hear the library music is going well – nothing wrong with this avenue… one of my musical heroes, Anthony Phillips (a great guitarist and composer, and a founder member of Genesis) now carries out much of his activity as a library music composer and producer.

      Yes, iOS music apps do seem to have reached a “cruising speed”, although there can still be surprises… like Moog Music launching their new Minimoog Model D universal app for iOS yesterday, clean out of the blue! Just like they did with Model 15 almost two years ago…

      Anyway: great to hear from you – thanks for all the great “heads-up” you’ve given us until now, and all the best with your next projects!

      • Hi Tim…. thanks for that…. The Model D looks cool. I’ll have to take a proper look when I get a little downtime…. very best wishes, John

    3. John Hickson says:

      Hi John,
      I’m a bit late with this post but I still check in here from time to time to see if you’ve posted anything. I came into the iOS music app buying craze just as it was getting going and my two favorite sites were MAB and The Sound Test Room. It makes me smile to think about ALL those wonderful apps (that I STILL use) and the times we all had waiting for the next great app. More than just great apps and great music being made with them, the whole “epoch” was so much fun! It was one of those eras that will likely never be repeated, at least not to the degree that this was. My buddy and I refer to this as the “Animoog” era ;) I hope you continue to post to this blog and perhaps a few new groundbreaking apps come about in the mean time. I wish you all the best and Thank You for the years that you have been a BIG voice in the iOS music app era. I feel like I know you ;)

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