Roadtrip time – family catch-up and some downtime :-)

For regular visitors to the site, just a quick note to say that I'm going to be away for a few days and, as a consequence, things will be a little quieter around the website until I return.... After a very busy couple of months, mainly working on a number of production music projects (and therefore having a little less time for blogging), we are finally managing to get a short break to catch up with some family and friends back in the UK. Family time is always welcome....   although as we … [Read more...]

iOS11 delivery day – more ‘stick or twist’ decisions for iOS musicians?

As I'm sure every iOS musician is aware, iOS11 is due to be released later today and, around 6pm UK time (adjust accordingly for your own time zone) it ought to be available to download for any of the iOS hardware that will support the new version. That pretty much means iPhone 5S, iPad Air, or iPod Touch 6th gen. or newer. For general use - whether that's on your iPhone or iPad - there is little reason not to update as iOS11 has some cool new features. The new drag and drop features for … [Read more...]

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...]

GarageBand update – Apple fine-tune their iOS DAW/sequencer – and it’s still free

While I'm more than happy to recommend recording apps such as Cubasis, Auria Pro or Gadget to more experienced iOS musicians, if you are just taking your first steps with the platform (and particularly if it represents your first serious encounter with recording/music technology in any form), Apple's GarageBand for iOS is actually pretty hard to beat. Even if you just use it as an audio sketchpad, it would be worth the price of entry and, if you also happen to use GarageBand or Logic Pro X on … [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...]