What is the iWatch?

Every major tech company seems to be making a watch. I’ve never worn a watch and since I have a smart phone don’t need one to tell time. Initially when I heard Apple maybe making one I thought it was a really stupid idea. I rarely use notification center and the last thing I want is little updates on my wrist. From a music tech blog angle I guess it would be cool to have an audio recorder on my wrist but I wouldn’t buy an iWatch just for that. Then I got thinking and I’m going to speculate what this watch actually will be. We know Apple bought a fingerprint authorization company. You put your finger on a device and it becomes unlocked. My guess is the iWatch will be a digital wallet. A payment device. Pulling a smart phone or leather wallet out of your back pocket could be considered a pain. With the iWatch you touch it with your finger and you pay. It will also be linked to tickets and such via the Passbook app. There you have my guess. Tell me in the fall if I am correct.

“Apple has been on something of a world tour securing trademarks for its anticipated “iWatch.” After first seeking trademarks in Russia and Jamaica back in June, and more recently filing for the “iWatch” name in Japan, Apple has applied for the same trademark in Mexico, Taiwan and Turkey.” – mashable.com

For more info: apple.com

Audiobus

Audiobus was released today. It allows multiple iOS music apps to work together. I have found many music apps to be useful but I usually just record one at a time into Ableton. Audiobus opens things up. I’m still not certain I want to be bouncing in and out of Apps but this functionality is certainly welcome. I’m also glad to see many developers working together on it. $9.99

“A Tasty Pixel in partnership with Audanika today launched Audiobus, a revolutionary new app for iPad and iPhone set to reinvent iOS music making with its ability to connect music apps together, just as cables connect audio equipment. Support for the app is already built into such leading iOS music apps as Rebirth, JamUp, NLog, Sunrizer and more, with over 750 more developers registered to implement Audiobus in their own music apps.” – audiob.us

For more info: audiob.us

Korg iPolysix

Korg has released iPolysix an iPad version of it’s classic Polysix synthesizer. Unlike the original there is a step sequencer, drum machine, chordal mode, Soundcloud sharing and Kaoss type effects pads. About $15 USD.

“iPolysix is an analog polyphonic synthesizer that’s been carefully designed to take full advantage of the 7.9-inch display of the new iPad mini as well as the iPad. Bringing together a sequencer, drum machine, and even a mixer, it transforms your iPad or iPad mini into the ultimate analog synth studio. Pack an amazing set of early-’80s analog equipment into your iPad, and time-travel back to the dawn of polyphonic synthesizers!” – Korg

For more info: korg.com/iPad_Apps

Synthpop Granulated

Take a look at the last post I did (link). See that video? Now check out the video above. I took the same sounds and put them into the Borderlands granular synthesis app. From a retro melody using analog hardware futuristic noise. I think it starts to get good around the 2:15 mark.

“Granular synthesis is a basic sound synthesis method that operates on the microsound time scale. It is based on the same principle as sampling. However, the samples are not played back conventionally, but are instead split into small pieces of around 1 to 50ms. These small pieces are called grains. Multiple grains may be layered on top of each other, and may play at different speeds, phases, volume, and frequency.” – Wikipedia

For more info: thehorrorist.com

iOS6 and AudioBus

iOS6 will be released today. While I still do the bulk of my pro-audio work on my iMac or Macbook Pro I am using my iPhone and iPads more and more. Yes the previous sentence shows my fruit company addiction. Nevertheless just recently I was recording some female vocals and to lead the chorus in I grabbed a sound from the iPad app Samplewiz. I did it without thinking much… it’s just part of my workflow now. iOS6 brings some nice new features as far as audio is concerned. Sonicstate has a good write up (here) on what’s coming but here’s three things: Audio and Video Sampling During Playback, Inter-app audio and Multi-route audio. These additions plus the recently approved AudioBus spec along with more powerful iOS devices mean you will soon be working with multiple audio apps at the same time in a big way. It’s going to be great to see what innovative apps are going to take advantage of all this.

“Live, app-to-app audio streaming for iOS. No hardware required.” – audiob.us

For more info: iOS6, AudioBus and Sonicstate

Apple 2012

Yesterday, Apple showed off iOS 6, Mac OSX Mountain Lion and new Macbook Pro’s with Retina displays. None of the upgrades will mean much specifically for musicians. The new Macbook Pro is of course lust worthy but be carefully you loose the Firewire port. An adapter will keep your audio interface working but it’s worth mentioning. Mountain Lion continues to push the idea of files being stored with their own apps (now also in iCloud). I’m old school and like pushing my files all around between different Apps but Apple knows for beginners it makes more sense to do it the new way. Making the same file and changes to the file instantly available on iOS and Mac OSX also pushes developers to make compatible Apps that work on both platforms. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the great iOS music stuff on Mac OSX. Everything is getting a lot slicker. A native Notes app that syncs across iOS & Mac OS (goodbye Simplenote/Notational Velocity?), a night mode for the Phone that looks excellent, built-in turn by turn GPS with new Maps and Passbook. Passbook stores tickets to concerts, movies, flights and will be another good step in eliminating paper. Later in the year we are sure to see a new iPhone and maybe some TV product. Yes I am still a fanboy.

“iOS 6 gives you more features to make the things you do every day even better.” – Apple

For more info: apple.com

The New iPad

Did anyone who reads this blog think I could resist ordering the new iPad? It’s becoming more like a real computer. It’s already several unique musical instruments and I’m sure with more power we will see more audio innovation. For anyone just getting an iPad for the first time here’s a small selection of a few extra fun music apps to get you going: SoundyThingy, FunkBox, SynthX, The Badlion’s Garage Synth, SoundPrism, SampleWiz, sir Sampleton, Polychord, ZX Plectrum, abcdefg, Moog Filatron, Voicejam, LaDiDa and Scanner911.

“The A5X chip with quad-core graphics drives four times the pixels of iPad 2 yet it delivers the same smoothness and fluidity iPad is known for.” – apple.com

For more info: apple.com/ipad

Siri

The new iPhone is upon is. You shouldn’t care if the number five is part of it’s name because it’s a nifty upgrade. The thing that has me the most interested is Siri. If it works accurately and quickly it could be as big as a step as multi-touch was. Talking and touching think about it. The future is creeping up around us. Will we be saying, “Load sequencer. 4 bar loop…” soon?

“Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you’ll keep finding more and more ways to use it.” – Apple.com

For more info: apple.com/iphone/features/siri.html