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
It’s never too early to start your spawn off with musical instruments. Pitch Painter from Morton Subotnick for iPad is a good one to put next to the crib. Honestly I’ve downloaded this and will probably use it on a song or too (not kidding). $2.99 in the App Store now.
“Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers of electronic music and multi-media performance. He is an innovator in works involving instruments and interactive computer music systems. His work Silver Apples of the Moon has become a modern classic, and in 2010 was entered into the National Registry of Recorded works at the Library of Congress, which selected only 300 recordings in total for this esteemed archive. Subotnick is also a pioneer in offering creative musical tools to young children. He has authored the educational CD-ROM series Making Music which has been widely used by parents and educators to let children experiment with the fundamentals of pitch, rhythm, sounds and styles of music. Pitch Painter is his latest endeavor in utilizing mobile technology to ignite the musical creativity of children.” – appadvice.com
“Gaz is in for a flying visit this time, just back from Paris where he is working on a major Rock opera production. Still he’s managed to get some quality time with the iPad working on this project. We hear about the apps that have really helped him out.” – sonicstate.com
Look at this beautiful iPad granular sampler called Borderlands from Chris Carlson. I can see many of these futuristic interface elements influencing other pro-audio app developers. We live in a great time being able to touch our sounds like this. I can’t wait for this to be released.
“The audio files can be moved and resized using typical single and double finger gestures. Currently the orientation of each rectangle may be toggled by touching the object with a third finger. A grain cloud can be created by double tapping anywhere on the interface. This immediately opens the cloud for editing, exposing a number of parameter regions around the cloud. Each region can be dragged or thrown between a hard coded min and max value. Users may edit the number of voices in the cloud, duration of each voice, overlap of the voices, playback rate or “pitch” of the voices, and the frequency of an LFO controlling the pitch of each voice. This view may be hidden by double tapping on the grain cloud again. Several discrete parameters are available as buttons at the bottom of the interface. These include the grain direction (random/forward/backward), the window type (hanning, exponential decay, exponential growth, sinc), and the stereo distribution of the grains (two modes – unity preserves the original spatialization of the audio file, stereo pans grain voices left and right sequentially.” – Chris Carlson
The wonderfully titled abcdefg has been one of those iOS music apps I show friends to blow them away. Konsonant (iTunes link) is Joerg Piringer’s follow up. Don’t be afraid to use your konsonant creations in your own music productions.
“konsonant is an extraordinary exploration of letters, voice and technology by the media artist joerg piringer. Following the award winning success of piringer’s app abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz konsonant is the next iteration of the artist’s ongoing research on the potential entertaining qualities of letters and sound.” – joerg.piringer.net
“Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (trading as Foxconn) is a multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. It is the world’s largest maker of electronic components and the largest exporter in Greater China.” – Wikipedia
eDrops is a iOS gravity sequencer very much like another app called SoundDrop. I love these type of futury apps and eDrops has a few differences. Check out the video above to see what it does. $1.99 in the App Store.
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
I love songwriting helper Apps. ProChords helps you find the next chord. I was using it last night and it definitely helped me make a progression I wouldn’t have thought of on my own. It’s a bit more than your standard App at $8.99 and keep in mind your still doing to have to work hard to create a song.
“ProChords is a hand held road map of chords from 9000 songs. So if you are working on a song Fx. “Am7, Em7, Am7, Em7″ and don’t know how to get out of the loop. Tab it into ProChords and you will instantly know 31 different ways to continue. It makes it fun to explore odd chord progressions and get inspiration for more original songwriting” – prochords.dk