iOS is a disappointment for making music

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Division Monarchy
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iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:27 am

I got to vent a little bit about iOS. You see, the iPad itself seems like a great music tool in theory. There are some really innovative app ideas for it. However I feel like there is such a low ceiling for it reaching its potential. The MIDI on it is a disaster, and audio not much better. Apple has neglected to include a core audio and MIDI with it and the result is a bunch of developers winging it and creating inconsistent products. I forgot how many times I've bought something because it sounded great, only to get a refund because the implementation was a fail. Latest case in point, I just bought the new release of TouchABLE, only to find that it simply does not work at all. I feel that too many developers on this platform are lazy. I know nothing about programming, but I know if your products don't work as advertised you are not good at your job. Apple is really dropping the ball too. Despite using "pro" as a buzzword to sell new products, their software and operating systems get dumbed down. It's like they forgot about the creative demographic that they cashed in on for so many years and threw them under the bus for a bunch of people that want a trendy new phone with an awful sounding pair of overpriced headphones. My expectations with them just keep lowering. Not too mention upgrading to iOS 9 has really been unpleasant. All this potential, but developers lacking the fundamentals of stability in what they are selling...

Sorry about the rant. I'm just wondering if any others using iOS are experiencing the same frustrations as me after spending a ton on a new device and apps. I mean, I could have bought a quad core MBP with what I've spent on iPad and related iPad accessories and apps in the past 6 months. I guess I'm just mad at myself right now for buying this crap and wasting my time trying to get it to work.

yur2die4
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:47 am

What was the problem you had with Touchable? For the current price it is somewhat of a steal!

As for other music making options, touchable is more of a controller but there are a lot of synth and fx processing apps and host apps that take advantage of a lot of methods for music making. Between audiobus, inter-app audio, and what I see as a mostly reliable midi integration iOS is extremely flexible for my needs.

But yeah, with the touchable thing, I hope that you tried contacting the people who develop the app. They might be a little swamped with the promotion etc, but from my experiences they've been very open about wanting to help users have a good experience with their product.

pencilrocket
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by pencilrocket » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:59 am

you know... iSomthing from them are supposed to be used for casual situation. They have been branding their prosumer products with the name *** Pro. Don't be misled by stupid fanboys. Stick to this principle and you'll encounter with less disaster.
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Division Monarchy
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:00 am

You might be right... I'm just personally tired of needing to troubleshoot every single thing on this platform... Most everything I've bought for OSX just works, Live, Logic, NI... Maybe patience for iOS app trouble exceeded its threshold by 10db... I sent them an email. I'll see how long they take.

Division Monarchy
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:02 am

Prosumer? Hahaha... I like that. So true it's funny... I wish I didn't hate Windows or that I was smart enough for Linux.

Tarekith
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Tarekith » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:56 am

I think there's some amazing individual tools out on the iOS platform, but getting them all to work together can be hit or miss. I was never really a fan of the Audiobus concept myself, and while IAA was looking promising for awhile, in a lot of apps like Auria it's still touch and go for it actually working.

Part of the problem is Apple's yearly OS updates, often times changing the way things work behind the scenes requiring a lot of work from developers just to keep things working. One of my best friends is a full time iOS music app developer, and hearing about all the work they have to go through just keeping things updated instead of working on new ideas, shudder.

Still, some cool stuff coming from the sound of it, and there's always the ability to do this, which is pretty fun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaZP1fi9aPE

Division Monarchy
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:06 am

That's a good point. I'm sure it's pretty rough for the developers of third party apps with the constant updates by Apple. It's like Apple releases stuff early and there is a new bug fix every week... That is my main frustration is realizing some of the great potential with it, but it seems Apple's development holds it back. At this point, they should have recognized that it is becoming a legitimate work tool for music to the point where they would have implemented core MIDI into it. Because that's where I see so many miscues between apps properly syncing. And Audiobus is too unstable for me to use in any live setting with the crashes. An app like MusicIO is great in theory, but I have problems with that one too, but I think it's something Apple should do natively between its operating systems. iOS still has a long way to go IMHO. The new iPad Pro will not save it or make it any better for professional use.

Division Monarchy
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Division Monarchy » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:13 am

That video is a step in the right direction... I'm still waiting a while before I go to El Capitan... And it further illustrates the need for core MIDI in iOS... Thank you for sharing it though. It gives me hope not all is lost yet with it.

BoddAH
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by BoddAH » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:00 am

I think you’re missing the point of the iPad as a music production tool. There’s some fantastic soft synths and really creative control apps and other creative tools for iOS. They work flawlessly for the most part as long as you don’t expect them to do too much. Ideally you shouldn’t even rely on them interacting too much, why would you?

An iPad, a basic, cheap USB MIDI keyboard and some iOS synths pretty much gives you the most powerful and flexible “standalone” synth you can imagine. Add an iPad-compatible soundcard to the mix and you can even add high-end IO to the mix.

Apps like Lemur or Touchable or Logic remote are also incredibly powerful and useful for controlling software in your computer. Again, in their own way. They won’t replace the tactile feedback of a classic MIDI controller or something like Push but they’re also more flexible and powerful in different ways.

The trouble starts once you expect your iPad to actually replace a fully-fledged DAW. It won’t and it probably never will. It won’t for a lot of reasons and doesn’t need to anyway. We’ve got computers if we want to do stuff that computers are obviously great at doing so why insist on using a different tool?
Even things like Audiobus or AudioCopy are nice gimmicks that can make sound-design a bit deeper and provide more options to compatible apps. They should never be seen as a replacement for the powerful file management and manipulation or limitless routing possibilities of a desktop-based OS and a full-modern DAW. :mrgreen:

My advice would be to enjoy your iPad and use it for what it’s best at. Get away from the computer. Get some inspiration by plugging it directly into a MIDI keyboard and playing it like a powerful synth with a gorgeous display or a supplementary controller for your DAW. 8)

Tarekith
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Tarekith » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:12 am

That's exactly how I use it these days too, as a skethpad and fun device on it's own. I stopped messing with multiple apps at once and such, it's doable but so much clunkier than on the laptop, why bother with the headaches?

Easier to just fire up Gadget or Xysnthizr and mess with that for a bit.

Stromkraft
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:56 pm

I only use my iPhone (!) as a sketch book. I have NanoStudio for that as well as Traktor DJ and some controller apps that I never really use. I'd get Z3TA+ if it was available for the iPhone.
Make some music!

hacktheplanet
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by hacktheplanet » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:02 pm

My biggest complaint with iOS apps to control MIDI was the latency. Simply not responsive enough.
This solved my problem, enabling audio and MIDI over the sync cable: http://midimux.com. Silly that Apple didn't make this a built-in thing.
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Stromkraft
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by Stromkraft » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:09 pm

Division Monarchy wrote:Sorry about the rant. I'm just wondering if any others using iOS are experiencing the same frustrations as me after spending a ton on a new device and apps. I mean, I could have bought a quad core MBP with what I've spent on iPad and related iPad accessories and apps in the past 6 months. I guess I'm just mad at myself right now for buying this crap and wasting my time trying to get it to work.
Please don't be mad. You had a vision and you followed it. Sometimes this costs you. I know quite a lot of people in the world and have met many others that successfully make music on iPads. I think the key might be to be content with the smaller selection of apps that do work together, set on one "standard" for MIDI/audio and accept the limitations.

I feel Apple isn't taking content creation on any Apple platform seriously enough. They need a kick in the butt far too often. IMHO letting Apple know how you feel in a decisive, constructive and polite way is a part of using their products. As a business consumer of their products I require to be served as far as is appropriate.

I think you should tell Apple directly in their iPad feedback form. Perhaps a little rewording, but they can take it. Write as the response you'd like even if you won't get one.

People that think Apple doesn't listen know nothing. I never take no for an answer from Apple Support and that has worked out fine for me in many cases. Now don't get me started on OS interaction bugs and companies blaming each other…
Make some music!

BoddAH
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by BoddAH » Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:26 pm

I stand to what I just said, you shouldn’t expect too much from your iPad and more importantly you shouldn’t rely on using several apps at once with complicated routings, etc. just because some app maker said you can.

However, the one last thing that would still be nice to have is solid and native Core Audio and CoreMIDI. An easy, universal and rock-solid way to transfer MIDI and Audio over the normal Lightning cable. Basically what studiomux already does but natively, without a clunky App on the iOS device and a Daemon running on the Mac. :mrgreen:

That would probably the one feature to end all possible complaints. :roll:

Who am I kidding people will always find stuff to complain about. :lol:

oddstep
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Re: iOS is a disappointment for making music

Post by oddstep » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:00 pm

The ipad is great as an instrument. Loopy HD for instance... it's great. Audio bus does well... up to a point, korg gadget is a decent groove box. As is caustic. It's not a laptop... so expecting to run loads of apps on it at the same time is going to cause chaos. I've spent more money on va synths than I have on the ipad, they were way less flexible and way less interesting.

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