rhythmboy

iPhone/Android music apps - serious potential or forever toys?

12 posts in this topic

We are probably all aware of the iband phenomenon:

Just wondering if anyone here has started using smart phone music apps as serious 'instruments' in recordings and/or gigs? I'm thinking of giving it a go...

Which stems from my original thought about how 'serious' are these apps getting these days? Have they reached the level of being truly worth using in serious production, or will they forever remain fun toys to play with in an idle moment?

I know apps for ipad are getting more serious for the studio geeks, and even Garageband is increasingly used in 'professional' production, but will the 'iband' become a serious live force or is it just a short-term novelty?

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I dunno, I'll tell you when I get an iPhone. ;)

Actually looking at finally getting one in February.

There seems to be a few companies making respectable external mic kits, or even just an adaptor with an XLR input. Ideally I'd like a stereo input, however mono would probably be fine for my needs for now, for field recordings and capturing music practices for revision and playing along when I'm back at home. Perhaps even the inbuilt mic would suffice teamed up with a recording app?

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^ Listening to an interview on ABC radio yesterday they were discussing the use of smart phones in journalism. Apparently the built-in mic on iPhone will do for radio interviews if the background noise is low enough. How this translates to vocals for music though... I'd say a real mic + adaptor is always the better option.

I've been recording jams with Ehsan's Firing Pattern band using the built-in mic of the iPhone lying on the floor, and it's not awesome but it does capture the essence. Would probably be better if I actually put the phone in front of the speakers tho :blush:

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a couple of my bands do that as well - when we want to remember a new track we all whack our iphones on record and it does the trick.

I also use an app AC Core 7 (i think thats the name) on the ipad to control pro tools when I am laying down drum tracks or standing/listening in different parts of the room. Quite handy for that. Other apps I use musically are for shits and giggles. I think the usefulness of idevices as serious musicmaking tool is limited by the fact that to transfer data you either need to use a 3rd party app, itunes sync or hack the device. Until you can drag and drop natively it won't amount to much. Of course I know nothing of android so can't comment on that.

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This has piqued my interest:

http://line6.com/midimobilizer/

mm_main_mmii.jpg

Being able to sync mobile apps to MIDI clock has been on my wish-list recently. I don't mind some of the step-sequencer apps I have on my phone, it would be nice from time to time to sync the tempo to my Mac and record patterns as audio into a session.

Also playing some of the synth apps from a full-size keyboard would be cool.

Anyone doing this? Is it worth it?

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Any idea about where we can downlaod music apps....????

For Apple products it's pretty much exclusively the App Store, accessed either directly from the device or download to your Mac (either direct using the App Store link or via iTunes) and then sync the device later.

Similar situation for non-Apple devices too I believe, altho I have no experience with this.

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Iv been using some of the Native Instruments drum machines. They're not bad for drumming out a beat on the train. yet to turn it into something cool though.

There are some serious tools out there, like touchAble for Ableton and TouchOSC which let you control MIDI from your iPhone / iPad.

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Nice video. Thanks for sharing.

 

And I think that  'iband' become a short-term novelty, cause there are still people like actual instruments live perform.

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