What have you stopped?

I think it is fair to say that there’s been a bit of an explosion in the number of music apps available for the iPhone and iPod Touch platform. I would estimate that the number of music making apps of varying type dwarf those on both the Palm OS and Windows Mobile put together, even though the market is less than a year old.

So, since the launch of the app store, what have you discarded? Which apps, good and innovative at the time, have fallen off you device or simply out of use completely.

For me I started off with the Moo Cow apps as they came out, but find now that I don’t use them at all and have removed them from my iPhone now.

How about you?

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  1. Noise.IO and Jasuto are the only things I still regularly use – everything else seems to have fallen into the one-shot-toy category.

    I've used Mrmr a lot as a live controller – I wrote some glue code in Processing to convert OSC > MIDI, it's too much fun 🙂


  2. I used to rock MooCow Drummer pretty hard during the pre-App store days, but now Beatmaker has totally replaced it. I also used to be a fan of Noise.io and the interface killed the experience for me. I’ve yet to find a synth app I’m totally happy with.


  3. Hi, I’ve tried many of the synths/keyboards and Randgrid is the only one I use on a regular basis. The reason I think is because it has a sequencer and you can save the stuff you write. Also, the sounds it produces are quite impressive. The only bad thing about Randgrid is the quite steep learning curve. I hav yet to try BeatMaker, I’ve only watched the youtube clips and it looks quite impressive. Would you recommend some of the other apps?

    I’ll make some PR now but regarding drum machines, I never found one that was “tight”, with good drum samples and that didn’t take a week to learn. Thus, me and friend developed Instant Beat that have been out in the app store for a week. It’s by no means the best music app around but I think you can pull off some serious beats on the go that actually sound good. If anyone would be interested in writing a serious review, please let me know and I’ll provide you with a promo code. Also, check out the website instantbeat.com and listen the sound examples of what the app actually can do.


  4. I’ve pretty much stopped using OSC and MIDI apps, as I can’t be bothered firing up my PC when there’s so many cool apps for making music on the move. I have made a bunch of controller interfaces so will no doubt get back into them when I next have time for a PC session.


  5. Let me insprire the discussion with some provocative thoughts:

    I think THE music making killer app has not been arrived yet (including my own work 😉

    That’s why imho:

    First, there is a category of apps directly simulating real apps like Pianos without introducing new ideas. But anyone who ever played a real piano with 10 fingers won’t feel the iPhone pianos any close to the real experience. The only app from that category which might come close to reality is Ocarina, because the original Ocarina is very simple too. But again that’s a problem: Too simple.

    Secondly there is a category like the x0x drumboxes with 1 or two synths included. They also try to imitate the originals and in fact they partly come quite close: But again, they allow only for a very specific music style that is bound to this machines, that’s good, but too little flexibility imho.

    BeatMaker steps a little bit further, but you do not edit notes here, you just overlay samples. Fine, but again too restricted for a killer music app.

    Then we have the generative music apps including some interface ideas. That might be a category of apps to be extended where there might be very new and specific iPhone/Pod approaches coming up over time. It is a very specific way of music making though.

    Then there is the very nice Jasuto, but more the experimental thing competing with apps like max/msp etc.

    So, is this all? I strongly believe, that there will be killer music apps coming in the future. However, to be honest, I do not know how it will look like. Something like Logic or Cubase? Or something really new? It all links to the places and situation where you would use iPhone/pod for music creation: On stage, in the woods, in an airplane, in school, in the bathroom??? WHAT do you want really? I am really curious to hear feedback.

    And at the end: Somebody must found these apps. With prices of 1 to a few bucks, it is impossible to make this on a professional level, except you are building toy like apps for the non-musicians mass market like all the star and guitar things. There are rumors that Apple wants to launch a “high end” store. If you want rich apps like Logic etc users must found them. I had somebody complaining with 2 stars about that NLog has no high pass filter yet. He is right, that a high pass filter should be in a synth. But to be honest: People expect to have iPhone apps for two bucks with a feature set of PC/MACs apps with prices about 50-500 bucks.

    Don’t get me wrong: For me it’s fun developing apps, not money making and I appreciate inspirations by user feedbacks, and for sure, there is an NLog update in the queue for next weeks 😉

    Don’t wanted to offend anybody, but hoping to hear some interesting feedback and thoughts.


  6. In response to temporubato…

    Personally, I want iPhone software that does not try to be as complex as what I have on my Mac. I want sketchpads and fun to play instruments. We have several fun to play instruments, including Bebot, Nlog and others. We have good percussion sequencers in iDrum and Beatmaker, for example.

    What I want most now is a multitrack midi sequencer that can record melodic lines (not just drums) as midi in real time and then easily send those midi files to my Mac. Ellatron sounds like it is planning something like this.

    Beatmaker does midi well-enough, but it does not do pitched instruments yet, so writing melodies with it requires changing the pitches of samples in the sequencer, not in real time.

    By the way, interface-wise, I am feeling more and more that the piano-key paradigm is not really the most playable. I really like the Bebot setup and I would love to see something along the lines of those hexagonal keyboard layouts (which I have forgotten the name of.)


  7. Stopped lots of apps as they've been superceded by other stuff.

    Liked Cosmovox to start with but don't use it anymore.

    Some apps just don't get updated anymore and you wonder if the devs can be bothered.


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