I went along to this talk at the Barbican in August as it sounded like it would be more than just of general interest. I’m a big fan of the music hack space and their events are always worth attending in my opinion.
The first part of the talk was from two projects that have been through (or almost through) the kickstarter process. The first was the OWL. The programmable pedal that’s come out of a collaboration in the hack space itself. The OWL is a great idea, in fact I was very tempted to jump in to fund it myself. So it was interesting to hear about how the project got off the ground and how a very small team made decisions about how to structure the product in a relatively short space of time.
The second talk was about the touch keys hardware, which I was aware of but not as familiar with as the OWL. Again, it was an interesting story with similarities around their experiences of running a kickstarter campaign.
However, the thing that both projects talked about was how the project wasn’t something that was going to make money for them. Rather it was a process of getting a product out because they were passionate about it. Whilst that was interesting it wasn’t perhaps the best message for the music hardware community. If you can’t take a great idea (like the OWL for instance) and make it into a real business then just how sustainable is it?
It opens up a lot of other questions about where crowdfunding should be heading and also about the nature of entrepreneurship, especially in music technology, which there just wasn’t time to answer in the session. But food for thought nevertheless and certainly something that needs to be addressed, and perhaps I can do that in another post or even series of posts.
If you didn’t know, MooCowMusic is the original iPhone music app developer. Showcased in the very early days of the iPhone and the app store. After a long period of silence MooCowMusic brings us a new app called Looptical.
Here’s what to expect …
Looptical is the complete music production solution for your iPhone. Record your musical ideas on the go, and mix them into a finished track there and then, or use them as the basis for a new project back at your studio.
Making instruments in Looptical is easy. You can import samples from your desktop, or copy/paste them from another iPhone app such as a synthesizer. Then assign the sample to a drum pad, or to a key on the keyboard: that’s all it takes. For a wider-ranged sound you can assign pitched samples to additional keys and Looptical will intelligently fill in the gaps for you. Trim samples, and make perfectly looped sounds directly within the app. You can even record a riff, beat, or texture, export it to the pasteboard and then import that directly onto a pad or key. Share instruments with other Looptical users on our forum.
Record vocals with the iPhone built-in microphone and add your own effects with live monitoring. Overdub, or record in separate tracks and playback in sync with the sequencer. Plug in an iPhone audio interface such as the Apogee Jam and use an external microphone to beef up your vocals. Connect a guitar and record via third-party guitar effects apps with Inter-App Audio or Audiobus.
Plug in an iPhone-compatible MIDI keyboard (such as the Line 6 Mobile Keys) and you can break out of the iPhone screen and compose using a full hardware piano keyboard. Play drum parts by assigning piano keys to each pad, or effortlessly noodle a solo by playing the Scale Piano from the major keys. Assign spare MIDI controllers such as Pan or Modulation to directly control automation parameters in Looptical insert effects.
So, not too long to wait as Looptical will be here on the 18th.
I don’t know which maker event this is at. Anyone know?
Well here’s what you’ve been looking for.
Via MIDI Designer.