So many synths look like this, but why?
This is something that’s been on my mind for a while now. Do we actually have too many synths on iOS, and especially for the iPad?
There are now so many apps for making music on iOS that the choices are completely overwhelming at times and of course there are more and more new apps arriving almost daily. So how do you decide what to check out, what to buy, and what to just ignore?
I think a lot of that choice is around having a clear vision for what is going to work for your music and what isn’t. What will help you musically, and what won’t. All too often it’s easy to just grab new apps and play with them for an hour or so without knowing how this will take your music forward. I do this at times but more recently I find myself holding back and trying to think about how this or that app is going to help me in moving my own ideas forward or indeed take me in a new direction. I find that it helps me to do this now.
But I do wonder whether we’re going to reach a point soon where the market for iOS synths will reach complete saturation. Some of you may argue that we’re there already. You could be right.
My concern around this is that it seems that many synths are made as replicas or ports of their desktop equivalents. That’s not a terrible thing in itself, but it doesn’t really move on the mobile world. It just brings it closer to the desktop world. I know that some people think that’s good, but I’m not sure I agree. It just means that mobile becomes an extension of the desktop music world. And once again, I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.
Of course now with iOS9 on the horizon and the fact that it’ll bring audio units will only accelerate this. My guess is that we’re going to see a lot more VSTis arriving on iOS when iOS9 lands. But we’ve talked about this before and I was interested to hear your views on the subject.
Some will say this is a good thing. There’ll be loads more options available to a mobile musician but also it also means that iOS becomes increasingly like the desktop instead of standing on its own.
Anyway, I’m getting off the point, which is about the number of synth apps that exist on iOS and whether we just have too many of them or not. Sometimes it’s difficult to know which synths are worth trying out and which are just iterations and remain very similar to existing synth apps.
As I mentioned earlier, this proliferation of similar apps can lead to is a kind of musical procrastination, spending your time just trying out new synth apps or other music making apps and not actually making music, which is, after all, what most of us want to do right? Of course there’s a case for spending time experimenting with sounds and new forms of synthesis and for learning. I’m not arguing against that at all.
My main point, or question, is around whether the number of synth apps is bringing anything new to music making on iOS or not. I think I’ve made my views clear. I’m happy to see more but I want to see innovation and not repetition.
So, that’s what I think. What about you?