Well that was fun. I always enjoy tell you all about what apps I like using and which devices work for me. But whilst I was going over which devices I do like it did occur to me that there is a real gap in this market. A gap for a device like a QY-100. Something that I thought that the KDJ-1 would fill, but of course it hasn’t arrived as yet. It’s late. Very late.
The other possible contender to fill that space might be Arpeggio, although not as good a fit as the KDJ-1. Sadly I think that a lot of manufacturers have stopped thinking in this space and stopped exploring it as iOS (and Android to a lesser degree) have pretty much tied it up, or at least developers have anyway.
But that makes life a bit limiting doesn’t it. Yes, there’s the OP-1, and at some point in the future the OP-Z too, although it isn’t clear just how that’ll work without an app or other device to work with it.
I don’t have a solution for this, but I think there should be one. I think it would be good to have some more options. Not that iOS, or Android for that matter, are bad choices for making music. It’s just that having something else would be nice to.
It may sounds simple, but it’s what drives us as a community. Whatever you do, don’t stop making music. Keep at it. Even if you only have a few minutes a day to spare to your music, keep it going.
And most of all, enjoy it.
Well here we are at the end of our 14 devices, and I could only think of one device to end on, and that would be the classic VL-1. Which is, in many ways, where my mobile music journey would start, not that I knew that back then of course. I’m not sure whether Casio meant to make such an iconic device or not, but it is a part of our history now.
There was even a recreation of it on the iOS app store for a while. It is sadly long gone now.
But this is a good place to end I think, and to see just how many similarities there are between the VL-1 and the OP-1. Technology doesn’t change too much does it.
Last and by no means least is Korg’s Gadget. One of my all time favourite apps, Gadget is awesome, completely awesome and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that. I was really impressed when it first came out and it’s only got better and better. When Korg first brought it out the first thing that struck me was that it wasn’t another recreation of their existing hardware or software. It was in fact something entirely new and unique to iOS.
What I really love about Gadget revolves around firstly how self contained it is, and secondly the sheer choice and range of instruments inside it. It really does have just about everything. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t want more instruments choices in there, of course I would, and I hope that more come, perhaps in the next update.
I’m really looking forward to when it comes to the iPhone next month, and I only hope that Korg to as good a job on it there as they have on the iPad.
If you haven’t tried Gadget (and you almost certainly have) then you really don’t know what you’re missing. I’d highly recommend it.
It’s important to try new things, and if there’s one thing you can say about the world of iOS apps, and Android to a lesser extent, is that the range of apps is incredibly wide, and within that range are some really interesting and experimental apps. Apps like Stria, iPulsaret, Donut, BitWiz, and many more besides.
It maybe that those are the kind of apps you love already. It maybe that you’ve no idea what I’m talking about when I mention them. Either way, one of the great things about mobile music, and about iOS and the app store is that software like this is available and at very reasonable prices.
My personal view is that it’s excellent that developers are experimenting with these kinds of apps, taking music creation and sound design in really exciting directions. Equally I think that users should branch out, try new things and new ways of making sounds and music.
I know that lots of you already do this, but if you don’t, try something different.
The Thingamagoop is just a lovely noisemaking device. I personally only have the thingamagoop 2, and so far haven’t pre-ordered the new thew Thingamagoop 3000. I may do at some point, I am tempted!
But the existing Thingamagoop 2 was (is) a great noise maker still. Personally I just don’t think that there are enough instruments like these around. I think we could do with a lot more, and Bleep Labs have always been good at making them. If you don’t know what they make then I’d suggest a quick nose around their site.
My penultimate choice is something more like an instrument. I know Samplr is well loved by a lot of people, and I count myself among them. Samplr is one of those totally immersive instruments that makes you feel like you’re actually touching the sample, touching the sound.
Samplr has so much depth that I doubt that I’ll ever get bored with it.
I’ve mentioned supporting developers, and the blogs and sites that bring you news, but there are other elements of the community that are just as important. Who? People like App Sound, Apptronica, people like Miselu, and many others who innovate by bringing sample packs, sound banks, hardware and more that adds to and enhances the mobile music experience.
There are so many people and organisations trying things out and attempting to make creating music on a mobile device even better. Innovation is hard and I think that it’s really important to support people who are experimenting with new ideas and concepts beyond just the app. It’s people like the two I’ve mentioned and many more besides who are going to take mobile music in directions that I haven’t thought of as yet, and I’m looking forward to seeing what and where they’re going.
Another favourite which you’ll continue to hear about in 2016 is the TouchBoard from Bare Conductive. I think that this has way more uses than we currently recognise, and I hope to show you more of that in the coming weeks or sooner if I can.
And they’re not expensive either. You can get them direct from Bare Conductive, or grab a TouchBoard on eBay, but whatever you do, don’t buy a clone, buy the real thing!
So as we approach the end of my 14 apps for today I’ve got another drum machine, and it is brilliant. From the maker of TweakyBeat, SeekBeats is one awesome drum machine / synth app. With both superb synth and sequencer control this is an excellent compliment to Elastic Drums, and on occasion I’ve used them together with great results.
If you don’t know SeekBeats, then stop not knowing about it, and take a look