Apple’s devices have earned praise from developers for consistently supporting multiple fingers in predictable ways. But to go further with expression, one developer made use of the size of contact area on the screen.
Any time a developer goes beyond “public” or official APIs, there’s a chance Apple will eventually balk. We knew this was a risk to the excellent music app Orphion when we covered it, but hoped, in fact, that if the app were successful, Apple might reconsider.
Unfortunately, today we learn from developer Bastus Trump that Apple will remove the app. And that means, at the very least, you will want to take steps if you want to get this app on your device – or keep it there. Bastus tells CDM:
I’m writing you because Orphion is in serious trouble:
Apple just called me to nicely tell me I use a private API function to sense the area of the screen which is covered by the finger for its articulation gesture ([CDM] wrote about it). This is crazy – thousands of users love it for this and it makes Orphion so expressive.
The app will be removed from the App Store in two weeks if I don’t submit a new version without it – and I currently can’t think of Orphion without this gesture.
So what I can recommend is
1. Everyone who wants to have the “original” Orphion get it NOW from the app store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/orphion/id495465097), it will be only be there for a few more days
2. Backup the current version to keep it. (Michael Tyson from Audiobus made this great tutorial)
3. Tell Apple to make this great function officially usable in apps (Any ideas how to do that?)
So far… let’s see if this is really the end of Orphion.
I find it a little extreme to discontinue the app without this gesture. But as for the API, Bastus tells us he thinks there is a case to make it public and official. And musicians would be the best people to give that feedback, as they use touch in more expressive ways than most users. Bastus adds:
“For the way I use it it’s absolutely reliable. It’s been in there for more than a year and thousands of users love it…”
I’m curious to hear from users and developers. Can you suggest a workaround? Can you make a case for why Apple would want to keep this app? Is this something you use?
Touch iOS Music in a New Way: Hands-on with Cantor for Users, Inside Details for Developers [some information on the original development concept and specifically this API]
Freehand Playable Circles, in Any Tuning, on iPad: New Orphion Editor [complete look at the newest version]
The post Hands Off: Apple Wants to Pull Orphion Music App Over Touch APIs appeared first on Create Digital Music.
For all this debate over the new Mac Pro, you really need to know only two things:
1. The current Mac Pro is not a good value at the moment.
2. We have no idea how much the new Mac Pro will cost.
And so, everything else (minis, iMacs, MacBooks, and yes, even PCs) rule the roost. That’s good for music, because (as a couple of commenters observed), they’re all working just fine. The Mac Pro I thought was newsworthy last week in that it demonstrated that more internal horsepower is coming to high-end desktops, and that those machines can (whether you like it or not) rely on external devices – meaning Apple can make them really small.
The response to last week’s editorial, though, revealed just how divisive this machine can be. Boy, did readers complain – shouting at me, shouting at each other. It’s also like a walk down memory lane. Mac users and Windows users are fighting again. People are complaining that a new computer from Apple will completely destroy professional workflows because of an absence of expandability, that Apple doesn’t understand the pro market. Ah, memories.
For other good analysis, veteran Apple watcher Peter Cohen has a great story:
A closer look at the new Mac Pro [iMore]
Take note: upsides include fast internal storage, dual Ethernet, loads of Thunderbolt ports, lots of I/O bandwidth, 4K displays. Likely a quiet studio machine. Loads of power. The downside: we don’t know how much it will cost or exactly when it will be available. (It’s really, really tough to overstate how important that is.)
To be fair, if you’re heavily invested in internal hardware, this is still really bad news. And Mac users may feel the situation is out of their control, because unlike Windows users, Apple is their only vendor. (That’s true of some of you, anyway; some of you are happily building Hackintosh machines.)
But what I think is missing from the online debates (on CDM and elsewhere) is one cold, harsh reality: the current Mac Pro seems a waste of money, 2010 technology at premium prices:
On the US Apple Store, the base model will set you back US$2500. To get the higher-end Intel chip, you need to shell out $3800.
That’d all be find if you got performance to match. But have a look at Macworld’s Speedmark scores. The 12-core Mac Pro (the one that costs as much as a used car) isn’t only outrun by a fancy new Retina MacBook Pro. It’s also slower than an iMac, or even the top-of-the-range Mac mini.
Switching to Thunderbolt and USB might well be pricey if you have a big investment in internal hardware. And buying one internal hard drive is definitely cheaper than buying one in a case with a cable.
But you simply can’t say the current Mac Pro status quo is a good value situation. It’s an expensive, slow machine.
And economizing by buying internal hardware is not always an advantage in an age when more and more pro users run laptops (or minis, or iMacs). Yes, external hardware generally costs more. It’s also easier to move and easier to swap with other computers, which can ultimately be a better value.
Also, it seems a small Mac Pro could be useful to audio users, who often move machines for everything from audio installations to stage setups. It’ll also be great news if this machine is quieter. We’ll know more later this year; it’s just too soon to say for sure.What is uncertain about the new Mac Pro
I think there are other concerns here that have more weight, though.
1. We don’t have any idea how much this will cost. (Fairly large issue here. Speculation is on the expensive end, but no one really knows.)
2. Internal PCIe flash storage here should be faster. But we don’t know what capacity it will have.
3. We don’t know what will happen with Pro Tools hardware.
4. The future of USB3 and Thunderbolt accessories is unclear. As I said before, I think the Mac Pro could be a push for both the Mac and PC sides. But vendors are cagey about talking about all their concerns as this involves future designs. We just don’t know what will happen. (USB2 and FireWire, by contrast, are safe bets.)
Despite concerns 3-4, though, I’m generally optimistic about the potential for external hardware, and vendors are generally telling me the same. They’re saying their stuff will work. In fact, they’re typically saying this is all more bandwidth than they need. (That’s a good thing.)
Back to the current Mac Pro pricing, the problem here is that the new Mac Pro isn’t just competing with the old Mac Pro. It’s competing with the Mac mini, iMac, and MacBook Pro – all of which are well loved. It’s safe to say that competition for the old Mac Pro has been going very badly.
The New Mac Pro is also competing with Windows PCs with conventional expandability. Here, though, there are some twists. The PC ecosystem isn’t delivering on the advantages of Thunderbolt yet. Those same Windows towers also have to compete with the aforementioned, well-liked Mac machines that deliver loads of performance and (cabled) expandability on the cheap. And there are some potential advantages for graphics users on the OpenGL side.
The bottom line for me is this: cost and value, not the absence of slots or storage bays, will determine the fate of the Mac Pro, and perhaps all desktops like it. Video users, those biggest consumers of storage bandwidth, often get by with external arrays.
The real question marks are what will happen with Pro Tools hardware that relies on PCI slots, and what this will cost. But if this isn’t creating the same angst in everyone, it’s because, increasingly, small desktops, all-in-ones, and laptops are happily fulfilling the performance needs of people doing production. Desktops can still be a better buy for certain users on the PC side, but the time when that was true on the Mac has already past.
Now, the jury is out on whether the Mac Pro will again give high-end users a reason to invest in high-end hardware. And anyone who claims to know the answer to that while lacking the price tag and most of the pieces of the hardware compatibility – whether they’re a skeptic or a believer – is taking a big gamble.
A historical note
To be fair, the Mac Pro is the biggest disruption to the top-of-the-line Mac desktop since the switch from PowerPC to Intel. By comparison, the Power Mac G4 was well liked, even with the switch to AGP for video, had a range of slots for I/O hardware and graphics. (Just don’t overstate upgradeability. You can still run OS X 10.4 on the 1999-vintage machine, but in the entire time since its launch, GPU options have been few.)
But we have been here before. On Create Digital Motion today, I point out that you can go all the way back to the 80s: the new Mac Pro fairly deep similarities to previous machines from Steve Jobs. And if it does serve visual creativity well, it could be a fitting tribute to that legacy:
Steve Jobs’ Dream of the Visual Workstation, Surfacing Again in New Mac Pro
The post As Mac Pro Debates Rage On, Time for Some Reality Checks appeared first on Create Digital Music.
On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. But they just might know you’re an MS-20.
Hector Urtubia – aka Mr. Book – has connected his synths to the Web and set them up for the world. Submit a music pattern, and send it off to the synths to be rendered to sound. It’s like Kinko’s, if they did analog synths instead of printers.
Hector explains more:
I created a web app (http://analogalacarte.com) which allows you to create a synth pattern, submit it and it will get rendered live in hardware on one of my synths at home.
Keep up with the latest on his Twitter account:
The post Web-Connected Analog: Synths Render Sound From Your Browser, Remotely appeared first on Create Digital Music.
Cue the Tetris theme, and start playing music by navigating a field of cubes.
So, you’ve seen X/Y touchpads before, many times, in hardware like the KAOSS Pad (or Lemur, or your computer trackpad). But AeroMIDI 3D does something rather different: instead of just a single X/Y area, you get an array of programmable 3D cubes floating in space, all triggered with waves of your fingers using the forthcoming Leap Motion connect. Use one finger, multiple fingers, different parameters, whatever you like, and notes and control messages are sent via MIDI to your favorite software.
You get three dimensions of control for each finger, if you like, and the developer promises low-latency gesture recognition. The software is available for Mac and Windows.
With Leap Motion apparently on track for a release next month, you could have your fingers on this very soon. And this is the second dedicated music app we’ve seen in development for the Leap, even before it has been released. (Leap Motion recently did a round-up of music apps; more are on the way.) Previously:
From Gestures to MIDI: Geco Promises Music Applications for Leap Motion
And more details from the developer:
AeroMIDI uses the Leap Motion controller to track your fingers in 3-dimensional space, allowing you to trigger notes and MIDI continuous controller messages. Works with any MIDI software or hardware! Control synthesizers, lighting rigs, DAWs, effects, virtual instruments, and any other MIDI-capable hardware or software with AeroMIDI!
AeroMIDI is the virtual 3D glue between your synths and your fingers. Prepare to create music in a whole new way.
Welcome to AeroMIDI – New Dimensions in MIDI Control!
**AeroMIDI and the Leap Motion are expected to be released in late July 2013.**
To learn more, go to:
The post Control Music with Cubes Using Your Fingers: AeroMIDI 3D for Leap Motion appeared first on Create Digital Music.