The marketing of shiny things

Absurd, Art, Synthesizers

This week I saw on http://www.synthtopia.com/ the following video (that amazingly it has more than 3 million views):

If you don’t want to check it all I’ll give you a small summary. The video presents a new software for making music, in which the marketing was made by professionals that do not have a clue about the music software market. I said professionals because it seems that they are doing a correct campaign. However I think is not really effective.

In that video these guys present a simple and affordable solution that will help you make good music. They claim that is so easy that you don’t need to study music theory, learn complicated stuff o buy expensive gear… and the weirdest thing is that they say that your friends will envy you…

Guys of Dr. Drum, I have to tell you that when I buy software or hardware I search exactly for the opposite.

I don’t like shiny things,  I like it dirty.

We love complex stuff, we love learning.

That’s one of my principles. That’s what I pray every morning.

Music software and hardware is complex by nature. It’s mysterious and intriguing, but is friendly. Even the simplest machine plays an important role. For example this AB Switch pedal.

It’s function is to route the guitar signal to two different destinations. It’s easy to use and it allows doing amazing stuff.

When I see one of these images I start drooling…

These images are pure beauty.. these are machines of controlled chaos…

I think that all the music is chaotic, and harmony it’s just a piece of it that our senses got used to.

The perfect balance

Ernst Nathorst-Böös nailed it with Reason. In this talk he mentions the key point of a music software.  The software needs to be simple but still having a level of complexity.

We need to feel that every song, every sound we make is our own sound.

Even if my songs are crap they are still my crap and I’m happy. That’s why I can spend long hours preparing a sound.

In the chaos I can let myself go…

BTW. The Reason screenshot is one of my songs.

My impressions about the iOS and music apps

Music, Synthesizers

During the past weeks my brain has been suffering a transformation due to the use of my new iPod (yes, I’m exaggerating).

The first thing that I did It was to configure my emails. And now easier than ever I can check all mi accounts in less than 20 seconds. Before I used to spent at least 7 minutes waiting for the laptop to start just to check my once my email. Now I check my email a few dozen times a day… I even read the spam…

Advantages and disadvantages… actually It was very cool that I didn’t had to carry my netbook during my last trip because I could check emails, maps, and touristic information in the iPod.

The frustration

Since I’m a developer there are many ideas that I have of possible apps that I could create. The bad thing is that I just can’t. First I don’t have a mac, therefore I cannot use the development tools 😦 … and even when I have a mac, I need to pay 100 bucks (a year) if I want to transfer my app to my iPod.

Until I get the money for that, I just can consume but not create.

My opinion on (a few) music apps

The first App that I downloaded was Rebirth (before Figure was out). I got it because Propellerheads makes Reason that is a great and easy to use program. I could say that using Rebirth in the iPod was a little bit disappointing. Since it was an a adaptation of the PC version, it was hard to use in a small touch screen.

Then I got iKaossilator from Korg

I really like this app. It is very easy to use and fun. Since it is like drawing, you can let your subconscious mind trace the music patterns.

I hope they upgrade the application by letting us add our own instruments… and a grid would be useful too.

The next application in  my list is Thumbjam.

This app sounds great and it is very easy to create expressive  parts. It has so many features that I haven’t explored all of them. Maybe the menus are not well designed but it is a great app. I specially like the sound of the acoustic instruments.

One of the apps that I use more often is iMaschine

This app has a very good balance among, features, sound and simplicity. Today this is my favorite (lets see how Figure evolves).

There are other apps that I like a lot, specially when using a MIDI input like iRig MIDI or Line6 MIDI Mobilizer. Animoo and Alchemy Mobile have very cool sounds and I specially like the way yo can manipulate the sound thanks to the touch screen. I use these apps more as instruments, but it would be great if I could assign the knobs of my MIDI controller to tweak parameters.

Amplitube is a nice app, the sound is good taking into consideration that it is using the iPod to simulate the effects, amp, cabinet and microphone. However it has one disadvantage for me… if I have my guitar I also have my POD HD300 that sounds by far better. I never travel carrying mi guitar, therefore I almost never use it.

 The full music studio in an iPod

There are very nice apps like Garageband, FL Studio Mobile, Nano Studio and Energy XT. These apps have very cool features, however, I think that the iPod/iPhone is too small and sometimes it feels slow for the task. I guess that in the new iPad these apps have more sense…

Maybe it just needs a little bit of help… things like the MPC Fly for the iPad seem very promising…

We just need to wait a few months to see the revolution.