ExpressionPad For The iPad – ‘An Alternate Path Down Reality’

Mugician developer Rob Fielding created this demo video for ExpressionPad (App Store link) – a new kind of midi/synth controller for the iPad. Continuous multi-touch support means you can control pitch bend, dynamics, and modulation with each touch, even as you change notes.

While Fielding is not the developer of ExpressionPad (it’s developed by mode of expression), he has some interesting things to say about the app, the App Store and the prospects for selling niche music apps:

ExpressionPad is what a large camp of Mugician users want Mugician to be. But here it is, and it’s at the very bottom of the app store. I just learned about it, and it has existed since June!

Not only is there no justice in the app store, but there is apparently no sanity either. So here is the short answer to those of you who wonder why I didn’t go this route. A fair price and a modest learning curve probably wounded it, and a lack of a plan to get a player-base finished it off, no?

No matter, the fact that so much junk is ahead of it says volumes of sad things.

Fieldings comments help explain why you don’t always get what you want from developers.

Part of what Fielding is seeing, though, seems like an inevitable reflection of the fact that most serious music applications are going to have niche audiences, while slapping T-Pain’s name on an app is going to make it a hit.

Let me know what you think about the prospects for more experimental music apps in the App Store – and the popularity of “junk”.

16 thoughts on “ExpressionPad For The iPad – ‘An Alternate Path Down Reality’

  1. I don't believe gems end up at the bottom… that's an excuse people make to compensate for not creating a product with wide appeal or high enough quality. Just because this guy likes it doesn't mean the rest of us should!

  2. why didn't you read about this here? Or at gearwire? Or synthtopia? Or Rekkerd? Or Music Radar?

    It's pretty easy to get some basic promotion to your target audience these days. I don't really see that as Apple's job, frankly. I wish it was easier to find good stuff from within the store, but there's lots of other sources for app clues…..

  3. i agree, ExpressionPad is really nice and underrated. I thought "that's it?" at first but i keep coming back to it. It's fun to play with chord shapes, too, and it's really good at doing little nuanced bends and stuff.

    The built-in synth is pretty basic, it's worth figuring out how to set up their moxMidi thing and they have good instructions. Try it out if you've got a macbook, lots of fun even just controlling garageband instruments.

    Incidentally, I found it via the App store's built in recommendations, so I wouldn't agree that the app store is completely broken.

  4. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  5. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  6. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  7. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  8. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  9. Good stuff ends up where the marketing ends up. You can have the greatest app in the world but it still comes down to how you sell it. Sometimes, people don't put effort into marketing and they still succeed on the store, but it's because other people who are in positions to market the app do it for you (This is why mass-appeal apps sell better than niche: if "everyone" likes it then there's more people to tell other people about it).

    I am not a marketer; I am an app developer. I am also trying to learn a bit more about how to market myself and my products. I'll start by putting http://www.pushypixels.com in this post; though I don't really have any music apps yet. Someday.

  10. What a whiny bunch of friggin nonsense. I saw that app. Passed it by because it hadn't been updated to support CoreMIDI; either by the cam conn kit or Line6 MM.

    If the dev isn't going to bother with it since the summer, why should I bother with it now?

    It's also been posted in a number of music forums, btw.

    Lastly (and this is the best part) If you type in MIDI instrument in iTunes it comes up on the first page, lol.

    FAIL.

  11. eric

    We have mentioned expressionPad previously. The developer had not done a basic video overview of it, though, which is a problem.

    Doing a basic video demo is something that any potential buyer will want, because it's very difficult to get an idea of what an app does from the descriptions in the App Store.

    100% agreement with your comments on the difficulty of finding apps like this in the App Store.

    The cream will not rise to the top if your product is a niche product.

  12. Maybe if the developer would fix the app so users with win7 and 64bit could use it the rating in the app store would get higher and word would spread better… otherwise this a broken app that remains the app store to rip people off.

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