Developer – ‘With CoreMIDI, Your Music Apps Are No Longer Just Toys’

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Synthetic Bits shared this video today, which demonstrates using iOS devices in a fairly elaborate multi-platform MIDI performance.

The video demonstrates the CoreMIDI capabilities of two iOS music apps, FunkBox and Little MIDI Machine, when connected to an iRig MIDI interface.

Other instruments used are a Korg Monotribe, Little Phatty, Tattoo drum plugin, Arctic Keys synth app, NLog synth plugin, and Ableton Live.

The performance is a real-world demonstration of the current state of iOS as a music platform, and reflects the work developers have done as part of the Open Music App Collaboration initiative.

While I’d disagree with the generalization that music apps that don’t support MIDI are ‘just toys’, the focus that iOS developers have placed on improving MIDI communication between apps has opened up a lot of options for musicians.

Check out the video and let us know what you think about the state of iOS as a music platform!


21 thoughts on “Developer – ‘With CoreMIDI, Your Music Apps Are No Longer Just Toys’

  1. Hey, thanks for mentioning the video!

    Tompox, the tracks were recorded individually, one at a time. LMM can send on two MIDI channels, FunkBox one. So you would need several iOS devices to play all of this at the same time. You could probably do it though, since the devices could be synced together. But for the video it was one by one.

    Sorry for the provocative “toys” line, I added that at the last second and I think it unfortunately changed the tone of the whole thing. I’ve been seeing comments lately along the lines of “I thought iPads and their apps were just toys, but I just got one and it can actually do cool useful stuff!”, it was meant along those lines but I guess didn’t come out that way. The funny thing is I love music toys! I love simple, inspiring music gear, the type that gets ragged on for not having X feature, but ends up being loved anyway because it’s just fun to use. With iOS right now there are some cool toys, there are some great tools, and some that are both. Lots of cool stuff.

    More important was the bit about “have fun, make music”, whether you use this stuff or something else. So yeah, go make some music!

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  2. Its not a toy, its a Nintendo. Apple enforces the same restrictions as Nintendo on their platform. How come in 2011 we can’t have access to some kind of shared documents folder on a mobile computing platform? Fine if Apple does not wants us to use the filesystem, but they really should provide us with something similar to a shared document folder. I’m not going to upload a 5g samples library inside every individual sampler apps, and I hate that patches made on one app are not available to other apps.

    They also should look into a real copy/paste solution, as not that much apps supports ACP or other pasteboards. Yes MIDI is really great, but I wonder what percentage of apps will end up using it in the long run.

    And then there’s this whole “plugins do not exists on IOS” thing that is not that great either, there are nice synths on IOS, but I’d like to be able to load up some VSTs, but IOS is not about choice, except the choice to not use it for anything serious.

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    • Theres a lot of choice and you can do some serious stuff with it. And its costs a ridiculously low.

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    • It’s about choice, for sure. I have a wide choice of instruments that sound great and cost essentially nothing. I have a choice of when and where to use them. I have a choice to do many things with my one device, rather than pay thousands more for a big heavy thing that does only one thing. I have the choice to integrate this with the rest of my music making tools.

      I have the choice to embrace a new instrument for what it is, rather than be a weenie about it not being something it never tried to be.

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    • I just call it like it is.

      btw, there are some really nice apps for IOS. I really enjoy stuff like Geosynth/Mugician, SynthX/Bebot, Animoog, Thumbjam, Gyrosynth, odd stuffl like Tweakybeats, .. and I could list a few more..

      To me the ipad is more akin to some instruments like a guitar, a theremin, a monotron, or a drum machine, stuff like that. But when it comes to serious sequencing or production I prefer to use an OS that doesn’t lock the filesystem or forces sandboxing for all apps. God I hope OSX won’t become like IOS.

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        • I don’t believe you. There’s such passion about your contributions. It must come from Android-religion.

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          • From someone called “ipadist”, I’m not surprised you confuse criticism and cultism.

            Wanting something to be better is not being against it.

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            • My name was originally supposed to be sarcastic mocking against these “toys”, when I was still like you and afraid of inevitable future, that I didn’t know was actually present. But then I tried them, noticed that they sound wonderful, are fantastic to use, are mobile and expands a synthetists means of expression. So I didn’t change the name, only the tone of it..

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              • And I too want something better, and these will get better, but the paradigm already shifted. At these prices there are very small amount of reasons for synth-dudes to not jump aboard.

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              • “when I was still like you and afraid of inevitable future”

                Wow, you are a cultist.

                But I agree with pretty much everything else you said. I too like a lot of apps, but I miss some features that I can do with Cubase on my tablet, or even with Bhajisloops on my Palm (I’m a long time mobile music maker). The ipad is a nice addition, but its not going to replace my gear.

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            • Well, one could argue that closing eyes from the wealth of choise amongst iOS musical instruments, and surely pretentious inability to use them for anything serious is much closer to some sort of cultism than choosing to be called as an iPadist.

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              • Closing my eyes? Did you read my previous comments? I said I do use some ipad instruments. Its just that I feel it falls short when it comes to sequencing and recording multi tracks with effects compared to my other rig (Motion Computing tablet). For stuff like Nanostudio on the road, or Geosynth its great. But when I’m at home, I still prefer software like Cubase, Fruityloops, Ableton Live with VSTs like Absynth and Kontakt, which sometimes I use from my ipad with Splashtop.

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              • ” but IOS is not about choice, except the choice to not use it for anything serious.”

                I haven’t disagreed anything this strongly for the whole day!!!

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  3. I’m merely a guy, who is intrigued by synths and iPad combines many virtues of software and hardware, and even throws a couple of its own into the mix, in ideal manner, when you take things like battery life, size, hard times and product designing into account; its almost a miracle for a synth player, that iPad was born.

    I also had my first iOS device just weeks ago, so I have not yet had enough exposure to transform into a much ridiculed iCultist. I have only noticed, that many people seems to be a bit bitter, that their expensive Androids don’t have this and that app, and the most excited of them have quickly became much more irritating crow than the iCult…or iFlock and iSheep ever were. I’m sorry for them, but the lobbying all over the internets have gone too far for my liking.

    As an irrational mobile lover, I’m still somewhat leaning towards Nokia, but I’m loving the change more than ever.

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  4. I disagree with the implication that toys are bad or somehow useless for making great music!

    And does (Leopold) Mozart. :D

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