No MIDI For Windows 8 Tablets?

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There’s been a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablets, which will feature a new interface, derived from the Zune portable media player and the promise of more powerful hardware.

You can view a high-level comparison of WIndows 8 and the Apple iPad above.

While the release of Windows 8 tablets is still far off, it’s already got some readers wondering if it will offer a viable and possibly more powerful alternative to iOS. But, based on what we’ve seen, Microsoft is following Apple’s lead and breaking support for desktop apps.

Reader John Smith wrote in to note that WIndows 8 tablets, based on ARM chips, won’t support MIDI, either:

Microsoft is making Windows 8 ARM into a walled garden platform with only official APIs allowed. This makes it doubtful we’ll ever see things like ASIO or OpenGL support on ARM.

That is bad, but what is even worse is there is no support for MIDI at all on Windows 8 ARM.

I hope all of you will got to the following post where Microsoft acknoledges this and make your own post to this thread and show Microsoft that there should be MIDI support for Windows 8 ARM.

This isn’t a complete show-stopper for music apps on Windows 8 tablets. Remember that MIDI support was missing in action on iOS when it was first introduced.

But dreams of running Sonar or Live on a WIndows 8 tablet are going to remain dreams for a while.

What do you think of Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet announcement? Do you think it will become a viable alternative to iOS for mobile music making?

New Hands-Free iPad Case For Awesome People, Especially Musicians


Casey Ayers and Patrick Duffy had announced a KickStarter project to create a new hands-free iPad case ‘for awesome people’, Trubador.

If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s basically a platform for developers to announce and develop projects with people interested in the projects. Continue reading

MidiMe Turns Your iPad Into A Gestural MIDI Controller

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Burger Kone has released MidiMe (App Store link), a $4.99 controller app for the iPad.

Here’s what they have to say about MidiMe:

MidiMe is a novel MIDI control application designed specifically for the iPad.

MidiMe not only gives you direct, simultaneous hands-on control of up to eight different midi parameters but also provides unique midi automation features.

Record and playback midi gestures on any of its four high resolution X/Y pads or send your instruments bouncing with MidiMe’s bouncing ball mode.

This looks like an interesting app – but I’d like to see hardware MIDI support. This could be a great sound design and performance tool, combined with older hardware synths.

If you’ve tried MidiMe, leave a comment and let us know what you think of it!

Video via mvpadrini

Does Apple’s iPad 2 Announcement Make The Competition Irrelevant For Musicians?

Apple today introduced iPad 2, an updated version of its market-dominating multitouch computer that features a thinner design, Apple’s new dual-core A5 processor, two cameras and 10 hours of battery life.

iPad 2 comes with iOS 4.3, with faster Safari mobile browsing performance; iTunes Home Sharing; enhancements to AirPlay;  a built-in gyro and HDMI Video Mirroring.

Apple also introduced two new iPad apps: iMovie and GarageBand for iPad, both available for $4.99 each. GarageBand turns the iPad into a fairly powerful mobile DAW.

The announcement, though not especially surprising, may send the tablet competition back to the drawing board, because the alternatives are higher priced and fail to deliver mainstream features that leap-frog Apple’s offering. They also face the liability of empty app stores, compared to the iPad’s 65,000 apps.

Tech analysts at ZDnet are calling the iPad 2 upgrade “enough to kill the competition.”

While the iPad 2 platform is still a flawed platform for musicians – we have to agree with ZDNet. Based on what’s currently available, expect the iPad 2 to further establish the iPad as the dominant mobile music making platform.

The last few months have seen an explosion of increasingly sophisticated iPad music apps. If this continues, it’s safe to assume that some of these apps will develop into mature tools in 2011.

What do you make of today’s Apple announcements, and the state of alternatives for mobile music making? Continue reading

More iPad Editors For Vintage Synths From iControlMIDI

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iControlMIDI has announced several new members in its line of iPad MIDI controllers for vintage synthesizers and virtual synths.

Supported synths include:

  • MinimoogV
  • CS-80V
  • Chroma
  • MKS-50
  • Juno-1 or 2
  • MKS-70
  • MKS-80
  • DX7
  • TX81Z
  • Blofeld

The philosophy of iControlMIDI is 1-slider equals 1-function.   Continue reading

Adding 36 Knobs & Faders To A Korg microKORG

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This video, via mvpadrini, looks at using an iPad and S1MIDItrigger to create a new ‘virtual panel’ for the Korg microKORG.

The virtual panel exposes 36 MIDI parameters to be changed in real time, allowing for much faster patch editing.

I’ve been working on a similar touchscreen editor for a Sequential Circuits Six Trak. Adding a multitouch controller to a vintage synth – especially one that has only one knob, like the Six Trak – introduces a new level of immediacy and interaction.

Note To iPad Developers: multi-touch control & patch management for vintage synths with social sharing – get on it!.

The iPad At 1 Year: The iPod Of Tablet Computing

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It’s been a year since the Apple iPad was announced.

When it was introduced last year, we had this to say about what the iPad means for music:

Steve Jobs today introduced the Apple iPad, a handheld multitouch computer, and it’s likely to be the biggest music technology introduction of the year.

The Apple iPad, conceptually, is a large iPod touch.

However, what Apple has really done is create a new device that builds on what it has learned with the iPhone and iPod touch. The operating system, and the applications that Apple includes, are optimized for both the size of the hardware and the types of things that you would want to do with a device this size.

The iPad won’t replace the power of a dedicated music computer – but it is creating a new platform that will support new types of mobile music making and new ways of controlling and playing music.

It was probably our most-hated post of last year. Continue reading