5 Reasons Musicians Should Get An iPhone 4

Apple today introduced the iPhone 4 – an update to its innovative series of mobile computers.

Now – every time I mention the iPhone or the iPad on this site, it brings on the hate.

We’ve got a few readers that don’t give a damn about mobile gadgets, think we’re complete Apple fanboys and that we should rename the site to iPadTopia.

We know where you’re coming from. You love synths and electronic music, not the iCrap.

But mobile computers are rapidly becoming essential tools for musicians, and the new iPhone 4 is the best of the bunch.

And spending a couple of hundred bucks on an iPhone could be just as important to your music as getting a new soft synth, effects pedal or synth module.

Here’s why.

Five Reasons Musicians Should Get An iPhone 4

  1. The iPhone is the leading mobile platform for mobile music making. There are more music apps for the iPhone than for any other mobile music platform. There are drum machines, MPC-style workstations, synth, 24-track recorders, audio editors and more. These apps range from fun ways to pass some time to sophisticated musical tools. With the iPhone 4, mobile music apps are only going to get better, because the new iPhone has a higher-resolution screen, more sensors and a more capable processor. And development of music apps for the iPhone is only going to accelerate, because the iPhone is currently the most profitable platform for mobile developers.
  2. The iPhone lets you connect with friends and fans from almost any location. Social networking has become an essential tool for musicians. If you look at some of the most savvy electronic musicians, they’re using social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube to update their fans all the time. The iPhone has apps for updating fans and friends on these platforms from your car, your most recent gig, from your studio or from wherever you happen to be. Need to update your website on the road? There’s an app for that, too.
  3. The iPhone 4 gives you access to the de facto industry standard for digital music. Apple succeeded where other companies have failed in building the iTunes music store and turning it into the top music store in the world. iTunes is just another app on the iPhone – but ย it’s an important one and one that you won’t get with other phones. That means you can access the world’s largest library of music, download any podcast and do a quality check on the placement of your own creations, right from your phone.
  4. The new iPhone lets you shoot good looking HD video and upload it to YouTube. Is it as good as an HD video camera? No – but itโ€™s still pretty amazing. And Apple also announced iMovie for the iPhone, which lets you edit HD video. It’s a little insane that you’ll now be able to shoot and edit HD video on a $200 (plus the service contract) phone โ€“ which means that you can video blog videos wirelessly to YouTube, without worrying about digitizing video, copying files to your computer or any of that junk.
  5. iPhone 4 features the world’s most sophisticated mobile computing platform, iOS 4. iOS 4 features intelligent multitasking that won’t run down your battery, threaded email, folders for organizing apps, Facetime video chat and the iBook digital book platform. iBook now reads PDFs, too, opening it up to all sorts of documents. iOS 4 is, arguably, the most advance mobile computing platform around, but also manages to be one of the most intuitive. Other mobile platforms have their relative strengths, but iPhone’s iOS 4 excels at just about everything it can do. Why does this matter? Because it opens up a lot of options for you – you can record demos anywhere, upload tracks to SoundCloud, carry your latest video in your pocket and more.

Over 2 years, an iPhone will cost you more to own than cheap cell phones that don’t do much.

But your time is worth something. And using your spare time to make music, update your fans, video blog and update your website – not to mention getting directions, reading your mail, maintaining your schedule and making phone calls – could make that iPhone look like a bargain.

What do you think of the value of the iPhone 4 for musicians? Is it an important tool – or just another piece of iCrap?

Leave a comment with your thoughts!

108 thoughts on “5 Reasons Musicians Should Get An iPhone 4

  1. I don't really mind iPhone coverage in general, I just can't stand the gushing fan boy tone, and the barely hidden implication that if I don't love Apple then there's something wrong with me.

    This article reads like a sales brochure, I don't come here to read advertising.

    Personally I prefer an ultra-portable laptop to a smart phone anyday of the week. My lappy goes everywhere with me and craps all over any smartphone from a great height on all points except for being a phone and being an MP3 player which any half decent phone can do well these days. The lappy ESPECIALLY wins with regards to creative work and accessing the web.

    I am over smartphones as general computing devices.

  2. eh, i want one, i enjoy reading about the progress of mobile tech for music, and im sure the majority of people do to, so please continue to post it.

  3. 5 Reasons I don’t need an iPhone 4:

    1. I have a computer
    2. I have 3 x 20″ widescreens – (iPhone has 1 x 3.5-inch display)
    3. I make music using Cubase and various HQ vst plugins (in w7 64bit)
    4. Amd 5050 8GB (800mhz ddr2) Audiophile 24/96 vs. iPhone
    5. I use a nokia 6600 which is still IMO one of the best phones out there

    So, why should I get an iPhone 4 again?

    1. Let's see you put that in your pants, big boy!

      Seems like you're limiting yourself, if you think you'll only ever need to work in your office. Don't you ever get out?

    2. Good points. I just think had to smile at the perspective that the Nokia 6600 is still one of the "best phones out there" as June 2010. I had one myself a few years ago. Great phone, sure, but I got tired of carrying the phone that felt like it was modeled after a Lever 2000 bar of soap. Nokia has made lots of phones since then with even the same interface, that are just as durable while being much easier to carry and use.

      I have used other Nokias since then and they were great, but now I use an iPhone. One thing that is much better about the iPhone vs. Nokias is the drag and drop ability to carry your latest tracks around on the built-in iPod. If you use PCs, however, the Nokia software may be less of a problem for you. Nokia doesn't support Macs very well.


  4. … um, probably the touch screen, and the experience…

    that said, I haven't take the plunge. I'm in the "laptop-does-what-I-need" crowd.

    I have a pre-paid cell phone that costs me about $40 per YEAR!
    (that gives you an idea where I am on the connectivity front).

  5. i know where he is coming from completely!

    I have a macbook pro,two mac pros, and a few iMacs. The problem is that 1) they don't have the mobility/battery life I want, and 2) the ipad / iphone do certain things BETTER than a full fledged laptop/desktop.

    like… browsing the web… reading a book, jotting down lyrics, notes in the studio, using it as a daw remote, writing musical notation quickly, emailing on the go, showing off my projects to possible clients on an hd touchscreen, etc…

    Devices like the iPad and iPhone have yet to reach even 10% of their potential… im sure someone could make a virtual MPC with wireless midi that connects to a pad controller… im sure they could find a way for this type of thing to host AU plugins, ala receptor… the possibilities are endless.

    Right now people are going to hate on it because it's different. People hated on cars cause they weren't horses… shit…

    I know they aren't pro by anyone's snob-o-meter, but they are useful… o and chicks dig it. nuff said.

  6. I'm not sure why ppl bag the Iphone for music production. It is an amazing way to make music ON THE GO people. I don't think anyone is proposing that you throw out your home recording setup. I have both.
    My music creation output has tripled since the iPhone. I can go hiking, camping, over to a mates house who has little in the way of technology. I can sit on the train and construct drum loops. Record ideas on the go without needing to lug a Laptop around, wait for it to power up, hope the latency doesn't decide to give me grief….Its endless. Keep bringing on more apps and more powerful ones…

  7. That was really only 2 reasons for musicians. Also, get over it. I have an iPhone, and while there's the interesting instrument from time to time actually making music on it is annoying and cumbersome compared to an actual DAW.

  8. ha! perhaps.

    i was thinking, part of why this may seem like a flat article is that i already have an iphone 3g. there are a few reasons to upgrade to the new model (i already want one), but not a single one of those has to do with my music.

    unless somehow the multitasking could prove a quick and effective way to switch between wholly different sounds in a live setting. that would be badass and perhaps motivating to actually integrate my phone into my live rig.

  9. "5 Reasons Why musicians should get…." Now you're just doing it to spite us. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The iPhone is an awesome phone, I just don't see it as a serious music tool YET.

    The iPad is probably great for a few uses too; it was a great disappointment to me because it seems unnecessarily limited. I was hoping it would run OSX rather than an operating system designed for a phone.

  10. The HD video seems like a killer features, as do the intelligent multitasking.

    I'm a Pandora fan, but the app is useless on the iPhone without multitasking.

  11. yeah, the hd video is huge for me too. i had a flip minohd for that purpose but it got smashed thanks to alaska airlines' luggage handling.

    my understanding is that the multitasking doesn't actually allow background processes, but actually just pauses the app, so to speak, so you can quickly launch back into it. not the solution for pandora / lastfm etc, but for switching between synths on the fly it could be perfect.

    as a music fan in general, a dream iphone feature would be INPUT GAIN!!! i want to use that hd video to capture some live shows, but there's no way to manage the peaking audio.

  12. I don't know…
    I see more reasons to not take this whole iphone stuff too seriously…
    In the end most of the music apps on the iphone are just toys, the platforms is incredibly limited by Apple, it lacks proper i/o capabilities, it's too small for complex stuff, it's not really flexible and the finger is the worst input device ever (always in the way between you and the screen)… and at the end of the day it's just not something you can do *real* music with.

  13. Mutlitouch devices are cool and can be fun, but I've found the standard keyboard and mouse to be most productive.

    For the past year I've been using a $179 netbook that seems to do way more than my roomate's Iphone. I've been amazed with how much you can get done with just a 900mhz celeron and XP. Especially without having to re-purchase your applications in a different format.

    I can run my favorite production software like Ableton, Acid, and Reaper.
    DJ with it using Torq and Traktor.
    Edit video with Vegas.
    …and of course all the standard productivity stuff, like Open Office and Skype

    If I can't get a WIFI signal while on the go, I just tether my phone through a USB cable. (costs me $15 a month). When I'm at home I connect to my netbook to a KVM switch and use my standard, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

  14. Its all a matter of taste.

    I use the iPad and the iPhone for quite a lot of music noodling. But the real use comes using them as Midi tools for my Mac Pro. The iPad especially is useful as you can custom build OSC to match your software.

    All the stuff about a netbook can do this and an iPad can do that is mute, as they are not the same thing. Its like saying wood is better than metal, for what ??.

    The iPhone 4 is a great bit of kit, but I don't see it being any better than the current phone for music apps. The screen size (not resolution) is the problem.

  15. I admit that when the first iPhone applications for controlling music software by touch gestures came out I was intrigued, in as much the same way as I was when I realised that I can use a Palm Pilot with a bit of software to replace a bunch of clunky IR remote controls. Then came soft synths, sample players and small recording solutions. Again I was tempted, but actually just for the gadget value of it all. When I tried out an iPhone at a local store almost all my enthusiasm went out the window: It does not have a keyboard and for me a touch screen is no ("no" as in "not even a poor one") substitute for a real keyboard. That's why I'll stick to my Palm Treo 680 for the forseeable future (which can as far as my mobile phones are concerned be some years).

    Now on to the reasons presented here: Number 1 I already dealt with. I'd rather use an iPad for that or another more open (i.e. USB connectivity without jumping through additional hoops) tablet (screen size DOES matter, especially when creating control surfaces).

    As for reason number 2: Though I do use MySpace (and that's all) I do not use it religiously and have never felt the need to just check out whether something happend. For a technology obsessed person like me it's actually very relaxing to not be around computers or an internet connection for a day or two. I can live with a latency of a few hours or days when it comes to so-called "news" and related stuff. Also: Any other moderately priced phone seems to be able to do all this hiding of websites behind some custom interface. Technically it's no big deal and certainly nothing new about the version 4 iPhone in particular. When I need to update a website on the go I open up my MacBook (which I think has almost the perfect form factor apart from being a tad to heavy), and use a text editor to edit the xhtml source.

    Reason number 3 is quite laughable: If we are talking about making music (after all that's what musicians do apart from "social networking", drinking beer, and throwing up once in a while) there's really no need to download music. It's just a waste of time. The idea of quality control of iTunes offerings on a phone strikes me as particularly hilarious. Granted you could use a quality pair of headphones but those take up more space than the iPhone itself and then you are already underway on that slippery slope to man purse …

    Reason number 4 is again quite intriguing at first, but editing videos on a small phone without a keyboard, mouse, and jog wheel is pretty much fooling yourself into believing that this is anything but a futile exercise. Maybe my standards are too high. Then again: Don't we see enough badly photographed, badly or even not at all edited videos on the Web? I for one can do without all the crap. If I wanted to create HD movies I would invest the money and get a decent camera and some lights at the very least. There's a craft and an art to film making after all, the same as in music production. Well, that's probably to old school for the disciples of total mobility ("Do you want total mobility?").

    Reason 5 is pure marketing rubbish: It suggests technical superiority, but falls short on providing any technical details. Instead it rehashes previously mentioned features plus some unsubstantiated new ones. Great!

    Now there's at least two things left:
    1) The trouble with the app store policies (which some argue don't exist but are made up on the fly at the whim of some people). Nothing needs to be said about that really.
    2) Developing for the iPhone: As a developer you need to buy into the club of iPhone developers, essentially only have the app store to distribute your software (and they are wont to deny even that on the basis of who knows what), and you may only develop in Objective C and C++. This is quite a big deal for musicians who also like to be able to create their instruments themselves and not just use soft- and hardware produced by others.

    It's quite clear that for me the iPhone is not a good deal (and I haven't even mentioned the data plans yet which in my opinion are too expensive). Despite of my personal feelings I tried to be somewhat objective in that I used mostly facts and explained my reasoning.

  16. Well, if you aren't an apple fanboy, why are you writing like one?

    I really enjoy the articles about new iPhone apps here, but this article here is pure fanboyism! Four of the five reasons are really laughable.

    1: Yeah, it's true, but it's a sad fact, because there are much better platforms for mobile music making. But it's just a matter of time, that Android will have enough great music making apps to compete with the iPhone!

    2: Every modern smart phone does that! Some of them do it much better than the iPhone. Android for example allows integration of social media apps into the built in apps like the adress book or Google Maps.

    3: iTunes may be the biggest store for digital music yet, but not the only and best one. It is in no way an industry standard. It's just the most successful store among others. Other phones have some nice apps for downloading music too! I don't see the connection to music making here.

    4: Other smartphones do HD videos and video editing too. But there's no way such a small screen and limited controls will allow professional video editing. For some rough cuts it may be ok, but that's no iPhone exclusive… And how do you know, the vids will look good without any serious reviews for the hardware?

    5: iOS may be a nice mobile platform, but it's not really the best choice for musicians. Without all the restrictions apple put into it's OS, it could be great, but you need to jailbreak it to do the basics. And Apple's "Multitasking" is a joke! For example it won't be possible to let apps interact with each other while running at the same time. On Android it would be possible to connect a drum machine to some sort of fx app, which is impossible in iOS 4 as far as I know.

    The iPhone could be a nice gadget for musicicians, but Apple limits it's true potential. Apple may have revolutionized the smart phone market, but they never were any good in keeping up with competitors.

  17. The iphone has fanboyz for good reason and that reason is because it is an artful inspired technological wonder. I am a trained musician and there is no doubt in my mind that the iphone is a wondrous new creative platform for new music composition. Those of you that have a hate for someone who is inspired by Apple products need to take some psych classes and try and learn/understand you're pathologies.

  18. I would love an iPhone. My friends who have them love them. What they don't love is the crappy service of ATT. That is why I will not have one. Plus I am not sure that it is worth it to be hooked up to the internet 24/7. I have wifi at work and at home.

    The argument about whether it can be used for serious music making seems mildly amusing since it was not that long ago that the same points we being made against computers as musical instruments.

    Like anything else some iPhones will be used to good effect by creative and intelligent people and some will be used to make crap loop based stuff. just like yer big fancy computer rigs. It ain't the size of your weapon, it's how you use it in combat.

  19. I may be wrong, but it seems pathological to me that you seem to regard everyone who does not share your opinion (however true or false, exaggerated or understated it might be) as psychologically deviant in way you do not approve of. My advice to you would be the same one I would give to people who need to vent their hatred or anger: Stick to what you know and leave the rest be (i.e. let an engineer judge the technical merits of a piece of technology; let trained psychiatrists deal with mental illnesses; and acknowledge that everyone has the right to an opinion however bizzare it or the way it is presented might seem to you). Just a friendly piece of advice, you may of course ignore it.

  20. The iPhone, like most other emerging technologies, has fantastic possibilities. That said, I find myself increasingly using a notebook for jotting down ideas as they come to me. I mean, that $1 pad of paper and a biro. \\and maybe a good test of whether or not some musical idea is worth developing or not is whether or not it survives in your imagination until such times as you have access to an instrument. Or maybe even try out that rhythm concept with ones fingers on a hard surface. As for ‘on the go’ what about all of the real world around us – full of amazing possibilities – when we’re not intent on peering at yet another electronic screen?

  21. Real musician plays on real devices.
    All those 'music' apps are nothing more than toys.

    If you have spare time enough and want to play, better go for a PS3 ….

  22. i don't understand why people are calling the ipad/iphone a toy, or saying it isn't technologically advanced enough.

    That is utterly retarded.

    the processing power on an iphone is greater than many classic digital synths, greater than the computer in an mpc, more advanced than the computers many pro studios were using in the early 90s… the gear used to make hits on.

    The tech argument or saying it's a toy doesn't stand. It does have shortcomings, but they will hopefully be addressed. For now, the iPad/iPhone is not a competitor… but it could be with the right APPS.

    I think it's too early to tell where music production will go on these devices, but there is a lot of potential. it all depends on software development. In the meantime, I am content with all the other amazing things it does.

  23. Reason one was plenty. The Iphone is the most active hand held platform for music, period. You have no reason to continue justifying your iphone coverage. Reasons 2-5 we're all moot and unrelated to making music, thus only fuel for the complainers.The fact is, many great music apps exist on the iphone and more are being developed all the time.

    Because some people actively hate apple products or frown upon hand held music making in general makes zero difference.

    Report on interesting Andriod apps as they come, but clearly it isn't your fault if there isn't nearly as much news to report.

    Thank you for the iphone coverage. It helped inspire my to buy an Itouch. I have reasons to want an Andriod as well, but so far music making is not one of them. Maybe that will change.

  24. Please keep telling me what music apps are available for my iPhone. I will continue to decide which ones to audition, buy and even use for my musical endeavours. Please also try to do the same for iPad / Reaktor / Cubase / Android etc. users and I will continue to skip over those as they do not interest me. Please do not let a few detractors dictate what may or may not be of interest to your large readership.

  25. Please keep telling me what music apps are available for my iPhone. I will continue to decide which ones to audition, buy and even use for my musical endeavours. Please also try to do the same for iPad / Reaktor / Cubase / Android etc. users and I will continue to skip over those as they do not interest me. Please do not let a few detractors dictate what may or may not be of interest to your large readership. Thanks for listening.

  26. That sounds like a good opportunity for a third party manufacturer.

    If they added all the niche features that musicians want, they'd have to bump up the price for features that on person in a hundred actually used.

    That said – it would be great if you could use a decent external mic with this. The demo HD video at Apple's site looks great! I'll be interested to see if typical videos look that good.

  27. I don't mind objective coverage of iPhone, iPad or any platform. But a lot of us get the feeling Synthtopia isn't quite objective when dealing with Apple products. 5 Reasons indeed.

  28. elbjorg

    But where are the posts on Synthtopia recommending that you buy other Apple products, like MacBooks, iMacs, Logic Pro or Apple TV?

    Synthtopia covers the iPhone & iPad more heavily than other new mobile computer technologies because they are the platforms with the most music-related activity. By far.

    And the majority of the iPhone/iPad music posts are not actually about Apple products, but about music products by indie developers that are doing interesting things on one of these two platforms.

  29. I currently have 600 reasons in my pocket for which i shouldn't get one and get… a laptop, a real synth or something really useful for home instead.

    Great device, but only if you decide to pay it in doses (contract)…

  30. Well, I’m behind the iDevice musical revolution 100%. A net book may run Abelton or Reason… But it’ll run em like a PIG. The problem is the full OS vs. a mobile OS. By the time you boot up W7, you’re left with BOOTY in the RAM dept. for your music software. Why do you think they pulled the HP Slate? W7, the touch overlay AND Ableton on 1 gb of ram? Snort!

    Anyone who has an iPhone will tell you that the music creation apps available are legion; plenty of great ones. Beatmaker, Wivi Band, , iShred, Bebot, Ellatron….

    If I want to be productive on my lunch break, a netbook won’t cut it. The iPad is a pleasure. And to echo the sentiment of an earlier post, looking for USB ports or optical drives on an iPad is like wishing for a choke on an automatic car; it’s antiquated! It’ll all be cloud-based goodness soon enough. Granted, the cross-app multi tracking limitation exists for iDevices… But that’s gonna be an issue for anyone looking to create on the go. I have a Tascam DP-008 for that solution, and it works like a charm. No bigger than a paperback.

    Do you think Eno looks at an iPad as a toy? Ever see his studio? The finished product is what it’s all about. Whichever tools work for you, feel free! Just don’t bash on the tools of the future.

  31. Typical response from a 'real'? musician. REAL musicians are open to all ideas and will explore anything in the name of creativity and art. Have a good look. Not all iPone apps are fake guitar 'toys' and pretend wind instruments. The iPhone can be used as a valuable tool for generating 'REAL' music ideas by real musicians. Unless they're music snobs who think they're better than everyone else. Open your mind. Thats what any art is all about.

  32. is it me, or does this discussion remind you of that hotpockets commercial where everyone hates on the portable bun eaters?

  33. Trust me, once you hold an iPhone in your hand and use it for awhile you will "get it". I'm still laughing out loud at the guy who said the Nokia 6600 is one of the best phones ever. Ha!

  34. I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap! I don't need that crap!

  35. Maybe that's all he needs – but a lot of the iPhone-bashing seems to come from people that just dismiss all the things that you can do with a device like the iPhone as irrelevant.

    The iPhone 4 does look like a great phone and the best for music. I'm going to be checking these out seriously at the end of the month!

  36. A Netbook with Skype and free Open Source Applications does more for much less – and no monthly fees. Plus it runs Reaper (licensed, of course!) just fine.

  37. iPhone 4? Meh. I'm an Apple user and still cannot understand the fuss. Sure, I'd love something I could fit in my pocket and write music on any time I pleased. But the iPhone just isn't it, and never will be. A touchscreen will never be anywhere near as tangible or tactile as buttons or knobs, and for me, that's something that matters.

    PS – For all the people raging on this article, Peter Kirn does a really good counter-article here: http://createdigitalmusic.com/2010/06/09/reality-

  38. The iPod Touch (not an iTouch) will run most of the music apps, with no recurring costs or contracts required. All you lose is reason 4 from the list. Do your video with a inexpensive digital camera.

  39. You're right about one thing; the tactile quality of dedicated devices is certainly preferable (it's why I bought a Tascam DP-008 for multitracking on the go) but unfortunate truth is, for portability's sake, things that are size of a phone that HAVE knobs and sliders generally sound like $&!%, and you'll be needing a duffel bag full of' em to get the kind of variety that you'll get out of one device like the iPhone. It's a trade-off, IF your goal is to have a really portable solution to creating electronic music on-the-go. If that's your aim, the iPhone is the best option. There's really no denying it.

    I Personally use an iPad in tandem w/ the DP-008, and I can do just about anything I want to, on my lunch break, in the car. The only other solution is a netbook, and I'd MUCH rather use the multi-touch screen on the iPad, than a crumby track-pad or portable mouse.

  40. i guess you also carry a camera along with the phone and the mp3 player and uh ..the at least book sized laptop. That makes 4 devices. For sure the laptop is the netter creative device..but a bit bulky too..is'nt it? Portability matters and the convenience of having multiple things in one device..that's what the i phone is all about.

  41. I have seen the PROS and CONS of the Ipod Touch and Ipad, and Iphone. I think there has to be a couple of distinctions made here. I have been producing for 8 years and Djing for 12 Live. The current generation of folks out there are strictly DAW and USB Controllers – which I fall into. This generation runs on not paying for Music really, and downloading everything before they buy it. Do tools like the Ipod Touch , Iphone – cheapen the value of Music?! Well it depends on who you ask.

    Old school Studio Heads are pretty straightforward in saying that the sheer flood of Music, ranging in quality from homemade shit with little effort – to extreme production quality amazing Music- is watering down Music all together. It certainly is Music overload out there right now. What im finding is that guys are making great tracks, but not paying attention to how it sounds – mastering – mixing – etc.

    There is also a group of lazy Musicians who just cut and paste loops, do no composing , randomly mash sounds together- and that is what alot of these apps do. Infact many of them thrive and advertise on having little to no Musical Knowledge, some programs are even constructing entire tracks now using Logical Based Algorthym that can randomize beats on the fly and literally make the Music for you. I dont care how you cut it- that is not talent- stealing someone elses sounds and mashing them together does not make you worthy of being signed to a label.

    The Mac Products like the ipod, ipad, and iphone are innovative and have a place in live performance. They could be used as cool tools, or something to jam on – say as a trigger pad- but they are absolutely not capable of running DAW programs like Ableton, Reason, or FL Studio- not to mention the more intensive hogs like Cubase, Logic or Pro Tools. however, with that being said- there is nothing wrong with using it as another tool in your kit. But dont expect to become Deadmau from using an Ipod Touch program..because it wont happen.

    From spending many years in Clubs, the Ipad – will take a massive beating in a club. Humidity, Moisture and its seemingly bare minimum specs – 256 megs of ram- would make it a tool – not a standalone piece of gear. Besides, who would pay to watch someone goof off on a 10 inch screen>?!

    It seems like as more producers are getting involved, there is portion of them that seem to want technology to do more and more work. It will get to the point where the Terminator 2 prophecy will be fulfilled, and guys will just stand around while Computers and Ipads do all the work. What do you then?! Sign an Ipad to a record Label?

    I think the reason why alot of Producers roll their eyes as these ‘must have ‘ items is that they are NOT must have and do in some way cheapen the value of music. Bashing out some loops on a 3 inch screen doesnt make you Liberace or Slash, at some point you will have to transfer that to a Wav file and port it into a DAW to make use of it. The MAC craze is just that, Steve Jobs is incredibly good at getting people to believe in Mac products like a religion.

    Macs are – no better or less- then any PC available. It will always come down to the tools you have – and what YOU do with them as a producer. Infact, the insides of even the most modern Mac laptops are not that impressive- Macs excel at doing more with less. However, the price tag is also – paying more for less.

    I bought a Toshiba Satellite Laptop to replace my nearly 9 year old Satelite that still works but the screen has gone green. For 500 flat, I have a a dual core 2.6 ghz machine that has 4 gigs of ram, a 500 gig hard drive- the point is – that is more then enough for a live show. The cheapest Mac doesnt start until at least $1000.00.

    Nothing is a substitute for hard work, and creativity. I see these devices as Batman sees the toys in his belt, tools for a larger picture- but not the whole picture- if you think you can become an accomplished musician with portable devices like the ipad or iphone- you are smoking crack.

    1. I agree with you, to a point… but the notion that you're only as good as your tools is bupkis. It's only the finished product that counts for @#$%, and frankly, REAL innovation comes from working w/in the constraints of a limited set of tools. Steely Dan had to run down the hall of the studio w/ tape spools on metal bars to achieve a particular loop effect…… Lennon had to have a tech rewire a Leslie to achieve his vocal sound on "Tomorrow Never Knows". In any case, you're either innovative or you're NOT. I knew a kid who was a real prodigy….. Guitar, bass, drums, kb, vocals…. you name it. He was a virtuoso on everything. You know what? NO amount of production could save his work from sheer mannerist conventionality. I heard his demo… Like Richard Marx on Nitrous. Horrible. I had to lie to him.

      In any case, my point is that you can create a Frankenstein of a finished track on an iPad that will fly….. IF you're really creative. I have Baby Bird demos that beat the @#$% out of 90% of big studio-generated dreck. Home Slice was rockin' a Tascam and a $40 sampling keyboard.

    2. Yes – like it or not, your tools do affect your results. Monitors are a great example of that.

      I think a lot of the hate for iPad/iPhone music software, though, comes from that fact that most of the people that demo them are more geeks than musicians.

  42. no mention of the long latency of the iphone…. stick to a netbook or intel i7 laptop and you will run everything without 15ms of latency………. in fact the i7 chip will run 32 tracks audio with fx and rewire with no hiccups………

  43. OMG, I can't believe how narrow minded people are. Music and Tech are niw VERY integrated and to have a device like the iphone is F….kin amazing…..Folks… use the tech…. this is an awesome generation of tech, people, ideas and music develops form that. I could ramble on for ages… no……. ?I don't have an apple laptop, no I don't own lots of apple gadgets…. BUT I did buy an iphone recently and .. even with a MS laptop is fkin amazing… honestly… the amount of apps I brought for just a few and I mean a few $$$ are less than my cheapest pc piece of SW, tech, kit or mic….. incredible value, The iphone for me is:

    a guitar tuner
    voice recoreder
    notes idea taker
    humm and record
    digital radio
    records DAB
    and much much more

    Nerver been an Apple fan but Wow the iphone rokcs.. oh and i'm only talking about the 3gs… haha

    piece dudes


  44. If it is iCrap then why is it that all the major studios and most musicians use what you are referring to as iCrap. hmmmm .. let me hear your music? let me see why your voice matters

  45. This is not advertising, it is reporting. Facts are being given … shut the !#%@#% up. Oh and you don't have to love ?, you just have to acknowledge that ? puts out the best devices to use to record your music. Wheteher it be a mac mini, an iMac, a MacBook … MacBook Pro … an iPhone, an iPod Touch … an iPad, or my personal fav. a Mac Pro.

    I have an iPhone and i goof around with the music apps, no i don't use them seriously at this time but that might change.

  46. good or bad, this article is just advertising. by answering to this you are yourself a mean of publicity. Just ignore the whole deal.

  47. Guys, I think the only one of these points that really holds water for me is the first – that the iPhone platform is currently the most profitable market for mobile app developers, hence more and better music apps.

    The rest (aside from the iTunes store, but really – who on earth downloads their own songs and checks 'placement' there regularly enough to need it on their phone?) is padding and, honestly, applies to just about any smartphone on the market.

    I'm interested in the coverage you provide of iPhone/iPad apps, because I think they're interesting and obviously relevant to a music making audience. But reasons you 'should' get an iPhone is a little much. I have a HTC phone which is better than the iPhone in the above listed ways except for music applications. Maybe you should have just focussed on those!

  48. In fact, the iPod Touch (which has a relatively reasonable price compared to the iPhone) finally managed to replace my Yamaha QY22 Music Sequencer. (Anyone here still knows the QY series?)
    Noteworthy apps that I'd judge the best are: Intua BeatMaker, Xewton MusicStudio, and iSequence.
    "Loopy" and "Everyday Looper" are great for realtime jamming or capturing ideas that you wanna sing using the supplied headset microphone. Better than a Boss Looper in some aspects.

  49. iPhones shoot good looking HD movies? are you serious? so a proffessional musician is expected to make a music video with their phone and be taken seriously?

    you just sound like you’re being paid to talk about this. especially the “iPhone let’s you communicate with friends and fans” bit.

  50. YAWWWWWWWWWWN.. everywhere you go it's the "screw apple" vs "apple is the universe" debate over and over and over and over again…….soooooooo tired of it….

  51. You don't need to get desperate / aggressive, I hope you've seen the other article, "5 Reasons Musicians Don’t Need An iPhone"… ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess you're right about the ultra portable laptop though, you can find far better DAWs and VSTs, not some colorful kids toys called "music apps"…

  52. I've yet to find any music app I'd WANT to run on my atom powered netbook.. I get constant issues.. Old stuff that doesn't require a high end processor and gobs of memory won't work (when I bought it, was counting on just running a bunch of old school apps..) and the stuff that does run, runs poorly.. hard to whip out of your pocket as well. ASIO4ALL can get really picky with my acer netbook, so even audacity is a stretch.

    Something the writer should note is that you don't have to have an iphone.. you can get a 32GB 3rd gen ipod touch for $250 it runs as fast as the 3GS.. and the ipad, which has the iphone 4 processor (but not the OS yet) is the worlds most amazing touch interface for 1000 different uses.

    We all have lot of $250 gadgets in the studio.. this is the one that can transform itself into nearly anything.. and ride along with you anywhere you want to create.

  53. my midi controller and kaossilator beg to differ on the comment "finger is the worst input device ever" I'm not sure what you play your synth with.. My nose is a very poor performer on the xy pad..

  54. IMPORTANT NOTE HERE The atom is listed as a 1.6Ghz device, but performs like a 900Mhz celeron. If you choose a netbook, GET THE ONE WITH THE 900MHZ CELERON like this guy did.. it's not any slower, and will run your old apps… One of these days I'll get rebirth working on an SD card..

    Another thing that works PRETTY good on a netbook is the hobnox dot com audiotool.. it's flash based, so.. flaky at times depending.. but a lot of fun..

  55. 1. the only way android can catch up is to pay apple for patents for true multi-touch (not laggy pinch zom, 5 fingers) 2. obvious, but his point is "all that and a bag of chips. 3. Bigger is better, when you want to sell stuff. Biggest market share, biggest installed base, easiest purchase methods.. this all = $$. 4. which other smartphones do video editing? 5. Which mobile (by which I mean, in your pocket everywhere you go) platform IS best for musicians? Apple's multi-tasking is a DREAM.. crashless, I can play thumbjam over pandora tunes and switch to guitar or ishred, fllip over to safari pull up some tabs.. iOS supports audio copy and paste between music apps like looptastic and bassline.. iOS supports midi in and out and line in and out–there are some great realtime FX apps to connect with your guitar.. Android doesn't even support stereo line in at all–but there are half a dozen options for iOS.

    The keyword, in most critcle comments of iOS, is the "AFAIK" because.. frankly, if you knew the device and it's potential.. you'd have nothing to say. The "limits" you speak of simply no longer exist.. Seen the Akai Synthstation 25?

  56. cont:

    When you lead the pack, there's nothing to 'keep up' with. Ipod has dominated since day 1, the mac is the worlds favorite platform for creative industry, and iOS is lightyears ahead of android.

    OK so now you know the truth.. the truth is, you're missing out.. I remember just playing.. toying around with my SR16 back in the day when I bought it.. It slept on the pillow next to me.. now I can break off a full song in beatmaker layin' in.. beats watching crap on TV.. (no pun intended..)

    Final note: remember, it's not just the slick ui and platform, but the killer, super smart devs who make these things happen… These devs are making their dreams real on the only platform that can support it. I can't thank them enough for making a little hardware device transform magicaly into 1000 different instruments on a whim. Feels like I'm living in the future.. (but, who am I.. just a fanboy, just dismiss me before you even bother reading.. )

  57. Is jordon rudess a real musician? Just asking, he seems to be the go-to guy for new and interesting instruments. His ipad app is AMAZING.. PS, I haven't played ps3, wii, xbox or pretty much.. watch any tv since gettnig an iphone 2 years ago.. playtime can now be creative time. Did you know that thoughts and patterns can be moved from one device to another? I'm fairly sure a lot of us out there use a portable keyboard to knock out ideas with, am I right? meh..

  58. I don't NEED much of anything,. but I WANT just about everthing reviewed on this site.. am I atypical on that? This is synth porn here.. and yes, that is an iphone in my pocket.

  59. yeah come on you know what I mean. Touch screens of that size are great for many things, but totally suck when you need to be precise… (or do you think Jasuto Pro on the iphone is a pleasure to interact with?). Of course the finger is not the the actual input device either, it's the touch screen, or the keys on a controller and so on… I was just borrowing from Steve Jobs' statement "the finger is the best input device".

  60. haha actually your point is a load of rubbish for alot of people the quality of the work that can be done on the device is more important that the size. Yes the convenience of having something like an iphone to do the basic versions of those things all in one package is great but for alot of us having a jack of all trades, master of none device doesn't cut it.

    I, on a (work day) daily basis carry this

    an iphone and an ipod classic (because the iphone is a rubbish mp3 player)
    a 17" MBP (try rendering out 3d animations on an iphone)
    a wacom pad because the iphones equivalent app is not up to scratch and its too small
    a d300, 85mm lens and battery grip because the no phone camera is worth me using

    and all the power and connection leads associated with them….if the iphone was good enough to use for any of these applications i would not have or use the others. it doesn't do anything particularly well yet and as such makes it a toy for anyone with standards above the lowest level of consumer to pro.

    the weight isn't important as i'm not small and weak, but weight can be minimised elsewhere and still allow you to retain the quality.

    i could have a

    mbp 13", leica m9, wacom bamboo, and the iphone and ipod. which would cut my weight in more than half but still retain the quality.

    there are many cheaper and light options if that would be an argument for you, i'm just talking about the limitations of what i would personally want to be using.

  61. Man, this is your point-of-view because you guys lies on countries where the iPhone do not cost too much. Here in Brazil one of this costs more than U$1200(in R$ it is ~R$2400). So, we have to make "mobile music" on ower own… Using some Symbian softs, making ower softwares to self usage… But, i have to agree, the iPhone is a great phone to make music and to "support" a musician's life. =)
    Good bye!

  62. I'm not agree with this post I have a reason for musician don't need the Iphone.

    1 Windows Is The Top Mobile Platform
    2 iPhones are expensive and musicians are poor.
    3 Real Musicians Play On Real Instruments.
    4 We Live In The Future And The Internet Is Awesome

  63. I'm a songwriter but I can't play any instruments. Now imagine what it was like for me before the iPhone came along. I had to tediously write music with notation software before being able to hear it. With my iPhone and an app called Guitar I can compose chord progression and play them on the fly, wherever and whenever I want. I'm actually playing guitar even though I can't play a real guitar. It may seem that it's too small and cumbersome to do all the things you can do wit a real instrument, but I really think with practice anyone would be able to pull of amazing things with it. So saying that these apps are toys is just not true at all. If you don't have a problem using midi controllers, then you shouldn't have a problem accepting the iPhone or iPad as an instrument or input device. Just think about it. You play an instrument on your iPhone/iPad, you choose sound fromy our DAW or plugins, or you add effects to the apps own sound (eg. guitar effects using Logic's amps and stompboxes etc), and you record straight into your DAW.
    Sure there are crappy toy-like apps, but that doesn't mean there aren't any good ones. The point about the iPhone or iPad is that it's a hardware and software platform with the potential to do things other devices just can't. If Nokia or RIM came out with this device I'd be singing their praises, but they didn't. So, unfortunately, my praise has to go to the iPhone/iPad.

  64. the iphone/ipad they are just the beginning , to think that before them phones were.. well, just that
    small unreliable devices to make phone calls.. and to think that Apple again has changed the world in such a short time.. this is just the beginning
    My iphone has pretty much replaced my laptop for most daily tasks

  65. Great post .. indeed
    i remember those days people complained about computers being used for music , those with the brain used it as a tool an evolved with them . the iPad/iPod situation is similar but with greater potentials. You want to ignore it because you dislike Apple (for whatever strange reason you have) your choice, one day developers are going to stop writing applications for computers because the iDevices are going to be powerful and much cheaper to develop

  66. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  67. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  68. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  69. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  70. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  71. rubbish….you clearly don't know the device at all
    and the data plans start at $15 which btw you don't need if you don't have an iphone

  72. If legitimate companies like korg, propellerhead, akai, etc., are all making apps for ipads/iphones, don't you think that maybe they see these devices as legitimate platforms. and see the potential they can bring. Maybe the iPad isn't a serious DAW competitor for right now. And I think the connectivity is something that can be improved overall. But give it time. All you silly haters will be toting around iPads before you even know it.

  73. About 3 years ago I was working at a night club at nights and building lighting and sound systems for night clubs. During this part of my life I was rough on cell phones, so this will explain why but in a one year period I went through 32 cell phones. So I have had just about every phone on the market at that time. So I guess you cold say I know them all! Also during these times I started djing and messing with music more and that lead me to beat production. So when the imaschine came out for the iphone i downloaded it almost immediately. It was 2 months after this that I finally went out and bought my Maschine and I have to say that the imaschine is closer than anything I have ever seen to almost being like the real thing. Of course its not the real thing but then again its a phone. The imaschine app is awesome if your in a band, a beat producer or for anyone who just loves music. The iphone its self is more durable and its ezier to operate than all the rest.
    Needless to say iphone and imaschine I cant live without!!!

    RJM lighting and sound

  74. All musicians should use Macs/iPhones. They should also all drive Subarus. Seems like all the big studio musicians use macs. There’s no logical reason. Maybe 10 years ago, but today, it’s nothing but habit, and it’s annoying but fun to stereotype!

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