The iPad Orchestra Replaces Expensive Instruments WIth iPad Apps

iPad Music Software: This video captures The iPad Orchestra performing Sweet Dream.

The iPad Orchestra performs in this video with Seline HD, an iPad synthesizer that features a unique keyboard layout, called ioGrid.

Melodies are played with two hands, while keeping the iPad on the knees or on the table. An adjustable 16-note scale is divided into 2 parts (odd and even), which are mapped on the left and right grids.

The iPad Orchestra was founded in 2010 to “demonstrate the latest achievements in digital mobile music.”

“We strongly believe that some day people will be able to play any music instrument from mobile devices, such as an iPad,” states the group.

Can iPads really replace orchestral instruments?  Leave a comment with your thoughts!

Seline HD is available now in the App Store for $5.99.

via AmidioInc:

“Sweet Dream” performed live for audience on 20.08.2010 by “The iPad Orchestra” on 4 iPads running app Seline HD by Amidio. http://ipad-orchestra.com

18 thoughts on “The iPad Orchestra Replaces Expensive Instruments WIth iPad Apps

  1. Fully replacing (i.e. replacing not only the sound and all its nuances but the mode of playing and interacting with the instrument — can a sampled or physically modelled guitar be used as a drum by hitting the corpus?) an accoustic instrument with a digital or analogue recreation that does not even sport the original user interface of the instrument being modelled is ridiculous. iPad or no pad, it just comes down to the definition of what you mean by playing an instrument. If playing an instrument means that you use some tool that produces sounds similar to those made by the instrument you claim to play than OK. But if you think that playing an instrument means that you can actually take a flute or trumpet or guitar or violin etc. and produce a sound, and play a melody than pushing virtual buttons on a touch screen device certainly can not be considered playing those instruments. The iPad in conjunction with its software is the instrument here and people obviously play this instrument today. That's all.

    One word about the performance in the video: If you want digital recreations with cables attached you'd better set up some samplers to create the sounds as these are just awful compared with even basic sample sets for orchestral instruments. I will not say anything about the performance itself …

  2. I don't see this as a try to replace the original instruments. For me it's just a performance showing how the software can be played easily by some people together producing a nice result. I'm a flutist and keyboard player and I really believe that some news like music playing on mobile devices can offer more options for musicians. Some new music apps show interfaces and possibilities have never seen before. I would never replace the flute with an iPad but I can easily use the ipad with my band with other keyboards and VSTis for example.

  3. I agree with Random Chance.

    There's nothing innovative here. In fact it makes me cringe in a way that people are so caught up in the iPad craze that they're just using it to perform in such a way that has been possible with samplers for close to 25 years or more now. The only difference being the actual tool they're using.

    Yes, the interface on the screen looks unique, but considering there's no touch sensitivity on the iPad, they would be better off using an Akai MPC.

  4. I agree with Random Chance.

    There's nothing innovative here. In fact it makes me cringe in a way that people are so caught up in the iPad craze that they're just using it to perform in such a way that has been possible with samplers for close to 25 years or more now. The only difference being the actual tool they're using.

    Yes, the interface on the screen looks unique, but considering there's no touch sensitivity on the iPad, they would be better off using an Akai MPC.

  5. Ack. The interface looks interesting, but the performance…lifeless. I almost prefer the good ol' days of a tape performance (ca 1970's) which had no pretensions to an actual performance. From an audience perspective, there is no visual or emotional connection between the players and the music.

  6. I would say a more correct title would be "The iPad Orchestra Replaces Real Instruments WIth cheap iPad Imitations". Of course a real, high quality Cello or Viola costs far more than an iPad… but then, it's the real thing, it's an instrument you will be living your musical life with, which might last you for a lifetime and not a gandget you will be replacing in a year or two…

  7. Be as negative as you like, but I've sat through worse musical performances by well-meaning, incompetent musicians. Sometimes, I've been one of them.

  8. Be as negative as you like, but I've sat through worse musical performances by well-meaning, incompetent musicians. Sometimes, I've been one of them. I found this piece rather nice.

  9. Nice… Making music without the actual fun of making music. What is left, then?

    Playing a real instrument is not only synchronization of finger and hand movements, there is much more involved. Especially the almost spiritual connection that happens between both human and device. As much as I like digital stuff, I find something here missing. If you show me an iPad used for a synth or a matrix sequencer, I can find that OK (even if the music or the performance is crappy), but for a simulated instrument…

  10. Zzzzz. Yet another iPad does something that could be done 20 years ago, except now it has a touch screen its presented as something new and exciting story . FFS! the ipad is just a laptop with a touchscreen.

  11. Yes! Orchestras finally outmoded, just like the DX7!
    And the players are all staring down their shoes, inscrutably fidgeting like electronic musicians should.

    Almost lifelike music is getting realer by the minute!

  12. It could have been done 20 years ago – except that your 386 had a 640×480 monitor that could display 16 colors, software synthesizers as we know them hadn't been invented yet and custom controllers like the Buchla Thunder cost thousands of dollars.

    FFS! Do you leave stupid comments like that just to be provocative, or are you really ignorant of technological progress?

  13. Look, the musicians are having fun, but what's not fun is the audience watching them sitting there barely moving. It needs big screens behind them showing the audience what's happening on each iPad or some kind structure that holds the iPad that's positioned towards the audience. A traditional orchestra has the violinist's flapping their arms, drummers banging kettle drums and so on, it just needs some kind of visual information for the on-lookers to see what's going on.

    1. Bob

      Good point – too often electronic musicians forget to take a holistic view of performance. It's not just what you hear – but it's the expression in your face, the motion of your body, the acoustics of the performance space, the crowd, etc.

      You don't want to watch people that look like they might be checking their email.

  14. @ Flancher: No I’m not trying to be provocative at all. I am just trying to make the Apple fan boys wake up and realise that the iPad and iPhone are not offering us anything new other than a touchscreen/sexy interface. Portable composition WAS available 20 years ago in the shape of the Yamaha QY10 (link below). This news story could have the word iPad swapped for QY10. So I stand by my comment. Cheers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_QY10

  15. @ Flancher: No I’m not trying to be provocative at all. I am just trying to make the Apple fan boys wake up and realise that the iPad and iPhone are not offering us anything new other than a touchscreen/sexy interface. Portable composition WAS available 20 years ago in the shape of the Yamaha QY10 (link below). This news story could have the word iPad swapped for QY10. So I stand by my comment. Cheers

  16. if you can't play an instrument at least this is better than guitar hero…you're actually playing something that is not a game. It's not meant to replace anything. I mainly play the guitar (and ukulele, piano, synths, bass, drums, etc.) but i love new proaches like these kind of devices: i loved my kaossilator first, then my ipod touch and now my ipad: who cares about physical talent in moving fingers on a piano or blowing into a saxophone when music is in your head? The more you have new ways to produce and perform sounds the more you'll be sorting out different music

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