Legal Threats & Bribery Have Unintended Consequences

Today former iOS developer, Michael of iControlMIDIDesign, discovered that making legal threats and attempting to bribe a blogger have unintended consequences. Following a post yesterday, which included an email excerpt, iControlMIDIDesign continued to email blogger Tim Webb with apoplectic rage.

Michael made assertions that his conversation with me was private, despite all of the emails including the words "Press Inquiry" in the subject line. The very first line of the very first email also identified myself as a blogger at

Having had a good cry and a lie down, Michael thought better of his tactics. Though not much better it would seem.

This afternoon I received a new email from Michael requesting information on advertising here on the site. He was hoping to get me to yank the earlier article, and included a veiled legal threat.

Despite any delusions he may have harbored about an expectation to privacy in the original email, there is no way in hell he has any kind of expectation for privacy now after the previous post... so I'm pretty sure I can post this in its entirety!

Hi Tim,
We would be interested in the Menu Badge.
There is a post on your website that is impairing our business due to the release of un-authorized content. I have been contacting my lawyer and he is recommending to friendly settle if you accept to remove it. In return we would be happy to purchase that Menu Badge for the next 5-6 months as proof of good partnership.
Let us know.
Best regards,

For future reference to anyone that wants to buy out content on this site, it is going to cost a bit more than $300. I'll sell you the site for $300,000 and you can pull any article you like. Any other offer to sell out, or threats to my first amendment rights, will be posted here.

By the way, any Lawyers out there? This is the second time someone has made legal threats in the last 3 months. I've been busy!

Tic Tac Beatz Electro added to the Buyer's Guide

Drumatron's release reminded me of another app by developer Beats 'n' Bobs. Tic Tac Beatz Electro was released back in May, but a recent update caught my eye so I've been reviewing it for the Buyer's Guide. It did not review well, but it might be informative for people considering purchasing Drumatron. To be fair, Tic Tac Beatz was their first iOS app so I'm sure they've learned from the experience.

If you've played with Tic Tac Beatz Electro, please add your thoughts here!

iPad Music App Buyer’s Guide Rating: Pass

Recommendation: A flawed app that tried very hard to provide a lot, but only offered a mess.


Drumatron is new Universal finger drumming app. Looking futuristic and ergonomic, it is also packed full of samples.

Almost 100 sounds to choose from ranging from rock and dance drums, bongos and maracas, special effects and more. You can edit each pad's sound, level, pitch and decay. Store up to 4 custom drum kits. Velocity control on each pad depending on where you hit the pad.

Ergonomically designed for either one-handed use or using both thumbs with ease. With visual feedback and lighting effects that add more enjoyment especially in the dark. Pad 3 is linked to pad 4 so you can mute an open high hat on pad 4 with a closed hat on pad 3 if you wish.

Buy Drumatron on iTunes: $1.99

There are no details on recording or exporting, but there looks like a record button in the bottom right of the screen.

Here's a demo from the developer showing off how to play it, and then how to tweak it.

Thanks to Chip Boaz, iOS Music & You, for bringing this app to my attention.

Voice Synth Updated with Retina Support and 100 Presets

Voice Synth (Link to Review), the voice controlled synthesizer, got a nice update today! In addition to Retinal support, it now has 100 Factory presets. This is a big jump up from the 8 it had previously! You can also now save an unlimited number of user presets, instead of saving over the 8 factory slots. All of which can now be shared with import and export options.

• Retina graphics for iPad 3
• Preset Library with over 100 factory presets, unlimited user presets
• Import / export presets
• Extended equalizer panel with 8 quick presets and stereo VU meters
• Info center with improved news notification badge
• Fixes issue with M4A encoding on iPhone 4S and iPad 2/3
• Fixes issue with sound output becoming silent
• Fixes issue with hanging MIDI notes
• Improved noise resilience for use with noisy headsets

Buy Voice Synth on iTunes: $9.99

iControlMIDIDesign Ends iOS Development

iControlMIDIDesign have been making apps designed to expose additional MIDI functions in hardware synths for over a year. Ironically I didn't think it was worth reporting on any of them, but here I am reporting on their demise.

Due to insufficient sales, we have to terminate this project.

So, what does it mean?
• We will not be releasing any new Apps
• We are leaving our Apps on the App Store for maintenance purposes only (updates, bug fixes, etc…)
• Apple will automatically remove all our Apps from the App Store in 01/2013 as we will not renew our iOS License Agreement
• If you are an iControlMIDI licensee you are most likely safe with our Apps (which runs fine on iOS 4.2, 4.3, 5.0, 5.1 and 5.1.1); the only risk our Apps fail is Apple updating iOS and breaking our Apps. This will not happen if you are an iPad 1 owner as iOS 6 will not run on that device (we are not saying here that our Apps will not run on iOS 6!). It seems that Apple will be dropping older hardware support so we are entering into a firmware scenario and safe for years to come. However, this depends on Apple, not on us, so we cannot guarantee it.

Thanks for your interest in iControlMIDI, thanks for your business.

I'm a little shocked by this. They have been at it for a while, so this seems sudden. Although I haven't made use of any of their apps it has always been nice to know they are out there if I should ever buy a cheap DX7 off Craigslist. These apps aren't pretty, but they are really helpful for hardware synths with poor patch design interfaces.

Given that their stated reason for ending development was a lack of sales, I contacted the developer to ask if he had considered lowering the price on the apps. Each individual app is listed at $30-50! That seems prohibitively expensive. If they aren't selling at $50, maybe they will sell at $5?

This turns out to be exactly the wrong thing to ask...

Tim: I know a lot of people are using the iPad and custom MIDI designers like TouchOSC to get more use out of their old hardware. There definitely seems to be a market here. Have you considered drastically reducing the prices on your apps, just to see how that goes?

Michael: Thank you for the advice (I already received a tons of emails with the same brilliant idea); so I'm going to give the same in-your-face answer. Who are you? Do we know each other? Are the the CFO of a Fortune-100 software editor? Are you a Partner a KPMG? Do you have a MBA from Harward? What I'm reading here is as good as what I can read in the 'free press' while riding the subway to work in the morning which ends up in the subway trash when I arrive to work! Now I'm going to give a VALUABLE piece of advice. If you do not like our Apps or its pricing; download XCode and develop an App of your own with the pricing you want.

Our conversation dissolved from there into Nietzschean concepts on the revaluation of values, and finally the Alamo. Never forget!

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