I had other things planned for this week, but when iceGear released Kronecker on Monday all of those plans changed. Every single iceGear app is a new world to explore, and Kronecker is no exception. It features a simplified FM oscillator that is then run into a series of Resonators, with a sequencer that dictates when the oscillator triggers. You can have up to 4 layers with all of this going on to make a very big sound!
I love iceGear's apps. Every single one is a new innovative invention to explore. Kronecker continues that tradition with an entirely unique synthesis engine. Let's Play with it! Available on iTunes: https://goo.gl/GAciVD
For years now there have been a lot of shady "developers" who merely troll through GitHub finding open-source apps which they then lazily rebrand and try to sell on the App Store. In the "Music" category this has mostly been limited to Radio apps. AudioKit developer Matthew Fecher was the original developer who open-sourced his radio app, the code for which now pollutes the App Store with literally thousands on copy-cats.
This necessitated a very specific function in the discchord code to weed them out of my new apps feed:
Now the scumbags are getting greedy. Luca Jaeger, an alleged shitbag, has released Wavetable Synthesizer Analog using the source code for Analog Synth X by Matthew Fecher and Aurelius Prochazka. While the original Analog Synth X is free, Luca's new "Wavetable Synthesizer Analog" is $9... with a weekly $1 subscription fee! You get nothing new in this app, nor even anything from the subscription.
This is just a greedy cash grab!
As Tom from Synth Anatomy points out, everything about this app is garbage. Even their contact page is a joke, with nonsensical phone numbers like 12345/67890, and an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. So lazy.
Avoid this and be wary; I'm sure more of these will arrive soon. You could also download the real thing for free!
Internet juggernaut Buzzfeed has purchased discchord in an acqui-hire to secure the prosaic writing of yours truly. Most of the content you've come to associate with discchord will still be here... Only better!
Given Buzzfeed's forumlaic headlines and appeal to the lowest common denominator, you may think that the people behind Buzzfeed were severely impaired cretins. Perhaps the victims of an industrial chemical accident that was extraordinarily high in mercury. You'd be incorrect in either surmise! Bafflingly, and sadly, Buzzfeed hires some of the brightest minds of their generation.
Their honed talent has perfected the art of journalism. Dan Rathers has been disgraced, Walter Cronkite is dead, and Christiane Amanpour has never once deigned to tell us which celebrity would be our best bestie based on a quiz of our puppy preferences. The old generation of elitist news is over and overthrown by millennials prepared to tackle the vexing challenges of the 21st century:
Today Apple held a major press event at a school in Chicago. A select group of tech journalists from all over the world descended on Chicago's Lane Tech College Prep School where it was revealed that they wasted their time traveling to Chicago. Don't get me wrong. I love Chicago. But I wouldn't have even traveled their from the suburbs for this.
The focus of the event was on education. They also introduced a new version of their $330 iPad, not to be confused with the iPad Air, which has been removed from the Apple Store... presumably to avoid confusion. The new iPad sports the A10 from the iPhone 7, and includes Apple Pencil support.
Against all odds, we managed to make it through 2017 without an armed nuclear conflict! Hurray for us!
At this rate might might just see the other side of 2018. We need to start planning for the future, but before we do let's take a look back at our predictions for 2017.
Heretik7, stub, DulceVida, and RedSkyLullaby predicted that BeatMaker 3 would arrive in 2017. Heretik7 went an extra-step and divined that NanoStudio 2 would not.
RedSkyLullaby predicted we'd see desktop AUs ported to iOS and Audio Damage obliged with a whole suite of them!
Rob Fenn, DulceVida, and Blaaaarghonaut predicted a new app from Korg and iMono/Poly made that a reality with its release in August!
DulceVida gets extra points with his further prediction of, "and nothing useful for the Apple Watch."
RedSkyLullaby and Heretik7 were hoping for an update to Samplr, but it remains un-updated since 2014.
Erik reasonably expected Cubasis and Korg's classic apps to get Ableton Link, but was disappointed in both cases.
In a similar vein, Rob Fenn predicted we see an iElectribe gadget for Gadget. This is a great idea, but it didn't happen for 2017.
My 2017 Prediction: I fucking nailed it!
Last year I predicted a lot of new YouTubers would start doing app related content, in what turns out to be my most accurate prediction ever. In 2017 we got a lot of great app demos from Electronisounds, Pants of Death, TheAudioDabbler, Expanding Sound, RedSkyLullaby, and many others. And we got all of that in addition to the continued support from Jakob Haq, thesoundtestroom, and myself. Even iPad Loops and Apps4iDevices started doing videos again! 2017 was the best year yet for new original app videos!
What's coming in 2018?
My prediction this year is more of a statement of intent. In years past we've expected larger corporations to get on-board with music apps, and we've been mostly disappointed. From private conversations I've gathered that the driving factor that keeps them out is simple economics. From what I hear, all of the large corporations that are currently involved in iOS apps are doing so out of marketing and good will; rather than reaping any profits from their efforts. We can't change that.
The app economy is insane. We expect apps to be around $5-10, and we all benefit from those prices. I haven't bought a VST since I got my first iPad. I'd rather spend $200 on 20 apps than $200 on 1 VST, and for the many amateur musicians here that makes sense. I'm sure there are thousands of people reading this who have never bought a full-priced VST. And why would they? They're not making music to make a profit, so how could they justify spending so much on a VST?
Unfortunately these prices don't make any amount of sense for large companies. Instead of hoping to see more from Moog, or for Roland to suddenly decide to get serious about apps, we need to focus our effort and support behind the independent developers who are already bringing us amazing apps. These individual developers can make apps that are financially viable for themselves, and we need to embrace them as the pillars of this hobby that they are.
I don't think we do enough of that, and as a community I hope we can change that in 2018. Coding is hard. Coding something original is even harder. Music app developers aren't doing it to get rich, or they'd be spending all of their time and effort on making games. Flappy Birds made more in an hour than most music app devs will make from their apps in 10 years. They keep coming back with new apps because they want to provide this community with new music making tools. But we pester the hell out of them for support and feature demands. I can't even count the number of devs who have confessed to a waning interest because they don't want to deal with the inane support emails they get. Or worse yet, the entitled whining for features on forums and Facebook. "I paid $5 for this app back in 2014, why doesn't it have this new technology that was released after it?" Devs have to be polite in their responses because they don't want 1 Star reviews on iTunes. I don't, so I'm going to come out and say it: You're an entitled ass if you think $5 bought you 24/7 support and free updates for life. Revisiting old projects to add features is boring. They'd much rather be working on new apps and new ideas. If we want developers to continue to bring us great new apps, we need to shift our culture away from being entitled and needy. I'm going to try to do my part, and I hope you will too.
Open Mic: New Year's Predictions for 2018!
I want to end on a lighter note so I'll include a new video from another new YouTuber. Bill Jobs intends to be the Bob Ross of synth apps and he's off to a solid start in his first episode!
In the comments here please share your predictions for what we'll see in 2018!