Apple iPad Pro 2020

Apple have announced the new iPad Pro models for 2020, and they're good news for iPad Pro 2018 owners!

This is just an incremental update. The chipset is upgraded from the A12X to the A12Z, which might have some small impact on games with its increased GPU output. It is kind of amazing to see Apple reuse old chip architecture like this. Especially 2 year old chip architecture. The prices of the 11" and 12.9" are identical to the iPad Pro 2018 skews, though the starting storage is 128GB now. All units are expected to start shipping March 25th.

The only thing I care about here is the amazing dock with a trackpad that uses gestures! They're calling it the "Magic Keyboard" because they could name it Dog Shit™ and people would still happily pay $300 for the 11" model or $350 for the 12.9" version.

Expect iOS 13.4 to arrive on March 24th to add the trackpad support. Here is the flashy promo from Apple.

Fuck Behringer

Hardware manufacturer Behringer, known historically and primarily for their cheap noisy mixers, fucked up.

Their recent efforts to re-brand themselves as a cheap clone company have been mostly welcomed by the larger music making community. They got a bit carried away though and started to trademark names from other companies. Synth Anatomy first broke this story, but CDM's Peter Kirn brought more attention to it. Two weeks later Behringer trademarked Peter Kirn's last name.

Peter had previously attracted Behringer's attention when he exposed their attempts to sue a site that called Behringer a shameless copycat. They also tried to sue Dave Smith Instruments and some DSI forum posters for defamation; which Peter also reported on. While many people have been happily buying up their new cheap clones, it seems like Peter Kirn has been the only one pointing out their disturbing trend of silencing critics.

Faced with a voice that they could not easily intimidate into silence, Behringer's marketing department spent a lot of time and money producing a mock product to mock Peter. This was almost immediately pulled from their social media posts when people began accusing the German manufacturer of antisemitism. I think the nose looks more like Pinocchio. I spoke with Peter this morning and can report that Peter is not Jewish.

Behringer have apologized specifically for any implications of antisemitism, but have yet to apologize for attacking an independent journalist with the full force of their goddamn marketing department. Fuck Behringer.

It is worth noting that Behringer doesn't even own the rights to the music they used in this video. Like many of their real products, their fake product is also a clone, because they're shameless copycats.

Let's Play with Mononoke

There have been a lot of apps released in the last month, but it wasn't hard to pick which one I wanted to play with for this video. I've been having so much fun with Mononoke! I have been having less fun with YouTube.

Last August they began an audit for the site's usage of the YouTube API. This was a lengthy process of dealing with dumb bots and even dumber people that didn't finish until last month. The matter seemed settled and resolved in my favor. This month they launched a second audit for the same exact thing! I'm fairly pissed off about this. Today when I uploaded this video, it immediately got flagged as a copyright violation because 13 seconds of a 24 minute video sound vaguely like a song no one cares about. I'm starting to hate YouTube.

Video Description:

The latest synth from Bram Bos is a unique drone/soundscape generator with performance pads that make it a bunch of fun to play with! I mostly manage to stop playing with it long enough to describe what's going on.

If you've enjoyed this series please consider supporting it by becoming a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/discchord If you'd prefer to help on a monthly basis, instead of per video, there is a monthly Patreon campaign: https://www.patreon.com/discchord_com Or you can support me on Timmeon if you don't like Patreon: https://discchord.com/supporters#timmeon (Patrons of these campaigns get the same benefits, including Ad Free viewing on the site!)

Fuck Tangible Instruments

Wannabe manufacturer Tangible Instruments posted this demonstration from NAMM of their elusive Arpeggiator. Originally funded on Kickstarter back in 2015, they expected to ship their cute arpeggiator instrument out to backers in April of 2016. They failed to do so.

In fact, they have failed to deliver at all in the nearly 5 years since the Kickstarter campaign started.

At what point does a campaign get flagged as fraudulent? You can see a lot of frustration from backers on Kickstarter, yet somehow Kickstarter is content with their users being bilked like this? This is an important cautionary tale. I don't want to be liable for libel, so I've got to be careful here. But if you ask for my money in exchange for something and fail to deliver on that for nearly 5 fucking years, wouldn't you call that a scam?

I'm extra mad at these guys because they personally scammed me. Back in 2017 they released a shit app without any kind of MIDI or Audio connectivity. Ordinarily I wouldn't have posted it, but the guy emailed me saying he was one of of the guys from Tangible Instruments, and promised that Audiobus and MIDI were on the way. The app has never received a single update since its release. These are con artists, not developers.

Video Description:

Shot live at NAMM 2020, this video demonstrates features of arpeggiator mode and MIDI connectivity including MIDI over Bluetooth LE.

more info:
http://tangibleinstruments.com/

discchord v3.5: Seek and Ye Shall Find!

This is an update that I've been putting off for ages because I knew it would suck to code it. I was right.

Fortunately the results are super useful. This finally addresses the awful search that has been on the site since day 1. It is fantastic now! This includes both article search and app search! Now if you search for Audiobus the first result is Audiobus, and not any of the 838 other apps in the site's database that mentions Audiobus.

What's new in discchord v3.5:

+ New Search! Better, slower, way way more accurate and helpful!
- Fixed Android! Updated scraping to latest Google changes, and made some tweaks to database.
- Fixed # at the end of App Store links, so that the # doesn't end up in the database.
- Fixed YouTube links to other @channels
- Fixed Exploit in Search that exposed Patron Only Posts (Thanks Cosmo for letting me know!)
- Fixed anti-cheat in contests to avoid false positives. Sorry!

Brought to You By Medicinal Amphetamines

This long awaited update would not be possible without the aid of amphetamines! Under medical supervision I've been experimenting with Vyvanse to treat my, now extremely problematic, ADHD. Things started off rough. I've now found a dosage that works for me! I'm finally able to tackle problems that before seemed too boring, or dangerous. Addressing search here was a bit of both.

Search is Hard

I've known the search here sucked. I was relatively new to Python in early 2016 when I wrote it. Surfacing relevant search results is tricky and I just didn't know how to do it back then. I've known how to do it right for a while now, but search is kind of woven into the code all over the place and I knew it'd be a long and boring process to retrofit a better search. The code base for discchord is huge now, and it is a little dangerous for me to go poking around at fundamental portions of it. I was able to face both of these problems with patience!

I'm quite proud of the new search and hope it will be much more useful to you.

Android is Shit

Regular readers here will know that I hate Apple. In fact I strongly resisted buying an iPad because I was waiting for Android tablets to get their shit together. When Korg released iMS-20 I caved and bought an iPad 2. I'm glad I did or I'd still be waiting for Android to get its shit together. Despite my hopes, Android has not become a relevant platform for music makers. So I find it particularly galling when Google keeps fucking with the web scraping I use to include Android apps in the site's database.

I was pretty close to throwing in the towel after the last attempt to block me. I've updated the scraping again to bring Android support back in-line with iOS in the Music App Guide. This may be the last time I do so unless I hear from a lot of Android fans that actually care.

discchord is becoming self-aware!

I split the roll-out of this update into two stages, so that if something went wrong I would know where to begin bug hunting. I was keeping Twitter apprised of the situation and soliciting feedback on any bugs. After the Stage 2 post this morning, Audio Damage developer Chris Randall made a very prescient tweet.

There were also a lot of changes in the backend. They're not mentioned in these update notes because that would just be a wall of [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] in the [REDACTED]. One of these is a very early stage Machine Learning project I'm experimenting with on the site. I go through hundreds of YouTube videos every day, and I'm trying to train an AI model to help me do that. It isn't actually doing anything right now, but yes, Stage 3 is world domination.

User Suggestions

The last time I asked for user suggestions there was one idea that almost made it into v3.5.

Set Pagination in reverse so that people viewing page "995" always go back to the same page when they refresh. (Markus Gräser)

I like this idea a lot, but I want to get your feedback. I can see how this would be useful, but I'm worried that this is going to break something that I'm not thinking about. I use the site differently than you, so I'd like to hear what your thoughts are! If you have any other suggestions this is probably a place to post them.

And as always, please report bugs! Do not assume that I know about it. As far as I know the site is amazing and nothing is wrong. I can't fix problems unless you let me know about them.

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