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Thread: Do any of you compose on the iOS platform?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IpadComposer View Post
    But what about hearing that score played?
    Isn't a problem for me, but I suppose most don't have an orchestra at their disposal.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by E Cristobal Poveda View Post
    Isn't a problem for me, but I suppose most don't have an orchestra at their disposal.
    Wait, so they just take your hand-written score and copy into parts on their own? Wouldn't you need to enter into a notation program to print out the parts? I'm confused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekhar View Post
    No, you didn't...I was commenting on your agreeing with pkoi's response, which I felt was in part generic like I pointed out (though some of what he said was helpful). Sorry about the confusion. In fact, you were quite specific in your original post, thanks for that.

    My frustration with generic responses is that they end the conversation, as if they're conclusive "that's life, move on" kind of last words. I see it on other forums too, like photography. E.g., the moment you ask for say a better lens, someone will shut it down with "Equipment doesn't matter, it's the photographer," which drives me nuts. And these are the folks who always use minimum $10K gear for themselves.
    Okay, that is very reasoned thinking. You asked for an example with pros and cons. I would like to oblige you since you seem to be very fair minded. This is the fourth movement of a "Synthony" I improvised, arranged, orchestrated and recorded in fifty hours using an iPad4, Cubasis (based on Cubase) recording app ($50) using various instrument and effects apps and a pretty mediocre Casio keyboard. Please be aware I am an iconoclast. I am primarily a jazz pianist, I make no claim to being a "serious" composer and I am demonstrating this for the technical aspects of composing and recording on the iOS platform, not for a critique on my abilities as a "composer". Yes, I sat down and played this composition straight out on the keyboard with no preconceived notion ( though I do quote LVB's 7th, 2nd movement for a couple of measures. I am sure you will spot it). If you want to say something nice about it I am all ears. I may post the entire 24 minute work once I am convinced that I will not be pilloried for the abundance of rules I knowingly choose to break ( so far I am not convinced the bias against computer generated "classical" music, especially on an iPad I have encountered on many threads could not be avoided by the stalwarts that hold forth here. That I begin a symphonic form with a slow movement, ignore the requirement of a sonata form, etc. will not get me much applause either, I suspect!

    But I am willing to take some shots to recommend iOS music making to young composers for the following (pro) reasons:
    1/ affordability. Some have already taken issue with this on this forum. "I can get a used PC and free notation software for $200.
    To which I say, go right ahead. You always get what you pay for.. A used iPad 4 will cost $150 ( plus a $50 Apple camera connection dongle to connect the iPad and midi keyboard), a used Casio hammer action Privia keyboard $250, all the apps you need for decent instruments and recording $250 if you have good advice on what to get ( much less if you go for free sound fonts, of which there are many and a $10 recording app). If you have an iPad and an ok midi keyboard with/ or have outboard speakers you are in the game for $300 or significantly less.
    2/ portability. You can input notes directly on most apps directly on the iPad. All DAW sequencers on iOS have drop down keyboards. With a pair of earbuds you can work on your compositions anywhere, anytime.
    3/IOS is just coming into its own with great improvements in connectivity, stability, FX, high quality instruments, sophisticated DAWs ( recording studios) and availability of help at the audiobus.us forum. The main iOS forum and very open contributors who welcome beginners. No question is too basic.
    4/workflow is vastly improved with touch and go recording. No more mouse.
    5/it is very hip. iOS technology appeals to young people and gaining in credibility as more and more fully mastered albums are released on the platform.
    6/ quick learning curve. A computer literate teenager can be recording in hours.

    Cons:
    1/ desktop has more RAM and ROM. Until heat dissipation issues are addressed the memory capacity is limited on tablets.
    2/ instruments are still more realistic on desktop because of larger sample sizes and extensive articulated orchestral instruments available. However, they are a lot more expensive. A lot!
    3/ bias of codgers against something new ( I am 70 and a codger myself)
    4/ software has had many years lead on desktop compared to iOS, is more stable and often has more depth for a professional engineer. But I am addressing young composers who want an affordable, fun platform that is cutting edge technology.

    I hope you find the above a fair sorting of pluses and minuses, Sephardic. Here is an example. This movement was completed in approx. 15 hours "composing" to "completion". A perfectionist who is not improvising the material on the spot would, naturally, take much more time. PLEASE listen with headphones or good monitors.

    https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-...wig-i-love-you
    Last edited by IpadComposer; Aug-17-2018 at 03:33.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by E Cristobal Poveda View Post
    Isn't a problem for me, but I suppose most don't have an orchestra at their disposal.
    Very decent of you to allow that most young composers do not have the privileges you have undoubtedly earned.

  5. #20
    Senior Member shirime's Avatar
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    I have already responded to this thread, but after thinking about it more it really comes down to the kind of composition that someone is interested in doing. As far as I can tell, an iPad does not have adequate connectivity to a lot of other kinds of hardware that would be useful in for studio composition, especially when it comes to connecting microphones and using analogue equipment. If a composer who is only just starting out with an interest in studio composition, particularly when it comes to writing commercial music, writing music for video games and other things like that, an iPad will be able to introduce someone to composing with a DAW but with severe limitations that could set someone's knowledge of the software back when transferring to an actual studio context. Keyboard shortcuts, connecting various equipment, working with microphones and speakers and similar skills are just as important as having a good knowledge of the software. Of course, once someone is actually in the studio, they will be working with expensive equipment anyway; thankfully, there are courses and institutions that provide the hands on experience needed, people can apply for internships with professionals, people can get closer to the goal of being a composer in that kind of studio in that way over time whilst accumulating the knowledge that will be of most use to them.

    For people who only wish to compose as a hobby, iPads, as much as or probably more than laptops and other easily available technology, are easy to use but have limitations that people simply have to live with. People I know who enjoy composing using software like Cubase as a hobby are content with the sampled sounds they can get as far as I am aware, and none of them use iPads due to the impracticality of its limitations versus what they already have access to on their computers. And I am pretty sure many people at some point go out to get a laptop or desktop computer.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirime View Post
    I have already responded to this thread, but after thinking about it more it really comes down to the kind of composition that someone is interested in doing. As far as I can tell, an iPad does not have adequate connectivity to a lot of other kinds of hardware that would be useful in for studio composition, especially when it comes to connecting microphones and using analogue equipment. If a composer who is only just starting out with an interest in studio composition, particularly when it comes to writing commercial music, writing music for video games and other things like that, an iPad will be able to introduce someone to composing with a DAW but with severe limitations that could set someone's knowledge of the software back when transferring to an actual studio context. Keyboard shortcuts, connecting various equipment, working with microphones and speakers and similar skills are just as important as having a good knowledge of the software. Of course, once someone is actually in the studio, they will be working with expensive equipment anyway; thankfully, there are courses and institutions that provide the hands on experience needed, people can apply for internships with professionals, people can get closer to the goal of being a composer in that kind of studio in that way over time whilst accumulating the knowledge that will be of most use to them.

    For people who only wish to compose as a hobby, iPads, as much as or probably more than laptops and other easily available technology, are easy to use but have limitations that people simply have to live with. People I know who enjoy composing using software like Cubase as a hobby are content with the sampled sounds they can get as far as I am aware, and none of them use iPads due to the impracticality of its limitations versus what they already have access to on their computers. And I am pretty sure many people at some point go out to get a laptop or desktop computer.
    Thanks for your considered response, Shirime ( not the fake fish, I hope!) all very valid concerns, but also some misconceptions I hope I can address. Let me say first that it is probably unlikely ( though possible) that the iPad will supplant the desktop as the gold standard if you don't have your own orchestra or a recording contract. Until the heat dissipation issue is solved the tablet will not hold enough RAM and ROM to really do it to the highest standard. However, things change rapidly in the world of technology. And desktop DAWs were rejected at the outset as limited and inferior to a studio setting. But the software and libraries steadily improve until now you have a desktop instrument like the Joshua Bell violin which cuts the difference between acoustic and virtual even closer, though some will never accept that an android will one day claim "human" rights. The development of MPEs is transforming the way music is made with hardware like the Roli Seaboard which breaks the bounds of the conventional, perhaps behind the times in terms of musical evolution, keyboard. I will never abandon the traditional keyboard, but kids will now grow up with something that can be even more expressive than our cherished piano. Even the qwerty keyboard will become a dinosaur when more subtle technology allows for greater depth in information transmission than the single parameter keystroke. It is coming and cannot be stopped. Even "serious" Music will develop in unexpected ways. The stalwarts will die sooner or later and their conventions will transmute to the new just as diehard harpsichordists had to acknowledge the piano was more expressive. I'm sure there are some who are still screaming "Never!" As they twang away at one volume.

    Regarding connectivity, there is absolutely no problem hooking up microphones and acoustical, electronic instruments to the iOS platform. Audio interfaces are accurate, inexpensive and versatile.
    There you are behind the times, I believe.

    The most expert iOS users use a combination of iPad ( even iPhone) to sketch their ideas to finish on a desktop. It is a beautiful new synergy that allows composers to work anywhere, anytime. As to iOS knowledge being a detriment to learning desktop, they are getting more and more similar. Many iOS fanatics don't like this trend and would prefer a more evolutionary direction to the technology. A direction that would modularize music creation and production to the extent that the traditional DAW is replaced by something brand new with different and more far reaching capabilities.

    Yes, the fortunate talented few will wind up with top engineers in a recording studio, but the line between professionals and hobbyists is blurring thanks to technology. Even Charles Ives as a "hobbyist" supported his brilliance with a successful insurance business. No "serious" music moguls took him seriously in the beginning, if I am not mistaken. Those who do not embrace change will be crushed by it, if only through attrition. To have a Ludditical approach (and I am not saying you are such, Shirime, quite the opposite. I am only addressing your response because you come across as a thoughtful, fair and open minded fellow). Music is global, microtonal, often devoid of complex harmonies, for most of the world. These musics are equal to the best western society has to offer. Hopefully "classical, serious" music will always be listened to, played and appreciated. But if it does not evolve with the times to connect the past with the future it will be doomed, IMHO, to wither on the vine, supported by a dwindling ruling class who would have never abandoned the carburetor if they had a choice.

    Thanks again, for your serious interest. Open and fair discussion with everyone of good intention can easily be derailed by self image, oppressive rule/establishment following, and superiority insecurities. I have seen it on many threads here. With contributors such as yourself perhaps these prejudices can be overcome to the benefit of all.
    Last edited by IpadComposer; Aug-17-2018 at 11:15.

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  8. #22
    Senior Member shirime's Avatar
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    Thanks for that post, IpadComposer. I don't want to sound like I take issue with your perspective, but you did enlighten me on some things I did not consider or did not know too well. Technology advances quickly, and I'm not exactly one who keeps up all that much. I am still somewhat sceptical whenever someone says there is a 'best way' to use technology to compose or even a 'best technology' because I think there will always be a good range of things for people to choose from. I have gradually come to learn that the way we individually work, the way we compose, means that different types of technology and software would be best suited to different people. (and, as someone who converted from iPhone to Samsung recently, but still uses other apple products, I don't want to become too tied down with a specific company)

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirime View Post
    Thanks for that post, IpadComposer. I don't want to sound like I take issue with your perspective, but you did enlighten me on some things I did not consider or did not know too well. Technology advances quickly, and I'm not exactly one who keeps up all that much. I am still somewhat sceptical whenever someone says there is a 'best way' to use technology to compose or even a 'best technology' because I think there will always be a good range of things for people to choose from. I have gradually come to learn that the way we individually work, the way we compose, means that different types of technology and software would be best suited to different people. (and, as someone who converted from iPhone to Samsung recently, but still uses other apple products, I don't want to become too tied down with a specific company)
    That's fine. I certainly am not claiming iOS is the "best" way. I just want young composers to see it as an option and not dismiss it without understanding its advantages and place In the music production landscape,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sekhar View Post
    Wait, so they just take your hand-written score and copy into parts on their own? Wouldn't you need to enter into a notation program to print out the parts? I'm confused.
    Well, no. I do notate electronically, but I don't rely on electronic sounds for my music.

  11. #25
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    I use Musescore on Windows 10. I have never in my life used iOS.

  12. #26
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    Well, maybe you might investigate it. It might intrigue you. It hasn't been around very long. The iPad debuted in 2006 I believe. It was not really able to produce finished tracks of a more professional quality until a few years ago.

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