Been testing the Public Beta for iOS 11 here, and must say that I'm pretty impressed. Drag and Drop works well, using multiple App windows works much better than previous attempts, the Screen Capture tools (Screenshots as well as video) are fantastic, the Dock is so much better than continuously hopping back to your homepage for often-used Apps, and being able to (finally) access internal files, folders, and external Cloud Storage via the Files App might put an end to specialized connecting Apps like Documents or AudioShare (a day after I started writing this, the 2nd Public Beta dropped and AudioShare (and Dropbox!) magically appeared in the Files App as a selection - a sign of goodness). iOS 11 is the big advancement for iPads and iPhones that we have been waiting for, and will hopefully light some fires under developers to get working on making this platform what it truly should be. 'Bout time...
The overall Interface takes a bit of getting used to as a lot has changed from iOS 10 (and it's still a Beta, so everything could change by the final release) and takes a bit of re-Braintraining to do certain things. It's a pretty quick learning curve though, and within a few days I was working pretty much the way I usually do on my iDevice. Most of my Apps are working as normal and even some of the ones I thought would have issues (like the crusty old ones that haven't been updated in a while) have worked surprisingly well, although Public Beta 2 broke some writing Apps - not sure if it's Cloud integration or something else, but the Devs are all over it, and Betas of those Apps have fixes. Welcome to Beta Testing.
Another interesting thing that I've seen over the past week is a small explosion in Audio Unit development for iOS. Audio Damage jumpstarted this with porting several of their popular VST/AU/AAX effects to iOS. We also saw a great Chorus effect from newcomer FAC, and the Super Phaser from Aleksandar Mlazev, adding to his Vibrato and Harmonizer iOS AU effect stable. As I was writing this, the CDM Mobile blog was talking about Vatinator being updated for AU as well. Although iOS App and updates happen pretty much hourly, these are the kind of 'pushes' one would see for a thriving platform. Don't say I didn't warn you...
Chris and Adam over at AD have always had a knack for seeing the future. Their 'traditional' (read: desktop) effects and instrument plugins have been not only predictors of musical trends and what if? ideas, but great reproductions of cool, obscure hardware as well. They moved into Eurorack modular just as the trend was waxing, taking software controlled hardware to an emerging market. Now they are pushing into the Mobile market, which only adds credence to my belief that this is where everything is moving to.
Bonus: just got word that Audio Damage released the latest version of Phosphor (their take on the ancient Apple II-based AlphaSyntauri synthesizer) with an iOS version to follow soon. Looks like everything they make is moving to Mobile in good time - super smart.
Although I'm still waiting for a Logic or Live-class DAW to appear on the App Store, one of my favorite Music Apps got a nice update this past week too. Ferrite is designed more for the journalist and Podcast set, but is a very respectable audio editor in its own right. It can handle multiple tracks, does Ripple editing, has very usable and intuative effects (it loads Audio Units if you need moar), and happily connects to any interface that iOS recognizes for recording and playback. Ferrite is a free download btw, and you can add additional features via In-App Purchases. Once you try it you'll want to drop for those upgrades. :)
The latest Ferrite update lets you export to mp3 (now that it's a 'dead' format - no licensing fee), create mp3 Chapters, and best of all lets you create custom shortcuts that work with external keyboards whether USB, Bluetooth, or Apple Smart Keyboards. This last one not only gives a bit of 'desktop-style' familiarity to the App, but the developers have put in Logic, Pro Tools, and Audition-styled key commands to ease transitioning to its workflow. You can, of course, modify and create your own shortcuts too. Ferrite is one of those Apps I have high hopes for, and if The Mothership (or some other clever Developer - looking your way Rogue Amoeba!) can shoehorn in some remote recording capability, we can finally do serious Podcast/Remote recording and editing on iDevices.
Speaking of Podcasts, I've been hard at work over that last few months with long-time friend and business partner Michael Donaldson on a Music/Tech/Wackiness podcast. Not giving up any details just yet, but we have a few in the can and have gotten our Remote Recording system worked out, so things will get easier and more regular from here forward. If you've ever wondered what that 'Audio (Coming Soon)' link on the Home Page is for, now you know.
One final thing: although I just started this website a few months ago, I'm already looking at a site redesign. It's probably all those lost years of Art School coming back to haunt me, but I recently found a style that truly inspired me. It's modern, engaging, and hopefully can be translated into one of Squarespace's Templates. Like everything else around here it's going to take some time and tweaking but is hopefully worth the trouble. Just a heads up and don't be too surprised if everything suddenly looks a bit different around here.
Okay, I lied about that one last thing because I forgot this: I set up MailChimp for subscribers a while back, and have had quite a few sign up for the emails. Thanks again to all of you, but I wanted you to know that I'm still figuring out MC's system (and I'm not alone in this as the Interwebz tell me) so hang tight as I learn the ropes so I can get you more involved with the weekly banter as well as some bonus goodies. MailChimp is really cool, and it's probably just me being a luddite in one of the settings, so just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten about you and I'm working on it. Pre-Bloglaunch Update - think I got it figured out. Do tell if it decides to start Spamming uncontrollably... :)
Dynamics Check next week. Feel free to suggest a Genre or Playlist for this or future Dynamics vids.