[LINK] Tablets, smartphones and PCs

John Hilvert john.hilvert at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 21:25:03 AEDT 2012

Actually, I agree with you about the musical input issue. On reflection
that was a blind spot for me.

As a bluegrass enthusiast, I found the latest versions of GarageBand easy
and fun to prototype arrangements with.

Thanks also for the tip about Hexachrom.

Maybe I was just too grumpy this morning.

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM, <grove at zeta.org.au> wrote:

> On Mon, 26 Nov 2012, John Hilvert wrote:
>  I've not seen the full report. But it seems to one obvious difference is
>> that current generation mobile devices are better suited for consumption
>> of
>> net services and face to face communication rather than content creation.
>> The trade off gives consumption priority over contributing with the social
>> bias consequences.
> I just have to say here, that I agree with most of the premise, but as a
> musician,
> these portable devices, especially like the iPad, are brilliant content
> creation
> platforms.   The iPad has given me access to a Virtual Fairlight CMI with
> all the sound libraries and practically the same user interface experience,
> which makes it very creative indeed.  Most of the music creation apps for
> these are of a high standard and I am seeing more musicians use them for
> both performance and as compositional aids.
>  This may change with advances in ways of inputting data. Right now, a good
>> keyboard is still essential for using a mobile device for creating
>> content.
>> The restricted ability to program the devices at user level is also
>> relevant.
> In the music world, the keyboard is now irrelevant - there are many
> different
> ways of generating input, although obviously these are all now touch based,
> but being able to use "gestures" or various ways of interfacing with the
> device,
> via its motion sensors and so on has opened up many creative possibilities.
> One of my favourites is "hexachrom" which is not something that Aurica
> unintentially expels periodically, but a touch based keyboard with an
> unusual chord layout, using any 4 fingers on the touchscreen lets you play
> a root chord and then any of the variants, by moving a single finger, for
> example.
>  The age difference is attributable to the fact that tablets and devices
>> offer entertainment goodies such as videos, games and apps while on the go
>> as well as being generally cheaper than netbooks.
> And here is another bonus for the musician - these tablets are cost
> effective.  An iPad costs $759 (64gb) and is much more powerful
> and practical than a PC based laptop in the same price bracket.
> That Microsoft's MIDI implementation is rather bogus, on a lower powered
> commodity platform, it is not competing, especially when
> most PC based "traditional" music sequencing or audio VST (virtual
> instruments)
> require far more processing power than a small laptop can give.   However,
> tablets such as the iPad are demonstrating they are quite up to the job
> and exhibit very low latency (time between hitting a note and being
> produced) for a commodity product.
>  I can see tablets and smart devices evolving from screen-based to
>> spectacle-based and even biological-based affairs.
> In the music world. "haptics" are certainly a big deal.  Some of the
> biggest
> haptic breakthroughs are coming via the electronic music industry.
> I can also mention the magic word "skeuomorphic" here.  Apple have been
> big adopters of skeuomorphism - ie the design of a virtual interface that
> reflects something in the "real world". An example of this might be the
> calendar app looking like it is a leather bound
> deskset from the 1950's, complete with gold trim, the game centre, with
> its baize background straight out of a cheesy roulette toy,
> or the book store, with its virtual books on a virtual timber book shelf.
> Now I find skeuomorphism extremely cheesy, retro-in-a-bad-way cheesy.
> But, when it comes to music, it actually makes perfect sense.  When you
> deal with synthesizers, it is very satisfying to be able to tweak a
> "virtual knob" (not a project manager) or move a control on an interface
> that looks much like a physical instrument.  When dealing with physical
> hardware, that can be programmed from a portable device,
> having a skeuomotphic representation of it makes it far more intutive and
> practical to use  - and fun.   As mentioned, I have a Virtual Fairlight,
> with the same skeuomorphic interface as the original (finger instead of
> light pen!)
> and the same practical physical limitations of the device (grainy 8-bit
> sound,
> limited polyphony etc).  In many design cases, this would be abhorrent,
> but in the musical sense, it works, because the limitations stimulate
> creativity.    In the other way, a totally new input method, like the
> hexachrom, means new creative ways of "shaping" chords and sequences
> can be found out.
> There is something to me, completely incredible at being able to use a
> 21st century device like an iPad, to control a 1970's Modular Synthesizer.
> So, while these portable devices are by and large used as commodity
> consumption platforms, do not make the mistake of diregarding them entirely
> as not having a place in content creation, especially if you are an
> electronic musician!
> rachel
> --
> Rachel Polanskis                 Kingswood, Greater Western Sydney,
> Australia
> grove at zeta.org.au                http://www.zeta.org.au/~grove/**
> grove.html <http://www.zeta.org.au/~grove/grove.html>
>         The more an answer costs, the more respect it carries.

John Hilvert

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