Month: September 2013

A Real Situation

I hesitated to ask for help for so long, that everything has become beyond my control. Way beyond. I guess I’m a victim of my own pride.
Well, at any rate I took the advice of a few virtual (but very real to me) friends to put myself out there and ask for help during a very dire financial struggle.
So I posted on my Facebook “SmiteMatter” page, status update, a plea for your help. I included our Pay Pal account, email identifier in the hope of maybe receiving a little financial help from people.
The Pay Pal account I posted is shared by me and my wife Christina but in her name and email. “Paltrynoise[at]gmail.com
First! It IS NOT A SCAM. THIS IS VERY REAL!

I’m usually a open book. I rarely hold much back. Some things I just elude to without offering great detail. I do want to keep some things private. That’s pretty hard to do when asking publicly for help.
I hope you’ll understand if I leave out certain details that I find embarrassing enough to keep private.
If you must know, I will discuss it privately one on one. Just email me. My contact information is everywhere including the sidebar of this blog.

Our situation like many is dire. My wife and I both are unemployed. Not by any fault of our own. We have and do look for work under every stone. It’s just not there. Not for us anyway. People say, oh this place or that “Mac Job” place is always hiring. Well, we looked, asked, applied, followed up, and tried again. They were not hiring us. Why? Don’t know, but it’s extremely frustrating.
We lost our home 6 years ago due to some shady dealings between lifelong family friends who made sweet love to my rectum and cheated us out of our deal to buy the house.
I have medical needs each month that I simply cannot live without and still function. This is something I wish to keep the details of private. Nothing terribly unusual but expensive, and necessary. For what its worth, I am completely sober and have been since March 18, 2010. I don’t do any drugs. None. I don’t even smoke pot. I don’t drink alcohol either. I smoke cigarettes and that’s it. I don’t even buy cigarettes, I roll my own at a fraction of the cost to manufactured cigarettes and vaporizers. I spend a mere $24 every couple months for tobacco and tubes that equate to about 2 cartons. Yes smoking at all is stupid, but right now my preference to go to vaporizers is financially out if reach. I intend to go back to vaporizers when things stabilize so I can finally quit.
I’ve taken my sobriety very seriously and have never once cheated. That’s a choice I’ve made for my own reasons. I mention this because I was told a particularly rude person has lied to many people suggesting what I say here is untrue. It is a fact beyond reproach that the person is simply spreading lies, inventing rumor that only shows their lack of class. To what end? I have no idea. What kind of person does that, kicking someone when they are down? I feel very sorry for that person, and I hope he gets help for his issues.

That’s really the largest part of the expenses we are short on, and without. A job is on the horizon for me, but being a government run program (Care Giver) it takes a stupid amount of time and red tape to get through before I see a pay check.

In short, my wife, son, and I, are facing extremely scary scenarios. So bad that despite our best efforts cannot avoid without help financial from others. So desperate and immediate that I am swallowing my pride asking anyone and everyone who can to please help with any amount they can comfortably offer. Here we are. I humbly ask (and not without some shame) for your help donating any amount to our Pay Pal so we can just survive. A dollar, or two, or more or whatever. Even a friendly message, or sharing this plea with anyone you can think of. It all helps. Even just buying my music helps down the road. A track or the album, whatever. Anything you’re comfortable with.

I guess my WordPress account is too basic as there is no Pay Pal “Widget” to put an easy “Donate” button up. So I can only ask to please
donate to our Pay Pal under my wife Christina’s name: Paltrynoise[at]gmail.com, my wife! son Jacob, and I truly, with deep sincerity thank you for anything you can help with.

With humility and gratitude: David A Israel AKA SmiteMatter

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What Bit Depths Are Supported By Inter-App Audio?

For the past couple months I’ve been wondering about what bit rates Inter-App Audio supports.
Obviously nobody answered my question prior to the launch of iOS7. Since its launch, I’ve emailed several iOS music app developers asking this very question. Not one has replied with an answer. Strange? Maybe.
Whatever.
Its a question I think needs to be answered. Today I’ve started asking that question more aggressively by posting it on all of my social media pages and now here. Additionally I’ve sent more emails asking more developers, and some of the same ones I asked already.

We all know that Audiobus, and AudioCopy are always 16bits no matter what your output (iDAW) app is capable of or set to.
It’s not a problem, especially for those like me who create electronic music. However, it’s still a legitimate question.
It may really be a big deal to other people, and or even a deal breaker for some new folks who insist upon the highest bit rates and depths available.
Now, I am no technical wizard. I do not proclaim to fully understand every implication of what bit rates mean to everybody.
I do want to at least know what I am getting with IAA.
I use Auria for the majority of my music productions. It defaults at 32bits audio processing. It can be set to 64bits audio processing. I can’t really imagine any need for 64bits myself. Perhaps you can? It really seems overkill at 64, and holy cow, it must put a huge burden on CPUs not too mention larger project files. All of that aside, I just want to know. What bit depth does IAA support? 16, 24, 32, or what? For some reason nobody has chosen to answer this question. I know I am not the only person interested in the answer. So if you know the answer, please comment on this post. If you also want to know the answer, please leave a comment as well.
It should be a fairly simple thing to answer. Right? So who knows?

WELL! I just got the answer. Inter-App Audio works at 32 Bit floating point. Thank you Rim Buntinas of WaveMachine Labs!

So there you have it. Unless I completely misunderstand the answer, it appears then if you use IAA to stream audio up-to 32bits, the host (if capable) app maintains the very same bit depth. No more being pegged at 16bits.
If that even matters?
Now keep in mind its all really just aesthetics. No human ear on earth can hear bit depth. In order for one to even try they’d have to find the (inaudible) noise floor from an absolutely silent part of the track, crank it up to levels that if music were playing, it would shatter your ear drums and destroy your speakers, just to try and hear what would sound like tape hiss. It’s there, but at frequencies beyond human capabilities. Its a myth that anybody can hear it. It’s not a debate, there’s no golden ear, the science is proven, and the facts are the facts. The human ear and brain simply cannot process such extreme sonic realms, no matter how trained, or how good the equipment is.
It’s not even the point.
That said, 32 bit floating point is still good, or even technically better, but as a person using it, its doesn’t really matter if you know all the technical details. Its nice to know though. What it does mean to you is that there is more room for additional processing of audio without clipping. In other words you can be more relaxed with leveling and whatnot. You get a greater dynamic range to work with. That’s a good thing. It has nothing to do with what you playback and hear.
The most noticeable difference is 32bit will create about %50 larger project files.
More than anything its about what your computer is doing with the audio code, and not so much what you are hearing.

Want to know more about 32 bit floating point audio? Check out this Wikipedia entry or google “32 bit floating point audio explained”. You’ll find all sorts of information on the subject. Most of it is stuff you don’t really need to know. It won’t change how you hear anything. I’m kinda nerdy like that though so its something I’ve been researching.
For the record, I still have a huge amount to learn with the technology aspect to combine with my comfortable understanding of human hearing.

I hope you found my questions, information and answers of some use. I’d still love to hear and learn from your answers what this all means to you and iOS music in your world.

Getting the word out.

Recently I was approached on Facebook by Criztoz Crizto who writes for a website called Something You Said. He wanted to interview some people who were very into iOS music production to get some insights for an article he was writing. I’m all about iOS Music and being dedicated solely to the platform for crafting all of my music. So of course I accepted. So did fellow bloggers Ryan Hemeon iOSMars, Tim Webb Discchord and Jeremy MaGill of the iPadMusician Facebook group. Nothing really shocking or unexpected came of our answers, at least not to most folks already informed on the topic. However there are some interesting comments from each unique point of view.
Certainly a worthwhile read and if you know anyone interested or on the fence with iOS Music production, please share the article.

Read the full interview HERE

Enjoy. I’d love to hear your thoughts so don’t be so dang shy, go ahead and leave a comment.

Life On Mars

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Ever have a period during your life when everything just fell apart? Despite your best efforts everything just grew out if control? Ever find yourself searching for things to sell so you could pay rent? Whether you have or not, if you have any shred of human compassion you will understand it’s no picnic. I for one have a unfortunate close understanding of it myself. Asking for help is extremely difficult. Nobody wants to be a charity case. Pride can easily get in the way.
My friend and fellow blogger Ryan Hemeon of iOSMars is in this very desperate situation. He doesn’t want to ask for help, but he needs it. I am in a very similar situation myself,so I can understand his feelings on all of it. However this is not about me. It’s about compassion and doing the right thing to help a person out. Now before you go on about how everyone is having a tough time these days, or simply dismiss the whole thing, just try to think about what you’d like someone to do for you if you were in the same situation. This isn’t a scenario of a guy being a little short, it’s beyond simple minor financial difficulties. We are talking close to homelessness here. He works hard to provide excellent video reviews of countless iOS Music Applications to assist potential customers in their decision whether or not to buy. Countless promo codes for apps have been given away to people for free.

Don’t know about iOSMars? Check out his website http://iOSMars.com

Now begging for change is not the premise here either. You will get something in return for your donation. The whole of the iOS Music community has come together to create a 3 volume set of compilations. Music from artists around the world. I have contributed a track (but being in the same situation as Ryan, cannot donate any money) to the Vol. 3 “Life On Mars” benefit compilation. There is a wide variety of artists that include Derek Buddemeyer, The Oxford Ambient Collective, Jesper Jones, Maria Calfa-De Paul, Caustic Sunshine, Pants Of Death, and so many more on the collection.
So it’s no small thing to say you get something in return for your good deed. That’s pretty damn fair.

I know, nobody likes to pay for music anymore. There is some general feeling among many consumers that art just happens in spare time. Well, anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows that’s simply not so. It takes much time, effort, and dedication. Whether you like the results or not, it’s art, and it’s worth your dollar. Writing and making video reviews takes much effort and time to understand and then convey accurate assessments of the subject. All things considered, it’s work. Work with very little compensation, but done for the love of music and the reward of helping others choose what to buy or not. In this case you will also be helping a good person out. So why not?

Whatever you decide, I thank you, and Ryan thanks you for consideration and or donation to help iOSMars continue.

The 3 volume compilations can be found
http://iosmars.bandcamp.com/album/life-on-mars-vol3-a-compilation-of-ios-music

A cup of coffee can run about $3 these days. Drink it up, and piss it away. Buy a song from a artist for a buck or so (or an album for some more bucks) and you get piece of something special, forever yours to enjoy.

PS. Sorry about the links. My WordPress mobile app is broken and despite doing exactly what I’ve always done to provide links, WordPress decided to not show them to you. So I have to put those web addresses instead.

Update to iOS 7 now?

That’s the big question. As iOS 7 launches with Inter-App Audio in its list of new features, many people making music with their iPad are eager to try out the new feature. Does it work? Is it ready? There appears to be quite a mixed bag of answers. Should I update now?
Several developers commented around the web regarding whether or not you should update and generally are saying; “No, not yet!” A lot of music apps haven’t updated yet.

I don’t have all the answers myself, but my first couple hours with iOS 7 installed on my iPad 4
(still using iOS 6 on my iPad 3 until the dust settles) have been underwhelming to say the least. I guess I assumed incorrectly what is compatible and what isn’t?
The first thing I tried was to launch production versions of Auria and Nave to see if I could start streaming audio to record. Nope. Didn’t work. Then I tried another synth (Sorry I can’t name it. Its a beta, and I am under NDA) and it didn’t work either. Each I had assumed were compatible with iOS 7 IAA. Perhaps just basically compatible but maybe just not yet IAA compatible?
I also tried Addictive Synth (which by the way does work with Auria through Audiobus now) to Auria with no success. I shouldn’t be surprised having not seen an update for a while for Addictive.
OK? Now what? That’s a bit discouraging. I thought the flurry of updates I’ve been getting recently that mention iOS 7 meant also IAA was part of it. Not so.
I continued testing anyway to try and dig through my confusion and figure out what I am missing.
Next I tested Cubasis with the same 3 synths, and only the beta one worked. Well, sort of. Cubasis recorded MIDI from the beta synth, but couldn’t capture plain old audio. Huh?
Nave however is IAA compatible and works with other compatible apps. Just nothing I’ve tried so far.
The problem is less with the apps, and just that a lot was expected at launch. Oops. Testing out my apps confirmed I’m clearly guilty of that myself.
However, the MIDI it did record was clean and sounded fine. However repeating this test resulted in the connection simply failing during the recording, missing most of my input. Hey! I didn’t touch stop! Oh brother, it doesn’t seem like IAA is ready as I had thought. Doh!

Its too early to be sure of anything, but having tried this out a little bit using my primary music apps without success I clearly have confused iOS 7 compatibility updates to mean IAA compatibility, when it doesn’t. I may have set my expectations too high, too early. A bit of a cautionary tale. Lesson learned.
I still want to know what’s going on.
I’ve searched Apples website for instructions or some kind of helpful information about IAA, and found nothing useful. If you can find anything, I’d really appreciate you sharing the link in a comment. What is compatible? What isn’t? Is there a list anywhere? OH THERE IS A LIST!
Thank you Rolf at Tempo Rubato for this link to IAA compatibles

I think the best advice for now is if you are dependent on a single iOS device to make your music, don’t update to iOS 7 just yet. With more questions than there are answers, its probably a good idea to just hang on to iOS 6 until everything settles. Just in case.
If you have a second device, than you might be alright doing as I have by I installing iOS 7 on only one of them. At least then you can see and try it all for yourself, and not be tied down by the early bugs and incompatibilities. Updates will surely come.

Outside of music production iOS 7 is pretty cool. I think. The icons, App Store, and general interface is a nice new visual treat. I love the way shutting down background apps is handled now. Double click home, and everything that’s “on” is visible showing the last screen that was used. Swipe left and right to view the apps currently running in the background. Shut it “off” by flicking the app image upwards. Cool.
It may take a few minutes getting used to the big appearance changes. Icons look very different in many cases. The parallax background is nifty. Its like the eyes are following you.
Menus are different too and some with new options.
Well, anyway this is more about the music making aspect, not a overall review. I’m just saying, the look is generally pleasing.

Its all exciting and heading in the right direction with IAA, but where’s the roadmap? Is anyone else confused?
Lots to be curious about, making the urge to click “Update” hard to resist. Its up to you.
Nothing to be all puffed up and worried about, but use caution. Little is ready yet, and according to the Audiobus guys there are “Bugs”.
Do you want to be lab rat?

As the hours blend into days and go on, I am learning that while iOS 7 launched, has Inter-App Audio capability in the OS, very few music apps have updated with compatibility. I guess not everyone knew it was coming? Nave, & Magellan, being some of the exceptions to offer compatibility with IAA at launch. No major DAWs to host them though. I did (now realized in error) expect the major DAWs to be ready to host. None that are relevant to me are currently able to do so. Not yet. IAA is just not here yet in any meaningful or useful way, as many had expected. Or maybe it was just me. Whatever.

I get that only a little time has past since iOS 7 launched, but that’s not what bothers me. A day to us end users, but months for developers and Apple. It’s the months before end users could see the picture that Apple and developers could, which fails to land a logical blow on me. I mean what were they doing? Why didn’t they have more ready? Those where some of the questions which left me perplexed.
Well, turns out that there were big bugs (now information that devs can discuss with their NDAs lifted) in their way right up until the last couple weeks. Some that are still unresolved. With those bugs still in iOS 7 at launch, it does seem more logical now why barely any music apps are IAA ready.
In that case, considering the circumstances, I just don’t see the update being a great idea right now. Not if you were expecting to use IAA right off the bat with everything.

PS- iOS7 is drastically reducing my battery time. With my normal daily workload and activity prior to updating, I was getting 5-6 hours use. After updating the same workload and activity nets me about 3.5 – 5. Hours.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and or experiences with the new iOS 7 Inter-App Audio in a comment here. Advice, concerns, information and whatever is all welcome.