Mobile devices are here, they’re powerful — get used to them. Now, could they just connect to the rest of your noisemakers and studio rigs? That’s the potential of new iOS SDKs for MIDI I/O and keyboard docking. But aside from some restrictions imposed by hardware support on iOS, what many developers are publicly wondering is whether a different path entirely will be most productive.

Hot on the heels of Line 6′s SDK for their MIDI Mobilizer, a MIDI input and output connector for iOS devices, Akai is courting developers for its own music accessory. The SynthStation 25 is a standard 25-key music keyboard with a dock for an iPhone or iPod touch inside.

The proposition for developers: now your sequencer or controller can connect to MIDI gear (with MIDI Mobilizer), or your synth can actually be inside something that looks like a synth, with a real keyboard.

Changes to Apple’s developer agreement have facilitated just this change. But while this is a step forward for developer flexibility, there are still some limitations on what developers can do, and what they can talk about, imposed by the makers of the accessories. Those restrictions won’t discourage all developers, but they’re worth noting, especially as mobile music gear is in early days.

There’s another discussion brewing among developers, too, which is whether the kinds of hardware assumptions upon which these two products are built even belong in the mobile age.

Here’s a look at where we are and how we got there, whether you’re an intrigued developer or just wish to consider how this fits into a larger picture of music gear in 2010.

Drive Thru LAWYER !

Why Third-Party Apps for Third-Party Hardware is Now Available on iOS

In April, I wrote an editorial on the direction of hardware support on iOS, which has been a remnant of Apple’s tightly-controlled iPod accessory program, long before their mobile gadgets became real pocket computers. Line 6′s MIDI Mobilizer was the catalyst for the piece:
Of MIDI, iPhones and iPads, and a Restrictive Future for Hardware?

What hasn’t changed since then: Apple’s Dock Connector is not only a non-standard, proprietary adapter specific to their phones, but one for which you must ask permission if you wish to make your own hardware accessories.

What has changed: because of an adjustment to Apple’s legal writing, you can now let developers write apps for your hardware accessories.

Line 6 and Akai, as Apple developers, are not allowed to comment on Apple’s user agreement. (Insert Fight Club reference here.) But the changes to Apple’s Program Agreement are available publicly.

The old agreement

3.3.24 Your Application may interface, communicate, or otherwise interoperate with or control an iPhone Accessory (as defined above) through Bluetooth or Apple’s 30-pin dock connector only if You have obtained a license for such iPhone Accessory under Apple’s MFi Program.

The new agreement

3.3.25 Your Application may interface, communicate, or otherwise interoperate with or control an iPhone Accessory (as defined above) through Bluetooth or Apple’s 30-pin dock connector only if (i) such iPhone Accessory is licensed under Apple’s MFi Program at the time that You initially submit Your Application, (ii) the MFi Licensee has added Your Application to a list of those approved for interoperability with their iPhone Accessory, and (iii) the MFi Licensee has received approval from the Apple MFi Program for such addition.

Source: Twitter user beweeet

Spot the difference?

Apple is now allowing third-party apps to support those hardware accessories – provided Apple approves both the accessory itself, and via the accessory’s maker, the app.

Requirements for Developing for Akai, Line 6 iOS Hardware

Akai and Line 6 deserve some kudos for mediating between Apple and the third-party developer. Again, these developers are not able to talk about their agreement with Apple. But they were extremely cooperative in sharing their policy for working with developers. (In fact, basically, to get started all any interested developer has to do is email them.)

Line 6

A copy of the developer agreement obtained by CDM reveals what’s necessary to become a MIDI Mobilizer developer. At its most fundamental level, that means proposing an application plan to be approved by Line 6 as compatible (as per Apple’s own requirements), and agreeing to non-disclosure regarding any confidential information with which you’re providing (including documentation).

Marcus Ryle at Line 6 confirms with CDM that an additional requirement is sales reporting, though it appears this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker:

We do request reporting on the unit sales of the applications that use the MIDI Mobilizer. This information is kept confidential, and the purpose is so that we can have visibility into which apps are being most widely used by the MIDI Mobilizer. If we were to make any new versions of hardware in the future, we want to be sure that we can continue to meet the needs of our users by understanding what is important to them, and this requires us to know what is being used. We also understand that for some developers this is information that they do not want to share, and we are happy to discuss this directly with them to come to an amicable resolution.

With the SDK itself under non-disclosure, I asked Marcus what this might mean for someone developing an open source app (several of which have already appeared on the App Store):

We do have some limitations with regard to open source usage in our agreement. Specifically, we do not allow the use of open source if our SDK is used in a way that would cause our code to become part of the open source license obligations (unless we have provided written consent), since this typically results in the requirement that our source code would have to be released publicly. If the open source code can be used in a way that does not cause our code to be connected to the open source licensing, then this would be ok.

Akai Professional Synthstation 25

Akai

Glen Darcey, product manager at Akai, confirmed to me that the SynthStation SDK has some similar requirements in order to maintain their proprietary SDK. But unlike Line 6, Akai is not requesting any sales reporting.

Darcey also downplays the requirements. “Your product is your product,” he says. “Our code is our code. It cannot be redistributed. It can be in your app… Anyone who wants to add support for our hardware can but they have to go through our developers SDK process which is minimal.”

“There are requirements for adding our logos that say the app is compatible with our hardware,” he adds; that appears to me to come from Apple’s program.

As for the NDA, in this case, says Darcey, it’s nothing out of the ordinary: “The NDA is a standard NDA. It basically states that anything we say will be confident as will anything you say to us.”

Will this discourage developers?

Short answer: no – that is, if the developer has the desire to develop for this SDK in the first place.

Developers I’ve spoken to had some concerns about these requirements, but they also didn’t appear to change anyone’s mind one way or the other. That is, those wanting to develop for these accessories found the requirements workable. Those who don’t care … well, don’t care.

I think these restrictions are a deal-breaker for truly open source development on mobile, but for those projects, support for proprietary hardware accessories is generally less appealing anyway.

(If you disagree, of course, you can make yourself heard in comments.)

More than the issues of restrictions on the platform, though, the conversation I’m hearing is one that’s more fundamental.

Time to Move Beyond MIDI (or Wires)?

Line 6 and Akai each promise some exciting applications. But as comments recently demonstrated, many users and developers alike are treating the announcement with skepticism.

First off, even if the requirements for the proprietary SDK are modest, the issue is their competition. A $200 netbook (or a $400 used Mac laptop, if you like) can plug into a $30 MIDI interface without drivers. A variety of free development tools on any platform can then talk to that interface, or you could write your own – we’re talking serial communication, which is hardly brain surgery. And the reality is, a lot of people who use MIDI gear also own these other devices.

Once you add MIDI gear to an iPhone or iPad, you limit some of the device’s elegance and portability. You can also connect only one device at a time, meaning adding a MIDI Mobilizer gives you MIDI but no external audio – and since there are now things sticking out of your iPad, your laptop is suddenly just about as mobile as it is.

I think some of the skepticism here is undue; I still like the idea of a portable, pocketable recorder for MIDI sketching or library backup. But developers like Christopher Penrose, creator of Cosmovox, aren’t necessarily criticizing the availability of these SDKs. They’re saying that energy could be directed somewhere else. From comments, Christopher writes:

It is important to consider the benefits of Open Sound Control and other alternative communication protocols. I don’t believe the future of music entirely belongs to people who have an interest in protecting and extending their hardware investment. But I will say I would consider supporting the MIDImobilizer in some/all of our iOS products if the demand was significant, the API is well designed enough, and the licensing terms are acceptable. But I think developers should be putting their limited energies into viable communication protocols that extend and enrich the music we can make, rather than being bogged down by outdated, replacement-ripe legacy standards…

For independent developers, it may very well be an either/or situation. Time is finite. I have Open Sound Control support well under way and it works without an additional hardware investment.

The other advantage of wireless communication is that it keeps mobile devices mobile. And incidentally, there’s no reason you can’t use a protocol like Bluetooth to do MIDI, as well as implemented OSC wirelessly over a network. It is possible to achieve accurate timing and low latency wirelessly, too, though that’s a discussion I hope we have in greater detail on CDM, so I won’t do it an injustice by faking it now.

I actually had a dream last night in which I was using Bluetooth to do MIDI, so I’m obviously supposed to be getting on this instead of writing lengthy investigations of Apple developer agreements. And I’ll leave it at that.

In the end, I don’t doubt that we’ll see a handful of interesting apps for the Akai and Line 6 gear. And MIDI hardware is something with which we’ll want to interoperate for a long time to come. The question now is, what’s the best path for the future?

  • http://romot.tumblr.com/ Romot

    Please, no more MIDI. OSC and PD make knobs, buttons, and faders sound much better with the higher resolution.

  • http://the-palm-sound.blogspot.com/ PalmSounds

    I knew that their had to be something in the developer licence that had changed. This is great to hear, thanks for explaining it all Peter.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    When someone writes a compatible sequencer/arpeggiator app for the ipad I will totally buy the MIDI mobilizer. I have been waiting patiently. If I could control and sequence drum machines, samplers and synths on the iPad with OSC I would. But I don't know how.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Charlie: Well, actually, you really can't – not without an intervening computer, which to me at least partly defeats the purpose. That would be my one different of opinion with Christopher.

    I think there will be demand for MIDI control. Then the next question is, in the long run, is something wireless like MIDI-over-Bluetooth better. That way, you retain the mobility of your iPad, but still get to interoperate with your gear without having to power up your computer.

    But there are a number of ways to go with this.

    I don't want to imply that there isn't demand for the SDKs; I think there is. As Christopher says, it is an "either/or" decision for each individual developer. Some of those individuals will choose the "either" and some the "or," and then you have "and."

  • Charlie Lesoine

    I'm willing to use an intervening computer. Can you recomend some resources for someone who has never used OSC but wants to use their ipad/iphone to control their hardware? I wouldn't even know where to begin…

  • http://jhhl.net/iPhone Jhhl

    @Charlie : take a look at http://www.pillowsopher.com/blog/?p=92

  • Axel

    I think what it comes down to is confusion about what the iDevices really are (apart from the use intended by Apple as phones/multimedia consumption devices): are they slick touch controllers to be employed as wireless controlling devices for computers or are they themselves ultraportable computers in need of some external controlling gear? The answer is of course: they are both. What's sadly lacking at the moment are external controllers that send osc over Wlan, for those of us who can't/don't want to make all of our music by moving our fingers over a glass surface, but do appreciate the advantages of ultraportable computers.

    The Line6 amp simulation app as it is is a nice gadget but has no real advantages over, i.e. a small Zoom pedal that's a little bigger than an iPod but can be controlled in a way that's actually useful for guitarists that don't have time to fiddle with a touch screen while playing.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Axel – that should be eminently possible. For one thing, on some controllers, you don't actually (cough, sorry, dark secret) want OSC. MIDI is a perfectly-fine, bite-sized format that is sufficient for the accuracy of some inputs. You just swap out the cable as the (admittedly draconian) transport.

    The other way to go is to use some sort of wireless networking with data that does require greater resolution, whether there's an explicitly OSC-formatted message or not.

    Given the ready availability of these two things, I agree — there should be more out there. DIYers, we have a job to do.

  • tobamai

    I'm excited to see how iphone apps get integrated into new gear. There's a lot of potential there, but I'm concerned that iphone integration will never be more than a novelty. The biggest reason for suggesting this is that the phones just aren't designed to last very long. Beyond planned obsolescence, the hardware itself isn't durable enough to last more than a couple years (especially with how people treat gear on the road). They've done well with supporting old apps on new hardware thus far, but Apple is notorious for dropping support of old hardware sooner than later.

  • HEXnibble

    @Charlie Lesoine: Check out this video of an iPad controlling hardware synths wirelessly via OSC with the Pianist Pro app:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5P3G7em4JI

    This method used PD to receive the OSC calls and translate them into MIDI messages.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    A cross-platform app isn't a bad idea. ChucK scripts or Pd patches aren't the most user-friendly solution, and Osculator, while awesome, is only on the Mac – which doesn't help if you want people to get started with the same experience.

  • Charlie Lesoine

    @HEXnibble: YES! That looks friggin awesome. That kind of control plus grid sequencing would be sick. Are there any tutorials online? Pd looks complicated.

  • genjutsushi

    Very excited if the vaporware Synthstation actually makes it across to the UK.

    The app is fairly sophisticated, you can definately see how it could really come to life when used in combination with a proper set of keys, and for my money, that means that (excluding the cost of the iPod or iPhone) i can have a 25 note keyboard with some excellently editable analogue-ish sounds for less than £80. Much cheaper than a MicroKorg etal which is what i see its competition as being.

    Agreed re: more apps to support this sort of thing.

    re: OSC control… doesnt that massively expensive Arturia support OSC or am i dreaming?!

  • Bob Bell

    Bought the Akai app soon as it was released and realized ever since I'd made a mistake. Had updates follow I'd prob have stuck by it but once Nano studio come out….

  • doclvly

    I would love to see Intua adapt beatmaker for the synthstation. my other wish… akai will make something similar or slightly more high end for the ipad. Just an external unit filled with ports gallor an knobs a few buttons. Like buying half an mpc.

  • Axel

    @Peter:

    <cite>MIDI is a perfectly-fine, bite-sized format that is sufficient for the accuracy of some inputs.</cite>

    Of course, Midi works just fine (on regular computers), but isn't your whole article about the connectivity problem with Midi on the iDevices? On the other hand, the OSC connectivity is already built into them, ready to use, without awkward hardware extensions and licence agreement trouble. So, now, we have all the advantages of OSC over midi, plus it's now so much easier and cheaper to implement than midi and still everybody gets excited over an midi solution. I don't get it.

    Somebody needs to make a start and build a wireless hardware OSC controller.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Axel: Sorry, MIDI the message. You can route MIDI packets over a wireless connection. Think Bluetooth. I think that's actually the path we'll take with Android.

  • DJ 2MN

    Does anyone remember the iPHone 3GS launch, with the leaf flute guys demoing an app that was syncing two phones over bluetooth? seems to me that iDevices aren't much good by themselves for making music on your own (i'm still trying though) but get a group of people together with synced iOS devices, and the interactive possibilities are quite astounding, if you think about it. i was musing recently while waiting for a train and watching all the punters alone in their little iPhone worlds and thinking what if..

  • veta

    "I don’t believe the future of music entirely belongs to people who have an interest in protecting and extending their hardware investment."

    lol. i'm not interested in 'protecting my hardware investment', i WANT to use my hardware because it's awesome! rock solid. sounds great. don't have to worry about instabilities, incompatibilities, os/app/driver updates breaking it, etc…

    and what is with the wireless fetish? the last thing i want to deal with when having hardware talk to one another live is the extra layer of complexity/latency of wireless networks, a laptop passing/translating OSC messages, etc. any time spent troubleshooting this stuff when there's a problem is time spent NOT creating. imagine something glitching out live: where do you start diagnosing it while the audience is sitting there? is it the wireless connection? the bluetooth? the laptop? the app receiving & translating the OSC messages to MIDI? the DAW? interference from the venues wireless connection? what a mess. with all these elements interacting just to pass messages back and forth, the potential for error/conflict is exponentialy greater.

    one wired connection from iPad to my gear is fine. no laptop, no wireless… just old, outdated, super stable MIDI. i'm not going to be roaming around the stage, engaging in dueling solos with a keytar player, or flying over the audience suspended on a wire. mention was made of a laptop or a netbook handling these duties, but what is missing from that equation is of course the touchscreen.

    props to all the people pursuing OSC/wireless/etc… as all of that has a future obviously and one day hopefully inter-hardware wireless communication will be as widespread and stable as MIDI is today. but whether live or just improvising at home, i prefer to keep my setup as simple and stable as possible so i'm focused on WHAT i'm making and not HOW i'm making it.

  • http://leisuresonic.com/ Christopher Penrose

    While I have made my feelings about MIDI very clear here at CDM I would like to add this. If developers listening believe MIDI interface support in iOS is valuable, I would encourage them to visit http://bugreport.apple.com/ and ask for usb midi interface support for iOS as a feature request. This is not a flippant statement at all. While it is interesting that Akai and Line6 are designing these music interfaces for iDevices, their interest is selling their hardware successfully (and for honesty sake my interest is selling my software). If sales are weak, these 3rd party SDKs will evaporate. I think the best MIDI sdk on iOS would be one created by Apple; they support it well on the desktop so it is probably just a matter of time before it arrives for iOS.

  • http://leisuresonic.com/ Christopher Penrose

    I have to agree with Veta that OSC is not ready for the masses. But I don't agree that wireless communication is an empty fetish: an iPhone fits in your pocket. Add a MIDImobilizer (which interfaces to midi cables nearly twice the width of an iPhone) and it is no longer comfortable to even walk with it there.

    The musical instrument that I have on the app store, Cosmovox, would be very awkward to play with a MIDImobilizer attached. Even use of stereo mini cables while performing with it is ungainly and undesirable. Some folks may consider the app to be a toy but I have performed using Cosmovox on 1-2 iPhones a number of times using OSC to control a laptop. Since the instrument is accelerometer based, it doesn't make any sense to have cabling attached to the iPhone to interfere with its use. Now that the iPhone4 has a gyroscope, I am interested in extending the handheld instrument idea further at some point. I have used Cosmovox coupled with OSCulator to control a synth in Logic, so it is possible to get MIDI support from this app already. Admittedly, it isn't a straight-forward process to configure. But supporting MIDI via a physical cable for an instrument like Cosmovox is counter-productive. It seems as silly as playing Cosmovox using an iPad. OSC is a very effective method for providing communication for handheld devices.

    My main project at the moment is a synth for the iPad (SynthTronica). While I think support for physically cabled MIDI with this app and device combination makes much more sense than for Cosmovox, I am going to be circumspect and put off such support until sometime after the initial release. In particular, I believe that Apple will probably announce official support for MIDI interfaces under iOS sometime in the future.

  • http://leisuresonic.com/ Christopher Penrose

    @Axel I totally share your enthusiasm for OSC. The MIDIMobilizer absolutely screams WTF!, for me. But OSC really isn't ready.

    It would be great if someone could lock Matt Wright, David Wessel, Bill Stewart, Pascal Joguet, Jan Bohl, Miller Puckette, David Zicarrelli and lead engineers from Roland, Korg, and even (*gasp*) Digi into a room and tell them they couldn't leave until they all agreed on a networked Midi 2.0 spec based on top of Open Sound Control. (Well I think there are benefits to not using OSC in a MIDI 2.0 spec, but I will assume for now that OSC would be an ideal basis). There are several, perhaps not too difficult, issues that need to be resolved in my opinion for Open Sound Control to be ready for successful adoption (this requires some understanding of Open Sound Control http://opensoundcontrol.org/):

    1. Handshaking. OSC use now requires users to specify ip addresses and ports directly. OSC capable devices should politely broadcast their presence such that they could automatically provide network configuration. This may require a new OSC paradigm, a central dispatcher.

    2. Providing universal MIDI equivalency (with improved resolution). OSC is too "open", there is no shared agreement of usage (nor should it be restricted to be). OSC is far more extensible, but also far more idiosyncratic in use than MIDI. Agreed upon OSC "schemas" could be developed to provide universal standards for common musical usage. For example, a "synth" schema could allow MIDI-like note ons and offs to be communicated via OSC in a universally accepted format such developers/manufacturers would have a common reference.

    3. OSC Namespace conventions.. there are many reasons to consider standardization of Open Sound Control message namespaces. Providing an equivalent or improved support for MIDI "channels" — assuring accurate discrimination between multiple devices (even duplicates) in a complex OSC setup. One way to do this would be through use of universal identifiers in the messages namespace (UUIDs).

    I am sorry if this has gotten out of hand, I have a pretty big interest in getting improved resolution and connectivity for musical instruments. Open Sound Control, with improvements, may be an effective route for digital musicians to go.

  • Axel

    Great discussion!

    I just wrote a lengthy post on how much I'd like more apps implementing wireless control instead of the midi mobilizer thingy only to realize what I really want is a Synthstation 25 like hardware, only for foot operation. I want a foot controller that connects to an ultraportable computer that ideally runs Supercollider or something equally cool, open and freely programmable for live audio processing. If it connected wirelessly, you'd only need an audio input and output cable and you could attach the thing to a mic stand and have a georgeous display to tell you what's going on in your patches. We're not too far away from that.

    I have played around a bit with a Wiimote controller sending OSC over Bluetooth to Osculator and Live, and what amazed me among other things was how energy efficient the Wiimote uses Bluetooth. I have used it heavily for more than 12 hours without completely draining the 2 aa batteries that power the device. Furthermore, it never lost connection to my MBP. You can buy the thing for 20 Euros. If I was a little more proficient in that field, I'd dissemble one and build a foot controller around it.

    Who would like to do something like that?

  • Gary Gore

    I just wish apple would make the camera adapter usable with iphone/ipod touch, and make it support MIDI. It can support audio interfaces that are class compliant on an iPad now. better if it would support MIDI interfaces too. Apple should make the driver for it. then there is more choice for the users, and it "just works".

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Gary: I agree, but that's likely to be a low priority, and not just for Apple. This is the problem with reinventing operating systems from the ground up — it's been a struggle to maintain that kind of functionality even on the desktop. MIDI is a serial protocol that runs at a non-standard speed and isn't used by anyone outside of music.

    In this case, you'd need USB MIDI class drivers and an API for input and output. And there may be other issues; I don't know. We're looking at the same issue on Android, and perhaps soon Chrome OS.

    (The one place where you won't have to add any additional effort: think Linux. I suspect the same will be true of MeeGo.)

  • http://dust.unrecnow.com mapmap

    i wish there was a simple midi/osc through usb option on the iphone/ipad for apps like touchOSC.

    wireless works well but it still isn't as solid (for me) as a wired connection.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ideletemyself ideletemyself

    I couldn't help but LOL @ this comment you made Peter, however well intended and true it may be… It still made me giggle…

    "The one place where you won’t have to add any additional effort: think Linux."

    For me, ANY Linux environment is the one place there's ALWAYS additional effort needed for just about anything you want to do… I'm sure I'm off base or taking what you said out of context but again… *giggle* :)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @ideletemyself: Nope. Because of support increasingly baked into the kernel, Linux typically requires a minimal amount of intervention to support extra hardware. And whereas Apple's OS is trimmed down on mobile, you've got the full Linux kernel running – with support for stuff like MIDI – on incredibly-cheap devices. It's astonishing once you drop Linux on a device how much support is there out of the box.

  • http://turntablepoetry.com/blog dj professor ben

    a keyboard with strings attached? isn't that called a "piano"?

  • greg

    "Apple is now allowing third-party apps to support those hardware accessories – provided Apple approves both the accessory itself, and via the accessory’s maker, the app."

    Am I the only one who finds it outrageous? Apple used to be the best friend of creative people. This is absolutely ridiculous. By the way, according to HTC's mobile brand manager, in a computer fair/expo they saw 80(!) Android powered tablets. Add that now you can (kind of…) run Processing sketches in Android. Apple is becoming insanely paranoid about everything that is creative, interesting and goes beyond conventions. For years the iPhone SDK did not even allow developers to use Bluetooth…

  • http://hucbald.blogspot.com/ Hucbald

    I've been making music with computers since before MIDI was even on the scene – it was a $2,500.00 option for my old Synclavier when it did come out – and so I too would like the ability to connect an iOS device to any old generic USB MIDI interface. Just for teaching and doing clinics this would be positively brilliant… but there's also no iOS software for that: No really professional notation-based sequencers, &c. I've been keeping track of the big three notation program websites – Finale, Sibelius, and Encore – and there doesn't even seem to be anything on the horizon. The available notation apps right now are toys.

    From my perspective, back when Apple was smaller and more artist oriented, these things seemed like a priority for them, but not any longer. The confusing thing is, since MIDI is so effortless under OS X, why the hangup with iOS? It isn't like the implementation would be tricky or that the code would take up an inordinate amount of space.

    One thing is for sure, though, and that is lack of transparent MIDI implementation in iOS is holding back the development of truly professional iOS music apps… like the notation-based sequencer I want so much.

  • Chapotle

    OSC is fine if you don't mind lugging a computer around, I'd much rather use midi as I can use it with real hardware, and for live use is certainly more simple than having to take a damn computer as well.

    Plus some people actually don't want to fiddle around with OSC or Max or all that bs that just gets in the way of making music.

    Bluetooth midi would be great too.

  • strunkdts

    I agree with "veta", 100%.

  • http://leisuresonic.com/ Christopher Penrose

    "Plus some people actually don’t want to fiddle around with OSC or Max or all that bs that just gets in the way of making music."

    I agree. In 9th grade I didn't want to deal with all the "bs" of learning how to make an effective embouchure such that I could play a steady pitch on a french horn. I played mallet percussion instead; nearly instant gratification. Hit the bar hear a note. Years later I became bored of the choice…. Incidentally a synth works the same way largely… press a key etc.

    A lot of things worth doing require an investment of time and learning. But a lot of things that are worth the time and investment for one person are not for another. But I am hoping that one day, OSC (or something like it) will be easier to use than MIDI and still let you get under the hood and get more serious than MIDI ever could let you –should you have the desire.

  • HEXnibble

    @mapmap: "i wish there was a simple midi/osc through usb option on the iphone/ipad for apps like touchOSC."

    You can already use hardwired usb for apps like TouchOSC by using the MyWi app.

  • Aleksi

    Well, I just want wired connection via MIDI Mobilizer or similar. Why? Because I just want to plug my synth to my iPhone and use sounds from iPhone. Also, I want simple sequencer on it (and there is, NanoStudio) what works on my jamming.

    I have no any kind of wireless stuff in my synth and all what I want with this is just use my external synth with iPhone. So there is no really any realistic wireless way to do that at this moment. Of course if someday there is MIDI via wlan what can be plugged to synth MIDI and send data wirelessly to iPhone then yeah, maybe I do not need MIDI Mobilizer then, but until that, it is needed for my solution.