In the long run, iOS 7 should be a step forward for audio. There are some pretty superb new features for routing audio between apps, better selecting from different mics, and other features. But as in many of these sorts of updates, we have to first navigate some compatibility issues first, and get the bugs ironed out. (Inter-app audio is coming to apps now, but there are still some bugs that mean it doesn’t behave perfectly yet – watch for updates from Apple.)
AudioCopy and AudioPaste, the popular technologies for seamlessly “copying” sounds between different iOS apps, requires the use of an updated API in order to function in iOS 7. With over 100 apps supporting this feature over recent years, that’s taking some time. But the updates are gradually coming in (the SDK for the new support is free).
And in the “one step forward” category – not “one step back” – the folks at Retronyms are releasing a free app that makes working with copied sound a lot cooler. AudioCopy is a free iOS 7-only app that allows you to see all your copied sounds on a big grid, a common pasteboard. You may wish you had this on your desktop machine. It’s reminiscent, in fact, of the original pasteboard that shipped with the very first Macs.
In fact, in addition to making it easier to get sounds between apps, AudioCopy really becomes a central repository for lots of samples. For those of us who love the iPhone and so on as portable sampling devices, this is especially beautiful. You can even import from iTunes, and get graphical access to a collection of sounds (with the ability to prune them) for use with all your sound apps. Grab some noises, drop them in drum pads (see the nice iMPC make an appearance), and start sketching out ideas. Watch:
And the price is right – free.
Yes, I’m late on posting this. Consider this slow, artisanal blogging, simmering to get just the right flavors. Or just late, behind deadline – whatever.
But speaking of timing, is it time yet to update to iOS 7? On recent iPhones, I’d say yes; the new software supporting iOS 7 is really nice. On critical studio iPads, iPads you’re using in performance, if you’re sensitive to reliability issues, I’d wait – updates are coming that will make your transition more seamless later than now. I expect updates to AudioBus and Apple’s own internal features, for instance, and we’re watching those. If you don’t mind tinkering, though, it can be worth taking the leap; in time, I think it really will be an OS that makes musicians happy, and it’s nice to see the amount of audio effort that went into it.