Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 

Tags: Applepocalypse


June 18, 2017

Eye Oh Ess...

by Chris Randall
 



There are two major side benefits of switching to JUCE for our plugin dev. The first, you've already met: AAX versions essentially for free.

The second, you're about to meet: iOS versions for moderate effort. JUCE 5 projects on OS X have two targets in addition to the bevy of plugin formats: AUv3 and Standalone. Both of these are essentially pointless on OS X, where the AUv3 is an actual step backwards, lacking everything but the most basic ability to talk to anything but the DAW. Standalones have their purpose, but mostly as synths. A standalone effect is about as useful as... well... nothing really comes to mind. I'll have to ponder for a bit to come up with something that useless.

But!

Switch that target from OS X to iOS, and we're on to something. AUv3 is the only audio plugin format allowed on iOS, and standalones actually have some merit. The screenshot above is Rough Rider 2 running as an AUv3 insert effect in GarageBand. These AUv3 builds will work in any host that can stomach it; right now that list is mildly limited: GarageBand, Audiobus 3, Cubasis (full version), and some others. The situation will improve quite a bit when Intua drops BeatMaker 3 on July 15, in my opinion.

Digressions aside, the only difference between Rough Rider 2 for iOS AUv3 and Rough Rider 2 AU/AAX/VST/VST3 is some mild fiddling with the UI to get it to cooperate in the context. It will run on any device that can run iOS 9.3, which is pretty much anything from iPad 3 / iPad Mini 2 / iPhone 6 on.

Rough Rider 2 is available now in the app store, and like any good drug dealer, we give you the first taste for free. If you run in to any issues at all, don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Grind is next in line, and is currently awaiting TestFlight review so the testers can get a piece of that action, but it is pretty much done. Once that's released, we're going to turn our attention back to desktops for a bit, so we can see how things shake out. I don't want to release everything for iOS, and then find out I did something terribly wrong. But once we're sure that things generally work, we'll push out Dubstation 2 and Eos 2 in short order. I don't expect any trouble building either for iOS.

If you're an iOS musician, I'd like to hear about how you feel about pricing. I'm of a mixed mind on this; obviously, these are identical to the desktop plugins internally, and require a bit extra work, so they should be priced accordingly. On the other hand, the iOS music ecosystem doesn't really have a place for a similar pricing model, and we're in a situation where people are expected to effectively double the price of their purchase to get a 12th format to go with the other 11 they already own.

I went through every AUv3 product I could find on the App Store, and I feel that, in general, plugins seem to be in the $5 to $10 neck of the woods. There are some outliers, but on the whole, that seems to be the case. I'm okay with this in general.

The other option would be to do it free, and have an In-App Purchase to unlock all the features. This isn't terribly complicated, but it does add some frustration to the proceedings, both on my part and on the consumer's part. So I'm less likely to look favorably on this, unless someone can offer a compelling argument in its defense.

 
December 26, 2013

Sandbolloxed...

by Chris Randall
 



As you no doubt know, especially if you are a Logic user, there are Big Changes coming down the pike, in the form of a sandboxed version of Logic, most likely before the middle of 2014. Developers have been given a preview copy of Logic X Sandboxed, so we can test our products to see if they will work when the update occurs, and make necessary changes. The current Garageband X is already sandboxed, so you can do a quick test to have a gander at how many of your current AUs will work in Logic X Sandboxed.

The short answer is "hardly any."

There are some very big problems with sandboxing something like Logic, from a developer's perspective, and almost no benefit to the end user. (In actual fact, it harms the end user, because products he was able to use previously, and may have come to rely on, will suddenly cease to work.) We could talk in circles all day long about that sort of nonsense, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

While this stands a very real chance of having a consumer backlash something on the order of what occurred when Final Cut X was released, that's neither here nor there in the scheme of things. Our concern at Audio Damage is to maintain a seamless transition, so our customers aren't affected. And, let's be honest, there is nothing we like more than dropping everything and spending a couple months re-building our entire product line every time Apple has a fit of the Shinies.

In that light, we had a difficult decision to make. The only thing preventing our products from working in Logic X Sandboxed (and Garageband X, for that matter) is the erstwhile copy protection. For a decade now, we've had the simplest, least intrusive copy protection that we could have and still call it that. It has done very little to prevent piracy, and is the number one (and two and three and four and five and six and seven) source of support problems. It is, in short, a gigantic fucking pain in the ass that doesn't do what it's supposed to. And now it prevents our products from working in the Apple hosts.

So, we're taking it out.

We'll begin rolling out updates next week that will eventually encompass our entire product line, removing the DRM and updating the installers and UIs (and doing some bug fixing along the way), in order of popularity. The license control mechanism in the store will continue as-is, but the current reg codes will basically become serial numbers, and will not be required during the installation process. We'll also be able to deliver the bundles as one-click installs instead of 22 separate packages, which will no doubt please our bundle customers immensely.

This is obviously a pretty big risk for us, but we think it will be a good solution in the long run. We have long been of the opinion that there are people that care about supporting a company and its endeavors, and people that only care about themselves. Both Adam and I make a living on the former sort, and we hope that will continue to be the case. I can't speak for Adam, but I'm really shitty at blanching fries.

Anyhow, my Twitter feed and the Audio Damage RSS feed are the places to watch for updates as they're rolled. If you have a specific bug report that you think we might not know about, email it to info@audiodamage.com and I'll put it in the list. We'll be doing the products in order of popularity (with shiny new digitally signed installers, natch!) so expect Dubstation, Eos, Replicant, and Discord3 to be the earliest recipients of this treatment, and so on down to the perpetual tail-end Charlie, Ronin.

 
November 16, 2013

It's The New Style...

by Chris Randall
 



Yay! A new module in our simple effect line-up, Freqshift. As the name implies, it is a frequency shifter. Originally coded by Sean Costello (ValhallaDSP) for us, and then extended by Adam, there is a ludicrous amount of functionality in this module. The manual is up at the Audio Damage site so you can read all about the various modes and how they're accessed.

It will be available next week at Analogue Haven for US$189.00, and at various other retailers the following week.

I've also bitten the bullet and made an Audio Damage page at Soundcloud so I can stop putting these modular and plug-in demos on my personal page. Follow that for a continuous stream of bleebles, blurps, and synth cricket sounds.

In further news, I've begun porting Phosphor to iOS; we're going to release several Audiobus-based effects over the next few months, re-contextualizing existing products for the iOS environment, but we thought it best to start with a synth. Since Phosphor is the only synth we have, there you go. This process will no doubt be tedious to my Twitter followers, as I live-tweet Adventures in iOS Programming. But at the end of the day, you'll have an extended version of Phosphor on your iPad for a couple of bucks, so deal with it.

In any case, if you want to know what the next few days will be like in my house, let me introduce you to a bag with 6500 knobs in it. This takes up a rather alarming amount of space.

 
October 23, 2013

You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin...

by Chris Randall
 

Spent an entertaining morning sniping at the Apple Mavericks announcement yesterday. Right up until the point where Craig Federighi said "Free. Today." Once I got done wiping the orange juice off my MacBook Pro, I settled in for the usual nightmare.

Now, to be clear, I in no way _want_ to upgrade OS X. Ever. But the nature of Audio Damage's product line makes it so I have to, the second it comes out. So as soon as a new version of OS X is available, it's off to the salt mines for me. I strongly suggest (and not for the last time in this post) that you absolutely do not follow my lead.

First things first: there is no reason whatsoever to upgrade to Mavericks. Aside from all the memory compression fapping (which doesn't affect us, not being idle users of memory) and pipeline this and yadda-yadda that, there is nothing in Mavericks that will improve your songwriting skills or make your DAW run better. At all. Just don't bother. What you get, for all intents and purposes, are tabbed finder windows (which don't work as well as TotalFinder's do) an update to Calendar, and a mediocre mapping app. If an hours-long update process to get some kind of shitty tabbed finder windows is how you want to spend your time, knock yourself out. Otherwise, don't do it. Not today.

Since you're gonna ignore my advice and do it anyhow, here's what I've discovered so far:

All Audio Damage plug-ins, both 32- and 64-bit, swallow the update seamlessly. They are, as best we can tell, unaffected by Mavericks, which doesn't touch the folders they live in.

I did cursory checks of some other plug-ins. I had a couple crashes with Maschine when trying to load kits. Other NI stuff seems fine. I'm personally having some issues with FXpansion plugs, but I don't know if this is me or Mavericks or what. Studio One Two crashes on instance. Plogue Bidule seems to work fine. Max/MSP 6 (and M4L) require a Java update, but otherwise work fine.

So, spotty, basically. If you want to dick around with crashes and strange performance, and some plugs not working, by all means, update. If you have a show coming up, or are in the middle of a project, and you update, you're stupid, and I don't want to be your friend. You deserve all the problems you're having.
 

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