Mobile music creation on Apple's iOS devices

Music and video on iOS

A measure of success?

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I recently experienced a  bit of unexpected, well not sure how to tag it; popularity, or success? Success in the fact that, regardless of quality, I created something that thousands of people checked out. Of course hindsight being what it is, I think that I have could done things different — better.

But given the timing of events the speculation is unfounded. I could not have done things different and still achieved the same results. I am referring to the YouTube video demo of the iSymphonic Orchestra app that I posted a few weeks ago. The last time that I checked, it had nearly three-thousand views. Originally I felt that at least twenty and maybe up to two hundred people would check it out. Over three thousand views; that kind of number is way beyond anything that I’ve ever been associated with.

Surprising, staggering, and amazing, are some words that come to mind that express my feelings about this. I told someone that it was my fifteen minutes of fame albeit in a little micro segment of web activity dealing with iOS music making apps. So it’s more like my 15 microseconds of fame.

Had this been planned then there would have been a lot more content to immediately follow. Sure I have content, much of it yet to be put in useable form but nothing to really follow-up for all of the viewers. Again, this was nothing planned nor anticipated. But all of the views were welcomed and the main thing for me, the gain as it were, is the added exposure for iOS music making.

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To blog, or not to blog?

Multiple goals are usually behind any one decision, such as the existence of this blog. My blog postings are sporadic and wide ranging which reflects, somewhat, my life. But this is here is to promote iOS music making, to encourage support of the arts, to document my journey into this new music making world, and to (hopefully) provide some encouragement and knowledge of how to make music on iOS devices.

By default this blog and anything I ever post on-line that is music related could be consider as self-promotion. If I had something to sell it would be obvious, but the base of it all is to promote the idea of mobile music making and to encourage others to dive in and make music. But why the encouragement? Why mobile music making and why dive into a professionally dominated venue at all? Because of my muse!

Is muses a plural? I guess so, the autocorrect left that word alone. I have two; a human muse and a computer muse that work on me at various times. My human muse knows who she is; one of my first ever iOS made songs was all about her, and it’s one of the few songs I’ve written that contains words (probably 90% of my output is instrumental, even though I’ve written notebooks full of poems and lyrics). So I have a lady friend who provides a lot of inspiration, and then there is this thing called iOS that is the other muse.

My first discovery of a music making app on an iPod touch thrilled and intrigued me to such an extent that it would be difficult to measure. Though not hard to measure are the results of this enthusiasm. My creative output (subjectivity aside), has soared since delving into IOS music making. And recently I have begun to combine the sounds with images resulting in music videos. This is leading to bigger and what I hope are better things.

As a child there were two things I wanted to be when I grew up (beyond being a famous rock n roll star like every kid I knew): first was an oceanographer and the other was a film maker. And my hero, Jacques Cousteau, was both! Neither of those ideas went anywhere and I ended up with a long lasting career in information technology (what we once called data processing). That story is not so different from many other people I know. But there are others that were able to pursue their dreams from an early age, and some of those have made a living from that dream and that is to be admired for we know that ain’t an easy thing to do.

Just do it

Yet, as they saying goes, it is never too late. There are many cases of artists finding their muse later in life and making a go of it. I am lucky enough to live in a democracy (what remains of it), so I am free to pursue my dreams. And with all of my recent creative output and the new technologies available, it seems like it is time to focus in on what those dreams are, or rather what they may become. An ocean going scientist is not the direction I am heading, however my idea of becoming a filmmaker could be realized to some extent.

Creatively, I consider myself a photographer, a music producer, a writer, and a vessel that contains many comedic characters (more on that later). As such I have many abilities that are useful in movie making (visual storytelling could be a better term). So the question then is, what to do? I will pursue this question but still based on my iOS music making since it is such a dominant force and can’t be avoided.

One thought on this is to make cohesive, story telling music videos. By cohesive I mean that the images would reflect the music and vice versa. The MTV era allowed for desperate images and sounds to be accepted as one, but I do not favor those much. The best of the music videos have images that correlated with the story of the music (I’m not a fan, but see Michael Jackson’s Thriller for one of the best examples). Some of the video images I have put with my music are related and some are not. A story? Not so much.

My first few music videos are really in the experimental vein, just learning what various apps can do and how it all works on iPad. But moving forward I hope to create more ambitious projects. Available time will dictate all of this as it does to everything else, and as usual my ambitions probably outweigh my ability or my do-ability! However, I’ll never get anything done if I don’t try!

My main goal is still to use my iPads as much as possible though I have hit quite a few bumps in the road as I have tried to create and post my work without the use of PCs. Many iOS apps for web use fall a bit short and do not offer enough functionality such as this WordPress app that I am using now to write this, and the YouTube app, which doesn’t give one much control or update ability for their YouTube channel. Once I realized this, I resorted to the PC just for some basic updates and edits. The iPad can do what I need technology-wise, it’s just that some apps fall short and need to offer more control.

My current pursuit is checking out various iOS video making and editing apps that are available, and there are a ton of them. I tend to be careful in choosing apps since there are so many and for the pocket money pricing it could be easy to purchase too many that won’t be used. I like to make smart choices but first I must limit the choices. This involves web based research into app developers, and reading independent reviews including those on the App Store (though those are last in priority due to the nature of the beast).

What comes next? A video page on this blog for one, (probably just links to all my vids) and some kind of animated music video is a real possibility. As usual there will be a learning curve with what I intend to do, but until I run out of learning capacity, this fits in so well with everything else that I have done iOS related that it does seem like a logic next step.

Be seeing you
— Bourne 03Sep14

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