Mobile music creation on Apple's iOS devices

What is Better Than Epic?

Four Years with an ipad

Better Than Epic — it really is

Several weeks ago I wrote what I thought was an innocent, and humorous comment on the AudioBus forums. Well innocence be damned; that one comment has led to a music project of epic international proportions.

In a forum post titled “Where’d all the Synthmaster love go?” by iOS musician “JohnfromBerkley,” several commenters wrote of how they were using the SynthMaster Player app (a Synthesizer instrument). I made a reply to forum member “eustressor” as follows:
“…also made me think of a title for a pop song: Bring Back My SynthMaster Love.”

That statement struck a nerve, or two or three. Eustressor then wrote: “COLLAB! “Bring Back My Synthmaster Love,” in the style of J. Geils Band “Come Back,” featuring Toz Bourne, myself and … @LostBoy85 killing it on the lead vocals :)”

Then fellow SynthMaster song contest entrant, High5Denied, jumped in with, “This will be epic! So.You guys better really be doing this. 🙂 TozBourne’s Synthmaster song was excellent. (for the contest).”

Eustressor and Lostboy85 had at that time, just started discussing music collaborations, so the timing was right. My one comment has now steamrolled into a project that has gone beyond anything that I ever imagined. I am very proud to announce that we formed a band and we are called, “Better Than Epic”

Here is the band line-up:
Sean (eustressor) from Indiana — guitars, bass, drums, keys, iPad.
Leo (Lostboys85) from London — Vocals and iPad.
Jill Rae — special guest vocalist (Indiana)
Toz(me) from Austin, Texas — Keyboards, iPad.

Across thousands of miles, we’ve formed a virtual band and have made the “SynthMaster Love” song a reality. We each contributed varying amounts to the music and words…mine being the least. Most of my efforts went into the video production which was made from bits sent by everyone, and some clips of other stuff that I had. It was not easy to make, but it was truly a labor of love.


Of the band name:
Spinal Tap provided a lot of inspiration for much of what we’ve done. It was from their awesome spirit that our band name mystically emerged. When I first saw the name in writing I knew right then that it was epic.

Of the song and lyrics:
We sing of iOS music apps and their developers (for which we have much respect). If that is not ridiculous enough, we are pining for the love of a software synthesizer. The song is a parody based on an inside joke in a small online community, and as such would not have broad appeal. However, the most important aspect is that it has a good beat and you can dance to it. Plus, understanding lyrics to pop songs has never been a requirement for their enjoyment. “Do do do da.”

This has been a great experience; getting to know a couple of great guys is certainly a good thing, but it goes deeper. We’ve inspired each other, learned about different approaches to music production, generally had a very good time and have became more epic in the process.

Communication for the project was mostly by email but we have made good use of the group calling feature in Skype. There is nothing like talking to a live face, even if it’s on a computer screen. Skype provides a more personal form of communication than other digital methods, especially for telling jokes.


File Dec 14, 8 30 22 AM

My forthcoming album release

The Future

The Future is now, and the future is Epic. The band (BTE) has discussed a successor song, and it’s probable that the future will involve my new friends in some kind of ongoing but unhurried music projects. It’s hard to imagine where this could lead, but I’m going to follow the trail as far as I can.
On a personal and self-promotional note; my new album, “Future Tense” is ready for release along with music videos for two of the songs. I decided that I should try and take advantage of my band mates and ride the success of the band’s song as far as possible. I will release my music and the videos following on to any success that Better Than Epic gains.



The video:

The song was entered into the KV331 Audio SynthMaster song contest, here is the contest audio only playlist:


Music Production details

Bring Back My SynthMaster Love – Music and lyrics by Better Than Epic (featuring Jill Rae on vocals).

Audio production, mixing, mastering: Sean
Video production: Toz
Cameras: Toz, Leo, Sean, and ?

Along with SynthMaster Player for iOS, Toz also used iOS music apps  Cubasis, AudioShare, & AudioBus

Video apps used:
iMovie, Fused, VidPro, Game Your Video, Video Filters, and Film Flare.

I have to give thanks to the guys and gal of BTE and to their family’s and friends for all of the support during this project.  Many thanks to Lady Dinah, Lynnie and especially to my muse Samm.

Be seeing you
— Bourne 14Dec15

Comments on: "What is Better Than Epic?" (4)

  1. Yep. As I recall, I told John I was the one who stole all the Synthmaster Love to myself for a song I was working on, and apologized for taking it and promised to give it back … which is when you weighed in with that perfect song title 🙂

  2. Ha! Great story, Toz! If you’ve seen my stuff, you know I am well acquainted with how an “innocent” forum comment or blog phrase can spark inspiration that quickly spirals out of control! You’ve taken such lunatic determination to new heights! Cheers!

  3. […] Another seemingly innocent comment that I posted online has again pulled me into an international collaborative music project. This time around the project spans an entire album rather than just one great rockin’ song (SynthMaster Love by Better Than Epic […]

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