Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Ideas, Simple Solutions, and Memory to the Rescue

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.
John Cage

For every complex problem there’s a simple solution, and it’s wrong.
Umberto Eco

Welcome to the end of “AMIS Updates” for this time. Chances are your started reading at the front cover, leafed through the articles selecting something to read in a little while, something to read much later, and something that grabbed your interest and your read it right now.

Your read with interest: “Yes, that's the exact problem I've been having!” or “I never thought of that approach!” or “That's a new piece by my favourite composer!”. The magazine article enlightened you or extended your knowledge. You have reached the back page, your expectations heightened – “What whimsy has he come up with?”

I draw your attention to the excerpt from the Apple press release below:

GarageBand Now Available for iPhone and iPod touch Users
CUPERTINO, California—November 1, 2011—Apple today announced that GarageBand, its breakthrough music creation app, is now available for iPhone and iPod touch users. Introduced earlier this year on iPad, GarageBand uses Apple’s revolutionary Multi-Touch interface to make it easy for anyone to create and record their own songs, even if they’ve never played an instrument before….

Pricing & Availability
GarageBand 1.1 for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is available on the App Store for £2.99 to new users, or as a free update for existing GarageBand for iPad customers. GarageBand is a universal app that runs on iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPod touch (3rd & 4th generation).

GarageBand was already on the iPad. £2.99 - and you get to sync with your desktop app, E-mail your song, and save your creation to iTunes. Eight track recorder, guitar amp simulations and smart instruments are included. User-friendly in the extreme, access for the novice user is amazing.

For the desktop/laptop user, MacRumours on the 8 of December reported, "Following our report from earlier today regarding Apple having discontinued the boxed versions of Logic Studio and Express, Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2 have now appeared for sale in the Mac App Store." Price cuts were outstanding - $199.99 for Logic Pro and even more amazing $29.99 for MainStage. You'll have to allow for the Internet while you are loading the complete libraries of sounds.

Logic Pro is the professional digital audio workstation (DAW) for the Mac. The "go to" application for countless engineers and producers. MainStage is an application for live performances. Once you have a Mac laptop, and MIDI controller keyboard with USB interface, you have a killer keyboard sound - and more! To quote:

MainStage 2 lets you take your Mac to the stage with a full-screen live interface, unmatched hardware control, and a massive collection of plug-ins and sounds. 

The ultimate live rig 

Perform live with 120 instrument and effect plug-ins or work with your Audio Units plug-ins 

- Import settings from Logic Pro and GarageBand to bring your studio sound to the stage
- Combine instruments and live audio, such as keyboard and vocals, in a single patch 

- Seamlessly switch between patches without stopping sound output or cutting off held notes
- Design rich keyboard patches using splits and layers

Mac laptop users: run, don't walk to take advantage of this great deal on MainStage. No more multi-keyboard to lug, only keyboard, Mac and an amp. While you're at it, consider Logic Pro.

‘Hang on,’ I hear you say. ‘What about Eco's quote?’

Ah, there's the rub. For every simple solution there's a simple answer as well. "You mileage may vary." (YMMV) For harpsichord sounds, grand piano or harp sounds as an additional instrument as a part of an ensemble, for sure - I've used it. For incredibly busy music making with fast changes, your only option is mutli-keyboard rig with grand piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Yamaha Motif and a Nord Stage 2. But I'll bet if you mapped the performance out, you could get away the grand piano and MainStage. Yes, YMMV.

Until next time, dear readers, I leave you pondering your options with the ultimate quote of performance.

The older I get, the better I was.
Van Dyke Parks, reported by Tom Nolan in the cd booklet with “Smile”