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iOS App for Live Performance (Update to Seaboard 5D?)

This could sound weird, given the three iOS apps already available. But it’d be neat to have one iOS app which really makes it easy to perform live with ROLI devices.  With the recent addition of audio effects in the Noise app, the power of such a live performance app becomes quite obvious.


My guess is that the “Seaboard 5D” app would be the right one for this.


To my mind, the ideal app for live performance with ROLI devices would give access to all sorts of neat sounds (including third-party ones) and allow one to fully control which gestures do what to these sounds (for instance, assigning Lightpad sliders to different parameters). 

The Seaboard 5D app is a pretty neat demo, especially on iPhone models with 3D Touch. But it only gives access to some Equator sounds and doesn’t do much to allow for control with blocks. Sure, one could save apps to two Lightpads to have one work as Seaboard sliders and the other as X/Y pad. But this needs to be done in the Blocks Dashboard desktop software and isn’t immediately obvious. Besides, it’d be useful to control which parameters respond to what.

It’d also be very useful to host other softsynths, through AUv3. Especially those which already support MPE. The advantage there would be that it could be set up quickly and easily, customized for these controllers. Sure, GarageBand, AUM, Audiobus, BeatMaker 3, and Cubasis all host AUv3 softsynths. But they don’t provide very easy access to all the neat features ROLI devices provide.


And, sure, the NOISE app can be used for live performance. But it’s clearly not meant for that. Actually, it’s already a bit messy as an app, with a kind of feature creep happening. If it goes on like this for a few years, it could become “ROLI’s iTunes”.


As for the Play app, it’s delightful in its simplicity and can work quite well for some limited form of live musicking. In fact, its pentatonic 3x3 grid could work really well in a few contexts. But it’s still way too limited to be that useful and crowding it would destroy its elegance.

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