The music industry falls in love with the iPad

Steve may struggle with social media, but he has the Midas touch for a medium much older than Facebook – music. The epicentre of blind Apple-fanboy faith is the popular music industry. Woe betide the poor sod who dares wander back-stage with a common Dell laptop. It was inevitable that Apple-toting/hugging musos would try to reinvent the iPad as the tool of a new generation of musicians. Guitar tab and tuner apps are popular purchases. The most expensive app is Studiotrack for a paltry $40-50. The multi-track song-writing tool is an affordable alternative to hundreds of dollars-worth of home studio product. Engadget reported that Studiotrack shatters the “creativity on rails” paradigm that irked iPad users in the past.[1] Pretty apps are no replacement for the real deal yet. Nevertheless, musos love the messy DIY feel of tapping out tracks on their own wafer-thin tablet in the back of the tour bus - especially because their toy has a picture of a fruit on the back. Steve would be proud.
Musician Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz, declared, "I hope I'll be making the first record on an iPad... I fell in love with my iPad as soon as I got it, so I've made a completely different kind of record.”[2] Damon explained the sophistication of his artist’s journey after using Korg’s iPad app:
I was just trying things out with the iELECTRIBE...pushing the buttons up and down and humming over the top…I sat on my phone at one point and it started interfering...the signal started clicking…so I looped that up and made a rhythm…and then hummed over that…then did some clapping on it..and ..yeah …Uhmm, so…I..did it on an iPad using all the music apps. I might do another one in a bit…[3]
The idea makes lovely press, so long as you play down the fact that the technology isn’t there yet. The album's final mix was crafted at the eighty year-old Abbey Road Studios. Damon’s very rough-cut of The Fall was rounded off on a twelve-core Powermac desktop light years faster than the iPad.
Korg was so impressed with Damon’s plug that the company released a Gorillaz special edition of the iElectribe app. Despite its wonderful signature skin, all three written reviews were not good. Here’s one:
We have to obtain copyright clearance to publish? Korg, you can't be serious! Real nice trick putting that info at the very bottom of the info page. Going to Apple and U.S. Consumer Protection with this one. Deceptive representation of the product, unprofessional - possibly illegal.[4]
Since The Fall, Steve finally upgraded his iPad’s OS to allow multi-tasking. No one really knows what took him so long to make such a fundamental change. Musos are now able to use a plethora of apps without busting a vein trying to juggle tools. Nevertheless, until Steve includes more than one lonely data jack in his anorexic device, the iPad’s potential to make sweet music will be hamstrung by his minimalist obsession.

[1]Miller, P. (2010, April 7) iPad apps: creativity unleashed. Engadget.com. Retrieved from:
[2] NME (2010, November 12) Damon Albarn records new Gorillaz album on an iPad.

[3] Korg.com. Retrieved from: http://korg.com/iElectribeGorillaz

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