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A Look at Band for the iPhone

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Arstechnica posts an in-depth look at the $9.99 iPhone App, Band [App Store], by Moo Cow Music.

The app was amongst the featured applications demoed at this year's WWDC. A Youtube Video provided by the developer shows its capabilities.

Ars put the app through its paces and was impressed by the built in functionality beyond basic instrument play:
While the ability to play these instruments would be impressive enough for an application running on a phone, the application also comes with some pretty impressive DAW functionality. You can record, overdub, solo a track, mute tracks, and make basic edits, all on a handheld device. You also have the ability to work on multiple songs, save them independently, erase the last note recorded, erase the last overdub, and erase the entire current instrument track. You can overdub as many times as you want, with the only limitation being the iPhone's processor.
Still despite all this, they note that you are unable to export your creations outside of the iPhone short of connecting to the headphone jack.

Article Link
 

xamkil83

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2008
36
0
Friendswood, Texas
This app is a great one but I would love to have the ability to export my creations to Garage Band of even save them as a Ringtone on the iPhone. Mabie these features will come in an update to the app.
 
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sunfast

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2005
2,134
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It's a shame you can't export your tracks though, considering all that power the app has.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,251
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Central U.S.
It's a shame you can't export your tracks though, considering all that power the app has.

Just buy a $2 male to male stereo jack, connect it to your line-in jack, and record away. Easy as pie. It's just not as convenient as syncing.

Most of these apps involving sound seem to not be able to export the audio files. My guess is that for this program, it is just a simple set of on / off switches turning on different audio track files at certain times. They would need to build in an encoder. Same is true for voice recording programs...I think there is like a core audio format that most of them are in that isn't useful to most people unless it is encoded. That could end up being a battery hog on the iPhone for all we know. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, but I could see companion apps being released that do all the encoding on the connected computer. It might not be as elegant but it may end up being more practical. I hope I'm wrong though. Maybe the h.264 chip on the iPhone can do it on the fly. That would be neat. Is access to that available in the SDK?
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,251
15,294
Central U.S.
I must also say that I have downloaded this app and love it. Everyone who has seen it has been amazed that my iPhone is now a musical instrument. This app definitely has a high "wow" factor and I show it off all the time. So does Sketches...I've made some pretty crazy drawings, although I ended up losing a lot of them when I did a restore the other night. My girlfriend's nieces and nephews love both those apps, along with the Crash Bandicoot racing game. I got a rugged case for the 3g so I actually let kids play with it now. Just not near the pool! Kills my battery life though. I now carry the charger in my pocket. Sad.
 
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sunfast

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2005
2,134
47
Just buy a $2 male to male stereo jack, connect it to your line-in jack, and record away. Easy as pie. It's just not as convenient as syncing.

Certainly easy, but D > A > D is always a shame! It'd be sweet if you exported the song to the iPod on the phone which synced back to iTunes like purchased music does. Maybe limitations in the SDK stopped them doing this.
 
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diamond.g

macrumors 604
Mar 20, 2007
6,754
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Virginia
Certainly easy, but D > A > D is always a shame! It'd be sweet if you exported the song to the iPod on the phone which synced back to iTunes like purchased music does. Maybe limitations in the SDK stopped them doing this.

Beatmaker gets around that by allowing you to upload your stuff wirelessly. I would think that Band would have to do the same thing.
 
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motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,164
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The youtube video is gone. Anyone got a mirror?

EDIT: it seems to be back now.
 
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Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
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Barcelona
Beatmaker gets around that by allowing you to upload your stuff wirelessly. I would think that Band would have to do the same thing.

Here's hoping this comes in a future update. I've been considering this app since they announced it, and have been on the verge of buying it since App Store launch. But the inability to export the songs you make has stopped me, for now (not interested in more complicated workarounds).
 
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diamond.g

macrumors 604
Mar 20, 2007
6,754
601
Virginia
Here's hoping this comes in a future update. I've been considering this app since they announced it, and have been on the verge of buying it since App Store launch. But the inability to export the songs you make has stopped me, for now (not interested in more complicated workarounds).

It sucks that there are no demo's but Beatmaker, IMHO, is better. Yes it cost more, but you get a full sequencer, and if you are musically inclined you can actually add your own samples to the pads.
 
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Rojo

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2006
1,328
241
Barcelona
It sucks that there are no demo's but Beatmaker, IMHO, is better. Yes it cost more, but you get a full sequencer, and if you are musically inclined you can actually add your own samples to the pads.

I'm sure it's better/more advanced, but I'm not looking to make serious music. It's just more for fun. Visually, BAND looks more appealing to me, and at $10 it's a pretty decent price point for just playing around. I'm sure if I wanted to be more serious about my music-making, I'd be all over Beatmaker, which looks like a really impressive app from what I've seen/heard.
 
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sanford

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2003
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0
Dallas, USA
is there anything, even one of the voice memo recorders, that will make a high-quality recording (relatively speaking; I mean good enough) from the headphone mic using a mono or stereo 3.5mm line-in (result being mono, which is fine, and of course that's all the iPhone mic in supports, I think) and then export that as a .mov or .aif file, or even a high bit-rate MP3 or AAC, rather than having to just line-out into a FireWire audio interface on a Mac? what i really need is less a "portable GarageBand" and more a portable recorder for something like my Korg KAOSSILATOR, which stores loops, but has no USB audio out, or any sort of removable memory card, and the contents of a KAOSSILATOR's memory does not survive across power cycle. Meaning if you're out somewhere with the Korg, you have to leave it on, make sure it stays on, and hope the batteries last, until you can get home to the Mac, the FW audio interface and the DAW (or plain, old QuickTime Pro, for that matter).

I can buy a decent field recorder, but then again I wouldn't mind saving $300, either. I can get a Sony, or whatever brand, device with decent quality, memory card support, etc., intended mostly for voice memos, dictation, recording meetings, but will support line-in. But for decent quality that's still $80 - 100 when an app for the iPhone may be just be $10 or less.
 
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dwman

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2007
353
138
San Francisco
Just downloaded this for the sale price. What a great app and a steal at $2. I personally wouldn't have purchased at $10, but if you give it long enough, these apps will come down in price. Cro-Mag Rally is a perfect example. Started out at $9.99, came down to $5.99, now sells for $1.99.
 
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