Ricepad recommended by Beat!

Ricepad has been featured on the last issue (06/11) of the german Beat magazine, rated with 6 out of 6 points and tagged as “recommended” by the editorial staff! The article also includes an interview with me.


Here’s the english version of the interview.

What motivation did you have before beginning to program, before having created a concept what the app could be? Are you a musician and wanted to make music everywhere? Or did you want to make an app for musicians?
I’ve always had a great passion for both programming and music (back since when I got a Commodore 64, when I’d tweak programs to modify the “bang” sounds as coded in the BASIC instructions). As a present for the master degree in computer science, two years ago, my friends gifted me with an iPod Touch. At that time, feeling limited and unconfortable with the current music software, I decided to develop what was buzzing in my head for some years. I was thinking of something practical, quick and funny.

I lauded in the test the conspicous logic construction which makes it very easy to arrange the modules from left to right: the way the audio signal is flowing through the app. How long did it need to work this application’s base structure out? Has it been the first idea or did it evolve after many different attempts?
The single chain paradigm was my first thought, at least when I stopped to think it wasn’t going to be just a toy. At first I thought it would be too limiting, but then I realized it was just as simple yet as powerful as I wanted.
While this structure was implemented very quickly, the hardest work was the graphic interface, which had not to compromise the performances. I had to reengineer that part more times before getting it to run smoothly.

For a lot of people who are making music it is interesting to come to know what is the contact with Apple like?
I had only a couple of issues that led me to contact Apple. Neither of those two times I was satisfied with their support…

Which advices would you give to someone who is musician and has computer technique skills and wants to create his own app?
I believe that having good skills in music, dsp, interface design and software development in general is important for a successful music app. The beginner will find various blogs and sites out there to help starting this adventure.

For some people Apple’s hardware isn’t just the only way to exist on the mobile planet, it is also the elixir to get famous and rich. But candidly: are you getting guerdonned by having created an app? Does a potential market exist?
I didn’t start this to get rich nor famous, and I haven’t received any compense to develop my app. In fact I found out that, a part from the first apps that appeared in the store, the great success is reserved to a very small subset of products. Currently, I can’t really live off the revenue of Ricepad: it’s just an investment I’m making. I’ll be very happy if one day I could say I am.

What do you think personally: are the apps only occasional toys or can they be used as real instruments for live performances and production or even replace computer instruments like DAWs, MIDI-instruments and so on?
Well, I think that even toys are perfectly good instruments and can be used for professional productions or live performances. Everything is a medium to express ourselves. I’m sure that mobile music apps will spread, changing also the way to feel and interact with the music (think of RJDJ). Nonetheless, of course, things like DAWs cannot be substituted in certain environments.

I was wondering about the nice performance of your app in handling with loops, effects and players which can be knotted with audio files. Where do you see the bounds of the technical potential of iphone and other mobile platforms for making music? Is there a limit?
Maybe the fundamental limit of the current mobile devices is the lack of a physical feedback, such that of a good old knob. Also, I would love to see more peripheals and sensors, even the unusual ones, like electrodes. Apart from this I think that while there is a high potential, developers are still doing the same old things, that is the most critical limit is our mind. For example the social aspect of music apps is still pretty unexplored.

Ricepad is your first app. Are you working on a next? What can we expect?
By now my efforts are still concentrated on Ricepad.  In the future, however, I’d like to develop multiplatform apps. I love the concept of Android.

Many thanks to Federica Pace for the photo and to Beat for sending me the article and allowing me to publish it.

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