June 29, 2011

Shit Just Got Real...

by Chris Randall

TNR-i, the Tenori-On clone for iOS created by Yamaha (so it would stand to reason it's pretty close) is now available in the US app store finally, a week after it appeared in Japan and the UK. You can grab it here. Note that I haven't purchased this yet, and am in no way endorsing it. We get iTunes gift cards as a reward from one of our credit cards, and I'm waiting for this month's to arrive so I don't have to, like, pay real money for it. If you've purchased the app, please let us know the good, bad, and ugly. Does it work with CoreMidi, or is the only way to sync it with that stupid Game Center method they came up with? And does it work in Landscape mode? Those are my two main questions.

Slightly related, the Alesis IO Dock is now available for ordering, $199 at Amazon. I played with this a bit at NAMM, and assuming the shipping version is the same as the one I fucked with, it's a solid little piece of kit, and turns the iPad from a cute but slightly annoying device to an actually useful musician's tool in one fell blow.

Now, it is worth mentioning at this juncture that I have it on good authority that, unless you're in any particular hurry, it might be a good idea to wait a couple months to make a purchasing decision vis-a-vis the IO Dock. I can't say any more than that, but I think you can figure out what I'm getting at, without me beating you over the head with it.


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Jun.30.2011 @ 3:39 PM
I'm with CR on the subject of Apple v. MS, mostly agnostic. I use PCs for my work and music simply because it's what I could afford when I was investing in hardware/software, and there's no way I can justify a new Mac when I can buy a quad-core Win laptop for well under a grand and not have to re-buy a lot of software. But I've used Mac on tons of freelance jobs, and think for users it's a great OS. And I think the iPad is super nifty. Indeed bought mostly for reading/browsing and it all kinds of whips the laptop for these duties. The twitter client is pretty excellent. No way would I replace my laptop and/or desktop with one. Coding, rendering, pixel level design? Ugh.

The music apps can be cool --tho' I'm being very judicious in what I get. I don't want a ton of software I barely use (I'm looking at you, me 8 years ago). But a non-standard MIDI controller it's pretty slick. I've just started to explore this, but that is why I'm interested in further incorporating this into my 'live' rig. Not much interest in audio in/out at this point, but who knows? So, yeah, just for MIDI at this point I'm good with a 1x1 USB + CCK. When I get my invite for next year's Glastonbury Fest I can reconsider.

Jun.30.2011 @ 3:39 PM
Chris Randall
I'm actually more or less with DGillespie. I'm hoping one of these upcoming Docks will make it more useful, but as far as making music is concerned, other than the odd novelty here and there, I haven't found a "MUST USE IPAD" scenario since I owned it (and I got one on day-of-release.)

I've had some good times playing games, but honestly, a Tempest machine costs a third as much, and while not as portable, is about a hundred times more fun.


Jun.30.2011 @ 5:11 PM
Doesnt seem to be available in the canadian application store yet. Sucks, I have been wanting to try this out for a while.

Jun.30.2011 @ 5:36 PM
Adam Schabtach
I'm actually more or less with Puffer. I don't particularly like Apple and use Macs only because (some of) AD's customers use them. OTOH I use my iPad several times a day, typically. For quickly looking at something online it's faster and more convenient than a laptop. Reading PDFs--something I do rather frequently--is far more comfortable with an iPad than with anything else. Yes, it's useless for typing and yes, one can buy a pretty nice laptop for the same price, so yes, it's more of a luxury item than a laptop. It's kind of a different animal than a laptop, though.

I haven't bought TNR-i yet because 1) I'd first like to know whether it can transmit MIDI, 2) as much as I was wildly enthusiastic about the Tenori-on when it was announced, there seems to be something of a sameness to all of the demo videos of it I've seen. Sooner or later I'll probably cave in to temptation, however.


Jun.30.2011 @ 6:29 PM
i LOVE my tenori-on...though now i fear it might have been a better idea to wait for this app and have an ipod...*confused*...this is a pretty cool demo: link [www.youtube.com]

Jun.30.2011 @ 8:12 PM
Adam Schabtach
Recent reviews in the iTunes store suggest that TNR-i lacks MIDI output and the ability to edit the synth voices. Those are pretty serious drawbacks IMHO.


Jun.30.2011 @ 8:35 PM
No sample slots would be bad enough, but no midi-out?! This looks more like a teaser for the real thing then...

Jun.30.2011 @ 8:57 PM
My wife seems to be stealing more and more of my music time so I think an Ipad would be good to use on the shitter to make some boing tschok boom bap.

Jun.30.2011 @ 11:56 PM
no op
It works with CoreMIDI. I don't think you can change the channel configuration or anything fancy, but if you plug in the Camera Connection Kit and a USB interface it sends note outs (layers 1-16 send on channels 1-16). If you use Audio MIDI Setup on a Mac and have the Tenori-On app running, your device appears and you can connect to it, and it works over WiFi.

I use my iPad a lot, love it. I love my hardware Tenori-On too and wrote a lot of music on it. I wonder if that's related somehow? I know some people didn't think much of the original T-O for the same reasons people don't like the iPad (toy, limited, underpowered for the price, etc), reasons I understand and don't disagree with, but that don't prevent me from using and enjoying them.

Jul.01.2011 @ 1:18 PM
Adam Schabtach
@no op: thanks for the report--that's good to hear re MIDI. If you have any other observations comparing the TNR-i to the original, I'd be happy to hear them.

Your points re the similarities in perceptions of the Tenori-on and the iPad are good ones. The iPad may lack the generality of a laptop, but it makes up for it in portability and immediacy. It doesn't replace a laptop; it's a different thing. A Tenori-on may lack the generality of a workstation keyboard, but it's a different thing.


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