December 3, 2011

The App So Nice I Made It Twice...

by Chris Randall

So way back in April, TASCAM approached me with this idea of "re-skinning" the PortaStudio app I'd already made them to make it act like one of their handheld recorders. I said "hmmm..." because the cassette paradigm really didn't match a handheld concept but what the hell, it was an easy job. So I told 'em "sure" and banged out a new skin and changed the functionality a bit to match. Took me a week or so. Frankly, it wasn't very fun, but it did what they asked.

Then it got to their QA department in Japan. Their QA department was apparently unaware of (a) what had been specced to me, and (b) the program upon which what they were using was based. (It's also worth noting that they are apparently unaware that dB is a relative measure, not an absolute one, but that comes later.) Now, when I say I'm gonna do something, I do it, so this put me in a bit of a bind.

[Trauma, heartache, and despair redacted.]

No harm no foul, we call that one done, and they ask me what would be involved in making one that was direct-to-disk recording (PortaStudio works with RAM) etc. So I spec out some features and a price, everyone agrees, and we go to town.

[Further sadness and existential crisis redacted.]

Now, keeping in mind that Audio Damage takes most of my workday, I was doing this largely on the weekends. Every weekend. 16 hours a day. Since April. I lost my entire summer to this app. It actually would have been done two months ago, but again, their QA team, who are (to greatly understate the matter) sticklers, have me going up a dB here, down one there, can you move this one pixel to the left, Chris-san? And features. Features. Features. Let's add this, change this, move that, put that in here.

Adam told me that a friend of his said that only the very stupid or the very smart do fixed-rate contracts. I am of the considered opinion that I fall squarely in the former category in this particular instance.

In any case, PCMRecorder is now done and in the app store. It is free, and is Universal Binary. It essentially duplicates the TASCAM DR-2d. It is ostensibly for use with the new TASCAM iM-Z and iM2, but will work with any CoreAudio-compatible iPhone mics. Enjoy! I KNOW I DID!!!!

EDIT: The first person that posts in this thread with a bug or feature request is getting banned for life, and you're lucky if I don't come to your house and teach you some manners. I honestly lack the ability to put in to words how little the fuck I give is at this juncture.


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Dec.03.2011 @ 12:23 PM
Jesus. You could have put out like three AD plugins or ten other iPad apps in the time you spent on this fucker. The lesson we have all learned today "Only do a fixed rate contract if you are a rare specialist that can afford to charge an exorbanent price." It sounds like your contract was hell, but I'm glad it's over. :)

Dec.03.2011 @ 12:41 PM
Amazing work and heroic patience.

Dec.03.2011 @ 1:03 PM
Chris Randall
Also, a big shout-out to Art "SHORTAY" Gillespie, who helped me immensely with some extremely puzzling bugs. I have a knack for fucking things up in the most obtuse and hard-to-pinpoint ways, and Art has a knack for un-fucking them.


Dec.03.2011 @ 2:53 PM
pat yourself on the back. well done. i have one of those tascam handheld recorders and this app + the new mic they came out w/basically replaces it in many situations

Dec.03.2011 @ 5:38 PM
Art is a guy I'd like to meet, mostly because we share a not-super-common last name and post/surf in many of the same places, but not because there's much to say. In other words, "Hey Art! Uh, cool name bro."

Dec.03.2011 @ 6:04 PM
Thank you again Art! 'You've done a man's job.'

(Trying to quote Blade Runner but it came out all mysogynistic.)

Dec.03.2011 @ 6:21 PM

Dec.03.2011 @ 6:45 PM
Jesus H CHristmas ..

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when did this happen ?

Dec.03.2011 @ 7:10 PM
It's clear that mobile devices are the future. I'm just wondering if the vst/au standard will get adapted to it, or if we are starting over again from scratch. It's not entirely clear to me at this point where all of this is headed. I'm leaning toward the former, but i know if Apple has their way it will probably be the latter.

Dec.03.2011 @ 7:23 PM
@afreshcupofjoe - word on the internets is that Apple is trying to do away with the file system in OSX and make it more like (exactly like) iOS. but anyone who discusses such things is doing so in a "rumors" thread somewhere.

so, anyway - downloaded this app.. gonna mess around and make hits on my iphone now. ;)

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