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.04.2011 @ 1:52 PM
I can see the Mac pro going away . An iMac with 4 cores and a TB port is as powerful as the Mac pro was a few years back and I can see 6-8-12 cores happening sooner than later no doubt . The file system .... Idk ? I can only make assumptions what that would or could mean for me as an end user . I know I use x-11 but just for wine based apps but that is as close as I come to dev tools . Apple likes simplicity and " clean lines " but they have always taken pride in the power of their tools too so for every " they wouldn't " I can think of there is an equal " why wouldn't they " to counter so all I can say in the end is IDK ... Just like everyone else .

Dec.04.2011 @ 6:12 PM
There will always be a need for a sports car. The Mac Mini and iMac are laptop motherboards, built for power efficiency. I really hope Apple doesn't give up on the high end. If they do, I hope they at least make "Hackintosh" machines easy to build.

p.s. Please download our app to help get it in the charts!

Dec.04.2011 @ 8:31 PM
Ha - I know what you mean about their QA dept... A company I work with did some contract with Akai years ago and although the end result was just about groundbreaking (for the time), I've heard the interactions with their engineers and management were pretty surreal.

Dec.06.2011 @ 9:32 AM
Chris Randall

Just be glad you don't actually work inside of a Japanese company.

Dec.06.2011 @ 11:46 AM
Adam Schabtach
There are three great things about this app's release: 1) it turns an iPhone/iPod into a handy portable recorder. I don't think I'll give up my DR-2d for field recordings, but this app means I'll record stuff I wouldn't record otherwise (i.e. when I don't have the DR-2d on hand). 2) It's free. Thanks, TASCAM! 3) I don't have to listen to CR whine about it any more.


Dec.07.2011 @ 12:19 AM
Its kickass man, used it to record a practice straight to the iPad with the built in mic. No distortion, and it sounded like a decent bootleg from a show..
Your pain is our gain Chris.
I for one, appreciate the blood soaked fingers that built this app! : )

Dec.07.2011 @ 2:34 PM
I used the app to record an angry squirrel. Very clean sounding and an easy to use app. I'm hoping to get that im2 mic for Xmas.

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