June 18, 2017

Eye Oh Ess...

by Chris Randall

There are two major side benefits of switching to JUCE for our plugin dev. The first, you've already met: AAX versions essentially for free.

The second, you're about to meet: iOS versions for moderate effort. JUCE 5 projects on OS X have two targets in addition to the bevy of plugin formats: AUv3 and Standalone. Both of these are essentially pointless on OS X, where the AUv3 is an actual step backwards, lacking everything but the most basic ability to talk to anything but the DAW. Standalones have their purpose, but mostly as synths. A standalone effect is about as useful as... well... nothing really comes to mind. I'll have to ponder for a bit to come up with something that useless.


Switch that target from OS X to iOS, and we're on to something. AUv3 is the only audio plugin format allowed on iOS, and standalones actually have some merit. The screenshot above is Rough Rider 2 running as an AUv3 insert effect in GarageBand. These AUv3 builds will work in any host that can stomach it; right now that list is mildly limited: GarageBand, Audiobus 3, Cubasis (full version), and some others. The situation will improve quite a bit when Intua drops BeatMaker 3 on July 15, in my opinion.

Digressions aside, the only difference between Rough Rider 2 for iOS AUv3 and Rough Rider 2 AU/AAX/VST/VST3 is some mild fiddling with the UI to get it to cooperate in the context. It will run on any device that can run iOS 9.3, which is pretty much anything from iPad 3 / iPad Mini 2 / iPhone 6 on.

Rough Rider 2 is available now in the app store, and like any good drug dealer, we give you the first taste for free. If you run in to any issues at all, don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Grind is next in line, and is currently awaiting TestFlight review so the testers can get a piece of that action, but it is pretty much done. Once that's released, we're going to turn our attention back to desktops for a bit, so we can see how things shake out. I don't want to release everything for iOS, and then find out I did something terribly wrong. But once we're sure that things generally work, we'll push out Dubstation 2 and Eos 2 in short order. I don't expect any trouble building either for iOS.

If you're an iOS musician, I'd like to hear about how you feel about pricing. I'm of a mixed mind on this; obviously, these are identical to the desktop plugins internally, and require a bit extra work, so they should be priced accordingly. On the other hand, the iOS music ecosystem doesn't really have a place for a similar pricing model, and we're in a situation where people are expected to effectively double the price of their purchase to get a 12th format to go with the other 11 they already own.

I went through every AUv3 product I could find on the App Store, and I feel that, in general, plugins seem to be in the $5 to $10 neck of the woods. There are some outliers, but on the whole, that seems to be the case. I'm okay with this in general.

The other option would be to do it free, and have an In-App Purchase to unlock all the features. This isn't terribly complicated, but it does add some frustration to the proceedings, both on my part and on the consumer's part. So I'm less likely to look favorably on this, unless someone can offer a compelling argument in its defense.



Jun.18.2017 @ 1:09 PM
dj empirical
companies who have both mobile apps and physical products will often make the apps free, but include ads for/links to their physical products. not sure you're into that, of course.

Jun.19.2017 @ 10:54 AM
I've never written a plugin but I'm wondering -- did you look at Qt as an API? I'm pretty much bound to Qt5 for a current project but if JUCE can handle real-time music I suspect it can handle real-time motion control in embedded systems.

Jun.24.2017 @ 12:28 AM
Since you already have a paid for app in the App Store, you should have a clue if people are ok to buy right away or if they prefer to "test" the app first so in-app purchase is the solution. Or perhaps it's too early to tell.

Jun.25.2017 @ 7:34 AM
Chris Randall
@SebAudio I know that the in-app-purchase method is popular, and works well, but our goal has never been to "get rich." We just want to make enough to keep making stuff. So we tend to avoid any methodology that isn't straight above-the-board commerce.

The numbers from the first few days are in, though, and I get the impression that porting the plugins to iOS is sustainable. If they make enough for me to hire someone to ride herd on the iOS portion of things, then I'll call it a win. If they don't, well, it wasn't a huge amount of trouble.


Jun.26.2017 @ 8:51 AM
I know it's slightly off topic, but if you use JUCE, it should be fairly straightforward to also compile linux VSTs.
I understand that the market is super tiny, but you could do what u-he does and label them perpetually alpha/beta without any support. I'm more than happy to put in some time to help fix any build issues, so that the overhead for creating these is as close to zero as possible.

Jun.26.2017 @ 2:27 PM
Automaton, Axon, BS 2, Dr. D, and Replicant are going to be great for touch because of the UI IMO. Of course they all sound great,
but my gut tells me these tools will be fun to use in adfition to great sounding.

Jun.26.2017 @ 2:28 PM
Tatoo also buy I dont see it on the roster anymore.



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