Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The iPhone-ist

Well, it would appear that I'm on track to become the local iPhone-ist. During my vacations (which inevitably involved a lot of travel to/from family haunts), I normally take on a technical challenge. Last vacation, I learned enough Objective-C to be able to create an OSC-based controller that had buttons, sliders and other goop, all wirelessly connected to my Max patches. Big fun, but nothing ever became of it because it was an example of programming rather than a useful program.

Alas, on my most recent vacation, I decided to go a little further. This time, I had an application in mind: I wanted to make a theremin-like device that would provide either finger or accelerometer control, lock to a user-selected scale (so I could actually, like, play it), and have produce audio. Oh, and have a nice digital delay, since a Theremin without a delay is like Shredded Wheat without milk. Vacation came and went, and I implemented about 80% of the thing. I've been putting in a few weekend hours and now have a feature-complete version of it ready to go. It looks like this:

My wife and all three of my kids are totally into it - they strap on the iPod Touch and the headphones and jam like banchees. I think that is the extent of the market research I need. As for the graphic design, all my iPhone Programming Buddies tell me that I just can't do a default-looking application like this - I need to get a graphic designer involved. My tendency is to say "I want it to work, not to be eye candy", but I think I'm being naive.

Hopefully I'll have the preference done soon and the app on the App Store Real Soon Now. I'll post here (and on FaceBook, and anyplace else that'll have me) when it is done. At least I'll feel like I've made a real instrument here...


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