A new iOS audio framework aims to simplify the process of developing music apps for Apple’s mobile platform.
The Amazing Audio Engine, released this week, is a programming framework which can be used by developers to add audio features to their apps.
The AAEngine comes from A Tasty Pixel, aka Michael Tyson, developer of the Loopy and Loopy HD apps and creator of the Audiobus framework for app-to-app audio communication, which has been adopted by numerous high-profile apps including Animoog, Cubasis, ReBirth and NLog.
In the company’s own words, the framework’s main features are:
- Channels, which is how audio content is generated. These can be audio files, blocks, Objective-C objects, or Audio Units.
- Channel Groups, which let you group channels together in order to filter or record collections of channels.
- Filters, which process audio. These can be blocks, Objective-C objects, or Audio Units.
- Audio Receivers, which give you access to audio from various sources.
The AAEngine certainly isn’t aimed at end users, in the vein of modular audio software like Reaktor. It’s not even as simple as something like SynthEdit. Instead, it’s targeted squarely at other developers of iOS audio apps. The interesting thing here is what those developers will do with it, and whether the increased ease of integrating the framework’s standard audio features into apps will have a knock-on effect on the number of developers turning their hand to audio apps.
We’re probably not best placed to comment on the programming aspects and how useful the AAEngine will be in practice – you could write the combined programming knowledge of the Attack team on the back of a postage stamp – but judging from the framework’s Twitter account the response from other app developers seems to be very positive so far.
The Amazing Audio Engine is the latest step in the maturation of the iOS platform as a serious music-making tool. The earlier iOS music apps initially seemed something of a novelty, but the cumulative effect of hundreds of developers joining the ranks and releasing increasingly powerful, genuinely useful music apps for the iPhone and, in particular, the iPad, means that iOS should now be taken very seriously.