MATRIXSYNTH: DigiEnsemble Berlin Premiers "Apps on Stage" - Documentary & Thoughts on the Use of iPads Live

Monday, April 07, 2014

DigiEnsemble Berlin Premiers "Apps on Stage" - Documentary & Thoughts on the Use of iPads Live

Published on Apr 7, 2014 DigiEnsemble Berlin·22 videos

Matthias of DigiEnsemble Berlin sent this in and asked me for my thoughts on the use of iPads as live instruments on stage. You'll find my thoughts further below along with some images of DigiEnsemble Berlin.

Video description: "This short documentary by Andrea Wieczorek and Lukasz Fabijanczyk gives an insight into the musician's preparation for their performance on stage. Of course, technical problems and the quest for the perfect sound play a central role, but also if the musicians themselves can hear properly on stage, as they will play live without playback.

Playing an authentic and dynamic performance turned out to be the most difficult part of performing with apps on stage. Motion and choreography are a crucial part of that. Music apps don't turn into in instrument by a simple "touch" -- motion sensors and an expression pedal, which controls the volume, can create a dynamic sound. And last but not least: The musicians also do not want to come across as a bunch of computer nerds, as well...

'Apps on Stage' shows snippets from the DigiEnsemble Berlin's everyday life on tour to Munich and reveal problems and details that have to be taken into account when making music with Apps on stage. More shows and information about the DigiEnsemble Berlin can be accessed here:

Production: Andrea Wieczorek & Lukasz Fabijanczyk
Camera: Lukasz Fabijanczyk
Videomusic: Michaeu da Silver & Bujanylas
Location: Munich
Date: April 10, 2013"

Matthias of DigiEnsemble Berlin asked me: "What do you think, will there be in future more musicians with apps on stage? I think the most complex thing is: How to play on mobile devices in a way that the people love the show as a musical performance – not as a technical gimmick."

My response: As for the iPad as a commonplace viable instrument, I think it is finally reaching that stage with electronic artists, however for more classical performances I believe it will remain a bit of a gimmick for some time. I don't expect it to become any more acceptable than hardware synthesizers in that world. In time it will just be perceived as another form of electronic hardware synthesis. I remember when I first posted the iPad and how excited I was thinking of it as the modern day PPG Realizer. I stated it would revolutionize things as although it is essentially a new computer platform to run software synthesizers, it is closer to a hardware synth than any desktop or laptop computer. Digital hardware synthesizers are simply software synths running on a dedicated hardware. The iPad is no different.

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