2014 was not revolutionary year for iOS Music as 2013 was. In 2013 we’ve seen great penetration of Audiobus technology and Introduction of Inter-App Audio by Apple.
Probably the largest event in 2014 was introduction of KORG new DAW: KORG Gadget and later on KORG Module which was nice addition of high quality sampled instruments integrated with KORG Gadget.
We also have seen bunch of great new synths: Laplace, FM4, Phase 84, iProphet, Z3TA+ (probably best synth of 2014).
DAW developers made great progress in 2013 but slowed down with updates in 2014 – Cubasis’s monthly update cycle is now 5-6 months (I’m not taking in account bug fixes and maintenance updates). Auria also was not updated much, also no new plugin developers joined their iVST format in 2014.
2015 promises much better progress in iOS music world.
First, there’s already announced Auria’s major update with MIDI and VST Synths support. We can expect several desktop VST synth developers that don’t have iOS apps will join the party and make a port to Auria format. With new powerful iPads and hundreds of Audiobus/IAA ready music apps it will be really competitive platform for music makers.
Cubasis 2 (I expect it in summer 2015) may bring some new professional-level effects, built-in sampler and drum machine and better mixing capabilities.
There’s still a chance that Apple will make Logic DAW iOS version with ported effects and built-in Logic synths. Also as Apple is definitely working on new sampler to replace EXS24 they could make iOS version of just that new sampler that may become standard for sampling instruments for iOS.
We will see lots of new synths from new developers as well as new ports of desktop synths to iOS. SugarBytes will bring their Cyclop synth (already announced in one of their interviews). SynthMaster for iOS will be there in a few months (though it is still unclear if it would be limited player version (like CamelAudio Alchemy mobile) or full version ported. Couple of Arturia synths also to be ported to iOS.
It is unclear what to wait from large developers like Propellerhead and Native Instruments. Though Propellerhead in 2014 was focused on their smaller apps (Figure and Take) we still can expect them to release some of their Reason devices (like KONG drum sampler or one more of their synths).
It is strange to see that NI have not yet ported no of their synths to iOS. Massive synth if ported to iOS can be the best selling music app ever (probably competing only to GarageBand and Figure). Other their synths like FM8 and Reaktor based could also be bestsellers but they are not still there. It is unclear what their strategy is, may be they were busy for a few years on making new version of Reaktor for iOS. On the other side NI finally started updating iMaschine app. And there’s a hope that they continue to do so with addition of sequencer and probably they will include there Massive synth someday (as it now comes with Maschine desktop version).
Also in the end of 2014 there were introduced 3 new apps based on high quality sample libraries – iCathedral Organ, iSymphonic Orchestra and Oriental Strings. I think this year we will see lots of Kontakt libraries ported to iOS in a similar way – Pianos, strings, drums, sampled synths, etc.
Audiobus/IAA effects will continue to grow in 2015. Developers will continue to make different kinds of Reverbs, Delays, Distortions, Amp simulations and others. But still there’s a gap in the field of professional level mixing IAA effects (EQs, Compressors) and vintage emulations (pultec EQs, vintage channel strips etc.) which may be closed this year.