iOS 5 – New Features for Music: Audio Units, 32-Bit High Quality Audio – Early Oct Release

Rumors report Apple iPhone 5 and iOS 5 to Release in Early October 2011

The official word from Apple on when the iPhone 5 and iOS 5 will hit the streets remains to be “Fall 2011.”  But websites are now speculating that both the phone and new operating system will launch in early October. According to Beatweek Magazine, “Best Buy has informed its employees that the iPhone 5 is seeing its release date the first week of October and that the device will be offered on Sprint in addition to Verizon and AT&T.” With a new phone comes a new operating system (from experience Apple launches the OS a few days to a week before a new device launch.) October is right around the corner so we took some time to collect the latest information on iOS 5 as it relates to you – the music producer.

Both the iPhone and the iPad have become revolutionary tools for music creation but they are still in the infancy stage of development.  What we now do with these devices is much greater than a voice to voice conversation. As we evolve new ways to use these devices, developers and Apple itself are watching our growth and creating new devices and frameworks to cater to our computing needs. With the latest incarnation of the iPhone (iPhone 5) we find a faster processor (a dual core A5 is rumored), a slimmer design with aluminum casing, a 4 inch screen and an operating system that takes advantage of the new processor (which also resides in the iPad 2.)

The real excitement for music app enthusiasts is the new operating system. Each update that Apple has released for the iOS platform has consistently provided new features for sound creation. These features usually come to us by way of applications that do new things. To get a preview of what will come on iOS 5 we dug into development reports and sites for application developers and found a few new things that got us excited including built in Audio Units such as reverb, adjustable equalization, time compression and time stretching.

According to Gravityjack, the Core Audio family of frameworks includes the following changes in iOS 5.0:

•    Audio-session routing information is now specified using dictionary keys.
•    Core Audio adds seven new audio units for handling advanced audio processing features in your application, such as reverb, adjustable equalization, and time compression and stretching.
•    The new Sampler unit lets you create music instruments, for which you can provide your own sounds. The new AUFilePlayer unit lets you play sound files and feed them directly to other audio units.
•    The 3D Mixer audio unit is enhanced in iOS 5.0 to provide reverb and other effects
•    You can automate audio unit parameters in an audio processing graph, which lets you build a music mixer that remembers fader positions and changes.
•    You can now use the advanced features of Apple Core Audio Format files in iOS. For example, you might create new voices for the Sampler audio unit.
•    There is now programmatic support for adjusting the audio input gain.
•    Core Audio now supports 32-bit floating-point audio data for applications that need to provide high quality audio.

Synthtopia and Touch Producer websites report the following changes (below). Touch Producer’s Nic Platers adds, “I have no idea what a lot of them mean completely, but it seems as if the main set of interesting features is the support for more audio data, more in and out options and multiple instrument and audio channels.”

•    Support for lots of sample audio inputs and channel routing
•    Sequence creation
•    Multiprocessing for audio
•    More filter types
•    Multiple music devices
•    A whole new core Bluetooth set of API
•    More reverb settings for OpenAL

Michael Walsh is the Editor of Dubspot’s Blog, a producer of audio/visual art and a journalist living in Southern California. Read more of his work at

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really its very important blog for iphone

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