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Android Lollipop 5.x -major audio improvements -Korg noticed


ElmerJFudd

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Android Lollipop 5.x - major audio improvements, should spark audio app developer interest and support - starting with Korg.

 

https://developer.android.com/about/versions/lollipop.html

 

Android 5.0 provides a faster, smoother and more powerful computing experience.

 

Android now runs exclusively on the new ART runtime, built from the ground up to support a mix of ahead-of-time (AOT), just-in-time (JIT), and interpreted code. Its supported on ARM, x86, and MIPS architectures and is fully 64-bit compatible.

 

A new audio-capture design offers low-latency audio input. The new design includes: a fast capture thread that never blocks except during a read; fast track capture clients at native sample rate, channel count, and bit depth; and normal capture clients offer resampling, up/down channel mix, and up/down bit depth.

 

Multi-channel audio stream mixing allows professional audio apps to mix up to eight channels including 5.1 and 7.1 channels.

 

Apps can expose their media content and browse media from other apps, then request playback. Content is exposed through a queryable interface and does not need to reside on the device.

 

Apps have finer-grain control over text-to-speech synthesis through voice profiles that are associated with specific locales, quality and latency rating. New APIs also improve support for synthesis error checking, network synthesis, language discovery, and network fallback.

 

Android now includes support for standard USB audio peripherals, allowing users to connect USB headsets, speakers, microphones, or other high performance digital peripherals. Android 5.0 also adds support for Opus audio codecs.

 

New MediaSession APIs for controlling media playback now make it easier to provide consistent media controls across screens and other controllers.

 

Result, Korg releases v1.0 of kaossilator for Android

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.korg.kaossilator.android

 

[video:youtube]

 

If your phone will run Lollipop, it's time to install. If it won't, it's time for a new phone. ;)

 

 

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Why do you mention Korg, any indication that they will be doing something?

 

The big issue to me has been Android's poor (uneven, high latency) handling of MIDI input. I don't see anything about that being addressed.

 

Android and Apple are equally frustrating in opposite directions. Apple's new IOS versions run on most older devices, but they make it hard to stick with your old iOS version if you want to (they keep pushing upgrades, while making it impossible to restore an older OS). Android comes out with new versions of the OS with features you probably really want while making it impossible to run those versions on a lot of existing hardware.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, which I believe is the newest bestest phone they make with OS 6.01 installed. Never for one second would I need it for my music. Guess that makes me old. :facepalm::D

it's Ok, I'll have a beer now. ;)

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Why do you mention Korg, any indication that they will be doing something?

 

The big issue to me has been Android's poor (uneven, high latency) handling of MIDI input. I don't see anything about that being addressed.

 

Android and Apple are equally frustrating in opposite directions. Apple's new IOS versions run on most older devices, but they make it hard to stick with your old iOS version if you want to (they keep pushing upgrades, while making it impossible to restore an older OS). Android comes out with new versions of the OS with features you probably really want while making it impossible to run those versions on a lot of existing hardware.

 

Korg released v1.0 of their Kaossilator app for Android this week. Korg has not previously made much of an effort on Android and in fact, the app requires Lollipop/Android 5.

 

I personally don't have much interest in the Android platform for music making applications, but I know many people on the platform have been waiting for a sign that audio/midi might become a priority at Google. So, this development is interesting if nothing else. In the meanwhile, still on iOS over here.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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I browsed the play store on a Lollipop tablet. Yep its there, but not quite ready for prime time, froze after 8 secs and Korg are investigating according to the feedback.

 

Also a few Android facts. The OS is provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer decides when, and if, you get an OS update. I have Android tablets that are stuck on 4.4 forever. There will never be a 5, or 6 update from the manufacturer. Same with phones. Unless you "jail break" it and that gets complicated, you do not have the option of updating. Buy a new one is the Android business model. Just as well they are about half the cost of iPads for similar specs.

 

It is not like iOS or Windows where you get continous OS updates and security wise Google Play is wide open compared to the App Store.

 

I have little interest in running music apps on a tablet or phone, at least till I upgrade my Windows phone to a Surface spec device, but for those who do iOS remains the only game in town.

 

Posted from my Lollipop tablet.

 

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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It is not like iOS or Windows where you get continous OS updates . . .

 

Not true, as long as you buy a current Nexus or Pixel device directly from Google.

 

I run IK Multimedia's iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano on my Nexus 6P phone and Pixel C tablet. They are very close to being viable live playing sound modules for "in a pinch" situations. IK just needs to do a little bit of app optimization, but I doubt they ever will because the user base is so small compared to iOS.

 

Hey Korg - Give us Module for Android!!

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I run IK Multimedia's iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano on my Nexus 6P phone and Pixel C tablet. They are very close to being viable live playing sound modules for "in a pinch" situations. IK just needs to do a little bit of app optimization, but I doubt they ever will

Why do you assume it is up to IK? My understanding is that the Android OS just doesn't support MIDI as well as IOS... so rather than being a matter of IK coming up short, it seems to me like you could like at this as being a case of kudos to IK for getting it to work even as well as they did.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I run IK Multimedia's iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano on my Nexus 6P phone and Pixel C tablet. They are very close to being viable live playing sound modules for "in a pinch" situations. IK just needs to do a little bit of app optimization, but I doubt they ever will

Why do you assume it is up to IK? My understanding is that the Android OS just doesn't support MIDI as well as IOS... so rather than being a matter of IK coming up short, it seems to me like you could like at this as being a case of kudos to IK for getting it to work even as well as they did.

 

It has nothing to do with MIDI. Other music creation apps don't have the same level of latency on the same phone/tablet, so I assume it to be an IK issue relating to sample streaming.

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Keeping track of Android OS releases across the various manufacturers is weird. Lollipop - Android 5.x - for example, is 2 years old. We're doing some Android software development at work currently, and we're running Android 7 - Nougat.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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The big issue to me has been Android's poor (uneven, high latency) handling of MIDI input.

 

What's that based on?

 

I've experimented a bit with a nexus 6, a usb otg adapter, and a midi controller with usb output, and found the experience varied widely from app to app.

 

If I remember correctly, "Grand Piano Pro" and "Music Synthesizer" were the good ones, though they fall short in other ways.

 

My test wasn't very scientific, just my subjective impression based on trying to playing something rhythmic. (A moderately fast "shave and a haircut" was enough.) The difference between apps was pretty stark, though.

 

Based on that experience (but close to zero knowledge of Android internals), I've been assuming the OS has the necessary support now, but that app writers are still learning how to use it.

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I run IK Multimedia's iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano on my Nexus 6P phone and Pixel C tablet. They are very close to being viable live playing sound modules for "in a pinch" situations. IK just needs to do a little bit of app optimization.

 

It has nothing to do with MIDI. Other music creation apps don't have the same level of latency on the same phone/tablet, so I assume it to be an IK issue relating to sample streaming.

I'm not sure I understand. iGrand and iLectric are not what I would call music creation apps per se... if you're talking about being viable live playing sound modules, then you are talking about triggering them via MIDI, right? Are you saying that there other apps on the same phone/tablet that you trigger through MIDI that don't exhibit the latency?

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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Korg released v1.0 of their Kaossilator app for Android this week.

Ah. I see it now. Maybe that was added to the OP after I first saw it. Or I'm blind. ;-)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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What's that based on?

 

Searching for my reference, I came upon this new, encouraging info...

 

from http://superpowered.com/android-marshmallow-latency#AndroidMidi (and there's lots of other good info there)

 

Yes, Android 6.0 (Marshmallow, level 23) finally has a CoreMIDI {Apple/iOS MIDI handling} rival. However, having this in the native layer would be even better, as routing MIDI through Java is suboptimal. Why?

Because some events will be received too late as Java may be busy with other stuff, such as other Android features or garbage collection. Having low latency and low jitter (!) is very important for a musician playing on a MIDI instrument.

As professional audio must be implemented in the native layer, professional Android MIDI would be better in native as well.

So... better than it used to be, but still arguably second-rate to Apple's native implementation. But notably, even this is about the newest improvements with 6.0/Marshmallow, which is beyond the 5.x lollipop discussed in the OP!

 

The general audio issues are informatively discussed in this video, albeit from 2013:

[video:youtube]

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I run IK Multimedia's iGrand Piano and iLectric Piano on my Nexus 6P phone and Pixel C tablet. They are very close to being viable live playing sound modules for "in a pinch" situations. IK just needs to do a little bit of app optimization.

 

It has nothing to do with MIDI. Other music creation apps don't have the same level of latency on the same phone/tablet, so I assume it to be an IK issue relating to sample streaming.

I'm not sure I understand. iGrand and iLectric are not what I would call music creation apps per se... if you're talking about being viable live playing sound modules, then you are talking about triggering them via MIDI, right? Are you saying that there other apps on the same phone/tablet that you trigger through MIDI that don't exhibit the latency?

 

That is precisely what I'm saying.

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Searching for my reference, I came upon this new, encouraging info...

 

Looks interesting, thanks!

 

But notably, even this is about the newest improvements with 6.0/Marshmallow, which is beyond the 5.x lollipop discussed in the OP!

 

I've only experimented with 6.0+ myself.

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Looks good, thank for the heads up Elmer!

 

I'd like to give this a try, but I don't believe I have any funds assigned to my Google Play account so will have to pass.

 

For what it's worth, I use a Samsung S4 Mini (released mid-2013), as it's one of the few compact (4.3") Android phones available. The latest official OS I can use is v4.4.2 (KitKat), however this device has excellent 3rd party developer support, meaning that it's possible to use newer OSs. I'm currently running CyanogenMod 13 (equivalent to Android 6.0.1) which I update once a month or so, and plan to upgrade to CyanogenMod 14 (equivalent to Android 7) when the 'rom' moves out of alpha-status, likely in the new year.

 

I doubt the phone's dual-core architecture will be powerful enough to run anything approaching the quality of Korg Module with low latency (like on my iPad), however for email, web, maps, podcasts, music, youtube, etc. it's a great little device! ;)

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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  • 2 months later...

Akai MPC comes to Android

 

http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2017/02/28/impc-comes-to-android/

 

"Akais iMPC has just been announced for the Android platform. This is pretty big news as it follows the trend that Korg have led with iKaossilator. We've been led to believe that Android just isn't suitable for real-time audio applications. Obviously there are exceptions, Mixvibes CrossDJ and RemixLive being amongst the first. its taken some time to get there, but it feels like the trend is starting to turn."

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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Samsung Galaxy Android devices ONLY. Must have been extensively tested to not overheat the battery?

 

Or have Samsung subsidised it to fork Android into a manufacturer exclusive OS.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Samsung Galaxy Android devices ONLY. Must have been extensively tested to not overheat the battery?

 

Or have Samsung subsidised it to fork Android into a manufacturer exclusive OS.

Samsung implemented their own proprietary support for MIDI/audio back in 2014.

 

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2014/10/02/samsung-real-time-audiomidi-solution-for-android/

 

How it compares to what's been added to Lollipop, I don't know.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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