Apple users may not know the name – FL Studio, formerly Fruity Loops, is a favorite on Windows – but FL is a favorite music making tool of the bedroom computer producer everyman. (Everywoman?) So, its imminent appearance on the iPad tablet is eagerly anticipated, even in the aftermath of GarageBand. Developers Image-Line, an independent software house from Belgium, delivered the first hands-on video today.

It’s worth pointing to the work of stretta, to compare the sorts of things people imagined the iPad would do before it did anything. Formerly of MOTU, and best known as the creator of wonderful patches for the monome grid, he imagined the product demo below before the iPad had even shipped:

The software is a functional prototype running in MaxMSP which I recorded with a screen capture program. I composited this onto a foam core cutout of a picture of an iPad with After Effects. The finger touches are a complex choreographed dance that I had to memorize and perform in one take.

See his blog post today. The video is striking. Of course, I still wonder – what’s the next big idea?

Update – since I seem to be potentially misinterpreted here – yes. These are all ideas seen elsewhere, seen regularly on the Lemur. I’m not making any claim on the novelty of stretta’s original mockup – actually, I’m more amused by how hard it was to try to fake an iPad without one in hand! If there is a lesson here, I’d say it’s ship your ideas, and consider what sorts of ideas other people won’t ship.

  • utm

    I wonder how the FL mobile app will work out: on the one hand Image Line has been adamant that they would not develop a version of FL for Mac (I think they said it wouldn't be possible without a major rebuild), on the other hand many of FL core users (at least the one I met on KVR and their forums) are pretty biased against Apple products for being too expensive, underpowered and over-designed. The messaging in the ad suggests you can "step it up" by loading your FL mobile projects into FL studio.
    What I'm asking is the subset of Windows consumers that use FL Studio interested in iPads? Are the iPad users who make music willing to install Windows just to get FL Studio?
    PS: Stretta is awesome!

  • Growling Harry

    Stretta is a clever guy but cmon – at that time the Lemur was already out, which his proto looks a lot like… also TouchOSC which has been out forever and ripped the Lemur anyway… this new FL doesn't look anything like his, so I don't know why the "sigh." He should just learn Obj-C and start kicking it for real instead of doing this Max/MSP mickey mouse s___! Or just STFU no disrespect!

  • Peter Kirn

    Well, I don't want to speak for stretta, but I would expect that the regret isn't that he invented any of these ideas, but that we had to wait until now for MOTU's rivals to pursue actually implementing them…

    On the other hand, that's why I said I was interested in new ideas. To me, there are any number of other concepts about how to do mobile music which may not be obvious to others. So, go – design, ship.

  • Aaron

    I dont understand the point of this erm, article. That stretta is somehow to get credit for coming up with the idea of a step sequencer on a touch screen and that also btw, has it something to do with FL on the iPad in a round about way? The only similarity of stretta's sequencer to the FL one is that they're sequencers. Nothing unique about this.

    In fact, other than the obvious fact that his mock up's UI design is taken from yet another popular idea (Lemur).. his is more akin the the sequencers in iSyn and bleep!Box…and from looking @ bleep!Box's website, the iPad version was released in May 2010.

    I normally appreciate CDM and stretta's output, both. I've used many of stretta's creations.. but this is nothing but vapid self wanking, much like the friend or little brother that always have a "new" invention or "thought of it first".

  • Peter Kirn

    There's really no need to read that much into the presentation. I think it's interesting to see a) the sort of thing stretta was imagining before the iPad shipped versus b) what FL here is actually shipping.

    Of course, these are common ideas. Like I said, I read this as regret for not getting to ship what he mocked up.

    And that's a common, common, common, common, common, common, common, common, common, common, common occurrence. (am I making my point?) 

    The lesson here is obviously, if you've got an idea, *ship it*. 

    And since I never (and stretta never) made any claim that he had the idea before FL – since that's something people are putting into his mouth and mine – the one thing I do note is that the other way to go is to try to think up something else. Find the next big thing. 😉

    Hint: if you come up with something that's too crazy for anyone else to want to try it, you may well beat them to it. That's one strategy. Or you might try implementing the thing that's so simple or obvious that it gets overlooked for the same reason (hidden in plain sight)

    If anything, the presence of apps like FL validates stretta's mockup.

    I think I was probably less interested in that as I was all the trouble he had to do to make a fake iPad look like a real one. 😉

  • Aaron

    Good response. I retract my disdain ;]

  • Stretta is a smart developer, maybe "sale" the ideas is not the solution but… why not to put a CC on them? Of course with the focus on "collab" develop not in the same way as copyright is "protecting" us.


  • Jonah

    @utm a lot of KVR users are better at being loud and crazy than making music. (ohh snap)

    If I want keys the ipad's virtual representation isn't all that useful, but if you can load samples in FL Mobile the repitching will be useful. I don't see options similar to FL though were you can decide if a sample cuts itself or not and the like…

    I currently use SoundGrid to satisfy my need to step sequence. It works well. SoundGrid Live! looks awesome too.

  • Im a former fl user , the app looks cool, i love the step seq ,

    i only dont like the stop , play, stop , play workflow….

    stop, play…

  • tom1

    I want to see reason next!!

  • hookeypookey

    This is just Xewton Music Studio re-hashed and re-skinned. Looks like it's all sample based, too – no synthesis? GarageBand at least has some real synths in there!

  • anon


    Reason for iPad has already been out

  • loopstationzebra

    stretta is such a genius. It's a wonder we don't have Global stretta Day. I'm thinking he's really the next Eno and Tesla all rolled into one. I'm also anticipating an entire generation of young geeks naming their first born after stretta. It's a wonder Obama hasn't called on him to be Czar of All Things Fantastic Super And Amazing.