Aurora Sounds Studio platform comparison
I've been meaning to write this for a while now, and I've finally got to it at last. It is an interesting experiment to use the same software on 3 platforms, well 3 devices anyway.
I'm going to break this into three parts, one for each of the different devices and platforms then give you my conclusions at the end.
Aurora on Windows Mobile
Aurora has been on Windows Mobile since it first launched. I've been using it since it first launched, at least on and off.
I went back to my trusty Axim over the weekend and started playing with it again. Sometimes when you go back to an app that you've enjoyed a lot in the past it can be a disappointment, but not so with Aurora. It worked on my Axim brilliantly and I was making music straight away.
Pattern based music has been pretty popular since the iPhone came out, and Aurora was a surprise when it was announced in September of last year. As a pattern based sequencer goes Aurora is very versatile indeed. The WinMo version has lots of capability to change sounds and FX and was really easy to use.
Aurora on iPhone
Of all the three devices I liked Aurora on my iPhone the least for some reason. I can't really put my finger on it, but it could be moving from a stylus on my Axim to the same software on my iPhone and using my finger.
Essentially the app is the same, the only downside is moving data around. You can get so used to exporting to an SD card (in Windows Mobile) and picking up exported WAV files in another app. More of that another day though.
So whilst the app performed fine on my iPhone I wasn't as happy with the experience, but that could be more to do with the sequence of devices I used.
Aurora on the iPad
Ok, this is the on that's caused the most controversy. The things that Aurora HD has over and above the iPhone (and WinMo) versions are a full screen mixer. effects rack view, ability to solo and mute individual layers, new layer mix palette, synth engine features combined into a single screen, file sharing via FTP, use accelerometer to control XY mode and now MIDI export as well.
So, are these addition features any good? Well, certainly the full screen mixer is a great feature and I found it really useful when making a track with the HD app. Having controls all in one palette is also very useful indeed.
Of all the versions I found the HD to be the most satisfying and straightforward for making music.
Some conclusions and thoughts on price
So, the big issue has been price right? Let's look at what all three apps cost:
Aurora on Windows Mobile - $29.95
Aurora on iPhone - $9.99
Aurora on iPad - $39.99
So whilst there's a big difference between the iPhone and iPad versions, when you look at it in terms of the Windows Mobile version the differential is only $10. I think that the iPhone version is very good value from that perspective.
One last thing is that I'd like to say is that whilst the iPad version is towards the top end of the iPad price range, iPad apps have been appearing at consistently higher prices than iPhone apps and usually for a larger set of features. I don't have a problem with this if it means that we get better mobile apps coming through. The iPad market is considerably smaller than the iPhone market, and so developers need bigger margins to make it worthwhile. I think that's fair, and when set against the price of a Windows Mobile app like Griff which could cost you over £100 to buy all the plugins, Aurora on the iPad is not an expensive piece of software.
I hope that's useful to you. I'm sure that there will be plenty of different views on this, and I'm looking forward to hearing them.