Creating music on an Android device tends to be a frustrating process compared to Apple’s iOS platform. Android music apps like kosm and Common Analog Synthesizer are fun, but the dreaded latency conspires to spoil the process. Samsung hopes to change all that with the release of the Pro-Audio SDK 2.0, which promises low latency audio and MIDI for Samsung’s line of Android devices.
Of course, the last part of that previous sentence hints at the platform fragmentation issues that are another drawback for both the developers creating Android music apps and the musicians trying to use them — the SDK appears to be for Samsung devices only. I hope my older Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports the SDK, but that remains to be seen. Also the 2.0 moniker on the Pro-Audio SDK implies a 1.0 version exists, which didn’t make much of an impact in the mobile music creation scene that I’m aware of.
The folks at Synthtopia reported on Samsung’s potential Android music innovations.
Samsung also releasing the Soundcamp Android DAW
In addition to the Pro-Audio SDK 2.0, Samsung is also releasing Soundcamp, an eight-channel DAW for Android that allows third-party Android music instrument apps to be used as inputs. That also sounds promising, but I predominately use my iPad as an instrument itself with ProTools always handy in the studio, thus a tablet-based DAW isn’t in my wheelhouse. Many musicians do use the iOS version of GarageBand and other iPad-based DAWs, so something similar available and workable for the Android platform would be a good thing.
Frankly, Google needs to step up to the plate and release a pro audio SDK for the Android platform as a whole. Or maybe Samsung will engender a measure of goodwill by making their SDK compatible with all Android devices. I’m not holding my breath on either point.
More details on both Soundcamp and the Pro-Audio SDK 2.0 are forthcoming at Samsung’s developers conference taking place next month in San Francisco. As mentioned earlier, I am curious about the backwards compatibility of the SDK being the owner of an older Android tablet. Expect to read about the details here at TabMuse.