Friday, 23 November 2007

Reflections on the release of noatikl V1 and liptikl V1…

Well, it has been quite some year for Tim and me! The year of intermorphic. :)

Since our previous employer went down the pan, we’ve taken the opportunity to kick-off intermorphic, accepting the challenge we set ourselves to “do it all again, only better”. Its funny how life turns out, losing our jobs was the catalyst to “go for it” with intermorphic…

Looking back, we’ve taken on an almighty task. We’ve created two completely new products from scratch. They are cross-platform, Windows and Mac. We created them in double-quick time. They’re solid, good looking. Innovative. Different. And powerful! We’ve created a new site, with a fresh new style, written masses of documentation, and have even created a load of video tutorials. I think we’ve got a lot to be proud of.

Why did we create liptikl first? Well, this was partly because we thought it *could* be done and because I figured it’d be nice (ha!) to get started on something very new to us, and that we could cut our teeth on with the new development frameworks and design principles we’d adopted. I hope you can imagine how exciting it was for me when Tim sent me the first lyric he’d created with liptikl, I figured it was a verse from Shakespeare… and then he told me he’d created it in a few seconds with liptikl by mangling-together some words he’d found on the net :) . We knew we were really on to something, and once we’d got liptikl sorted we felt ready to start on noatikl…

noatikl was an unbelieveably challenging piece of software to create. We had the advantage of knowing exactly what we wanted to create, having learned our lessons in past lives (!) about exactly how users wanted a generative music tool to work and integrate with their own tools. But… that made it hugely daunting … how could a small company like us create such a thing totally from zilch, and include a standalone version, as well as a raft of plug-in variants, all focused on MIDI, and working wherever our users wanted within the vast range of Mac and Windows sequencers? Big challenge - the key was not to be daunted, but to start with the right tools (the exact same ones that we used for liptikl, we’d looked ahead very carefully!), and just plug-away without looking down off the tightrope. The past few months have been a blur, but here we are, we’ve done it and frankly it works beautifully, just like we wanted. Maybe even better! Our Beta users spotted very soon how solid the software was. Our decision to focus on pure MIDI was totally vindicated. The UI approach we’d adopted worked a treat. And with some massaging of the software, we suddenly integrated beautifully with Logic. Then with Cubase and Sonar. Bliss - it works!

Actually, getting noatikl working well with the various plug-in formats, and standalone mode, isn’t something I’d want to have to go through again :) but here we are, we’ve done it. The future now lets us focus on concentrating on the guts of noatikl and liptikl, making them as powerful and easy to use as possible, without our having to worrry any more about integration or cross-platform issues. And hopefully to bring-out new generative tools like optikl, where we can leverage yet more of the experience we’ve built-up.

A big “thank you” to our Beta testers to helping us find the way through the product development maze. An especially big thanks to Mark Harrop, who has been *immense*. Big ups too to Tim Didymus (generative music master!) and Ken Mistove for his top VSTi tips.

I can’t wait ’til you all start using the software, and hope you’re as excited as Tim and me to be at the start of what will be hopefully a huge generative tools success.

Have fun!

Pete

2 comments:

tange said...

Funny how bad things {employer folding} often lead to good (Noatikl). I desperately wanted Koan to integrate with sequencers better, and always believed it's popularity was severely limited because of this lack.I tried other solutions to producing generative music, but eventually largely drifted away from this area.

Now Noatikl appears, suddenly, from my perspective. And most of the approaches I learned for koan are ready for use in what looks like the program I always wanted

Pete Cole said...

Hey Tange,

Many thanks for that - it is lovely to keep hearing from past users of our software that they have discovered noatikl, and love it. :)

Pete