Scaler 2 iOS - Notes sticking and other issues app store reviewers raise - 55Gb SSD min level

So I have seen a review which I am certain is completely sincere and genuine on the app store, where a user is pretty disappointed because the notes stick when he tries to use Scaler 2. The only clue that made me take notice was, he says it is a recent ipad, and a basic model.

The reason I am writing here, is because - as I have already advised Moog (model 15, and well, they’re Moog)and Kv331 (synthmaster 1 and 2, excellent also) - there is an obvious situation of Apple’s own making, causing poor reviews of perfectly good apps.

Look at any Microsoft Windows advert and there’s a ‘minimum specification’ section in small print somewhere. Apple, does not do this as such.

However, by empirical means, ie my system going massively wrong on me, and owning many plugins on iOS/iPadOS, I have discovered, around the 55Gb of free SSD point, GarageBand for example on iOS, does horrible things with Audio Unit plugins…!

So it’s a ‘hard limit’ this 55Gb, from my numerous empirical tests. The more complex the song, and the more complex the audio unit/effect etc, the worse the consequences are for the operation of GarageBand iOS/iPadOS for example.

Typical things that happened were arpeggiations were not ‘recorded’ properly in a MIDI track for example. State saving did not happen, for synths. The list gets pretty long but amounts to improper and weird behaviour. It’s like the SSD is being used as a cache memory area by GB or the Audio Units, and when the free space falls beneath 55Gb, it’s crunch time.

But 55Gb is the hard floor - I figured 70Gb on my iPad Pro 2, was a comfortable level of free space. As any reader here will be aware - at Apple memory/SSD prices, that’s a heck of a high watermark.

Apple really need to inform people of this. I was sure it must matter, and must exist, being a former IT man in a 24-hour emergency service. The principles are the same, always, only the details change. SSD in an iPad, or HDD in a tower PC, they all need space to do ‘paging to disk’ in effect, when the memory runs out. And, memory is another tight spot in iOS/iPadOS.

So please take the ‘hard floor’ as 55gb if you are doing music on an iPad, of any complexity, and to really smoothly work, make that free space above 70Gb. It’s a tall order. I had 520Gb on that iPad Pro 2, and it was also suffering an odd Apple iCloud issue (never mind the deets, they make me cry), and that took up about 22% of my SSD.

That’s a need for ‘free space’ or at least, space that me the user could not touch, of 55Gb plus another 55Gb say, for iCloud, making say 110Gb unavailable. Now, if that well-intentioned app store reviewer has a ‘basic model’ new ipad, that easily could be more space than he/she actually has on their SSD?

So, they would have spurious issues, apps and audio units failing, related to complex operating software like Scaler 2, and any DAW etc on iOS.

Hopefully, this will be a help to both the devs of Scaler 2, and users alike involved with music creation on Apple ipads or iphones. Demonstrations online, may well use ‘basic model’ or older ipads, but they often either do not use GarageBand or don’t have complex multitrack songs running, nor bags of FX or virtual instruments simultaneously playing. They are focused on a single task quite often.

So, to me, any ipad with less than 256Gb is very hard to make complex songs on, for any length of time. My ipad pro 2 was great for 2 years, then this invisible ‘hard floor’ was breached of 55Gb free space on the SSD, and everything went wrong, any time it wanted to. The harder I was pushing the ipad pro, the worse the weirdness got!

Developers need to be aware of this, and feel free to test this phenomenon for yourselves, just fill up the SSD with folders of copies of files you can later delete, and watch it go wrong when less than 70gb or at best, 55gb free space on SSD, is available. How did I solve it? You all know the answer…I dropped a large amount of money (taxes back actually) on a used iPad Pro M1, with everything on. All my previous issues, vanished. 2,000gb solved the 55gb ‘hard floor’ of course, but you don’t need to go that far, just get a decent old-fashioned spinning hard disk drive in a box, that does backup type work, and make it at least a gigabyte, use that to take the load off your ipad/iphone SSD.

As an aside, I tried SD cards etc with the ipad pro 2, they were good ones, but it’s expensive, and they only were ‘fast’ compared to a Lightning cable connection (about 100mb/s). A big HDD with USB 2 at least is much better.

Sorry this is so long, I hope it helps answer frustrations if not solve them immediately for people. I am necessarily the pedantic type when it comes to IT.

Take care all.

irm aka richard getts on itunes etc.