Interview with Christian Dangl, developer of m.phase
Christian, tell us something about you and your company
My name is Christian Dangl. I'm a mobile developer with a specialism in iOS and Windows development. We're a small team of developers with a wide range of skills. We always aim to get the maximum from our apps for our clients, as well as for our own products. We love to develop specialized apps with more complex architecture, and try to avoid yet another ToDo app. I'd say that yes, I'm addicted to coding, and I try to combine that with my passion for music and sports.
PaintCode has supported us not only as a company, but also as individuals in developing an even better experience in nearly all our apps.
You just released m.phase app for iPad. What is the purpose of m.phase, and what was the idea behind it?
Yes, we released m.phase DAW Remote and also m.phase DAW Remote Lite, which is available for free on the App Store.
m.phase is all about giving musicians and sound engineers a new and unique experience of controlling a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) using gestures.
m.phase is all about giving musicians and sound engineers a new and unique experience of controlling a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) using gestures. We set out to create a product that gives users the opportunity to focus more on the actual sound or video being edited, rather than concentrating on working with small knobs and faders. All controllers are basically the same, so we wanted to be and think differently... I guess we all know that special phrase...
What can you do with these gestures?
With the gestures of m.phase, you can easily change volume, pan, mute/solo, use transport controls and much more... all without having to touch a specific control on your screen. Besides the ability to operate it without looking, you can also use multiple gestures simultaneously in an even easier way than before. For example, changing volume and pan of 2 channels at the same time.
The only thing remaining was to create a user interface that would match our idea. That's where PaintCode helped us to implement an awesome user interface - in an incredible amount of time.
You used PaintCode a lot when developing m.phase - can you tell us more about it?
When we started to think about designing m.phase, Andreas Huber and I were kind of lost at the beginning. All our team members had their own visions - about abstract controls and how they could look. But no one could have really imagined how to develop such a user experience, while retaining the main focus on programming our core engine…because that's what we wanted to end up with…good core functionality!
PaintCode worked so well and so fast that we literally made a sport out of it. We used it for every control, icon and other graphical concept in our app.
We asked our designer Raimund Schumacher to assist with the UX. As soon as he had presented the first design proposal, we immediately thought about proceeding with PaintCode. I was already familiar with this software from earlier projects, but I never thought I would ever build a complete application out of it.
We started by creating the main element (Volume Sphere), and we were almost shocked how similar it looked to the original design. After creating the control, we split it into sub-parts and easily combined them in our source code, where it was brought to life by adding animations and effects. We then gave it a finishing touch by creating different shadows.
We adjusted, replaced, and thoroughly checked them until we were completely satisfied. PaintCode worked so well and so fast that we literally made a sport out of it. We used it for every control, icon and other graphical concept in our app.
After finishing the main application, we added the option to set custom colors for the channels. Because we use Basic Colors and Derived Colors, it was a simple change and everything worked within a short period of time.
We ended up with a 2.5 MB file size of our application. The sheer size of the app speaks for itself.
m.phase is not your first app. Could you tell us a bit about your other apps?
Yes, besides m.phase there have been a few other apps that we're proud of. Almost every app has had some kind of makeover in the last year.
“Sumit & be fast” is a fun game for kids and adults that helps to improve mental arithmetic, and since Version 2.0 is also based on PaintCode drawings.
Sumit & be fast
“Live Score” is a professional sports team software, which helps teams to create digital scoreboards for TV broadcasts, live streams, websites and other platforms. The iOS Remote apps allow scorers to simultaneously publish the game's progress on all platforms. The available Web Widgets for the team websites were made with WebCode by PixelCut.
Besides developing software, we also have our own lighting hardware solution, “m.pulse smart lighting”, which can be built into homes, lamps or used at certain events. The iOS app was created without PaintCode. Had we used it, we would have also saved quite a lot of time developing that software.
“A's Baseball” has been developed for the professional baseball team “Attnang-Puchheim Athletics” over the last couple of years, and has now grown into something I would call “MLBs little brother”. It gives you intense insights into games and standings, with special game day features, push notifications, and way more.