I love software that helps me create actual songs. Chord generators, lyric triggers and anything that can get me to a full arrangement quickly has my interest. I’ve been playing with an iOS app called SongSynth. Sitting on my couch I was able to knock out a few simple songs. I really like this app quite a lot and hope to see more apps like it. My only wish is MIDI export so I can bring my sketch into a pro-environment.
“At the heart of a pop song is a lyrical idea sung along to a collection of chords. SongSynth offers a unique, easy-to-use way of experimenting with chords, and a host of other features to help you write, store and record song ideas.” – atticsound.net/songsynth
The iOS music creation environment is devoloping. First we had great single purpose apps. Next there was audio copy/paste between some apps. Then apps like Tabletop showed up multiple devices in a single app. Coming soon we can sync multiple single purpose apps (video above). It’s starting to seem like this is all heading somewhere. All you old time mouse point and clickers (myself included) better sharpen your fingertips!
“Now you’ll be able to have your music apps talk to each other, while they run in the background, and use polychord to control them. In this video we show how polychord can control another app (MoDrum) running in the background — all through virtual MIDI, all without any cables. Polychord sends MIDI clock signals out, keeping everything in sync. Stay tuned — we’ll have even more exciting things to share soon as we test out polychord with some of the iPad synthesizers that are supporting this game-changing new feature.” – Shoulda Woulda Coulda
One of my favorite iOS music apps is sir Sampleton. It’s a pretty popular Sampler and drum machine. What I love about it is it’s simple and really fun. I just discovered another app which is very similar with even more quirk built in. Badlion’s Garage Synth gives you some drum loops, very analog synth presets and a weird selections of samples in slots. There’s also a tilt pitch feature. Beware if you’re at my next dinner party because I’m breaking this guy out.
“With Badlion’s Garage Synth anyone can be a musician. Just pick a beat and play some tunes over it, add some effects and you already have a hot track to listen to. Selectable keyboard – flash & rainbow / basic minimal. 48 beats – changeable volume and tempo. 8 samples – 4 octaves. 44 fx – loop or stop (once) functions. Tilt – you can pitch notes by tilting the phone.” – itunes.apple.com/the-badlions…
I’ve been listening to a new podcast which covers mobile pro-audio apps called the Touch Sound Podcast. It’s well produced with news, interviews and plenty of good discussion. The hosts Nick Platers, Greg Pritchard, Sean Walker and Ashley Elsdon all know their stuff and talk for well over two hours. Highly recommended.
“In Episode #05 we talk about iOS and Mac OSX becoming one, TableTop, GrainBender Synth, Karajan, the upcoming Rhythm studio, VirSyn’s Addictive Synth, AirVox, Firestudio, Hokusai and tons more! Plus this week we interview two guests – John-Paul of Retronyms and Ian Bradshaw of Korg.” – soundcloud.com/touchsoundpodcast
AirVox is somewhat like a Thermin, Alesis AirSynth or Roland D-beam for iOS. There are 49 presets to play with that take you through the different scales and available hand motions. $2.99 in the App Store (link).
“AirVox is a unique and precise musical instrument controlled without touch — only using hand gestures and motions. Interact with AirVox via the front facing camera. Our real-time computer vision technology “sees” your hands’ movements and turns it into musical notes and tones. YOU are the instrument! No previous musical experience is required to control Airvox. Its ease-of-use and many built-in features make music creation instant, and more importantly, fun! But AirVox is also a precision instrument. You can perform with the expression and phrasing usually heard in traditional instruments.” – yonac.com
Rhythm Studio from Pulsecode Inc. is going to draw comparisons with Propellerhead’s Re-Birth. However, if you check out the video above I bet you may still be interested. It looks pretty nice to me. What do you think? This app is not available yet.
“Rhythm Studio balances advanced features by using an easy to understand interface resembling real instruments. This means that one button does one thing just like it would with real hardware. Knobs turn, switches slide, and buttons press. You won’t get lost in abstract interfaces or design. Rhythm Studio is the next best thing to having the real hardware. Rhythm Studio includes a full 808 drum machine, 303 synthesizer, sample based synthesizer, XY style control pad, and mixer with FX.” – pulsecodeinc.com/rhythm-studio/
Monnix is a new synthesizer for iOS devices. I created a little video above showing off what it can do. It’s another app I can see having plugged into my audio interface and an Ableton channel. Good for a background sweep or possible an intro. It’s fun to use and I really like the interface. Available now in the App store (link).
“This live performance synthesizer uses three points of touch to control the distribution of up to 16 harmonics, allowing for unique sound effects. Movements can be played back in the Replay page and the pitch altered by tilting the device forward. The Sample & Hold screen freezes the partials according to the selected tempo. FM ratio, jitter and envelope parameters can be set in the remaining pages, allowing for a wide variety of sonic mayhem.” – chrisjeffs.com
OscilloScoop is another music creation App for iOS that shows off a unique and interesting interface. I really like it when he changes the view by switching to landscape mode.
“The interface consists of a single pane and three rotating (or oscillating) “crowns.” To interact with these, simply touch them as they spin to carve (or scoop) out the surfaces, modifying the generated sound. The top crown controls the pitch of the melody, while the middle and bottom units control filter-application and volume, respectively.” – appadvice.com
Slewpi is similar to MIT’s Singer Fingers but instead of samples it uses an synth engine. You draw with sound. Different colors, thicknesses and locations on the iPhone screen represent different sounds. This is a fun music App for kids and adults alike. There’s no reason you couldn’t find use for this in your music productions.
“Slewpi is a new type of app that lets you create music and synthesized sound and animation by painting on the screen with your fingers. Slewpi is super easy to use, just paint with your fingers and choose different colors and brushes to change the strokes and sounds. Slewpi records what you do and plays it back in a loop. Choose different brushes to change the visual style as well as the sound of your strokes in real-time. The different brushes correspond to different synthesizer waveform and vibrato settings allowing you to create new and diverse audio/visual compositions.” – slewpi.com