Smule and Khush

The most innovated music software in the past few years has not come from Ableton or Steinberg. It’s come on iOS from Smule and Khush. Although you may not make a full on slick track using these apps the technology and wowness behind LaDiDa, Ocarina, Magic Fiddle and Madpad is great. The video above explaining that the two companies are getting together is very nerdy. That nerd factor is good though because when nerds and art mix I’m happy. I hope they add pro features (midi, audio export) to all of their apps.

“Smule, makers of such fine musically-tuned iOS apps as Ocarina, Magic Piano, and I Am T-Pain, have just announced their intentions to acquire Khush, the equally music-minded company behind LaDiDa (you sing, it generates a beat) and Songify (you sing / talk / cough / howl, it bends the tune into a song). Wonder-Twin powers, activate!” – Techcrunch

For more info: Smule and Khush

Smule Magic Fiddle

Smule’s latest instrument for iOS is iPad specific and it’s their best instrument yet. I downloaded Magic Fiddle last night and played with it for about two hours straight. If you know me you know I like old detuning analog synths. The Magic Fiddle has some of that quality mixed with a slide guitar type of sound. This App feels like a very responsive real instrument. Because it’s a Smule product it has great interactive tutorials built in, social media hooks and a songbook. You can also expand your song collection via in App purchases. If you tried other Smule Apps and were underwhelmed still try this one it’s killer. It’s available in the App store now for $2.99: click here

“Play songs by following streams of colored light in the Songbook.” –

For more info:


Glee is a musical television show here in the USA. There is an iPhone/iPad app also called Glee (iTunes link) that allows you to sing along with the songs heard on the show. It uses pitch detection, correction and some auto chording ala Songsmith or LaDiDa. Maybe someday every song we buy will come with a remix kit and an interactive sing along Karaoke kit? Because the App is designed by Smule it’s fairly slick and like other Smule apps there is an online community aspect to sharing, etc…

“Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States. It focuses on a high school glee club called “New Directions”, at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. The pilot episode of the show was broadcast after American Idol on May 19, 2009, and the first season began airing on September 9, 2009. On September 21, 2009, Fox officially gave the series a full-season pick-up. Glee aired its mid-season finale on December 9, 2009 and returned from a four-month hiatus on April 13, 2010, picking up the remaining nine episodes of the season. The spring premiere had an estimated 13.7 million viewers, nearly doubling in followers on its return.” –

Do you want this or does it make you vomit a little?

Download the Glee app: click here

My family loves the Smule Ocarina.

Alex plays the Ocarina from wiretotheear on Vimeo.

For the past few days I have been in a suburb of New York City called Rockland County. It sits about twenty minutes north of the city and is a nice typical suburban area. Trees, malls, cars and dogs are all normal sites you will see here. My mother’s house has been like Grand Central station because of Thanksgiving. My brother, his wife, her sister and baby and many aunts and uncles have been coming and going. Of course whenever I spent time with my mother that means within 24 hours I also have to meet up with my father and his wife too. I’m happy to see everyone and the only real damage done is to my stomach.

My brother recently got an iPhone 3G. I’ve used them a few times before but because this iPhone was my little brother’s I was able to snatch it from him and really spend time with it. As I was wowing myself with the device I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and went into “this is so cool you have to see this” mode with all the relatives. Without a doubt flicking through photos was the early winner for the most “ooohh that’s amazing” gasps.

Then I remembered my profession and placed a few bucks in my brothers hand and bought some music apps. The moment I blew into the Smule Ocarina app my mother’s Boston Terrier’s ears stood straight up and he did that cute tilt the head thing. At the same time the baby (Noah) freaked out smiling, screeching, and reaching for the iPhone. As I kept playing I looked up and noticed everyone over 50 was just staring at me in disbelief. None of them could understand how I was blowing into the phone and playing it like a flute. It’s been two days since we installed Ocarina and it’s happy sounds have not stopped since. I wake up to someone playing it downstairs and fall asleep to my brother complaining about all the slobber on the phone. I have to say he’s been a great sport about the entire ordeal. The best part of the entire weekend has been when he discovered you could make the Ocarina produce sounds by rubbing it on his boob.

The iPhone is done so well that you quickly begin using it as a tool. You focus on the content and forget your using some new futuristic piece of consumer electronics. I’m heading to the mall and getting mine today.

For more info about the Ocarina app visit:

The Ocarina by Smule for the iPhone.

SMule: Ocarina [Zeldarian] from SonicMule, Inc. on Vimeo.

One of my childhood friends works at Apple. Every now and then he emails me and the header reads “this is cool”. For him to get happy about an application usually mean I am about to agree with him. I’ve used a few Nintendo DS games that utilize the microphone as a breath controller. Here Smule software re-creates an ancient instrument the Ocarina.

Ocarina is sensitive to your breath, touch and movements… Ocarina is a social application. Tap on the globe icon and you will see and hear other Ocarina players throughout the world. The globe view will highlight the source of the music. –

Are we going to start seeing hippies, granolas and hackey sack freaks buying iPhones now and playing the Smule Ocarina in parks?

For more info on the Ocarina or other Smule apps visit their sites: Home MySpace Facebook