I Am T-Pain in Review – Jumping on the Boat

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Smule, creator of the fine musical app, Ocarina, has brought the Antares autotune popularized by T-Pain to the iPhone. I Am T-Pain is pretty simple, and does what it says: roboticisng your voice to in order to perform such classic hits as Buy U A Drank and I’m On A Boat. You can set it to different scales or just a generic T-Pain style, but more on that later.

A funkalicious silhouette of T-Pain greets you at the loading screen with all sorts of really small text. Don’t worry, there’s no fine print saying you have to be T-Pain’s backup singer (as far as I can tell). After tapping to continue, it is on to the main menu. But don’t be too hasty now shawty, you got to allow the app access your location.

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Now it is time to lay down a vocal track which will shock Cher into life. The default is Freestyle, which is just the autotune without any background beat. Depending on your voice, you might want to adjust the key so as not to do any artists a dis-favor. Where do you do this? Just click on TUN3 and up will pop:

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The switch at the top allows you to choose between a custom autotune settings, and a setting that closely imitates T-Pain. Aututone can be switched on or off with the flick of the I/O switch, and you can choose different scales. This part takes a bit of experimenting to find optimum settings, which is why the app  allows you to create 4 presets (which don’t require you to have much technical knowledge). You might even want to sing off tune, to give the effect a bit more T-Pain snap.

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Need a little bit of help to get you in the groove? No problem. I Am T-Pain supplies you with T-Pain beats, both classic songs and original beats. Accessed through BE4TS, there are a handful of free tracks to choose from, but there are also paid tracks which can be bought via micropayments. Of course, Buy U a Drank is blessedly included. None of the tracks are installed by default, so you’ll have to download each one separately. If only I am T-Pain had I’m On A Boat… Alas there are a few things missing.

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Got your beat? It’s time to record. You can pause (look to the top of the screen), and if you’ve picked a beat, you’ll get karaoke style lyrics so you can sing along. This is a very welcome addition for those of us not familiar with T-Pain’s vast number of hits. Once you’ve laid the autotune awesomeness down, click the floppy disk icon to save your opus, or perhaps restart recording if you botched a line. These simple, clear controls leave no doubt: you’re the star!

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Songs can be uploaded to smule’s servers, sent via email,or published to MySpace, Facebook, and other T-Pain widget-friendly online apps. Tracks you record come in .m4a (iTunes AAC) format, and everything else resides on Smule’s server. If you send an email, the song will be linked to your Smule profile.

Registration is done on the fly and the app generates an email which you can send to register an account. This is quite good as it eliminates the hassles of picking out your username, entering email address and the like which are usually accompany signing up for a new service.

I Am T-Pain is clearly in the toy category. You don’t get perfect studio quality, so if you’re expecting to be the next R&B star you might be slightly disappointed. If, however, you just want a fun party app that will get everyone participating in the fun, then this is the app you want. Just point the mic and say “Hello, T-Pain!”

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App Summary
Title:I Am T-Pain (v1.0)Developer:Smule
Price:$2.99App Size:6.2 MB
  • You can actually sing Buy U a Drank and sound just like T-Pain
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Adjustments to fit any voice
  • Ability to share your files via email, Facebook and MySpace
  • No access to files unless Freestyle
  • Prone to crashing

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This review of I Am T-Pain was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca.

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