DopplerPad in Review – iDevice music creation squared

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According to Retryonyms website, DopplerPad is an expressive touch instrument designed exclusively for iPhone & iPod Touch. Experienced electronic music creators will recognize this as the iPhone version of a Kaossilator. Whatever you call it, Dopplerpad is one of the most fun and useful music apps available on any mobile device, and at only $10, a much better introduction into electronical music and sequencing than $100+ equipment such as the Kaossilator.

Music apps are only as good as they are intuitive on mobile devices, and Dopplerpad excels in this area with simple touch driven controls. The main screen is divided between Pad A and Pad B on the left and right respectively, and a central area where you can save up to 14 tracks which can be dragged to each pad for editing. There’s a slider below this area to shift the channel to either Pad A to Pad B. Being able to use this to dynamically shift from two different loops takes some practice, but it’s not impossible.

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Once you get into the actual recording interface, you’ll be amazed, and perhaps a little bit intimidated at how much they managed to pack into this application. There’s a variety of synth and drum instruments available, many of which you can tune to certain keys, and adjust the repeating rhythm of each. You can also adjust the tempo and the beats the recording last, from 1 beat all the way to 16 beats.

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Actually playing is easy. Just tap the screen. You’ll see a square appear where you tapped, and you’ll hear your instrument play. Those lines in the background? Those correspond to your instruments sounds. Tapping with a bass synth selected will instantantly play a sound, and dragging a bass synth across the screen will result in it going from a lower to a higher sound. Playing drums works in a similar way, though you can’t really drag a drum around. The more you play around with the key selection for the synths, the better and crazier sounds you’ll be able to get.

Learning to keep a good beat is crucial in order to sound better than the crash of tonnes of pots and pans on the floor…unless that’s what you were going for. If it is, you’ll be pleased to know that Dopplerpad also allows you to record up to 4 samples, and then use the tapping controls to playback bits and pieces of your samples. The app only allows you to use a microphone for this, so it may lead to some lo-fi sounds, but just having it is great in case you want to add some vocals, or some sounds in your environment.

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The accompanying video is a good introduction to DopperPad and its features, so dig in. But take it from a long time user, if you have any sort of electronical music inclination, this is the app you want. One of the very few criticisms of DopoplerPad’s launch version was that tracks couldn’t be exported. You could make terrific mixes, but had no way sharing them with others besides manually recording through the line out. Dopplerpad now offers wifi sync, which allows you to connect to Dopplerpad through your computer and download your saved audio as .wav files. It also has an audiocopy feature, which copies the audio you have into a “compatible app”. These features can be accessed by tapping Tools in the main menu, in the bottom of the screen.

Electronic music-making fans, this is THE app for music creation, so don’t shy away.

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App Summary
Title:DopplerPadDeveloper:Retronyms
Reviewed Ver:1.6Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$9.99App Size:3.7 MB
  • Professional level music mixing
  • Intuitive controls
  • Wifi sync for easy export
  • Better be a musician to make best use of DopplerPad

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This review was brought to you by TouchMyApps contributor Ed Fonseca. You can find him on twitter here

There are loads of good music apps out there. Below are a few:

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