Over the years, learning to play songs on the guitar by way of tabulature (or tab) have certainly become more interactive. What used to be an exercise of finding books and sheets of music for your favorite songs, chords and tabs rapidly made their way onto the web. Nowadays, dozens of sites host extensive libraries of tabs to help guitar players of all levels perfect that catchy riff or solo. One such site is Songsterr, which started back in 2008. Besides being an archive of over 500,000 tabs for the guitar, bass and drums, it’s highly unique in that it’s also an online tab player that lets users follow along each tab as the song (with audio) is being played. The Songsterr app for the iPhone and iPad works much like its web counterpart and practicing tabs on-the-go doesn’t get much better than this.
To help promote vjay, an iPad app that lets you mix and scratch your favorite music videos, algoriddim is now offering their highly popular djay for iPhone as a free download. First launched in 2011 for $9.99, djay is a great deejaying app that’s considered among the best in its genre.
djay transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into a full-fledged portable DJ system and seamlessly integrates with your music library, giving you direct access to all your favorite tracks and playlists. A hyper-realistic touchscreen interface and ultra-low latency converge to offer you a true professional mixing experience, right in the palm of your hand. You can perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your music library automatically.
Audiophiles are already aware of Etymotic, the company that single-handedly invented the world of inner earphones. Their ER4 series revolutionised portable audio before you were born. I can think of no other name to which my silly bicycle hat is tipped to more often. God bless you Etymotic. Well, their rather well-known app collaboration with Essensy, Awareness, has finally made it to Android, too. Awareness allows you to hear what’s around you no matter that you’re plugged into some of the best noise-isolating earphones in the world. Etymotic have always been about hearing safety. Awareness uses the microphones in their hf3 and mc3 headsets to filter in the important stuff: announcements, safety alerts, etc., so that you can enjoy your music in safety.
Awareness has been available on iOS for a while, but it’s great to see Android getting some love (especially since I’ve become an iBasso DX100 owner). Evidently, you don’t have to be plugged into 4,1 Ice Cream Sandwich to use the functionality, either. (God knows you are damned lucky if you can get 4,1 working on your system.) Now, I don’t have either earphone to test Awareness in iOS or Android, but damn it, it doesn’t matter. Someone will. Enjoy your music in safety, people.
Press stuff after the jump
Several weeks after the release of AutoRap on the App Store, Smule is now calling out to all the karaoke fans out there with their latest app Sing!. Much like other Smule apps that heavily rely on social networking, Sing! lets you choose from over 130 musical hits from various genres (Rolling in the Deep, Boyfriend, Call Me Maybe etc) for you to sing along. Your performance can then be shared with a friend (if so desired), at which point he/she can add their voice to the track and create some sweet sounding harmonies. Don’t exactly fancy yourself a crooner? Not to worry. Thanks to the “voice enhancement technology” and special voice filters, you may not sound half bad after belting out your favorite tunes. The app is free to download, though most of the songs in-app will cost you $0.99. See how Sing! works in a video trailer after the break.
Smule, Sing! Join the global karaoke party! – Free
Fans of Smule’s trippy musical iOS apps (Magic Piano, I Am T-Pain, Ocarina and MadPad) will now be able to make more sweet music in the rap category, thanks to the release of AutoRap. A creation born out of the merger between Smule and Khush, AutoRap lets even the most rap-challenged individuals sound like an aspiring rapper. Using a patent-pending “rappification” technology, the app features a Talk Mode that turns your ordinary speech into unique sounding rap songs. With Rap Mode, you can show off your rap skills by following the lyrics that scroll across the screen. Rest assured, first timers will have their flow corrected to “snap” their syllables back to song’s beat. AutoRap (free universal download) starts you off with some Freestyle sounds, and premium songs from popular artists can be purchased via IAP. Time to watch 8 Mile again before turning the iPhone into an all-out beatbox. Videos of AutoRap in action after the break.
Smule, AutoRap – Free
Amazon’s cloud-based music service first launched last year for Android and the web, and now, thanks to the release of the Cloud Player app, it has arrived on iOS. Similar to other cloud storage offerings, Amazon’s Cloud Drive allows you to upload your music, videos, and other digital goodies into the cloud. All users get 5GB free (songs bought from Amazon MP3 don’t count towards the limit) and you can upgrade to paid plans, starting at 20GB for $20/year, all the way up to 1TB for a cool grand a year (all paid plans allow for unlimited music uploads, including your own music).
If you want radical sound from your iDevice, you could pop in Iggy Pop’s New Values. Or, if you can’t keep pace with Iggy, why not check out MF Player Pro-radical HiFi. It is a ‘radical’ break from the traditional clean-cut – and often labelled ‘sterile’ – Apple sound. It’s an HiFi app in every sense of the word, and it’s radical in all others. The most obviously radical feature of MF Player is its most radical price, a gnarly 1.999 pennies. And that’s the clincher, really.
But let’s not spoil the rave yet, my party animals. There is praise to get through first. Namely, there are too few apps that are seriously designed for iDevice audiophiles. EQu has been a favourite of mine till now, and Equalizer (TMA Review) has grown up to be nearly perfect. MF player sports some of the lovely effects of a parametric EQ, but also adds its own flavour. While there isn’t a parametric EQ built in, the effects of MF Player are only really attainable by very very expensive EQ hardware, or impeccable settings.
A little over a year ago I started using Naturespace: Relax Meditate Escape Sleep (TMA Review) – one of the best ambient nature sounds apps out there. Unique in the way it makes a fully engrossing surround sound experience even through the stock Apple earbuds, it has saved my nerve endings from countless deaths. And as we all know – nerves don’t regenerate. Well, I’m glad to say that shortly before Christmas (yes, I Know I’m a bit late on this but still) the developers informed me that they’d just rolled out a massive update, not only making an additional 15 tracks available for purchase but a few nifty features in the catalogue as well.
Animoog, billed as the first professional synthesizer designed for the iPad and one of the apps used to create this awesome music video, has just released for the iPhone. Packed with plenty of features and backed by Moog technology, Animoog lets musicians create a wide range of synthetic sounds.
Powered by Moog’s new Anisotropic Synth Engine (ASE), Animoog allows you to move dynamically through an X/Y space of unique timbres to create a constantly evolving and expressive soundscape.
Animoog captures the vast sonic vocabulary of Moog synthesizers and applies it to the modern touch surface paradigm, enabling you to sculpt incredibly fluid and dynamic sounds that live, breathe, and evolve as you play them.
To celebrate its release, Animoog on the iPad is now on sale for $9.99 (down from $29.99) and the newly released iPhone version is available at the introductory price of $0.99 (regularly $9.99). Check out the demo videos of Animoog on the iPad in action after the break.
Moog Music Inc., Animoog for iPhone, – $0.99
Smule has released yet another unique music app for the iPhone – this time, the Magic Guitar. Following in the footsteps of other Smule apps like Ocarina and Magic Piano, Magic Guitar gives you the chance to rock out on your iPhone even if you’ve never played the guitar before.
Get ready to rock! Unleash your inner rocker with Magic Guitar, and you’ll be shredding like a legend in no time. Simply hold your phone like a guitar neck, and beams of light help you play the greatest guitar songs your own way. You control the notes, speed, guitar type, pitch and vibrato. Play it once, play it a hundred times, each time is a unique experience that won’t get old.
Magic Guitar’s songbook offers tunes from various artists, including The Rolling Stones, Bruno Mars, Incubus, Santana, Coldplay and much more. The app’s free to download and comes with a number of songs to get you started, while more from your favorite artists can be unlocked via IAP. And you can earn new songs by simply playing Magic Guitar and unlocking various achievements. Take a look at the promo videos after the break (including one by Smule co-founder showing off the app).
Smule, Magic Guitar, – Free