Tonara, one of the most innovative music related apps I’ve come across in the App Store, has added a good number of Christmas carols to its built-in music store. Released a few months ago, Tonara is the world’s first interactive music sheet application. As you play, the app follows along your exact position on screen, even turning pages for you. Any acoustic or electronic instrument can be used – your own voice included. So how does it work? From Tonara’s FAQ section:
We’ve already seen some great musical performances using only iPhones and iPads (like this one), but East Midwest Music Group’s recent recording of Jason Derulo’s It Girl using only the iPad for instruments really begins to blur the line between music made from professional studio gear and well, music apps. More than a half-dozen iPad apps were used for this remix, including: Animoog ($29.99), ReBirth for iPad ($14.99), Apple’s GarageBand ($4.99), Magic Fiddle ($2.99) and iSyn Poly ($9.99). Check out this extremely well made music video after the break – it really is quite amazing.
Smule, the company behind some of the most downloaded social music making apps on iOS – Magic Piano, I Am T-Pain, Ocarina and MadPad – announced earlier today that it has acquired Khush for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Like Smule, Khush is known on the App Store for their highly popular music apps: Songify and LaDiDa, both of which center around turning your speech/voice into catchy tunes.
“The Khush team brings world-class innovation, unique technological talent, and a passionately shared vision for the future,” said Jeffrey C. Smith, co-founder and CEO of Smule. “Joining forces with Khush represents the next step in our plan to bring accessible, fun, and sometimes bizarre music making experiences to everyone.”
As an interesting side note, both companies share academic roots. Dr. Ge Wang, co-founder and CEO of Smule, is an assistant professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Whereas Dr. Para Chordia, co-founder of Khush, is a professor of computer music at Georgia Tech. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what these highly creative musical minds have in store for us and our iDevices in the near future. And to highlight this occasion, Smule and Khush have created a cool little video using Songify to spread word of the acquisition. The full press release and video clip after the gap.
The Angry Birds train just keeps on chugging along. After the countless mobile downloads (it hit the 500 million mark earlier this month), merchandise sales and rumoured movie deals, the rapidly growing franchise can add another achievement to its resume. The recently released The Greatest Video Game Music album, played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Skeet, features the Angry Birds main theme as one of its tracks. It’s surprisingly well done and even a delight to listen to. In fact, the entire album is fantastic. I picked it up over the weekend and listening to the Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda theme music brought back lots of good memories. The entire album can be purchased on iTunes for $9.99 ($7.99 on Amazon) and individual tracks go for $0.99 each.
If you’re an Angry Birds fan, I highly suggest you check out the 1:30 long preview of the song on iTunes. And even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, the orchestra performed soundtrack is still worth the price of admission.
If you’ve ever found the interface on your iDevice’s iPod Music app rather boring, you may want to spice things up a bit with Audium, an extremely simple yet elegant music player for the iPhone.
The best way to experience music on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Beautiful, with a fully gesture driven interface.
By stripping away often over used features such as the playlist or track listing and putting the album front and centre, Audium encourages the listener to appreciate the album as a whole and rediscover all those forgotten tracks.
Aside from its comely design, Audium’s gesture based interface makes it a pleasure to use. Divided into two panes, swiping the lower one left/right will scroll through all your albums. A simple swipe down on a cover reveals the Album name, and a double tap begins the playback. The current album played is always displayed above, where more gestures can be used for controlling playback – Double tap for pause/play, up/down swipes for volume controls and left/right swipes for previous/next track. Naturally, you won’t be able to browse by way of individual songs, but if you have a large collection of albums and want to experience your iMusic via gestures, Audium will get the job done nicely at only $0.99.
Mic Pringle, Audium, – $0.99
Apple has just released the mighty impressive GarageBand app for the iPad ($4.99). Made to work on both iPad 1 & 2, GarageBand is a powerful music app that will turn your tablet into a mobile recording studio.
GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play pianos, organs, guitars, drums, and basses on your iPad. They sound and play like their counterparts, but let you do things you could never do on a real instrument. Enjoy a full range of Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug an electric guitar into your iPad and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Use the built-in microphone or a guitar to record, or capture any performance. Then mix up to eight tracks to create a song you can share.
Apple’s own iMovie app was also updated today and it is now universal, supporting the iPhone 4, iPod Touch (4th gen) and iPad 2. Sadly, owners of the original iPad won’t be able to run this memory intensive movie editing application. If you already own it for the iPhone/iPT, be sure to grab the update as it offers quite a few new features. The guided video tour for both iMovie and GarageBand can be found here.
For those of us who prefer using songs as ringtones, we have all tried many times to create the necessary files to sync to iTunes so that they will work on the iPhone. With GeoRing however, there is no more work to be done but choosing the song and where exactly you’d like the ringtone to begin. Thanks to this handy app, users will soon be able to create their favorite ringtones within minutes.
If anything came too late to Apple’s iDevice line, it was proper equalisers. EQu blew me away, but the App Store’s first equaliser, Equalizer, only really nudges my inner audiophile that can get by Equalizer’s gamey interface.
Feel free to discuss Equalizer in our forums.
It’s funny: I’ve been taught not to bite the hand that feeds you, but Apple have fed music-loving fans like me the merest of crumbs for so since 2007 that I long to sink my finely manicured fangs into something fruity. Gapless, lossless, and great headphone performance are just niceties for the regular Johan who wants to pump up the jam on his Justin Bieber collection without hitting distortion’s ugly overhead. For that crowd (and me), audio app developer, elephantcandy, have delivered EQu – the quality equalizer.
Feel free to discuss EQu in our forums.
algoriddim, developers of the award-winning djay for Mac, have now released the fully featured djay app for the iPad. Utilizing the iPad’s 10″ screen and music stored within your library, you can finally scratch and mix all your favorite tunes just about anywhere.
djay transforms your iPad into a full–fledged DJ system and seamlessly integrates with your iTunes 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, all with your own music. You can perform live, record mixes on–the–go, or enable Automix mode and let djay mix your favorite playlist from your iPod library auto–magically!
With unprecedented ease–of–use and innovative multi–touch mixing features, djay for iPad brings DJ’ing to the next level, offering a unique experience for beginners and professionals alike.
djay is actually the second iTunes app released by algoriddim. Their first, djay Remote ($4.99), was released earlier this year and allows iPhone and iPod Touch users to interact with the djay 3 software running on their Macs. Check out the demo video and full press release after the gap.
algoriddim, djay, 2.9 MB – $19.99