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
Ninebuzz, developers of some fine guitar apps for the iPhone (i.e Guitar Jam Tracks – Scale Trainer) has just released Beats+, a multi-genre drum loops app for all (aspiring) musicians.
BEATS+ is a simple and fun collection of drum loops for stress-free jamming and songwriting accompaniment. No assembly required! Ranging from 1 to 4 bars in length, these loops are great for casual practice or exploring song ideas. Plug into Hi-Fi speakers for the best sound (or just play right from your iPhone!).
The app comes with over 50 drum beats created by a professional drummer, including loops in the Pop-rock, blues, jazz, and R&B categories. A one-touch tempo control also lets you easily adjust the tempo from 60 – 190 BPM. A simple enough app for sure, but having these beats accompany your jam session is pretty awesome – especially for only a buck. If only apps like this existed a few years back, I may have saved myself $200 with the M-Audio Blackbox. Take a look at the cool demo video of Beats+ after the break.
Ninebuzz Software, Beats+, – $0.99
Not sure why we haven’t seen this sooner (or at least none that I’ve come across before), but Finger Labs has just released Rockmate, an app that allows up to 4 people compose, record and play songs on a single iPad.
Rockmate is a breakthrough music creation app. It turns your iPad into a complete music studio easy and super fun to use.
You can compose, record and play songs with up to 4 Rock players on one single iPad. Rockmate is easy to play with smart chords progressions, sounds great with separated guitar effects and in-house produced audio samples and is also fully customizable with multiple drums and keyboard styles.
Rockmate is ready to rock !
Your guitars are always well tuned, no need to carry your drum kit or to patch your keyboard. A smart metronome and a real-time looper will assist you in composing and recording your songs. Share your songs by email or iTunes sharing folders.
And by the looks of it, Rockmate doesn’t appear to be a gimmicky music app. Take a look at the video demo after this space.
Fingerlab, Rockmate, – $0.99
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:
No, this song wasn’t made was with just iPad apps, but Aussie group Hey Geronimo’s music video does feature some of the most popular iOS games…in the real world. Their video for the single Why Don’t We Do Something? plays tribute to Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Plants vs. Zombies and Flight Control. The song doesn’t actually have anything to do with these games, but it’s pretty cool seeing these easily recognizable characters come to life. Check out the full music video below and see for yourself just what’s it like when zombies invade your backyard.
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.
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