iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 VidRhythm Review: Making Music Video Mashups on iPhone Quick and Easy Fri, 09 Sep 2011 19:27:56 +0000 Read More]]> VidRhythm Review-4VidRhythm Review: A great music app to create mashups of your own voice and video using some preset themes and music selection. With a group of friends this could be a whole lot of fun.

VidRhythm {$1.99} is actually pretty simple in concept. You choose a piece of music and then a theme. The app then asks you to record both your voice and some video simultaneously. There are prompts to tell you what sound or word you should record. It’s really slick in that it automatically stops recording after a second or so, you don’t have to push the button. It usually asks for a handful of recordings, so it doesn’t take long to get those entered. You can re-record if you need more than one take.

When you’re ready, press the “Make Video Music!” button and the magic happens. Your sounds and images are treated to a techno-DJ mashup. It’s not a simple playback of your recordings. The audio is set to the rhythm and the video dances along too. Video windows open, divide, grow, rearrange, etc. like any good music video. You have to see it in motion to appreciate it. Each of the themes has a background that the video resides on that keeps it pulled together.


VidRhythm Review-3While it was easy to take video of the dog and say the letters D-O-G-S for the dog theme, there’s nothing stopping you from substituting your own ideas. Where it asks you to say D-O-G-S, you could say G-A-M-E if it suited you and you could shoot video of the football team instead (especially if they’re having a losing season).

This would be a great app to use with a gathering of friends. They could each provide one of the audio/video clips to be mashed together. It would be a group project. Or you could each individually make a video and share it amongst the group as the app can automatically upload to YouTube or Facebook. Or, if you prefer, you can simply save it to your camera roll to keep for yourself.

If you want to make short, simple mashups quickly, this could be your ticket. VidRhythm for iPhone and iPad is an app that will spark your creativity. By the time your video is done playing you’ll have ideas for the next one you want to do.




VidRhythm Review-1 VidRhythm Review-2 VidRhythm Review-3 VidRhythm Review-4 VidRhythm Review-5 VidRhythm-6 VidRhythm-7 VidRhythm-8 ]]> 0 ‘Future DJ’ A Real DJ Experience On Your iPhone Fri, 18 Mar 2011 00:37:07 +0000 Read More]]> Future Dj

[rating: 4/5]

DJ mixing has never been my forte but the Future DJ for iPhone brings a real life DJ software kit to your iPhone. Let me first say that this app is no joke, it does many things that at first I found over my head but as I learned the app seemed more and more useful. A musically challenged person, like myself, can enjoy this app but a musically gifted person can not only enjoy but find this app extremely useful. Future DJ has a ton of features and comes in an excellent package for a magnificent price.

Future DJ brings a full DJ mixing solution to your phone for easy use and portability. The initial layout that you see is fairly simple but can do more and more complex depending on the settings and variables you decide to utilize. I must say that for a person such as myself, with minimal musical background, these features have a bit less appeal but to someone who knows what they are doing they actually make this app worth much more than $2. I had a friend of mine who is much better in all things musical than me take a look and he was very impressed. He mentioned that he didn’t expect to see so many options on software that was on a phone. I will say that the simple layout makes this app fairly easy to use for anyone. You are not greeted by a ton of nobs and switches with abbreviations over them but with a fairly self-explanatory interface.

Future Dj iPhone

The interface is very symmetrical so it caters to the fact that you have to know where things are to be able to use this app to its fullest extent. Getting subtle changes right only works if the timing is right so it is very important here. There is a great help section that is easily identifiable and makes things much simpler when you are just getting started. The interface is small and may seem a bit crowded at first but as you learn the controls you will see that the most commonly used controls are a bit bigger thus making them easier to use.

This app has so many features that will become evident to the more complex user but one that should appeal to anyone is the fact that the music for the app resides on your phone. Whatever music you have on your phone is fair game in this application. Meaning you can scratch to “My Humps” or mix it with Lady Gaga. Your musical selection is as large as your musical library and I found this to be amazing. Too many times you are limited by outside factors and this allows me, a Flogging Molly fanatic, a method to mix my favorite tunes that are not main stream. The following controls are found at the initial screen:

Loop EQ FX
Song Selction

Future Dj Real DJ App

That is just the home screen. The big option that I like that is hidden in the settings menu is the “Enable MotionPlaying” option. It is described as “Place the iPhone/iPod on a turntable and scratch songs”. That sounded pretty crazy to me so I went to a friend who happens to have turntables and we tested it out and I must say I was impressed. It was awesome for a novice like me to be able to throw it together so fast and scratch. Granted it wasn’t the best sounding but it was definitely pretty awesome and my friends were very impressed.

Future Dj iPhone App

This app was much cooler than I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, the name is great and so is the presentation. Turns out that it was very fun for me to play with and even after I was done putting it through the paces I found myself trying to show off my (lack of) mixing skills. For the musically inclined this app provides a portable method of mixing that I haven’t seen before.



$1.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Released: Mar 03, 2011
Version: 1.0
Size: 4.7 MB
Language: English
© 2011 Xylio Info SRL
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.

]]> 0 NanoStudio for iPhone – Awesome Digital Music Sauce! Tue, 08 Mar 2011 21:03:57 +0000 Read More]]> NanoStudio Music Recording App for iPhone-1 Photo

NanoStudio [rating: 5/5]

About 10 years ago I had a fairly powerful Macintosh laptop (*a 540c if memory serves), a copy of Cubase (professional level music sequencing software), a MIDI interface kludge, a couple of drum pads and an Akai 2000 sampler. Off the top of my head that little lot probably set me back around $10,000 and took up half of a room! Fast forward to today and NanoStudio for iPhone promises pretty much everything I had back then, on a device that fits in my pocket, all for less than $15 and the price of my iPhone – which I had anyway! Does NanoStudio live up to the hype? I was very keen to find out and hope to take you on my journey of discovery in this review.

I purposely fired up NanoStudio without looking at any more than the screen shots and promotional blur on iTunes. If you want to do your homework on this app the links to Blip Interactive’s web site are at the bottom of the review. Their website is a wealth of resources, including free samples a full manual, and a few other treats I touch on further down the review.

The moment you fire up NanoStudio you immediately feel that you are getting into a different class of iOS app. It takes a little while to actually start up the app the first time. But throughout the process an understated loading bar and nicely presented text info flashes details of an impressive number of files it is installing. Once that is done you are presented with a beautifully rendered keyboard, and a synth control panel that will make you feel right at home if you’ve ever dabbled with real electronic instruments.

The overriding design for the User Interface for NanoStudio’s instruments is very much the digital instrument version of Apple’s more acoustic and homely flavoured GarageBand look and feel.

When you first start using NanoStudio it is very easy to feel a little lost, and if I had one criticism of the app it would be that finding your way around, and finding the included documentation is a little non-obvious for the first hour or so. Having said that this is not GarageBand; it is a much more serious stab at music making on iOS. The manual is available as a PDF on the developers web site, and you really should download it and read it to get the most out of this package. Even though poking around and discovering stuff yourself is also great fun. To be fair the app does actually pop up a dialog telling you how to get help on specific controls when the app first loads. I was just too excited to pay attention and clicked through; forgetting instantly what it had said. And then I was a little lost – initially.

NanoStudio Music Recording App for iPhone-2

Being a bit overwhelmed by this app is in some ways a blessing and an adventure at the same time. Very quickly I was an hour or so into using NanoStudio and still delighted to be discovering new basic features – and making some cool sounds. Initially I was very excited by the different effect boxes, and keyboard controls I had for choosing voices, setting up arpeggios, and pitch bending or overdriving really great sounding synth voices. Soon after that I discovered the settings which enable you to change the waveform of the instrument you are using, and later still the excellent pair of X/Y controllers – kind of like pitch benders and filters on steroids! The X/Y pads (named because movements in their X and Y axis affect the synth’s sound) are touch sensitive and can even be patched into the accelerometer of your iPhone to free up your fingers for other tasks.

All of this variety of control panels is accessible by tapping little arrow buttons at the edge of the screen to make new synth control panels smoothly glide into view on the top half of the screen. With this method of navigation it is very easy to imagine that my iPhone 4’s screen is a window through which you peek at different panels of an instrument, which is actually the physical size of a 17″ monitor.

My next discovery was that I could have an upper and lower deck mini keyboard on screen, and also cycle through upper, middle and lower portions of a full keyboard to have more musical range for playing riffs on. The split keyboard is a great way to play two very different parts of a track at the same time. Let’s say you are laying a bass track, you slide in the lowest keyboard section you can. Conversely for a lead voice track you might use the same or a different instrument or sample in a different octave range. All of this is available to you on a single iPhone 4 screen which simply scrolls units and keyboards in and out of view with a single tap, as and when you need them.

NanoStudio Music Sequencing App for iPhone-3

Each panel will allow you quick access to virtual sliders, knobs, buttons, and switches arranged for each contextual panel related to voice banks, filter settings and so forth. When I was a kid my Dad had to bring most of the music gear home for the weekend from the school he taught at for me to have this kind of diversity of music making equipment in one place at the same time.

By now I was already seriously impressed with what NanoStudio offered. But I hadn’t even opened up the box of additional tricks this app presents you with once you go into the Main Menu. The Main Menu button is a very unassuming nub at the top left of the screen. In here alongside LED monitors showing each instruments current playing level and giving me the ability to jump to each instrument quickly, I also found a complete digital manual for the app, and in that I discovered I actually had 4 separate analogue subtractive synths, and two 16 button Trigger Pads. And that all those instruments could be blended and routed via a multi-track mixing deck, each with their own chance of grabbing some 48 polyphonic notes, and even feeding their sounds back into the mix, or through filters, so that I could build my composition using layered samples of my own work – as well as digital synth voices and sample packs in the apps storage banks.

The Trigger Pads come with a heap of classic samples, like an 808 set for example. And the Eden Keyboards come with both synthesised sounds and the capability to play samples. I also noticed that on Blip Interactive’s website for NanoStudio they have a partnership with LoopMasters, which enables you to download some additional free samples to augment the already comprehensive set that is included. Not only that but NanoStudio has a companion app for the PC or OS X which allows you to sync and upload sample files and songs to NanoStudio on your iOS device. It works seamlessly over your Wifi network, with a little app on your laptop which you can drag and drop sound files to. In NanoStudio meanwhile there is an auto-connecting panel in that tells you how the connection is, and helps you with connection issues – of which I had none.

The array of import and compatibility options that NanoStudio provides is also impressive. It can not only expert your songs and instrument setups, but import both from other sources too. On top of that it has a full MIDI control panel and functionality. You also have the ability to switch banks of samples and instruments in and out of the app, as well as duplicating them and then saving song specific instrument bundles. If you are a budding digital “muso” I can’t help but think that you’d be impressed by what you’ve heard up until now. I was, and there is so much I am unable to cover in this review.

Everything I have described so far is presented through a super responsive, stunningly rendered interface that seems devoid of any requirement for unnecessary clicks or navigation taps, and seems to do exactly what you want when you want. It seems very much like this app was designed by a person who really uses both the app itself often, and studio gear on a regular basis. In short it is my absolute favourite iOS app to date.

NanoStudio Music Recording App for iPhone-4

NanoStudio stays true to one of the overriding tenets and oft quoted sound bytes that people associate with Apple and iOS. It “Just Works”. During my time with this app, so far, I have had no issues, no glitches, and no bugs – and the UI is as smooth as butter. The developer himself, in an interview around the time of the app’s original launch, said that he felt the GUI was not as pretty as it could be. But I think he is wrong. It satisfies my need to feel that I am in a grown up music app – and not a toy – perfectly.

But the “Pièce de résistance” in NanoStudio I have yet to describe. It is hidden away under an unassuming button, just next to the Mixer and Manage buttons in the Main Menu. The Manage button is the one that access the “mother-load” of options for setup and connectivity in NanoStudio by the way. But that other button I was referring to is the “Song” button. Once you tap that you are instantly transported into a full screen GUI which features a multi-touch 6 track sequencer. The depth that this touch driven sequencer offers rivals the layout and functionality of the best mobile-app spreadsheets, the latest iteration of GarageBand and even the last copy of Cubase I remember using. Cubase, the developer says was one of his inspirations for NanoStudio.

Briefly the multitrack sequencer in NanoStudio allows you to pinch zoom, scroll, edit, select, copy, paste and even draw note by note into the digital score of your song. And when you play a track you can zoom in and out, or follow along any individual track, and even edit loops as they play. Copying, and sliding music loops around on a digital score is a breeze on the iPhone’s touch interface.

Once you’ve delved this deep into NanoStudio you start to make connections in your mind. OK, so there are 4 Eden Keyboards, and they each have their own channels which feed into the mixer, and all this feeds through various recording methods into a full multi-track sequencer – with individual channel level control, master volume, panning and even two additional special effects units for the final output. Alongside all of that you have a dreamy multi-track sequencer with an incredible GUI. And you can switch between all of these modules, all of the time seamlessly, while you are playing, editing or recording tracks.

Zooming back out for a moment. Once I had discovered the sequencer in NanoStudio I also found the options to load and save tracks – and located the app’s demo tracks. All of which can actually be loaded very quickly. A fairly basic tune is already the current project when you start NanoStudio for the first time. And you can play it by simply hitting the play button on the front screen of the app – something I admit I missed through my own lack of observation skills! Firing that up is a very good way to then see how all the layers of NanoStudio work together. You can switch from keyboard, to Trigger Pads, to sequencer and mixing deck, and watch keys being played, effects being changed, Trigger Pads being hit, and the track progressing against a time line.

To actually produce a piece of music on NanoStudio live is probably something that would take a lot of confidence and familiarity with the User Interface. But it is most certainly possible, and would be a doddle once you’ve spent some time with this app. Which is a pleasure!

NanoStudio Music Recording App for iPhone-5

But then again, NanoStudio is ahead of the curve here too. You can both record and mix live, but at the same time you can also sample your own track components, edit them note by note in the sequencer, or even draw a note sequence with your finger. You can even sample your own sounds via the iPhones mic, as well as your own tracks, and then load them as samples for your Trigger Pads or your keyboards.

And all the time this editing of your track is backed up with an incredibly fine grained undo framework. You can both delete individual notes, choose a point in a recently done list to fall back to, or undo an entire live performance section; live performance sections can be segmented at any point you wish by simply starting and stopping a new recording sequence. The options are seemingly unlimited, and very obviously designed by someone who wants maximum flexibility from their work environment and has covered all the bases I can think of. Bravo!

Those of you that occasionally check my Twitter feed will already know how I feel about NanoStudio. But if you still need convincing then you can even download a free version of the app to try out on OS X or a Windows PC, for free.

For those wanting the exact specs of this digital musical studio and its instruments, all the details you require are right here.

I cannot recommend NanoStudio highly enough. If you are someone who loves making music, and has the patience to learn how to use a very good, fully featured music creation app then this is simply the best product on the market for any mobile device today. I am so looking forward to the next time I can spend some quality time with this app, and am even trying to concoct some business trips so I can be alone with it in an airport and on a plane and see what I can come up with.

The only caveat I would make where NanoStudio is concerned is that if you prefer the kind of simple organic music making that is part of apps like ThumbJam (also an amazing app by the way) then NanoStudio may go a little too deep for you.



$14.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Updated: Feb 06, 2011
Current Version: 1.13
Size: 69.0 MB
Language: English
Seller: Blip Interactive Ltd
© 2010 Blip Interactive Ltd.
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

*It is worth reflecting on the fact that the resolution on my iPhone 4 screen is higher than that of my PowerBook 540c at the time, which was 640×400!

]]> 0 ElectroBeats by David Guetta : Electronic Instrument for the Masses Mon, 29 Nov 2010 20:15:42 +0000 Read More]]> ElectroBeats by David Guetta [rating: 3.5/5]

ElectroBeats is billed as an “intuitive beat making application conceived in collaboration with worldwide renowned and most demanded producer David Guetta.” And further described as an “electronic instrument for the masses”.

ElectroBeats by David Guetta iPhoneSo it has a lot to live up to… Does the app measure up to the hype?  A unique selling point of Electrobeats (“EB”) is also that it features sounds from Guetta’s new single “Who’s that Chick” featuring Rihanna. So if you are into that kind of thing then that may well additionally attract you.

Plus, ElectroBeats doesn’t just use samples, it also has synthesised voices, which can allow far more effect manipulation, and control over the way they play.

If you’ve ever used any kind of traditional electronic drum machine then you should feel fairly at home with “EB”. It fires up with the main interface you use throughout your time with the app, which is a 4×4 grid of 16 drum pads.

Tapping or holding the pads will get the sample or instrument currently associated with it to play in various ways. Each pad can have one sound associated with it. But you are able to choose from a very large selection of samples in the apps own repository, and mix and match your pad’s available sounds any way you wish.

When you are choosing a new sound associated with a pad you can preview it, and also affect settings which will alter the characteristics of how that sound is played. More echo, more vibrato, pitch shift etc.

Choosing sounds, and loading tracks is not done very intuitively. The app makes a strange sound when you select something and then either appears to do nothing, or flicks back to a previous page. The sound it makes bears no resemblance to what you have chosen. So it is not clear initially what is going on. But you will figure it out. At the end of the day its just a quirkily implemented set of iOS menus. But I am not sure what the developer was thinking of.

ElectroBeat also features a sequencer, which is configurable up to 8 bars in length, and various selectable playback speeds calibrated in beats per minute (BPM). This is all controlled with a few buttons on the app’s main screen, which are by and large self explanatory. Big red dot for record. Green triangle to play. You get the drift. But even with a maximum of 8 bars to record a track in you are not going to be able to record anything much longer than about 20 seconds at a time.

Recording is fun and intuitive to some degree. You simply start the sequencer recording and then tap a base beat in, perhaps with a snare drum or some clapping, and then as the track loops you add in another instrument, and so on until you have a complete track.

ElectroBeats by David GuettaOnce you’ve recorded the beginning of a track, you can then play it back and try new sounds over the playback, before committing to recording more sounds. So the process is iterative, and allows easy experimentation.

The core drum machine app is simple deliberately in that there is no fancy fast forward or rewind, as the tracks are too short to warrant it. So you simply work in a loop, and can stop and start, and tweak as you go over and over the same track. And this is exactly how a drum machine should work. It’s great for twiddling within idle moments, and easy to put away when you have finished, with the option to save or resume later when inspiration strikes again.

If anything is unclear in the app there is a helpful “Help” section with instructions on what each part of the app does.

It is also possible to save your masterpieces to .wav files, and even export to sequencers like Logic™, Live™, ProTools™, Cubase™ and many more. I would expect a MIDI option to be in there somewhere, with Apple’s new MIDI stuff in iOS, but it does not appear to be in the app yet. Perhaps in an update. Or perhaps the “masses” don’t really need MIDI. But at $10s for the app I’d like it.

A nice feature is that the developers, and presumably David Guetta, have provided us with some drum construction kits, and patterns and also some sample tracks to get us going. When you play those, or the demos on their web site you see what you might be able to knock up quite easily with this app.

Uvi are confident of their app, and so provide a free version to try with a much reduced feature set and sound library. I certainly had fun with ElectroBeats, and was impressed with the sound library. And also with the amount of control I had over sounds; from simple things like being able to tap, or hold a pad to make a sound play differently, to the copious options for affecting the way instruments and samples play, so that you can fundamentally change the way they are generated or filtered to get very different sounds.

The interface is bright and fun, and there are plenty of export and save options so that you can make and save work, and come back to ideas you were working on a few days ago.

But I can’t help feeling that some of the samples are a bit untidy, and that the app in some ways is trading too heavily on its pop culture links to a “famous” producer and a current pop star. For that reason I would recommend you try the free version first. If you like it then consider spending the $9.99 for the full app.

For the samples and the drum kit implementation itself $10 is reasonable. But there are other apps out there for less that do offer more flexibility, whilst perhaps not boasting the same funky sound set.

At half the price this app would be a must have iPhone or iPad app. At $9.99 I’d recommend you check out the free version before buying.



$9.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Released: Nov 26, 2010
Version: 1.0
119 MB
Language: English
Seller: Univers Sons
© 2011
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later

]]> 0 Polychord : Fun with Arpeggios on an iPad Mon, 22 Nov 2010 19:29:40 +0000 Read More]]> polychord

Polychord for iPad

Polychord [rating: 4/5]

One of my favourite things to do when I was a kid was to sit in-front of a big electric organ we had at home and play with arpeggios and chords. Occasionally I would have my Dad bring back some cool Korg keyboards from the college he taught at, so that over the weekend I could make weird sound effects and play with arpeggios at the same time.

Polychord brings the functionality of an arpeggio unit to the iPad, along with a keyboard and some rhythm control for drums and bass to play along in the background. It also features 10 notes of polyphony on its keyboard. So making chords is what it was born to do, and the name “Polychord” fits!

Polychord is crisply laid out. And looks like something you might pick up and play with in a concept studio with it’s bright cyan, yellow and purple user interface bands separating the telephone dial style chord section, from the light blue control panel and banana yellow vertical keyboard. It is certainly striking when you fire it up. And I can imagine getting a lot of interest if you used it out in public. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

An arpeggio is a sequence of notes that belong in a chord together played one after the other, and typically an arpeggiator is a little widget on a keyboard that will play different arpeggios at varying rhythms. Because all the notes in an arpeggio sound good together in a chord, they also sound good together as a kind of mini tune. In fact a lot of classical music, modern music and particularly trance tracks have their roots in such repetitive chord progressions.

Polychord for the iPad allows you to tweak and play with arpeggios, and play alongside them with some drum and base backing to boot. You can also switch the sample quality down on the app so that your music sounds really retro. It’s an “8 bit mode” which makes the music created sound like something that might be coming out of a Gameboy, which is cool.

polychord iPad


The bright yellow keyboard down the side of the iPad’s screen, when held in landscape, is fun to plonk away on as you match the rhythms and backing. The dial type interfaces for picking different chord combinations are easy and fun to use. There is also a volume mixer so you can blend the different sounds levels of your composition.

There is no record feature, so this is more of a blue sky kind of app for passing the time, or perhaps a tool for the more musically gifted of us to work through composition ideas, or even do live performances on.

But all in all Polychord is an instrument in its own right. It’s not the cheapest app out there at $9.99. But it sounds good. And is certainly worth that sticker price.



$9.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Released: Nov 13, 2010
Version: 1
2.8 MB
Language: English
Seller: Shoulda Woulda Coulda inc
© Shoulda Woulda Coulda Inc
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later

]]> 0 Magic Fiddle : Turn Your iPad into a Friendly Musical Instrument Fri, 12 Nov 2010 20:00:24 +0000 Read More]]> Magic Fiddle [rating: 4/5]

Magic Fiddle is exactly what its app title suggests. Another musical instrument app for your iPad. But this time based around a more unlikely instrument, the Fiddle. And yes, it really does work better if you hold it like a fiddle!

Magic Fiddle comes from Smule, who have already had a lot of success with their “Magic Piano” app. No prizes for guessing what that app does!

Magic FiddleThey’ve really gone for something quite unique this time though…

When you fire up Magic Fiddle the first thing it shows on the screen is its strings, and a message greeting you, saying “Hello. I am your fiddle.” How can you not love an app like that? You then get to name it.

In many ways the song book mode from Magic fiddle reminds me of Guitar Hero, as that is how it teaches you to play the tunes in its initial repertoire of 20 songs. The fret of the fiddle is represented on screen with bright friendly colours, and the notes you need to play drift across the screen and onto the strings, so that you can hit and hold the right notes for the right amount of time. With a little practise you can get quite proficient, quite quickly!

The best way to illustrate playing is with Smule’s own video here.

The use of multi-touch, and the iPad’s unique features and dimensions make Magic Fiddle work superbly. Not just because you can have many notes going at once, but because you can also control your bowing, plucking, vibrato and glissando. And the fiddles voices are programmed to respond to those inputs from you uniquely. So no two people will sound quite the same when playing.

All in all this makes you feel more like you are holding a musical instrument, than playing a synth. The latter being what most music keyboard based apps feel like. No matter how good they are. In many ways, with this app, Smule have hit the sweet spot that made Ocarina for the iPhone such a breakthrough music app.

Magic Fiddle iPadHaving said that, I actually found I started using the app with the iPad flat on my lap. But once I got into playing with it I found that holding the iPad like a fiddle actually works better, and really makes you feel like you are one with the instrument. Especially when it comes to more complex songs, and effects.

There are many ways you can use the fiddle. In solo mode, just to play. Or from the Songbook where you can have the fiddle guide you, and accompany you with its “Magic Piano”. There is also the opportunity to listen to other fiddle player’s best song renditions, all selectable on a world globe. And in that social networking part of the app there is the possibility to unlock achievements, and show off to other Magic Fiddle players.

Smule plan to release more songs in downloadable packs in future. And I think that is fair, as well as something to look forward to, despite personally wanting a few more songs in the original app, or perhaps just more variety. In any case at the price it is, Magic Fiddle more than delivers on content. So I should’t complain at all.

Magic Fiddle is great to play with in a small group of friends, and share your iPad around. But I am also looking forward to a couple of people I know getting a copy each, and then us all playing together.

If you like making music. This is an instrument you want in your iPad music box.


Magic Fiddle for iPad [St. Lawrence String Quartet]



$2.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Games
Updated: Nov 10, 2010
Current Version: 1.0.1
1.0.1 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
16.0 MB
Language: English
Seller: Chuck-Inc
© 2010 Smule Inc.
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later

]]> 0 ThumbJam – Make sweet live music with your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad Sat, 06 Nov 2010 17:58:31 +0000 Read More]]> ThumbJam [rating: 4.5/5]

It’s rare to see an app with so many positive reviews and so few negative ones on the App Store. So we decided to check ThumbJam out.

Apparently it can make anyone into a live performance pro, and groups of iPhone users into their very own synced up band!

ThumbJam iPhoneThumbJam should not be looked upon as a tool for creating tracks with (although you can record your jam sessions, and some loops or tracks), but rather a live performance tool that provides some assistance to make you sound good, in tune, and perhaps record that.

Instruments included number too many to list in their entirety, but include Cello, Violin, Viola through Flute, Acoustic Guitar, Rhodes, Synth Choir and even signature sounds from Jordan. So, a lot. And a set which overall contains a bunch of staple instruments splattered with an eclectic smattering of some more diverse ones too.

ThumbJam is easy enough to pick up and use by anyone, with any level of skill. And that is despite its interface looking a little daunting initially. Its really impressive array of instruments have been sampled at very high quality, and at various frequencies to provide authentic and dynamic sounds across a large range of notes. And ThumbJam consequently sounds great when your iPhone is hooked up to your home sound system.

Once you have started to master the app, and wish to delve deeper you may want to encourage a friend or two to get a copy, and jam together. The app provides ways to sync your devices so that they match each others tempo, key and scale. This is all done via Bluetooth.

Multi-touch is implemented pretty well, allowing you to play many notes at once, creating chords, and also affect pitch, vibrato and glissando by moving your fingers, or tilting and turning the device. So you can really get into the music you are performing, and even perhaps fall off your chair if you get too carried away. In many ways ThumbJam is a musical instrument in its own right. I did get a few notes to stick while pushing the multi-touch limits of the interface. But it was infrequent, and easily remedied by stopping the instrument.

Every instrument has a plethora of settings you can play with to affect how they behave and sound. And the “keyboard” of ThumbJam is customisable to have more notes on screen, or change its octave range.

A recent update to the app added the ability to save and load tracks, and share / import them with apps like BeatMaker. And a further update has allowed you to use the app as a MIDI or OSC controller.

The author (Jesse Chappell) has obviously started building a relationship with users, and is listening to their feedback, as well as enjoying the music that many of them create. One example of that is here, and indeed in version updates many of the requests that this user had have been implemented.

One notable request, that many early reviews of this app picked up on, was the lack of a metronome to help when recording loops or tracks. This has been added as part of a recent update. And added with an impressive array of settings. As have more instruments, and usability tweaks and enhancements.

On any other platform this app would be considerably more than $6.99. And it wouldn’t be being updated quite so often either. It may seem expensive for an iPhone app, but the price hardly reflects the level of detail and professionalism, not to mention love, that has gone into producing what is probably the best music creation app for the iPhone at the moment.

A Twitter comment I received when reviewing this app said that the new iPad update “defines what my iPad is for”. I personally prefer using this on my iPhone. I like having it in my pocket for moments when inspiration strikes. But can also totally see how iPad users are able to get more from their larger interface, and the enhancements made to the app specifically for the iPad. What’s more, according to Jesse, “This is just the beginning for the iPad”.

If you like making music, and are at any skill level from beginner to pro., you are going to find something you like in ThumbJam. In short, if you are into music creation in any way, and have an iOS Device, get ThumbJam! It’s addictive! Now, where was I…



$6.99 (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Updated: Jul 26, 2010
Current Version: 1.3
1.3 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
152 MB
Language: English
Seller: Jesse Chappell
© 2010 Jesse Chappell
Rated 4+
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later

]]> 1 Napster App For iOS Stream Millions Of Songs To Your iPhone Mon, 20 Sep 2010 17:18:45 +0000 Read More]]> After months of waiting, Apple has finally approved the Napster music application for iOS and it’s available to download from the App Store today.

Napster iPhoneNapster’s app is free to download to your device, but to gain access to the music, you’ll need to sign up to their ‘Napster Plus Mobile Access Plan,’ which is $10 per month. There is a free trial if you’re a new customer, so if you’ve never used Napster before, you can give the service a go before you commit.

As well as streaming music to your device wirelessly, the app also allows you to save songs, albums, and playlists to listen to while you’re offline. The app will also recommend music to you and give you access to the Billboard charts dating all the way back to 1955!

Another great feature is ‘Automix,’ which will create a playlist from your favorite song blending similar artists – much like iTunes’ Genius feature.

If you’re a Napster subscriber and you’ve been playing with their new iOS app, please let us know what you think about it in the comments.


Price: Free (View in iTunes)
Category: Music
Released:Sep 19, 2010
Size: 1.8 MB
© Napster LLC
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

]]> 0 Synth: Nice iPad Music App but not for Serious Musicians Fri, 23 Apr 2010 10:07:15 +0000 Read More]]> Synth iPad Music App

Synth [rating: 3.5/5]

Any application that can make me feel like I have any musical talent must be pretty good and I’ve found that many iPhone/iPod Touch apps can do that and now on the iPad a plethora of musical iPad apps are coming out which will hopefully make me feel even more like a musical maestro.

This time it’s Synth for iPad which aims to replicate an electronic synthesizer with it’s range of musical and crazy sounds to create musical montages with.

Everything you need with Synth is on the one made page which in one hand makes things very easy while on the other shows that it doesn’t have the range of options that other similar applications have.

The multiple-touch controls are both responsive and sensitive and the sound quality is good too with a decent range of 40 sounds to choose from and the ability to sample your own sounds.

The additional 5 adjustments also offer a degree customizations and the ability control the octave range extrapolates those options even more.

Ultimately while Synth is well put together and will entertain for about as long as a 99 cent synthesizer application should. If you want to have a handy synthesizer available to you for a quick blast of electronic fun every now and again then this will suffice, those looking for a more serious synthesizer with the options to produce a quality piece of work you may want look elsewhere.

The Good

The Not So Good

Price: $0.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Released: Apr 01, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1
Size: 1.5 MB
Language: English
Seller: The Retronyms LLC
© 2010 Retronyms
Rated 4+

]]> 0 Accordéon iPad Music App Review Wed, 07 Apr 2010 11:32:53 +0000 Read More]]> Accordeon iPad Music App

Accordéon [rating: 3/5]

Writing the review for this application is possibly one of the most difficult reviews that I’ve ever had to write. Actually, let me rephrase that. Most difficult I’ve had to score. I’ll write my review and then perhaps you’ll see what I mean.

Accordéon is exactly that, it’s an accordéon simulator for the iPad and in that it does exactly what it should do:-

It looks like an accordéon.
It plays like an accordéon.
It sounds like an accordéon.

The Accordéon app loads to the view of the accordéon itself with the piano like keys on one side and the buttons on the others. Holding the iPad just as you would a real accordéon and using the multi-touch capabilities you can play it just as if was in fact a real accordéon, and what’s even more impressive is that it sounds like a real accordéon too. Now I say that’s impressive, the sound of the accordéon is a pretty unique sound and so it won’t appeal to everyone, but it is realistic.

That’s pretty much all that can be said about this app, it looks like an accordéon, it sounds like an accordéon, the only thing is who really want’s to play an accordéon in real life let alone on the iPad, other than the obvious price difference that it’s.

So there’s my dilemma, Accordéon does exactly what it’s supposed to do and for that it gets a (5/5). However, it’s not going to stay on my iPad because after the initial amusement of playing an accordéon the enjoyment wears a little thin meaning there is little replay value get it a score more like a (1/5). With that being said I’ll split the difference and give it (3/5).

Take a look at it yourself if you like from this official clip of the app from the developer himself.

The Good

The Not So Good

Price: $3.99 (iTunes Store Preview)
Updated: Apr 06, 2010
Reviewed Version: 1.0.1
Size: 4.4 MB
Language: English
Seller: Alexander Komarov
© Alex Komarov Inc. and Sergey Rachok
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.2 or later.

]]> 2 BandMate: Personalized Live Music Calendar Mon, 28 Dec 2009 15:49:35 +0000 Read More]]> BandMate [rating: 4/5]

Apple introduced ‘genius’ feature for songs first and then extended it for apps. Personalized suggestions make your next purchase very easy and certainly makes more sense. We have been noticing a rise in web and 3rd party applications which are offering personalized suggestions either for music or apps.

BandMate is a genius app for all music lovers as it helps you keep a track of all the music events taking place around you. The app scans your music library for artists when launched the first time and then it searches for events, matches events for similar artists and then finally updates the calender.

BandMate Live Music iPhoneOnce the app becomes smart by understanding the kind of music you have and you enter your location it presents you with a very intuitive and simple interface for viewing the events taking place around your city. BandMate allows you to view Events, mark favourites, choose artists using the tabs on the bottom of the screen. You can always change your location or refresh the artists in your library by accessing the options on the top.

Tapping on an event of your interest will further show you the details of the event and offer some great features which make this app highly useful. The top of the event detail screen is occupied by cover flow style images from the artists event in the past and displays date, time and location of the show along with the probability score showing how strong the recommendation is. Tapping on the ‘info’ option at the bottom shows you options to view artist’s web site, Bio, Tour Dates and Event Details (using database) Further just like app (iTunes Link, Free) you can view YouTube videos, buy songs on iTunes or simply tap to launch the internet radio streaming app for iPhone/iPod touch to listen to launch the band’s radio station.

BandMate Live Music iPhone_2Other options the app includes are ability to rate the artist, share via E-mail, Twitter, Facebook and view the location of the event on a map. If you want to attend an event the app lets you mark it as favourite so that you can view the details before the event date. We would have preferred if the app used Calender interface to mark dates as this would be more effective way of managing events. In a future update the developers could look at integrating Push Notification which sends reminders and updates regarding latest events based on your interest.

BandMate is a useful extension to the popular app which not only keeps a track of artist’s events but also recommends events which could possibly be of your interest. If you are an active user of then propably this app won’t excite you much but, if you want personalized recommendation for live events based on your iTunes Library and location then BandMate is just perfect for you.

Price: $1.99 (iTunes Link) as of Dec 28, 2009
Version reviewed 1.61

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed by: Ravin

Expedited Review: Request received on Dec 23, reviewed on Dec 28

BandMate for iPhone

]]> 0 Review: Jamble Music Mashups: Grandmaster Flash or Jive Bunny? Tue, 04 Aug 2009 06:45:52 +0000 Read More]]> [rating: 3.5/5]

Jamble Music Mashups is a music app with a difference in rather than just allowing you a different way to play your own tracks it provides with a series of loops that allow you to create your own mobile music mix but is this a Grandmaster Flash of the app world or more of a Jive Bunny?

Jamble’s point-and-mix interface comes loaded with some of the greatest, most mashable music… from old skool to the latest hits, including:

★ The Pussycat Dolls – When I Grow Up
★ Gwen Stefani – What Are You Waiting For
★ Kardinal Offishall – Dangerous (feat Akon)
★ Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
★ Dirty Vegas – Days go By
★ David Bowie – Fashion
★ Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy
★ Georgio Moroder – The Chase
★ A Skillz and Krafty Cuts – Come Alive Now

The Jamble screen is laid out nicely with 24 icons displaying the track that when pressed starts the loop, and there is an impressive list of titles to choose from including Blur, Gorrilaz, The Cure, David Bowie and many more and each loop that they’ve added from these artists is as infectious as swine flu.

Click on your selected track starts it spinning and a beat meter at the top of the screen helps you keep pace. All you need to do next is to hit the next track you want to play and on the appropriate beat stop this initial track. And that’s all there is to it. I was pretty skeptical at first that I would be able to produce anything resembling a decent mix of tracks but it was surprisingly easy to do and before long I did indeed feel like I would be able to spin with the best of them.

In addition to the initial 16 tracks there are 8 tracks that you can substitute into your playlist at anytime, including while you are playing other tracks. This app will come into it’s own though when plugged into some speakers so that the base can be loaded up and then the party can really be started. The only limiting thing about this app is the fact that you can’t incorporate your own tracks from your iTunes library, now that would really bring a party to life meaning that your options would only be limited by your imagination rather than the 24 tracks that are included in the pack.

While Jamble is solitary experience to play those listening to you will certainly enjoy hearing the impressive mashups and according to No Robots Interactive there will be further tracks made available soon to purchase and add to your party. Unfortunately there is currently no save functionality, something that No Robots also say they are working on, so all mixes will need to be played live.

This app definitely has potential, but just misses the target slightly with its limited options. Jamble is good but even with 24 tracks because you only get the loop of the track you can soon get bored of them and at $5.99 I think I’d rather just buy myself 6 whole tracks from the iTunes store and play them back to back. For me, this is definitely about as cool as Jive Bunny rather than Grandmaster Flash.

iphone-app-reviews-promo-codes-official-app-store-badge_touch_4Price $5.99

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed By: Craig Willis

Jamble Music Mashups Screenshots

Jamble Music Mashups_4 jamble-music-mashups jamble-music-mashups_2 jamble-music-mashups_3 ]]> 0 Review Instant Beat Mon, 22 Jun 2009 04:50:56 +0000 Read More]]> One man band or just looking to replace that awkward drummer? This is the app for you.

Instant Beat brings the next generation rhythm composer to the iPhone and iPod Touch. It provides you with an extremely fast way of creating studio quality rhythm arrangements on the go. Everyone from the beginner to the studio pro will be creating beats in minutes thanks to the simplified user interface.

This is a drum machine with a twist, rather than record what you personally play on the pads to be played back again, mistakes an all, this app has both pads and a sequencer where you simply tap squares on a grid and it plays the particular beat. Configure your bpm and drum type (6 different types to choose from) then tapping grid and away you go, forming your drum rhythm as the yellow bar moves over the green squares. Once you’ve completed your masterpiece you can save the pattern for future use after entering a custom name with an onscreen keyboard. Going one step further with a view to live performances you can setup sessions, which let you choose what patterns are loaded into the quick launch row of buttons above the pads at a moments notice. As far as I can tell you are pretty much unlimited (device memory providing one would assume) with the amount of different sessions and patterns you can have stored which is always a good thing but I would like to see more drum kits available just to bulk out this application’s longevity.

My gripes with this application, would be that adjusting the bpm is hard work, stuck with tapping the + or – button once for every one digit adjustment, which if you play at different speeds for different songs is going to be a killer pain in the neck to stand there and adjust it back and fourth. While most of the settings in the menu are used for loading and saving patterns and sessions the show/hide instrument numbers is off by default and will be off every time you launch the application which could be annoying as it’s the only way of telling which pad does what between the pad and grid views. I also feel the interface could do with more work to maximise screen real estate as there are some rather large gaps that could be better used to make the interface elements larger so easier to use in the heat of the moment.

iphone-app-reviews-promo-codes-official-app-store-badge_touch_4Price: $2.99 (free version available)

The Good

The Not So Good

Reviewed by: Tyler Durdan

Instant Beat Screenshots

iphone-music-app-review-instant-beat_4 iphone-music-app-review-instant-beat iphone-music-app-review-instant-beat_1 iphone-music-app-review-instant-beat_3

]]> 0 Contest Win $500 Sun, 24 May 2009 00:01:21 +0000 Read More]]> Contest Details:

Post your video to youtube and e-mail the link to [email protected]. Winner chosen by Ethervision based on best jam and most creative use of the app. For best results plug iphone into an amp using 1/8″ to 1/4″ jack then record with vid camera for best results. Winner will be chosen exactly 40 days after the app is released on the iTunes store. No Gimmicks, just $500 for the best jam. Period.
Note: When you upload to youtube add the keywords: “bare drums iphone application”

App description

Bare Drums is the lowest latency drum pad on the iTunes store.

Latency is the time lag between when your finger contacts the screen to when sound begins to be emitted by the speakers. The other drum apps on the store are sitting around 100ms. This may not seem like much until you try to actually play a rhythm on them. This is the reason that you have never seen a really impressive drum solo performed live on an iPhone BEFORE NOW.

Bare Drums cuts the latency almost in half resulting in a sharp responsive instrument that you can actually play. Check out the video on YouTube to see what we mean.


Fully customizable in every way:

* Reconfigure layout any way you want. You can create big pads, small pads and every combo in between.

* Assign sounds to any drum pad.

* Adjust the volume of any pad.

* Change the color of each pad.

* Clamping. Clamp one pad to another to silence it when the other plays.

iphone-app-reviews-promo-codes-official-app-store-badge_touch_4Price $.99


Bare Drums Screenshots

iphone-bare-drums_4 iphone-bare-drums_1 iphone-bare-drums_2 iphone-bare-drums_3

Help Us Spread the word: Retweet, Digg, Stumble!

]]> 0 iShred LE: Electric Guitar – Strum on your iPhone! Tue, 19 May 2009 12:40:57 +0000 Read More]]> iShred LE is a must have for all who love playing the guitar or want to carry it in their pockets!

iShred LE starts with a set of high-fidelity electric guitar samples, then feeds them through one of eight exciting stomp-box effects pedals and an overdriven amp simulator. It comes with 6 demo songs covering a great range of guitar styles:
* Classic Rock – some sweet distortion
* Heavy Metal – dark, foreboding fuzz
* Psychedelic 60’s – tilt for wah-wah as you play
* Surf’s Up – classic surf guitar from the beach
* Area 51 – guitar tone on an alien landscape
* New Waver – shimmery, sparkley pop purity

The heart of iPhone/iPod touch is music and iPhone developers have from the beginning been developing some unique and extraordinary apps in the music category. iShred LE takes the experience of playing guitar on your device to the next level.

iShred LE has a very simple and clean User Interface which lets you strum your electric guitar and change chords with ease. The top of the screen has 10 slots to arrange the chords and frets, the middle of the screen displays 6 strings (enough space to strum individual strings). Tap the options to edit the chord set-up while previewing each chord. iShred LE features 8 stomp-box effects to fine tune your song (Kompressor, Hot Fuzz, Sybil, Space Modulator, Wahsabi and many more). iShred LE also features 8 songs in Playlist.

The sound quality of this app is very good and is best when used with in-ear headphones or external speakers. The animation used for transitions and stomp-box effects is very realistic. It also features Air Play mode where you can hear and rate performances from full version users.

iphone-app-reviews-promo-codes-official-app-store-badge_touch_4Price $.99

The Good

The Not So Good

]]> 0 Drum Meister: Carry Your Beats Thu, 14 May 2009 14:45:13 +0000 Read More]]> Drum Meister is a great music app to carry your beats where ever you go and a cool way to show off what your iPhone/iPod touch is capable of.

* 10 drum components are playable simultaneously
* Arrange drum components to make your fingers comfortable
* Mixes high quality poly-phony sounds with no clipping at the end
* 3-D Positioning sounds
* Open hihat features quick stop
* Record and save your own beats
* 25 pre-recorded beats (Rock, Jazz, Latin, Ballad, Dance…)
* Slide and play
* Activates motion sensor for playing bass drum and cymbals
* Great responsiveness for double bass and fast beats
* Animated visual effect

There are plenty of Drum apps in the App Store so the addition of a new one is going to have to grab some headlines to beat off the competition and the new one in question is Drum Meister.

Priced at $1.99 Drum Meister sits in the middle of the price range but functionality wise is pushing for the top spot. When starting the app you are instantly presented with the default drum set including 10 high quality sample sounds and this gives you the instant gratification of banging out a rhythm with no setup at all. The layout of the kit sits easily with your fingers and the crisp accurate sounds of the drums adds to the enjoyment, plug in your headphones and the sounds get even better.

Entering the options menu allows you to make a couple of changes with the key one being the setup of the Motion Sensor sound where you can pick from the Kick, C, S & R Cymbol’s. While the motion sensor seems like a good idea there is no control on the sensitivity of the motion control which can lead to un-wanted beats while you are in mid-thrash. It’s a small issue and unless you have a light touch you may end up turning the Motion Sensor off.

Drum Meister allows you to not only play along with your favorite songs from your iPod library but it also allows you to record you beats to listen back to at your leisure, although giving you the ability to upload your tunes or download the tracks of others would be nice. One of the strongest features of drum Meister is the ability to re-arrange the drum components to match your style and comfort.

Drum Meister also comes with 25 preloaded tracks covering Rock, Metal, Dance, Jazz and Ballads so even if you’re not the best at banging out the tunes you can certainly pretend to be!

This is V1.0 of Drum Meister and it’s a good effort, hopefully an update with a few tweaks will make this a solid application.

iphone-app-reviews-promo-codes-official-app-store-badge_touch_4Price $1.99

The Good

The Not So Good

]]> 1 App Review: iShred Guitar + Effects Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:28:54 +0000 Read More]]> touch-reviews-ishred-guitar[rating: 4.5/5]

iShred is a must have for all guitar and music lovers!

Adrenaline: Treble Booster for that extra shot
* HK-2000 Delay: For fat slap sound or huge echo
* Hot Fuzz: Get buzzed with an electrifying distortion
* Kömpressör: Power chords just beg for it
* Q-36 Space Modulator: Multi-pattern modulation
* Sybil: Dual chorus pedal to hear your evil twin
* Trembler: Get a healthy dose of Tremolo
* Wahsabi: Tilt your iPhone to control this wah pedal!

From the moment you click on the iShred logo and the guitar spins smoothly into place you know that this app has been built with care and attention and right away you can start strumming the strings to create what has to be the most accurate guitar sound the iPhone has heard.

After you’ve rocked out for a few minutes though you’ll want to move on to something a little more serious and that’s where the pre-loaded song sets come in. Now if you after a Guitar Hero style painting by numbers game you are going to be disappointed as rather than letting you pretend to be Joe Perry or Jimi Hendrix, iShred teaches you to become your own legend.

Each song set provides you with just the right chords to create your own version of a guitar classic inc. Wild Thing, Highway to Hell, Godzilla and more but not only that, when your done with creating your own instant classic you can tweak you guitar to really make the song your own.

This is where the $4.99 becomes great value for money as you can chose from a multitude of premier effects and take your guitar shredding to the next level. There are 8 effects to choose from each with multiple settings allowing you to create your definitive sound, my favorite, the Wahsabi even allows you to shake the iPhone to add your wah wah effect.

Each string can be adjusted, refined and perfected in your hunt for the perfect sound and once you’ve mastered, or in my case annihilated, your favorite tunes you can not only record your masterpiece but share it with fellow iShreeders around the world with the AirPlay. Not only that, but you can also listen to other songs that have been uploaded and rate them.

iShred has been created by a team that clearly knows and loves the guitar, its sound and the raw emotion that strumming those 6 strings can bring, in my opinion installing the iShred application onto your iPhone is 2nd only to hanging the real thing around your neck.

official-app-store-badge_4Price $4.99

The Good

The Not So Good

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iShred Guitar + Effects Screen Shots


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