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« SoundPrism Pro »

This is a gorgeous app that represents keys, chords and scales in a unique layout. It comes with 4 Sounds, and they'll sell you additional sample packs, but the real treat here is that it can be used to control anything with MIDI. Including CoreMIDI apps that support background audio, such as Sunrizer or NLog Synth Pro! This is a fun and inventive way of playing that is inviting to new users unfamiliar with music theory, but also useful if you do. For more experienced users you may also want to look at PolyChord. There is an optional pseudo-velocity for your screen presses, with adjustable curve. I found myself wishing there were some controls for MIDI CC, or at least a mod wheel, to interact more deeply with the MIDI slave. You have the ability to use your device's accelerometer for assignable MIDI CC, but this is a little impractical on even the light-weight iPad 2. A free version of SoundPrism is available here with pretty much all of the features, but none of the MIDI. The documentation and tutorial videos Audanika has put out in support of their app is commendable!

Reader Comments (1)

I'm a multi-instrumentalist, but I don't play keys. This app lets me fill in with huge pads on our church band, either augmenting the keyboard player's work, or substituting for keys if they're unavailable. Right now, I'm mostly using it in conjunction with NLog Synth Pro. It's absolutely worth the investment, especially if keys are somewhat foreign to you! There's just SO many good sounds possible from the iOS platform that I don't want to miss. SoundPrism Pro opens the door to a huge amount of expression. Beyond that, SP Pro can actually provide more capability than a keyboardist would be able to do, by sending up to 12 notes to the underlying synth at once -- turn on the setting to send 3 bass notes, then hit the 3-octave button on the main screen to send 9 notes in three triads, something beyond the reach of anyone with two hands and ten fingers!

Stuff I'd like to see:

I would love to have a virtual volume slider, say on the right hand side of the screen, as using the hardware buttons to get decent dynamics during a performance is awkward, and not smooth enough. There's only about 16 different volume levels on the iPad, and the dynamic difference between almost full and full is definitely noticeable when bouncing between the two levels.

I've also had a bit of a challenge configuring the tilt sensors to do useful things in the background synth engines. This isn't Tempo Rubato's fault, necessarily, but it'd be great to get some tutorial videos and written directions showing this in apps like NLog Synth Pro, Animoog, Sunriser, etc. It'd be great to have an x-y control pad or two available somewhere as well -- a lot of the beauty and organic nature found in the tone of a synth comes from the ability to tweak LFOs and filters during performance. Right now, the only way to do that is by mapping the tilt sensors.

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Newby

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