I’ve been perusing the myriad music apps over at the App Store on iTunes. I can play guitar and sing, but I do like branching out. Balking at the extraordinary amount of money they want for such apps as Garage Band, I had wondered if there was something cheaper.
Admittedly, I wanted to write a faux chip tune to be used as fanfare for my (hopefully updated soon) Let’s Plays. And I was also very much inspired by a friend who uses MTV Music Generator to make his music, as well as Jim Guthrie. I tried finding a competent RAM for MTV Music Generator, but the torrent file was corrupt.
Wondering if there was something cheap and user friendly, I scanned the iTunes App Store. What I found was a neat little app called, PixiTracker. It’s a fun combination of 16 bit sound that reminds me of my Dad’s old Roland S-10 and various modules. I had many fun hours over at his house playing with the keyboard. When I donned his comfy studio cans, you knew it was jammin’ time.
The interface looks a bit confusing first, but it’s actually pretty simple. Each “pixel” is a sound. You can arrange your song however you’d like. You just tap which pixel you want, and then tap again onto which square you’d like. You can change the octave of any sound, as well as the bpm of the entire song.
The biggest selling point for me was that you can export any song as a .WAV, and it has midi keyboard support! My only complaint is you can’t layer any tracks, but at $1.99 USD I think it’s a deal. PixiTracker is available for the iOS and DroidOS.
I have recently become interested in monomes. I was wanting to purchase one, but they are $500 and up. I’m not exactly in any position to pay extravagant money for things that aren’t bills. But doing a quick search in the App Store yielded sweet victory! I found an app called Step Sequence, though I cannot find a damn link to it. Or any pictures.
It’s basic as basic can be. The interface looks like a monome. Each button is a single note that sounds like a marimba. You can press as many keys as you like to make a sequence. You cannot change the bpm, or layer any notes together. You can’t export any song you make. It really is that basic, but it’s small chunks of time that are entertaining. When you’re done, you just shake the iPad Etch-A-Sketch style, and start over.
For a free app, it’s entertaining. I have no idea if this app is available on anything but the iOS, or if it’s even for the iPhone. I think I searched for “monome” in the app store on the iPad and found it.
And once I purchase a monome, my hipster transformation will be complete.
“you’ve probably never heard of me”