People who know me well know I’m rather obsessed with music. I love listening to it, I love singing, and I love playing it (mainly on my accoustic guitar, and badly at that). But my playing has always been of the incredibly amateur, self-taught variety… ie, I can fingerpick a simple song or play a decent set of chords, but dear god don’t ask me to improvise on the spot.
That said, I do sometimes find myself plucking out melodies and playing around a bit with composition. Nothing serious, mind you, and entirely ephemeral, as I never actually record what I’m doing, but I do enjoy the activity, as I find it incredibly organic and instinctive.
Well, recently, on a whim, I decided to see what was available for music composition applications for my Touch. If you’ve actually read anything on this blog (and odds are you haven’t), you may have heard I picked up a 4g iPod Touch recently, and have been having a great time discovering great applications for making my life easier (Appigo Todo, Trunk Notes, and a ton of others). Well, it turns out there’s also an absolutely unbelievable DAW for iDevices: NanoStudio. And by unbelievable, I mean a full-blown music studio sporting:
- A powerful drum machine that supports 2 tracks and 4 buses, with a ton of options for pad configuration.
- 4 full synthesizers with 10 different effects available (and 128 stock presets), X-Y pad controls, a pitch wheel, and a patch panel for tying them all together.
- A complete multitrack sequencer.
- A mixer for adjusting the levels on all these lovely things.
- Support for resampling output, which you can then tie back to the synth or drum machine.
- Probably tons of other stuff.
And because it’s all done via a simple touch-based interface, the workflow is dead simple and incredibly natural. And being portable, it means you can compose wherever and whenever you feel like it.
Suddenly I feel unleashed! Creating music on this thing is unbelievably easy… instead of my clumsy hands limiting my creativity, the only thing stopping me is my brain and my need for sleep (and, I kid you not, killing time with this is way too easy… like, hours disappearing without my noticing).
So if you’re at all interested in music composition, check NanoStudio out. At $15 it’s an absolute steal. And going forward, the author has plenty of enhancements in the hopper, not to mention a full iPad version in the works (quite honestly, this might be the killer app for me that triggers my investment in an iPad).
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