Latest is the series of sound apps from Henry Chu is SoundGyro, a sound toy that uses iPhone 4′s gyroscope to alter pitch, octave or change the key. The app is still in development and Henry is still working on developing some advanced features. We asked Henry about SoundGyro, here is some info + inspiration behind the app.
Once iPhone4 was released, I wanted to try on the gyroscope as it gives more accurate position/orientation information than the accelerometer. I had the idea to create a theremin like instrument that translate the hand position to musical notes, I did it on iPhone and Wiimote before, but the result didnt impress me, mostly because I cannot combine 2 axis of movement together, the reading will go very unstable. Another reason is that the sensor is not sensitive enough to capture small gesture, which is a big hurdle in creating expressive music, if I can only play long notes slowly.
Using gyroscope I can combine 3 axis of movement together without messing up all of them. Moreover, the device can now detect the rotation rate, it adds another dimension of control. The iPad and 3Gs has a digital compass which behave in a similar way, but the sensor just got better in iPhone4.
Using SoundGyro is simple, tap anywhere on the screen to start the sound, at this moment, there is no difference at where you tap, but I might add some more control for advance playing. Tilting the device upward and download to change the pitch. To move to the upper or lower octave, rotate the device, you can use up to +/- 3 octave. The rolling controls the volume.
The default sound is A, in the setup page you can change the key. You can switch on/off the note snapping also that allow you to play discreet notes or slide between notes.
Wonderfully, SoundGyro as you see in the video below was only one days(!) work. Henry is keen to do more so keep an eye on his vimeo account for new videos + demos.
In the meantime, Sound Yeah bounced from the AppStore approval process for using a private API which Henry forgot to remove. Nevertheless, it is back in the approval queue and (hopefully) should be available in the next few days.
Posted on: 18/08/2010