In the beginning I wanted to create a digital toy to record and play sound, with some creative controls like scratching. After playing the prototype for a while, I added more functions. In edit mode I can adjust the volume, attack, release, playing speed. Also there are some utility tools like copy, paste and trim, helps you to manage the clips. In play mode, I can tap to play a clip, or I can drag in circles to scratch the clip. If I wind the clip and drag away, it will loop the clip at the speed it was dragged.
Henry used openFrameworks to build Sound Yeah. He started off from the default audio-in and audio-out example available in the examples folder of oF. The sound is generated from the sound buffer, so its a time-based approach, he writes. In addition he also wrote some classes for the UI (which we absolutely love) as well as a DIY cable to split the microphone and headphone so he can connect to other sound source using line-in, rather than the build-in microphone. See video below of him perform with the app.
Henry hasn’t submitted Sound Yeah to Apple just yet but expects this to happen very soon.
In the meantime, you can follow the progress by following Henry on vimeo.
We will, of course, post as soon as the app is available.
UPDATE 05.08.2010 // Added 2 new videos. See below.
- SoundGyro [iPhone, openFrameworks] 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 […]
- Squeal [iPad, openFrameworks] In 2010, Hong Kong musician/producer/composer Gaybird Leung invited Henry Chu to create a music app for his show Digital Hug, he was inspired by SoundGyro and want to create an instrument that could respond to body gesture like a theremin. Squeal is aimed to launch with 100 faces and you are invited to take part. The team has gathered faces from designers, artists, athletes, musicians, office ladies, writers, directors.... If you are interested to become part of this app, send them your portrait and information and they will put into our queue. They cannot guarantee your face will be used but of your information will be kept securely and will only use for contact only. The app is currently in development and expected to be submitted to the AppStore in July. Henry Chu is a Hong Kong based new media artist / interactive web designer. After he finished his Electronic & Electric Engineering Degree in University of Auckland, New Zealand, he came back to his birthplace Hong Kong and started his digital design career in 1998. Previously: Squiggle [iPad, openFrameworks] - Draw lines, and play them as ... SoundGyro [iPhone, openFrameworks] - Sound by gyroscope /by ... Sound Yeah [iPad, Sound, openFrameworks] - Tap to play, drag […]
- Kontrol [iPhone, Sound] Kontrol is an experimental music toy by Johan Halin, a minimal techno composition where you control both the visuals and musical structure. The application was developed by Ab Parasol Oy. To make things happen, slowly push the blue buttons. I always thought of AppStore as a great platform to publish music. This is a great example of how music on a digital device should sound/play. See also Re<ords. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: $0.99 Developer: Ab Parasol Oy (via […]
- Jasuto [iPhone, Sound] Jasuto is an iPhone music app (and a VST Plugin) that can rightly claim to be the first modular synthesizer on the platform. Jasuto lets you build your own patches or synths similar to how you would in Reaktor or SynthEdit, albiet in a much more simplified environment. Modules are represented on screen as circular objects and connecting them is only a matter of placing them near each other. The orientation of the modules relative to each other matters, since placing a module to the left of another may connect to a different input than placing it to the right. How far apart the modules are determines the volume level. If you've ever seen the reacTable, it's very similar to that. Jasuto comes with simple sequencers, oscillators, filters, effects, and the ability to load samples. Jasuto keeps all the modules fairly simplistic - the goal is to make modular synthesis fun and easy. Each module usually offers only a couple tweakable parameters. For that reason Jasuto falls somewhere between a musical instrument toy and a full music program - it's too complicated to be a toy (synthesizer novices won't get it) and it doesn't have enough options to make a song with. Loved: Simple, easy to understand interface Method of uploading / downloading patches to the application, via built in http server. Very nice! Motion recording Didn't Like: Method of connecting modules, while easy and lending itself to free experimentation, is actually pretty limiting. It feels like I am fighting against the automatic connections rather than having them working for me. I would rather have direct control of what gets connected to what. Suggestions: Since this app is very similar to reacTable, it would be cool to borrow some more of it's strengths - reacTable lets you rotate modules to modify parameters. Maybe the scale gesture could also do something (make a module louder perhaps?). Also, if this app aims to be true modular toy, then I think the modules need to be of a higher order. For instance, include some more 'ready made' synths or analog drum beats that can be dropped on and edited in simple ways, such as changing tempo, pitch, rhythm, etc. The average iPhone user might not know how to build a synthesizer from scratch but he might have fun playing around with patterns, modulation and effects. Conclusion: If you are modular synth fanatic, or have been looking to start your own iPhone-only experimental music band, then this might be the application you've been searching for. For the rest of us, Jasuto might be fun to load up once in a while to come up with new sound effects. At $4.99, it's not really that expensive and I doubt many people will regret the purchase. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.1 Cost: $4.99 Developer:Â Chris […]
- ShapeSeq [iPhone, Sound] ShapeSeq is a wonderfully simple sound sequencer created by Paul Apfrod using openFrameworks. Primitive shapes represent four oscillators you can choose from. As each shape is moved around the screen, the pitch and volume moves with it. Every shape has it's own loop, and every movement is recorded on the loop for instant playback. As the loop can be varied by size and number of steps while it is playing. Features - four oscillators - easy to play - instantly resize each loop - change the numbers of steps in each loop - start composing straight away! If you like this, see also SynthPond (created using openFrameworks). Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: […]
- DopplerPad [iPhone, Sound] Created by Retronyms,Â DopplerPad is an iPhone sound application that allows you to quickly create and perform musical hooks, phrases and loops with a variety of custom synth and sample-based instruments. DopplerPad offers a unique take on mobile music production. It's clear that it was designed solely with iPhone in mind, and doesn't attempt to follow desktop music apps too closely. The first thing you'll notice about Dopplerpad is it's beautiful presentation. It's a minimal, high tech look but very colorful and inviting. Buttons are just the right size and the interactions feel great. The screens are laid out very logically and slide smoothly between each other. You will never feel lost in this app. DopplerPad centers mostly around live recording rather than sequencing. Just pick an instrument, press record and start tapping. Each time you tap, DopplerPad produces animated squares to show your notes and these get played back with the recording as well. The result is both nice to look at and listen to. One of the cool things about DopplerPad is that it can figure out how hard you are tapping the screen and adjusts the velocity of the note accordingly. The 'Y' position on the screen also controls a modulation parameter for each instrument, such as the filter. All the sounds seem like pretty basic synthy sounds and you can't tweak them, which may be a bit limiting for some people. However, they give you more than enough sounds to have fun with. There are also a couple drum kits. Hopefully the devs will be adding more sounds as time goes on (some realistic instrument samples might be cool).Â DopplerPad also has an intuitive arpeggiator/gate to help you stay on time. I have a couple criticisms with the note input model - one is that it can be hard to hit exactly the right note. It's tempting to just click and drag around, but that will just produce atonal experimental sounding music. It would be cool if you could set up a musical scale and have the pitches snap to that, like you can do in Bebot. My other criticism - no multitouch? DopplerPad is capable of playing back many sounds at once, but you have to input them seperately. I'd love to be able to input chords. DopplerPad also sports the ability to sample sounds using the microphone and to replay them starting at any point in the sample. This feature is a lot of fun to experiment with and opens up a lot of possibilities. The other main screen in DopplerPad is the 'Mixer' page and it's very reminiscient of a DJ mixing console. Here you can mix between two DopplerPad loops. You can also copy loops and pick which ones are playing. It's very intuitive and DJ's will be right at home here. To conclude - DopplerPad is a very enjoyable app. It's intuitive and easy to pick up, it's nice to look at, and you can do some interesting stuff with it. $10 may sound like a lot, but when you compare that to what you would pay for a desktop version of the same app, it's a steal. For iPhone musicians, DopplerPad is a must have. Platform: iPhone Version: 1.01 Cost: $9.99 Developer: […]
- Reactable Mobile [iPhone, iPad, Sound] The reactable got it it's start before the iPhone and iPad brought multitouch to the masses. It began as an experiment into new forms of computer interaction, both for music applications and multi-user, multi-touch applications in general. The first iteration of the Reactable was an installation that featured tangible blocks representing different sound modules that could be placed on a semi-transparent table. A camera system picked up the locations of the blocks, thanks to visual tags on the bottoms. Computer software and a video projection system then created an augumented environment for playing with these building blocks of sound. It's influence shouldn't be underestimated, as it lead to things like Microsoft's surface, Microsoft Kinect, Sony's Playstation Move and more. It also gained some mainstream notoriety when Björk used it on stage. Now, similar software is available to the common iPhone-or-iPad-owning man. Gone are the cool acrylic blocks, but they are replaced with more convenient digital versions. The interface overall looks and works very well as a multitouch app. One could fault the developers for lacking labels or clear explanations about what is going on, but this is, after all, meant as a playground where people can experiment with sound - not a serious production tool. Too much explanation would take the fun out of simply experimenting with it (and ruin the interface minimalism). Art and graphics seem to be sufficiently hi-res that they still look great even when zoomed in. Everwhere you look things are pulsating, control events are flying between modules and waveforms are flowing. It's hard to deny the visual appeal. Sequencing follows the easy 'grid' approach employed by so many applications these days and has the ability to turn off rows or columns which is a nice touch. Effects settings can be modified using a simple XY pad. It's clear that the developers understand that touch applications need to be kept simple and intuitive. The modules themselves offer a mix of synthesis, sample playback and audio effects which should allow for a good amount of creativity in your own set ups. Also, you can load your own sounds. Reactable Mobile is not totally without issues - the app crashed almost every time I clicked the 'table' menu button. Also, some elements can be a bit hard to tap when not fully zoomed in - such as the volume slider. It's also hard to rotate modules. I would suggest a larger 'hit area' for these. Hopefully the developers can get these issues fixed soon, because otherwise it is a promising and fun app. Platform: iPhone/iPad (Universal) Version: 1.0 Cost: $9.99 Developer: Reactable See […]
- Gliss [iPhone, Sound] Gliss is new sound toy application which lets you play sound files and mix them easily by drawing on your iPhone. Play your mix using a tempo or scrub through by tilting your iPhone. Gliss allows you to improvise and perform using the iPhone as a controller and an interface. Put sound under your fingertips with 5 different colors to draw your own notes, sequences and sounds. See video below for demo and although not the best composition I could come up with, you can imagine the fun and sheer extent of possibilities. Very impressive you'll agree but with precedents. Features: - 5 colors to draw different sounds / samples / voices - sample upload via wifi - sample playback in different pitches using various scales - physical tilt-controlled playhead, which adapts movements of the hand - physical randomization option: control random pitches with the phone's tilt - muting voices - glissandi over several octaves - free or grid enabled placement of notes - drifting selections - saving / opening of projects Platform: iPhone Version: 1.0 Cost: […]
Posted on: 15/07/2010
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