In this month’s iPad / iOS music app roundup we take a look at Robert Henke’s Orphion instrument, a 48 track iPad DAW called Auria, generative music creation from OscilloScoop, and an easy way to write music with Melody Music Maker
Orphion – Expressive and Virtuosic Playing
Monolake / Ableton co-founder Robert Henke and Bastus Trump have created a musical instrument with a unique sound that sits between string instruments and percussion. Everyone can play expressive, wonderful sounds and easy or virtuosic melodies on it just by moving fingers on virtual pads.
Bastus tells Create Digital Music: “Orphion’s interface was developed especially for a touch screen and allows very expressive — and also virtuosic — playing. You can choose between different layouts of tonally-tuned pads, which sound differently depending on the finger position when played, and can be modulated by further movements. The sound and the means of interaction is a mixture of string and percussion instruments and reaches from soft to plucked to a hard slap. The concept of the Orphion results from my master thesis at UdK Berlin supervised by Robert Henke (aka Monolake). The topic was to develop an interface for multi-touch screens that allows a maximum of expression.”
Auria: 48-Track Recording System for iPad
From the looks of the photos and video, Wave Machine Labs’ Auria looks like it may be the most full-featured DAW application in development for the iPad at the moment. The Pro Tools-like application offers a crisp graphic interface that looks like what you’d expect from a mixing console as well as modern DAW additions such as a nice EQ interface and VST support (iOS VST format only).
“Auria is a 48 track digital audio workstation designed exclusively for the iPad. Built from the ground up to be used in professional studio and live tracking applications, Auria includes the necessary tools for recording, mixing, and editing any project. Auria introduces innovative features such as AAF import/export for moving sessions between popular DAWs (like Pro Tools and Nuendo), 64-bit double precision architecture, and multiple channels of recording using compatible USB audio interfaces (via the Camera Connection Kit).”
OscilloScoop – Graphic, Generative Music
Interface designer Lukas Girling and programmer Scott Snibbe created a generative music app called OscilloScoop for the iPad and iPhone last year that is recently getting some love from the press. OscilloScoop was recently listed in Fast Company Design’s 14 Best Ideas in Interaction Design. It’s easy to see why when you look at the above video. This app takes generative music to a new level with 3 dimensional objects that move, change shape and affect the music you are creating.
“With OscilloScoop you make real musical grooves by simply gliding your fingertips over spinning crowns; then sequence them into a real-time performance with a few taps. As effortless as a toy, OscilloScoop gives you the same tools pro DJs and musicians use to create intricate tracks—but with an intuitive interface inspired by video games and animation. OscilloScoop is an organic, generative way to make music in a process that’s more like dancing than composing: it’s addictive, fun, and original.”
Melody Music Maker
One of the nicest things to come out of the iOS music movement is a growing list of applications that help you create chords and melodies without having to know much (or any) music theory. Joining the ranks of applications like the much-loved Polychord app is Melody Music Maker. The child-like interface makes the application feel simple while the playability of this instrument is top notch.
“With melody music maker you can fully focus on one thing: the melody that you enjoy, without taking care for the notes and theoretical correctness. Colors guide the user through the composition of the song.”
Michael Walsh is the Editor of Dubspot’s Blog, a producer of audio/visual art and a journalist living in Southern California. Read more of his work at soundsdefygravity.com