Songineer™ – Instant Composer ($1.99) by Amidio Inc. is more than just a novelty synthesizer for the iPhone; it’s an incredibly powerful and user-friendly music production suite.
That is to say, the app allows users with almost no musical knowledge to produce incredibly intricate tonal arrangements, and all from the security of their iDevice.
The app does this through the use of its MIDI-esque note board, as well as its simplistic keyboard arrangement. Songineer foregoes the typical digital equivalent of an analog rig, and instead replaces it with a design that reminds us a lot of a harmonica.
This setup has the player tapping light nodes arranged in a zigzag pattern along the bottom of the screen. Tapping each of these points produces a note (a note that’s always in key). When the record function is enabled, each of these musical prods is saved to the nearest quantized point in the MIDI stream. Essentially, it’s beat production made so simple even your grandmother could do it.
The benefits of this arrangement are compounded by the fact that Songineer comes loaded with 20 unique instruments and five different drum tracks, as well as a total of four polyphonic instrument layers. All in all, this adds up for one heck of an impressively simplified music suite.
If you’re an industry professional, however, we realize you’ve likely got one question on your mind: How useful will Songineer be for my workflow?
And the answer is: somewhat useful.
We aren’t knocking Songineer’s potential, as we were able to coax some impressively complex tunes out of the app. And considering the developers have included exporting options for all manner of popular audio formats, it would certainly be an easy task to load creations into more robust musical suits, like studio.HD.
However, as with any app of this nature, the level of control given to the end user is often somewhat limited. There’s an array of effects controls to aide the creation process, but there’s still nothing like having an actual KORG in front of you to get the creative juices flowing.
That being said, the $1.99 price tag easily makes Songineer worth a look, especially for those with an extensive musical background. For those that haven’t got this sort of experience the app is every bit as user friendly, and might potentially be more of an entertainment piece.