AcoustiGrid ($1.99) by Software Logix LLC is an iPad-only synthesizer app that uses visual cues to let you experiment with sounds in a fun and creative way. You don’t have to know anything about music to appreciate this app. You can just tap squares and let the automatic player do the rest for you.
When you open the app, you are automatically given a quick tutorial of the features. You may have the urge to skip it in order to just start playing around with sounds, but don’t. It doesn’t take very long and it will help you figure out where all of the settings are. Once you are ready to play, just start tapping away at the grid and see what kind of music you make.
You can attempt to write songs using specific notes, but the grid has very small squares, and there are a lot of them, so it may be a bit time consuming to use this app for such purposes. Instead, I recommend just creating a picture on your grid and experimenting with what sounds are created when using visual cues as the music writing device. My first sound clip was a picture of a tree, some birds and a shining sun. The resulting sounds reminded me of aliens flying through space.
This app is not intended to be for song writing, but it is designed for sound experimentation. There are five different instruments for you to choose from. They are not specifically named, but they sound similar to a piano, a harpsichord, an electric guitar and two electronic instruments that I couldn’t determine. You can adjust the volume, tempo and pitch bend of each note. You can also add reverb, echo and chorus. The varying options help the instruments sound similar to a science fiction movie’s sound track.
Once you have created a clip, you can save it and start a new one. You can also record your clips and copy them to your computer using iTunes file sharing.
This app is creative and original in its implementation. It uses a mechanism that utilizes images to represent sounds and lets you experiment with a variety of instruments and effects to create interesting compositions. You can even spend hours playing around with images and instruments to create your own science fiction movie sound track.