by Lory Gil
June 3, 2013
Welcome back to another installment of Musician’s Corner where we discuss apps and accessories for musicians and fans of music. Last week, we had a hands-on review of UE’s newest portable speaker. The BOOM is definitely a fun new way to listen to your tunes. This week, we are spotlighting the same app that Apple is spotlighting. This week’s iPad Editor’s Choice in the App Store is Musyc. Incidentally, it is a universal app, so you can make musical magic on any device. Musyc is a visual experimental app that turns shapes into sounds. Draw lines, add circles, and create new, adventurous songs with this easy-to-use program. Users can learn the basics by starting a new song. When you open the new song page for the first time, you can take the step-by-step tutorial, which will explain how to add shapes and sounds and how to turn them into music. The base of a new song begins with a straight line. Draw a line and then drop a shape or two on top of it. The shape will bounce around. When it hits the line, it will make a sound. Each shape represents a different sound. The circle and triangle are both melody makers while the rectangle is a percussion sound. There is also a sequencer and a black hole that come free with this app. The sequencer automatically drops shapes at specified intervals and the black hole removes the shape from the board when it touches it. Shapes can either be completely free to move around until they disappear, or they can be made to remain static, which will cause the shape to stay in one specific spot and not move. You can connect shapes and sequencers to a line or to each other by touching two of them at the same time. This will create a “string” between the two objects that allows them to swing around and make new sounds when impacting with each other. Each shape can be fine tuned in the Properties menu. Tap on a shape and adjust the object’s size and whether it is in motion or static. There are additional audio effects and equalization options for shape sounds. Plus, you can record your music and save it to Dropbox, iTunes file sharing, or SoundCloud. You can also send the file through email in a WAV or AAC format. For an additional $1.99, you can add more shapes, like a planet that will keep shapes in its gravitational pull, bumpers that bounce the object off of it, and crosses that spin around and cause shapes to fly in different directions. You can also increase the range of sounds by unlocking the full sound kit for $1.99. This will add 10 new sounds to the six that are already included with the free app. If you really want to give your music an assortment of sound and style, you can unlock the Motion Recorder, which lets you create and record shape movement in real time. If all of the added features sound interesting to you, you can unlock the full app for only $3.99, which is about two dollars off the price of buying the packs individually. This app is very exciting for fans of experimental music. The randomness of the sounds that are triggered by bouncing shapes creates a beautiful song that is different every time and sometimes even different while it is being created. Pick up Musyc in the App Store for free. Thanks for stopping by Musician’s Corner. If you have any suggestions for apps or accessories you think we should feature, just drop me a line or leave a comment below. This week’s question: How do you create music?