by Lory Gil
July 15, 2013
Welcome back to Musician’s Corner, where we discuss apps and accessories for musicians and fans of music. Last time, we told you about the guitar-training app, Lick of the Day. Have you been practicing your chords? This week, we thought we’d try out the beautiful looking hexagon shaped music making app, Chordion. The simplistic design and complex features make this app a great addition to any MIDI user’s music folder. Users can create full chords with one hand and play keyboard notes with the other with this preprogrammed sequencer. You don’t have to know music theory to write a great song. The app generates the chord progressions based on the circle of fifths. To get started, just tap one of the hexagons on the left side of the screen. You will hear the note, played as a chord. On the right side of the screen, you can tap out a melody using a keyboard that is preprogrammed with compatible notes. You can change the chord and keyboard layout in the Layout view, which is accessible from the hexagons at the top of the screen. It looks like a series of notes. The easy layout lets you choose what the general layout will look like, including which chord progression you want to play. The custom layout lets you handpick individual chords, choose the number of chords you want to be able to plan in a song, and even add up to two chords per hexagon. They keyboard is defaulted to automatically play compatible notes for the chord you are currently playing. You can also switch to Scale mode, which will change the notes to compatible scales. The Instrument Editor lets you customize the sound of your chords and keyboard notes. It is extremely detailed and lets you adjust the smallest minutiae of the note’s sound. For example, you can change the pluck, sustain, attack, decay and release, wah, timbre, brightness, and more. Not only can you use this app to create and record your own music, but you can also connect it to a MIDI device and play an external keyboard or combine it with another app on your iPad, like Animoog or Magellan for a “Virtual MIDI” instrument. All of your songs can be recorded and saved to either Sound Cloud, Dropbox, or your iTunes file sharing feature. You can even share your music patches with others using Noise:Cloud. I highly recommend checking out what others have submitted to Noise:Cloud. There are some great presets available. http://youtu.be/pFhXEN4Nx6Q Whether you are a total “noob” to the music world, or an experienced MIDI programmer looking for something fun to do, this app will help you create beautiful songs. 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.