Music App

ADD SOME SOUNDS TO YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS
July 6, 2016 5:53 pm

We all have choices when it comes to streaming music on our phones. From Pandora to Spotify, Apple Music to Play Music, the options for discovering new music every day are seemingly endless. That being said, not all apps do what Sounds does.

Sounds tries to do a bit more than just help you discover music. Through the Sounds app, your discovery becomes your friends’ discovery as well. The app allows you to share a song through Instagram. You thought those videos of you at the beach or those pictures of your cat were as good as they could be? They’re about to be kicked up a notch.

The app allows for customizing the song through the app, to either attach photos or videos to the song and add a whole different vibe to your Instagram page.

The app is surprisingly enjoyable with this customization. Not only do the Instagram boosting features make it cool, but it’s a pretty solid music app as is. It has no ads at the moment and while it might not have exactly everything you are looking for in the music department, it does have a good selection of indie to listen to.

Sounds is only as enjoyable as you are though, so try to be open and take into account all the possibilities and fun opportunities you could have sharing songs through Instagram.

8 FREE MUSIC-MAKING IPHONE APPS
April 15, 2016 9:00 am

Everybody likes music, but not everybody can make it all by themselves. Well that’s okay, because technology has the answer! Here are a few solid apps:

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Soundprism App

Tonepad: Picture a 16 x 16 matrix, each point representing a note in the pentatonic scale. Time is horizontal, pitch is vertical, and the instrument is a cool, muted synth, pure and serene. The program cycles through the matrix like clockwork, a measure of music before repeating. Couldn’t be simpler! Start with a blank slate and build your masterpiece from the ground up, or shuffle everything around and take it from there. Go crazy! You can even flip or rotate the matrix, just to see what happens. Sounds totally different, right? Weird! Notable downsides include ads (yuck!) and just the fact that it’s pretty basic when you think about it. Not sure how it got on this list. [3/10]

Beatwave: Boy, do I wish I had known about this little gem before bothering with that last one. Beatwave totally blows Tonepad out of the water. Not only can you add a drums to the matrix, but you can layer that onto the synths for a richer texture, and you can string along different sections all in a row, just like in a real song. Reorder those verses and/or choruses however you see fit. It’s intuitive, musically stimulating and ad-free. Now we’re talking! [6/10]

Figure: Where Tonepad and Beatwave are calm and linear, Figure is an energetic and versatile EDM paradise. Start with a highly customizable beat, throw down a phat bassline and solo on top with the lead synth. Each instrument’s tone, range and rhythm can be tailored to any passing fancy, along with the global tempo, key and tonality, so your only limit is your imagination. Isn’t that just life though? [8/10]

Auxy: This is a lot like the first two in it’s loop/matrix dynamic, but it requires a little more technical knowledge. You might be able to get a handle on Beatwave more easily, but in the long run you can do more with Auxy. Jeez how many of these are we gonna get?  [7/10]

Soundprism: This one is a mindfuck, no doubt about it. We’ve navigated beyond the “oh this is nifty” plane and are now firmly entrenched in the “I’m writing The Great American MIDI arrangement” state of being. Look pal, if I’m making serious music for other people to hear for real, I’m not doing it on something I downloaded onto my phone. Ableton, Pro Tools, Logic, or get the fuck outta here (sorry Garageband).

That said, this app is absolutely amazing. It’s like a whole new kind of instrument. Like how with an accordion you get one hand playing the bass chords and then the other playing the melody on a keyboard, except the “keyboard” here is another matrix of chords, and you can modulate between them by cycling through the color-coded modes. Rows are arranged by thirds to create triads, leading columns to represent pitch and therefore inversions (it makes sense when you try it, I promise). Musically intricate yet intuitive and engaging. Forget what I said before about not making serious music on my phone–this shit is for real. [9/10]  

Launchpad: This little number is just a simplified DJ pad (and by “simplified” I mean “still very complicated but just not as expensive”). Mix and match a huge number of preset loops to create a cacophony of EDM madness (or, you know, whatever). Similar to the last one in that you can do a whole lot of serious musical stuff with this, but just not as original. A well-executed substitute for expensive hardware. [8/10]

Groovemaker: I don’t even wanna start with this one. Picture blacklights and glowsticks. You can do some cool mixing/looping/waiting-for-the-bass-to-drop kinda stuff here, but the music itself is pretty lame. [4/10]

Garageband: I know I was talking shit about Garageband earlier, but it came from a place of love. Garageband was, is and will always be a great place to start making music. Almost as serious a DAW as the rest of them, and already installed on every Apple product you own, you really should check it out if you haven’t already. I’ll give it an honest rating here (don’t wanna make Soundprism feel bad), but in my heart it’s a 10. Always has been, always will be. [6/10]

HELLO, SONGZA. GOODBYE, SONGZA.
January 13, 2016 6:00 am

Songza, an app that creates curated playlists, recently announced it would be incorporated into Google Play Music at the end of January. Users will be able to migrate their Songza accounts, favorite songs, and music history, with Google promising to faithfully recreate the Songza experience.

So what is Songza? To be honest, I hadn’t heard of it until recently. This is likely my own fault. Songza was recognized in Apple’s App Store Best of 2012. It has over 34 thousand total ratings, and averages 4.5 stars. Am I about to fall in love with an app that could change drastically in a week or two?

The app works by reading your phone’s internal calendar and clock, and using that information to curate playlists based on how it thinks you’re currently spending your time. The app guessed (correctly) that I was at work, but failed to offer me a playlist of songs concerning existential angst and very-early mid-life crises. What it did offer me was topics such as, “Having Fun at Work,” “Focusing (No Lyrics),” and “Boosting Your Energy.” Upon choosing the first option, I was shown another list of topics. One, called “Whistling While You Work: Sing-Alongs,” caught my eye. Have you ever worked with someone who whistled, or SANG, while you were trying to work? Does Songza exclusively employ trolls to create its playlists?

I was not prepared for where choosing this option would take me; first was a Celine Dion cover of the Eric Carmen power ballad “All By Myself”. Next was “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls, and third was the theme song to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, sung by Peabo Bryson. There was also an option for “All-Star Rap-Alongs”, and a whole playlist dedicated to “Sing-Along Favorites from Disney Movies.”

Just. No.

If anything, the app is good for a laugh, or for driving with your friends on the way to something fun. Whereas apps like Pandora begin by working from criteria you give them, Songza seems to work by using the trial-and-error method. After Google takes over, I’m hoping the new infrastructure for Songza can make better suggestions for music; no one should have to be subjected to power ballads.

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QUELL YOUR LIVE MUSIC THIRST WITH QELLO
January 5, 2016 12:26 am

This morning I saw Radiohead live at The Astoria in London. In 1994. I know what you may be thinking. “Well Xavier, you’re only 22 how were you able to see that, also this morning?” And to that I say, “how do you know how old I am, reader?” To which you’ll respond “no seriously dude, stop being a dick.” Qello is a music platform that allows you to watch live shows from a collection of thousands of concerts and music documentaries, that’s how I did it, reader.

The platform, which started in 2010, is great for music fans that want to view their favorite artists’ live shows from the comfort of their own home, or office, or public tiolet. Qello could be viewed from your computer or from its app for both android and apple devices. The platform’s live performances include high quality concerts which are incredibly impressive for some of the older artists. They also have some great documentaries like Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.

Qello is a great resource for live music. That being said, so is YouTube. Qello does have a very impressive collection but not one that is worth the $7.99 monthly fee. Especially when YouTube has some of this same collection for free. I was able to find Radiohead’s live at The Astoria concert, the same one on Qello, for free on YouTube. Same thing for Amy Winehouse’s Live in London performance.

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The site’s design looks as if it hasn’t been redone since 2010. The video player also looks super outdated. These aren’t completely fatal flaws in a site, but looks are important.

The site doesn’t have every artist because of obvious licensing reasons. You’ll be stuck if you try to look for any Arctic Monkeys, Fiona Apple, Mazzy Star or even The Strokes. These are obviously not the only ones, just the ones I tried to look for.

A lot of contemporary music is missing from their catalogues, which is another one of their big flaws. If you look in their “Spotlight” collection, you’ll see Queen, Elton John and Eric Clapton at the top.

Although I think the site is flawed, it’s still worth a try. It allows for a free week trial, which I signed up for in order to be able to see some of the other content. I’ve fallen in a concert hole; I’ve seen Amy Winehouse, The Doors, The Dresden Dolls, Radiohead and Queen today. This article was supposed to be due hours ago. Hopefully my editor understands, she did assign me this. What did she expect?

So if you’re like me and you’d like to watch some artists that are either dead or haven’t gone on tour in a while, (I’m looking at you Radiohead. Seriously, wtf?!) then check out Qello. Sign up for a free weekly trial. Then try to remember to cancel it. I know I will.

GOT TALNTS?!
November 12, 2015 8:30 am

Imagine an app that lets you not only show off your talents, but also discover the talents and gifts of others. Need an illustrator for that epic graphic novel you’ve been thinking about? Need a drummer for that band you’re starting? Need a model or photographer for your chic clothing line? TALNTS has been created to help you cut out the middle man and go directly to the source. The app is fresh to the social media scene, dressed in the potential to sit at the cool kids table with all the other in demand social media apps.

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John Goldbranson, 29, CEO of TALNTS, realized a better way that he and people all over the world could display their talents without over exhausting themselves. Thus began the creation of TALNTS, an app where everyone, everywhere, could show the world their gifts and/or collaborate. As a singer and writer, I instantly found this app intriguing. Curious, I gave it a go. Signing up was very simple. I created my profile and added #tags and four mandatory images, keeping in mind what I thought best to describe me and my talents. All of this became my Talnts Card.

There are four main features to this app. The Feed, this works just like Instagram by displaying the posts of the people you choose to connect with. The Highlights Page, which lets you see what the most popular content is on the app. Connect Search, where you can set the benchmark for what exactly you are looking for. This includes filters for distance from location as well as hashtags. I also was given the option of linking the app to my other networks such as SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Within twenty-four hours I had sixteen people who wanted to connect with me.

There is no doubt that there is countless talent about to get discovered and many connections to be made on this app.

Instasound Is A Music Lover’s Dream Come True
October 2, 2015 4:49 pm

Your dreams of creating your own MP3 remixes from the comfort of your cell phone have finally been answered with the new app- Instasound. Apple and Android users can now enjoy sharing music, mixes, sounds and cool personalized effects on the Instasound app. The app has a self proclaimed “classic video game” feel. Ranging from the zany to the slightly more veritable (a yodel, a gun shot), Instasound has hundreds of sound bits you can use to edit into your own MP3s. Instasound is pure fun for the musically inclined looking for a game on the go and has an easy-to-use interface for those common folk just looking to experiment. Great for party games or entertaining yourself on the long commute, get out there and be the DJ you have always wanted to be!

Record On The Go With Track’d
September 30, 2015 3:24 pm

We here at ATYPICALSOUNDS know musicians. Most of us are musicians. We’ve all been there; sitting in your buddy’s (insert- garage, bedroom, fire escape, etc) and just free-styling music; strumming your grandpa’s acoustic while scribbling poetic lyrics about that asshole..I mean… the one that got away. Well, now you can capture these impromptu moments of musical glory.

Trackd is an iOS App that is a simple and easy-to-use tool for artists to record, view, listen, share, and collaborate with other musicians around the world (or just the ones you played in your high school band with).  Trackd creates a simple platform with the basic recording tools musicians need and combines it with the ability to collaborate on those recordings with others. It provides an easy way to capture inspiration on the go with the ability to find and work with other musicians.  Since all of this can be done through your phone, it can be done almost anywhere, anytime.

It can be difficult to find artists who share similar musical styles and ideas, especially if you live in an area that lacks a substantial music scene (#BrooklynAllDay). This app aims to solve those problems and has a credible team of musicians, creatives, and technologists behind it. The Trackd team is made up of Russel Sheffield, James Easton, Daniel James Diggle, and Aaron Ray. Sheffield’s father is a founder of Trident Studios in the UK where acts such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, and David Bowie have recorded some of their biggest hits. Diggle is a freelance designer, illustrator, and animator who has worked for some fairly large clients. You might’ve heard of them in passing…Google and Coca-Cola? No? Nevermind, then. Ray is a successful NYC-based app developer.

Trackd

So why am I giving you this much information on them and not the app itself?  Unlike a lot of other apps Trackd is clearly a creation by people who know what they are doing.  

As for myself, I have minimal experience recording music, although I’ve done my fair share dabbling in Garageband few times. As an amateur, I was so surprised at how extremely easy Trackd was to use.  There is a short tutorial video in the beginning that guides you through the basics. It was so easy to record, delete, edit, discover other artists, collaborate, and share music.  There are mixing tools that easily allow you to adjust volume levels while your track is playing and it even has pan controls.

Released in August, it already had 18,000 users after only two weeks of being active and feedback has been very positive

The app is still new so there are limits to its capabilities but on Trackd’s Facebook they promise cool updates and expansions are on the way. For $1.99 you can upgrade the app to allow 8 tracks instead of 4 but besides that everything is free! 

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Jamfeed: Feed Your Musical Appetite
September 5, 2015 2:39 pm

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Are you a music junkie? Wondering how to satisfy all your musical needs in one convenient place? Look no further! The JamFeed app team have found the solution. This app has everything the music enthusiast needs. From personalized, to-the-minute artist news, to music streaming, to show dates and ticket purchases, JamFeed is a one stop shop, and it’s as simple as the swipe of your finger. Getting set up is free and easy. You even have the option to sync up with your own iTunes library! Why waste your time sorting through twitter feeds when JamFeed has done it all for you?

Available on both iOS and Android, JamFeed has already received excellent feedback from users and will be ready to roll out version 2.o by the end of the year. Though a small team, they are working hard everyday to expand and improve. The bigger they grow, the better they’ll get. “We also will be taking the personalization aspect to the web, as well as adding various news feeds for genre specific feeds, and down the road expanding to following events and promotion companies, as well as venues to receive news updates from them as well,” says CEO and Co-founder Cameron Gibson.

So go ahead, indulge in all your musical passions and start by installing the JamFeed app, the future for all your musical information and needs.

 

Music Worth Watching; Rormix
September 3, 2015 9:00 pm

Rormix is the Spotify Discover/Tinder of music videos. This app provides a platform for emerging artists to target-market their music videos directly to fans (or future fans) of their music. Users of the app can search for music videos based on their past preferences, watch a short clip and swipe left or right to establish their preferences. When they discover an artist they like, the artist’s bio and social media links are all accessible through the app. The Rormix Discover feature then allows you to find other artists/videos based on videos you’ve liked. As an added bonus, the interface is extremely user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Rormix is letting you see more of the music you love. The app is available on android, iOS and all mobile and desktop devices.

Everything You Could Want (or Not) is On Evensi
July 29, 2015 10:00 am

Evensi is THE search engine for finding events all over the world. It’s basically the love child of Ticketmaster and Google Maps, and it’s not just for concerts either. Users can log in using their Facebook accounts for access to over 30 million activities, including music, sports, nightlife, culture, food, and fairs. There’s also a “Leisure” category that includes options like “flash mob” and “zombie.” Yes, you are living in the age where “zombie” is a leisurely activity. Welcome!

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The site utilizes an automated semantic algorithm, which analyzes every event posted, and uses this information to suggest activities to users based on their personalized dashboard. It is also possible to browse all events on an interactive map of the world. Manhattan alone currently lists 324 events happening in the near future while London, England features a similarly impressive 260.

Users can also create and post their own events to be shared with the Evensi community, as well as access links within Evensi to events they have sent an RSVP to on Facebook. After logging on to Facebook and creating my profile, Evensi suggested three events to me, including one called “JONATHAN TOUBIN is back from Europe & SHAKIN’ ALL OVER as primitive as can be FRIDAY!,” accompanied by a photo of Toubin dressed as Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. Aside from Jonathan’s aggressive use of capitalization, I felt intrigued.

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If you’re on the fence about checking out Evensi, just give it a shot. It’s easy to log in (even if it’s your first time using it), and it’s cool to see what’s going on in your immediate (and not so immediate) area. It’s a useful tool for finding things to do while on vacation, or even if your parents are coming to visit and you don’t know what to do with them. Using Evensi, why not meet your parents halfway and take them to the Depeche Mode & 80’s Party Cruise coming up on August 1st?