World Aquarium & iPad Music-Making Apps

Recently, I received a new iPad mini. I figured I could use it for creative writing, since I always have a hard time finding a comfortable position to type in with my laptop. Well, I have found it convenient for writing, but I also found it to be a competent music component (among other things). KORG released two very good workstations: iPolysix and iMS-20. In the video attached to this post, I doodled the song on the iPolysix, which is the easiest to use of the two apps. On both apps, you can use a virtual keyboard, KAOSS Pad, and drum machine. The iMS-20 emulates an analog synthesizer, which, admittedly, baffles me a little. I don’t understand where to connect the wires.

The iPolysix contains something similar to a piano roll, which I like to use when I write songs; whereas, with the iMS-20, you move knobs that control the pitch, the octave, and the gate of each note. The virtual keyboard works great with both, even though it can be tricky to adjust the keyboard position while you play. I prefer to use the KAOSS Pad to improvise melodies, and then I can adjust what I made with the piano roll, or the knobs. As for the drum machines, both apps are pretty straight forward and efficient. You can tap on virtual pads with your fingers, or you can toggle switches on the sequencer. Finally, the sound on both apps is spectacular, especially when wearing headphones.

It is also worth noting that the iPolysix has amazing effects, and they are very easy to add and manipulate.

A free app called Orphion can also be found on the App Store. It creates areas on the iPad’s touch screen that play different notes, which you can identify via text, and you can interact with these zones in different ways by how you use your fingers – one finger, two fingers, sliding your fingers, tapping your fingers, etc, etc. You can make some nice plucking sounds with it. It is also polyphonic. Anyway, it’s a good option if the other two apps cost too much: The iPolysix and the iMS-20 each cost $29.99; however, I believe I found one of them on sale for $15, when I bought them.

I shot the above video at The Dallas World Aquarium, while visiting for a baseball game between the Texas Rangers and the Minnesota Twins. During the game, a loud clap of thunder exploded above the stadium. I also shot another video in Dallas, a few years ago, when I lived in New York City. I’ve posted that video on here before.

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