iPhone App Review: Band
There are many great iPhone applications that can be downloaded for free from the app store. But if you try them out, you’ll find that most of the paid applications are actually worth their prices as well.
Take this application from Moo-Cow-Music, for example. It’s called Band, and it could quite possibly be one of the best applications ever created for the iPhone’s multi-touch platform.
If I’m not mistaken, Band is the very first iPhone app to mess with multi-touch and music creation, combining different instruments and a few other extras all on the same place. It provides the user with a very straight-forward user-interface that’s easy to learn, and once you get the hang of it, it will be quite difficult to get yourself to stop using Band.
Every time Band is launched, the user is presented with a very simple settings page. The SETUP tab brings up settings for individual instrument volume and pan, as well as global volume for all installed instruments. The LOAD/SAVE tab lets users load any of the three pre-loaded demo songs, while the HELP tab brings up a useful collection of hints in using the application.
Settings for Metronome, Tempo, and Beats per minute can also be found and tinkered with, but this option is only recommended for advanced users.
And now, on to the instruments!
Band features five pre-installed instruments, not counting the Audience, which you can also tap to produce sounds of cheering. Those five instruments are the Rock Kit Drum Pad, Funky Drummer Drum Set, Grand Piano, Bassist, and 12 Bar Blues. All these are actually fairly normal instruments, although I have to admit that this is the first time I’ve heard of the 12 Bar Blues. It turned out to be pretty awesome.
Using the instruments turned out to be as easy as it looked. Just tap on any portion of the instrument, like say, any key on the Grand Piano, or any string on the Bass guitar, and you’ll be producing eargasmic music in no time. Of course, you’ll have to know exactly what notes in the octave each key represents, or what type of sound comes from each particular drum type to make really great music, but Band is a great and unique way to learn if you have no experience playing instruments in the real world. You can even manipulate the fake audience to cheer you on even though you suck. It’s that cool.
Band also provides a pseudo music lesson in playing the Grand Piano, 12 Bar Blues and Drums, with its three preloaded demo songs which you can add to or base your work from. I learned playing Fur Elise just by watching as one of Band’s demos. I also managed to feel and later on memorize the keys to the song Happy Birthday too. And I’m still learning.
All in all, Band is an app for people who want to learn how to make music the easy way. You will only be able to make somewhat childish music on this app, but then again, the overall feel of the app is a bit childish in itself. And the output really depends on how much a person is willing to put into it as a user. For what it’s worth, Band is highly-recommended download, and if you don’t end up creating music that the whole world will want to hear from it, at least you had a lot of fun.