Boppin’ with the BeBot!

bebot.jpgiPad music and synth apps all seem to be trying to exactly replicate the
experience of using a real synthesizer or instrument, like Virtuoso Piano 3 .

Recently I discovered BeBot, an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad music app that breaks that stereotype.

According to the developer, BeBot is:

…Part synthesizer, part animated robot.

Touching the screen causes the robot to move and make sounds controlled by your movements. Play it like a musical instrument, or just have fun watching the robot and making sounds with your fingers.

Features 4-finger multitouch polyphony, multiple synthesis modes, user-definable presets and scales, tweakable synth settings and effects, and more!

And for me, this reads as pure fun! Robots! Synths! What more could you want.

Well, how ’bout a Theremin? Yep, the developers have built in a preset that emulates a Theremin pretty darn well.

Some will see this as a musical time-waster or toy, yet it can have serious musical applications. Check out the video  below of Jordan Rudess working the BeBot on an iPhone.

So, for $1.99, I’m thinking this is a pretty versitile piece of musical tech. How ’bout you? Got a favourite musical iOS  app? Let me know about it in the comments.

And, as an aside, check out this awesome video of a Theremin being used to play the Star Trek theme!


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Free and good? It’s for the birds!

Actually it’s for you and me, and I’m referring to the free online suite of tools that flies under the Aviary banner. Actually, it’s more than a suite of tools, Aviary is also a community by and for content creators:

At Aviary, we believe that everyone in the world should have access to powerful creation tools. We therefore chose our company mission to be We make creation accessible to everyone. Our powerful set of tools helps fulfill this mission by enabling small businesses, students, artists & creators across different genres.

What this means for us is that there’s now an awesome set of media creation tools available for you to use, for the cost of your internet connection — yes, the Aviary tools are free (though they originally had a subscription business model).

My most recent forray into the birdhouse had me using the Myna audio editor to trim down a mix I’d created for another blog post reviewing Seline HD (a cool iPad instrument).

MynaEdit.jpg

My mix had too much dead space at the head and tale of the selection. A few quick tweaks in Myna, and the mix is much as you see above.

download.jpg

Then, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can mix it down, and download it or copy some publish code to embed it in your website or blog post (as I did here).

bard1.egg by bgrier on Aviarybard1.egg by bgrier on Aviary

But this is just one of the Aviary suite of bird-themed tools. Others include:

  • Phoenix – Image Editor
    An image editor has layers, masks, effects, undo history, and all that other good stuff.
  • Talon – Screen Capture
    Use Talon to capture screenshots web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Raven – Vector Editor
    The world’s first online vector editor.
  • Peacock – Effects Editor
    It does so many wonderful and amazing things, we decided to call it our visual laboratory.
  • Roc – Music Creator
    Use Roc to create music and loops for use in Myna and ringtones.
  • Falcon – Image Markup
    Use Falcon to quickly capture images and web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Toucan – Swatch Editor
    A color swatches and palettes tool will help you find colors you didn’t even know exist.

And as I mentioned above, there’s a whole set of Aviary communities focused on the tools, and on creating, discovering, mashing up and publishing content.

It’s free — so can you afford not to take a peek into the bird house?



This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.