Musyc by Fingerlab is an exciting, fun and unusual music creation app that offers new ways to draw and construct compositions on your iPad or iPhone.
I often find myself backing into the same old familiar patterns when it comes to writing music. We all have our favourite chords and song structures and sometimes it’s too easy to start pulling these old friends out for another spin around the block. So for me an app like Musyc by Fingerlab is something of a revelation.
This app does not use the usual music making systems of say a standard DAW or even sheet music; instead it uses symbols, shapes, lines and well gravity and physics to make music. It can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. These are the current features as listed on the Fingerlab website
-Graphic design by Jonas Eriksson
-Optimized for iPhone 5 and new iPad
-High quality sound engine
-Ultra-realistic physical engine
-Audio track mixer (level, pitch, length, pan, mute)
-2 effect channels with 5 effects (Delay, Overdrive, Reverb, Dalek, Compressor)
-Advanced physical objects (planet, black hole, modulator, …)
-Real-time audio recording
-High-quality or compressed exports (DropBox, SoundCloud, Mail, AudioCopy and iTunes
Having a go
Upon first trying this app it really is a little overwhelming just how much you can do, but Fingerlab have been clever in how they introduce you to the general features of the app and do offer some guidance via a tutorial as well as a very attractive and useful PDF manual.
I set out to make some music with the app and soon realised that experimentation is the key to getting the most out of Musyc. The first thing I did was create a wall horizontally alone the bottom of the screen and then added some circle, square and triangle shapes. These create various tones and thanks to the mixer can be adjusted to a pleasing sound. I next added some rectangle or percussion/drum shapes. All of these shapes can be added individually, left to their own devices in space or can be tethered to other shapes and walls. It can make for some pretty hectic sounds.
Things get even more interesting when you start to make use of the sequencer which fires out these shapes. Using a simple 16 step sequence, you can even actually adjust the angle that these shapes can be released. Combine this all with overall sound sets, the option to record and share your masterpiece via the numerous methods mentioned above, and black holes ( yes I said black holes) you can see that there is an awful lot to play with.
In terms of sound most of the sound kits are based around mallet and synth sounds with the titles of said kit giving you an idea of what you are going to get – Modern Jazz and Art Nouveau for example. Within these kits you can chop and change what each shape sounds like. For example you can take a circle sound from say ‘Modern Jazz’ and a square sound from ‘Arcades’, all of which can be saved into user soundkits.
Coming soon in next updates:
-iPhone4 & iPodTouch optimization
-Import & Export song project (DropBox, Mail, iTunes)
-User sound kit with samples import
-Audio background support
Looking at the list above of future features most of my personal grumbles are addressed (especially midi syncing and importing user sounds) and there is both a free and pro version to try so you have nothing to lose. The mind truly boggles at what you could do using your own imported sounds and samples.
So is Musyc worth trying? Well I would say that it really is. Although for now there are a limited number of sounds and sometimes it all becomes a little crazy you can, with some practice, make really interesting music. I feel that although by its experimental nature Musyc is not going to be for everyone, what we have here is something special that frees up the creative process and lights a fuse for more unusual and interesting compositions. This is only the beginning of the story for Musyc and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing where it goes next.
Disclosure: This app was independently purchased by the post author. For information on our review policies please see our About page.