Some Loose Ends

The challenges may be over, but the music keeps coming! The weekly deadline to the challenges meant that some pieces that I started were left incomplete, so that I ended up at the end with 8 or 9 tracks in various states of readiness. Some were little more than a piano riff or a line

Sound Brush and Rührtrommel

I thought this last challenge was going to be more fun and less challenging than it turned out to be. A quick glance at SoundBrush gives the impression that it could be quite a usable application, a more visual take on the standard step sequencer that has you drawing on the iPad screen to create

Piano, Ocarina and Rainstick

The piano is certainly the least unusual of all the instruments used in this set of challenges. We have a digital piano (a Yamaha Arius), which can technically also produce string, organ and choir sounds, but I wanted to try and keep to the spirit of the challenge, so limited myself to only the piano

Launchkey and Thai Gong

We’re back in iOS land this week, with a fairly new instrument application from Novation (who normally specialise in hardware synths and MIDI controllers) called Launchkey. Unlike the other apps I’ve used in this challenge, this is not a music editing or recording system, but more of a traditional synthesiser, albeit one that makes good

MeeBlip and Busilacchio Organ

In late 2011 I received and built a Meeblip synthesiser. This is an open source synth that you build yourself (though a pre-built version is now available). It only costs $50 (for the kit version) and is very well supported online, though a little familiarity with a soldering iron is a reasonable prerequisite. Once mine

GarageBand and Egg Shaker

Garageband for the iPad is a ridiculously specified application. I can’t compare it with the regular version of Garageband, as I have never used that, but it certainly seems to possess the hands-on ease of use that I have heard of its older sibling. In some ways it is a complete recording studio on the

BeatPad and Mouth Organ

BeatPad is another iOS drum machine, but one that is quite different from DM1, being perhaps more like a variant of the Akai MPC series (though I’ve never used one of those, so I can’t say for certain). Like DM1, BeatPad has a wide variety of drum and other instrument samples (from gongs and brass

Alto Recorder and Whirlie

Of all the ten challenges, this is the one I have been expecting to cause the most difficulty, as it is all about wind sounds, with little opportunity for contrast. This could easily have resulted in just being a wailing set of different notes, destined to set teeth grinding. So, what was the result? The

Kalimba and Celtic Flute

The kalimba is one of the newest instruments in my collection; it’s a traditional African instrument with metal tines attached to a resonator (in this case a coconut with a wooden top) and came from the Christmas market at Wilhelminenberg. I also have a much older version with wooden tines that does not sound as

NodeBeat and Clarinet

The second challenge for ‘10 Weeks : 10 Sounds‘ is a little more complex than the first and resulted in three long pieces in a fairly laid-back smoky jazz-club sort of style. NodeBeat is a graphical sequencer for the iPad and iPhone that is simple in concept, but can result in some complex music. It