MikiStrange’s Top 10

I’ve been sitting on Miki’s top 10 for over a week now, so my apologies. It is good to have another top 10 on the blog and I’d like to do more. Here’s Miki’s:

I thought I’d keep my new years resolution and send in my top ten. I play a baritone ukulele so I like to create backing tracks but I also just like making electronic music. The more toys I have the more I’m inspired. With that in mind, here’s my top ten.

1. Beaterator (PSP Version)
This has to be number one for so many reasons. First of all it’s cheap, very cheap if you already own a PSP.
The sounds are good. I’ve read a lot of reviews saying that the samples are poor but you have to remember that every sound can be edited and you can record your own too so it’s all down to imagination. With a library of 1000’s of sounds it really is up to you where you start your tweaking. It’s loop based which is great, think of Beaterator as a cut down version of Ableton with a different design and layout and you’re getting the idea. It has it’s own onboard 3xOsc synth! Need I say more there. There is so much more I could say but consider this. The battery on the PSP lasts for ages so you really can write a track on one charge if you so wish. If you own a PSP and haven’t got it, do so now. It can be found at bargain basement prices at the moment. You can see that I love this, for the price there is little if anything better.

2. Guitar Toolkit (iPhone)
How many guitar apps cater for a baritone uke? Not many, but this one does. It lets me find all the chords for my G tuning. It has a decent metronome and has a tuner that really works. It also looks great and moving around the different parts of the app is child’s play. If you own a stringed instrument this is one useful app.

3. Pro Chords (iPhone)
This is really quite a clever app. It’ll find that chord you need when your head closes down for lunch. It’s fun to mess around with when you’ve got a spare five minutes, in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s like having a song writing partner that you don’t have to give any credit to. Except here of course.

4. iShred (iPhone)
As good as Pro Chords and for the same reasons but in a different way. It’ll let you get a feel for a song because you can play with ease. Pressing the buttons at the top of the screen becomes second nature as you listen to your chords. The ability to add some great effects and play solo’s really makes you want to start recording your track. I use this app a lot.
iShred: Guitar + Effects

5. Piano Studio (iPhone)
It’s like a keyboard version of iShred but not quite as intuitive. To be honest I haven’t used all the features but it is a fine app for messing around with if I want to get away from guitar sounds.

6. Hexatone (iPhone)
I’ve only really started to play with this properly recently. It does take some time to get used to but the rewards come by the bucket load when you get stuck in. I could just sit and listen for hours imagining what I could do with this app. Top marks to Amidio for this and all their excellent apps.
JR Hexatone? Pro

7. Gliss (iPhone)
This has got to be one of the best ideas for a music app ever, really! Load samples, draw them on a screen and let your iPhone roll the playback head backwards and forwards or if you like, set the tempo and let the app loop. Pitch and sample length are affected by what you draw and moving and erasing your lines is all part of the fun. Since I got this I haven’t been able to stop playing with it, it becomes mesmerising. If you like Mujik you’ll get much more out of Gliss.

8. Bebot (iPhone)
How can you not love Bebot? It’ll make you smile at it’s simpleness and make you wander off into your own dream like atmospheres. A very hard app to put down and deeper than you think.
Bebot - Robot Synth

9. iSequence (iPhone)
Just such a great app. There could be some improvements like being able to export a single pattern instead of a whole song and I would like to see a dedicated song page but as it is it works fine as a quick musical notepad with enough sounds to give you an idea of how a song or just a loop will sound. I still use it quite a bit but I would prefer to be able to finish whole tracks in this app, which I can, but mostly I export my ideas from here to Beaterator.

10. FiRe (iPhone)
Simply the best sound recorder on the iPhone. All the markers show up when I export to Cool Edit Pro (yup I still use it) so finding my samples for trimming is a piece of cake. The updates just keep making it more useful and with the new input gain getting a non clipping sample is simple.
FiRe - Field Recorder

I wonder if even in six months time I’ll look at this top ten and shake my head? Who can tell. You can find some of musical adventures here: http://bit.ly/nnqqD

MikiStrange aka AmpUT

If you’d like to send in your own top ten, just email: palm dot sounds at mac dot com

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