Playing with Polychord

I’ve been using this app for a few days now and I really like it, but I don’t think I did at first.

Polychord is an unusual iPad app, although you might argue with me on that one. However, it isn’t the kind of app that I would normally look at. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with it at all.

Polychord isn’t a synth or a sequencer really, it is an app for making music, in real time, without recording or anything like that, and that’s the point of it, at least in my opinion it is.

So what’s polychord good at? Fair question. The app is about making music with chords and arps and a little bit of bass and drums too.

It has to be one of the most straightforward to use apps I’ve seen. Everything is on the one screen, everything you need to mix the various parts of whatever music you make with the app.

You play chord by touching one of the large circles in the interface. Each circle has an inner circle which the root note and then smaller buttons around it for a variety of chords. It couldn’t be simpler to use. You can set the arpeggio to do a variety of things and use a selection of rhythms to play along to, but essentially that is it. You play chords and arpeggios with some bass and drums and what’s called a strum pade at the righthand side of the interface.

There’s minimal control over the sound, so don’t get this if you’re looking for a synth, but if you want something to use to play around with chord progressions and see how they feel then this might be right for your purposes.

Polychord retails at: $9.99.

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