8 Bit Tone : retro synth for your i-whatever.
Most of my friends know that I’m no fan of Apple and it’s “propriety control how people consume media by locking them into 1 device, 1 application and one online outlet to buy all their media” practices. My lady has an ipod touch, and until just a few days ago, I’ve never touched the damn thing. That is until I found this great little app that I decided I had to try: 8BIT TONE by a Japanese warez company called Yudo. So, after downloading itunes onto my computer, jumping through all their hoops, updating the ipod, authorizing my computer to use with a new itunes account, signing away future offspring to work in the data mines, and go knows what else, I got this little app onto the ipod touch. And so far, I’m pretty impressed. It’s a fun little app for making 8 bit/ chiptunes music with a nice easy interface. Although some of the dials and buttons seem a bit small given the limited screen size of the itouch, I’m sure it would be easy peasy on something like the ipad with it’s greater screen real estate. I’m actually thinking of trying my DS stylus on it to see if that helps at all. But all in all it’s a decent little app, in a short time I was using it’s piano roll and sequencer (which reminded me of FruityLoops) to hammer out short little chiptunes, and with a little more time I could see this becomming a nice way to compose more involved chiptune tracks as well.
In terms of it being used for live performance, I think the itouch/iphone version would be a little difficult. But for composition, if one is patient enough I think it can do the job. The synth itself allows you to create 4 separate synths (or tracks) for each song produced, and you can upload them to an 8bittone page for sharing with other users of the app, giving you a chance to show off your goods to other enthusiasts.
I see why people like their i-whatever apps now, as I sort of love 8bit tone, and at only $2.99, it’s kind of great. I found a bunch more music/toy/app things I want to try as well (including another Yudo app called Ogawa; the future beat machine). Though I’m still very resistant to the Apple model of media consumption. I won’t use the itouch for music (I love my psp too much for that), but for the odd app i want to fiddle around with, ok. Damn you Apple.