Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 3
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Part music creation, part physics simulation, part game and part educational app, Musyc from developer Fingerlab is a truly fascinating hybrid that will challenge and delight users regardless of age or musical experience. A comprehensive tutorial walks users through the initial learning curve quickly: draw lines to create barriers, then drop a variety of shapes on those barriers to create sounds based on their physical properties. Circles, squares and triangles create melodies, while rectangles create percussive sounds, and all items are placed on a grid that impacts each object's sound based on its location. The basic concept of Musyc is as simple as that, and in fact I would rave about the app if that is all there was to it. But in fact there is much, much more.
Musyc allows for a myriad of granular edits and changes to the basic music created in the app. Everything from modulation, to advanced effects, to mixing can be accomplished simply using the interface provided in-app. And physical properties of the objects displayed on screen can also be edited for size, gravity and more. There are so many options, what initially seems like a simple app can suddenly become a little overwhelming. Fortunately, the beauty of Musyc is that it can be as simple or as complex as it needs to be. Regardless of the approach taken, some interesting sounds and music are generated. I was amazed the hear the complex, almost avant garde music I created in a very limited amount of time with the app. Eat your heart out, Robert Fripp.
Once complete, a song can be recorded within the app, then exported to Dropbox, an iTunes folder, Soundcloud, Audiocopy, or sent via email. Again, it's all handled elegantly and simply, with a focus on clarity for all levels of users. If the included sounds and shapes grow tiresome (something I don't think very likely in the near future), there are a wide variety of expansion packs available, including additional tools for further customizing music. These can be purchased individually, or (the better option) the full app can be locked for $3.99, a minimal price for such a deep application.
So is Musyc an app for serious musicians? It's an app for everyone (serious musicians included), and everyone will bring to it their own personal wealth of experience and their own perspective. As a parent of a young child, I'm interested in what my daughter can generate using the simple shapes and physics principles. As an adult, I'm fascinated by the complex rhythms and math-like jazz I can create. Who knows what professionals could do with such a tool. It's a foregone conclusion that no two creations in Musyc will be alike. The joy is in the experimentation.