Developer: P4S Publishing Ltd.
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad3

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Nothing says “fun” like singing karaoke – admit it. There’s a budding Carrie Underwood or Justin Timberlake in all of us. And what better time to belt out the tunes than the holiday season? I’m feeling it! StarComposer – Festive Mashup is a guilty little pleasure for musician wannabes or those just wanting to rock that holiday spirit. The intuitive, image-based design makes it easy and engaging for all ages.

photo 1Festive Mashup is P4S Publishing’s holiday version of the original StarComposer. This one, though, only has two song styles to choose from – Jingle Bells or Auld Lang Syne. Once the song is chosen, click the play button to access the gray edit screen. Band members and their instruments appear on the left. Tap an empty block anywhere on the screen to add a loop. Tap the same block again to change it to the next loop. In short, these consecutive taps scroll through the genre choices. For Jingle Bells, choose loops with reggae (palm tree), dubstep (DJ), metal (hand), or dance (equaliser). For Auld Lang Syne, choose loops with rock (speaker), RnB (boombox), reggae, or dance. Mash-up any of the sixteen musical loops across four instrument options to compose entirely unique songs of the season. Once the instrumentals are set up, choose a male of female singer for the band. In order to actually record vocals, plug in some headphones. Then it’s time for music magic!

Tap the play button to record. The beat counter at the top left corner helps keep time during recording. Bar numbers across the top navigate users through the song; each bar is four beats, and each loop is two bars long. The scroll bar at the top allows for quick editing of any section in the 3:26 composition. Tap the video button to preview the music video that accompanies the mash-up masterpiece. And, of course, don’t forget to spread the holiday cheer to others; be sure to post that #1 hit to Facebook or Twitter!

photo 2I’ll confess, I’m a sucker for holiday apps in general. I download as many as I can only to delete many of them later; but this one’s a keeper. I even took StarComposer to work and played with other teachers. It’s an across-the-age-range experience, truly.The only downside to this fun little app would be the redundancy. Being restricted to only two song styles is sure to get on someone’s nerves pretty quickly (not to throw anyone under the bus but Jingle Bells, in general, can get my husband there in a jiff).

It’s helpful to remember the holidays only come around once a year! Have some harmless, festive fun while it lasts.

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