Smule has announced their new Smule Pass service for unlimited access to music and features across several of their music apps. Users of Sing! Karaoke, Magic Piano, AutoRap, and Guitar! can buy a subscription in one app and get unlimited song access and storage, pro studio effects, and the ability to upload Sing! tracks to Smule.com.
Right now, all existing and upcoming purchases of VIP subscriptions in each individual app will get the Smule Pass for all four apps for the life of their subscriptions. It’s not possible to purchase a “Smule Pass” per se – we’ve reached out for clarification on how future purchases will work.
Update: According to a Smule representative, anyone who buys a VIP subscription in an app and has the app linked to their Smule ID will get the Smule Pass, enabling access in the other apps.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 13th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Guitar! by Smule plays out a new update that unlocks all guitars and lets you choose your singer for rocking out the best performances ever. Also, a new left-handed mode is now available for all lefties to enjoy, and don’t forget that new songs will release every week to keep a fresh sound for all guitarists to play. Start your jammin’!
· Play on: New free songs will be released every week.
· Choose your singer: Pick your collaborator for each song from top performances in Sing! Karaoke.
· Keep to the beat: Choose to turn on the metronome option on the play screen.
· Lefties, rejoice!: Left-handed guitar mode now available.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 24th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Guitar! by Smule has players strumming along to the music in an app that combines guitar songs paired with real vocals from Smule’s Sing! Karaoke app, which creates a unique feeling of playing alongside an actual singer. There are multiple songs to play along to, though there is also a freestyle mode for those who just want to play. Players will strum and pick while changing cords and creating vibrato by shaking the phone. Also, as players get better, they’ll be able to rock out even more by unlocking electric guitars.
Developer: IK Multimedia
Device Reviewed With: new iPad, iPhone 4
Integration with iPad/iPhone Rating:
Hardware Design Rating:
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One of the biggest issues I had with the original iRig guitar connector itself was its non-standard design. It works really well when playing a guitar through it to the iPhone or iPad and then listening with headphones, but there was no easy way to connect it to an amp without adapters and such. Adding the pedal setups in Amplitube Fender, for example, seems like a great way to expand the sounds available for my guitar, but if I can’t use it on stage easily, it’s not going to get used.
Enter the iRig Stomp, an actual stomp-box-sized peripheral that allows a standard guitar connect via a standard cable through to an amplifier in a standard guitarist’s stage setup. The iRig Stomp looks and acts a lot like any other standard guitar pedal, and thus has more of a chance to be included at gigs.
The solidity of the box is commendable, from the sturdy metal construction of the box itself to the solid-feeling clicker button and large input gain level knob. The device looks and feels as indestructible as my other guitar pedals, and doesn’t look out of place on my pedalboard.
To connect the iRig Stomp, it’s a simple matter of plugging in a guitar via a cable to the right side of the stomp box, and then out from the left side to an amp via the L/Mono jack, or to a stereo mixer via the R and L jacks. There’s a 1/8 inch headphone jack on the top, for private practice sessions, and a second, similar sized jack to connect the iRig Stomp to the iPhone or iPad with a compatible app, like Amplitube. The clicker button on the bottom of the pedal is a bypass switch which will let your guitar play through to the amp without the app guitar sounds. I sort of wish the button was configurable to a pedal “on/off” setting like most standard guitar pedals, but that functionality is contained within the app itself.
Overall, the iRig Stomp is a fantastic piece of guitar gear, ready to integrate with any professional or hobbyist guitar pedal setup. It’s comparatively priced to other boxes at $59.99, and allows players to control a ton of guitar-centric apps available on the App Store today.
AmpliTube Fender, from IK Multimedia, is a guitar amplifier modeling app, allowing users to rock that famous Fender sound with their guitar or bass, using classic amp sounds like the ’59 Bassman, the Fender ’65 Twin Reverb, the Super-Sonic, the ’65 Deluxe Reverb and the Pro Junior. It also includes classic Fender stompbox models like the Fender Blender, Overdrive, Tape Echo, Phaser and Compressor.
Today, AmpliTube Fender gets updated to 1.2, bringing MIDI integration, digital audio support, audio copy and paste, and a redesigned (and Retina-compatible) interface.
With a connected MIDI capable device like the iRig MIDI, users can now use AmpliTube Fender hands-free on stage, controlling every knob, switch, or preset in the interface with a MIDI-capable foot controller. The feature is available as in-app purchase and it is free for iRig MIDI users.
AmpliTube Fender has always included a recording feature but the redesigned recording studio now supports audio copy and paste, for quickly moving audio around for the perfect mix. You can also copy from AmpliTube Fender and then copy to external apps like GarageBand.
Digital audio interfaces are now fully supported, allowing you to connect to any iOS compatible digital audio devices, like the StealthPlug USB audio interface cable, making getting audio in and out a snap.
The new AmpliTube Fender 1.2 update is now available in the App Store as a free update for all previous AmpliTube Fender users on iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
My isn’t Slash just having a massive comeback year? He’s got a new album, new band mates, and now he’s got a an app for rockers with his brand on it. While you’d have to be hiding in a bunker not to be at least passingly acquainted with the late 80’s metal icon of Guns N’ Roses fame, you may not be familiar with IK’s line of audio accessories.
But, if you are a guitarist or bassist with an iPad you’ve likely at least stumbled across their AmpliTube apps. The first iteration was featured in the original iPad ads and lets you play and record music with realistic amp effects. Now they’ve released AmpliTube Slash, a universal app with the same pedals and Marshal amps Slash favors.
The app, like the rest in the series, is also a multi-track recording studio. Apparently Apocalyptic Love, Slash’s new album was helped along with several IK products including iRig.
“AmpliTube iRig comes in really handy for on-the-go practicing, recording, or just jamming on different ideas – even if it’s on the bus – it’s right with me all the time,” Slash said, adding, “I’ll do some tweaks on the Marshalls, but there are also different effects that are available including distortion, chorus, auto-wah and more.”
AmpliTube Slash is sold as a stand-alone product or the effects can be purchased in AmpliTube’s main app as in-app purchases at $9.99 for the whole kit or a-la-carte effects for $2.99 each.
Infinaut Technologies has released its 3.0.0 update for guitar instruction app, Guitar Companion. The update includes the addition of various features including a metronome with four rhythm choices, drum packs (including rock, blues, jazz, and more), alternate chord fingering, custom skins, an ad-free option, and making the app available in 16 languages. Many of the updated features come from suggestions from users.
Guitar Companion is a tool for both pro and beginner guitarists. It can be a quick reference to the seasoned player or a source of learning for the new player. The app contains a tuner, chord charts (over 1600), and scales (over 150). The simple interface displays a guitar fret board that can manually be strummed to hear chords (or auto strummed for lazy players).
The app is free with in-app purchases including perks like the rhythm packs and removing ads. Check out the video demo of version 3.0.0 of Guitar Companion below.
Ion Audio is getting a ton of press over the new iCades and my personal favorite their Guitar Apprentice, but Guitarlink Air looks pretty cool too. Announced at CES 2012, the system connects a guitar to Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone wirelessly. Guitarlink Air’s uses what it calls “high performance, low-latency technology.” The transmitter, a lightweight clip-on to a guitar strap funnels a 2.4 GHz signal that is amplified by an amp or digital output source without the annoyance or constraints of a cables.
Rockers can also use Guitarlink Air and an iOS device to practice with headphones or in conjunction with apps like AmpliTube and Garageband. and a free amp is included. The package, scheduled for a Q2 release, comes with Guitar Rig LE software that, according to Ion’s press release “shapes guitar sound with emulations of classic amplifiers and effects pedals.” No word yet on price, but its yet another one from Ion Audio for the wish list.
Just as the death of arcades hasn’t stopped Ion Audio from putting out cool, new iCade accessories, they aren’t letting the decline of games like Guitar Hero keep them from getting into the plastic instrument race. However, like their previous Piano Apprentice iPhone accessory, the upcoming Guitar Apprentice isn’t a game. Instead, it’s a musical teaching tool.
The device is a full-sized guitar shell that the iPad docks into. The onscreen frets light up to show players where they need to place their fingers and whether or not they are strumming the right chords. From there, players can learn and record songs with compatible apps like GarageBand and Ion Audio’s own upcoming Guitar Apprentice app.
The Guitar Apprentice accessory will soon hit retail for $99 in America before arriving in the rest of the world. If this works, imagine what other instruments Ion Audio could plug an iPad into. The second image shows that a drum accessory is in the works. What else could be coming? Saxophone Apprentice anyone?
WildChords, an iPad-only educational app aimed at kids ages 6 to 11, is the brainchild of Finnish devloper, Ovelin. We had the chance to speak with Christoph Thür, CEO of Ovelin, about this new promising guitar teaching game.
WildChords uses special algorithms to listen to and analyze the sound coming from a guitar. The game, then, urges young guitar learners to learn and play guitar chords at first and then single notes later to advance their cool strutting avatar through the levels, collecting animals to return them to the zoo. Each animal represents a chord – a monkey is an A minor chord, a Crocodile is a C chord, and so on. The game includes a easy to use visual tuner, and tracks learner’s progress across the lessons and different skills to be learned. It can also brag on Facebook.
According to Thür, studies show that somewhere around 85% of new instrument learners quit before reaching a level of mastery that would satisfy them enough to keep learning. In other words, most kids don’t get good enough fast enough or with enough support to keep them playing an instrument. Not everyone can afford private lessons, either, and – in the US, at least – music education programs have to make do with less and less.
Thür and his company, Ovelin Ltd., want to change that, by providing solid music learning app that targets the beginning guitar player. The technology behind the app is fairly amazing, able to distinguish between single and multiple (chord) notes with ease on both the iPad 1 and iPad 2. The lessons are created with solid pedagogy in place, starting learners where they are, and supporting them as they learn new skills in a fun way.
Thür said that the company would like to bring the app to iPhone & Android in the near future, in addition to expanding to teaching other instruments, like the piano and bass. I made a special pitch for Ukulele, but he was non-committal.
Wildchords is available for free on the App Store, requireing an iPad and a real guitar, acoustic or electric.
I won’t pretend to be a legitimate guitarist, because I’m most certainly not, but Perfect Guitar Song Book seems like a very useful app for those that are. It’s got all of the usefulness of an entire library of tablature, but none of the mess or back-breaking physical requirements that come with lugging it around. Of course, that’s what roadies are for, right?
It’s not all about portability, though. Perfect Guitar Song Book can also be used to grab and format notes and lyrics from any number of websites directly through the app. The text and fonts can also be tweaked to allow for easier reading, then saved for later use. Favorites can be exported into various formats (.PDF, Chord Pro, etc…), which I can see being a big deal for potential song writers.
The app also offers the useful hands-free option of scrolling via shaking. So if someone’s presumably in the middle of playing they don’t have to stop in order to “turn the page” as it were. The app also supports TV-Out, so with the proper cables a user could easily put the song up on a big screen for the rest of their band-mates/friends to use as a guide.
If Perfect Guitar Song Book sounds like a great idea, then feel free to go and grab it off of the App Store. It’s available right now for $3.99 for all major iOS devices.
It has been said that music is the universal language. The strum of a chord is truly understandable in any language, which makes it such a helpful tool in communicating emotion, without ever having to utter a single syllable. This is why music is so critical to the culture of the world, and why it is even more critical that people have opportunities to learn how to be musical.
A brand new app named On the Music Path looks to agree with this sentiment and help to try to bring a whole new horizon of education within the iOS consumer’s grasp.
With lessons ranging in price from $1.99 to $19.99, you will get the best one-on-one instructional videos available on the market, all shot in glorious high definition. Each individual lesson will clock in at a length of anywhere from 45 to 85 minutes long and will allow users the chance to get some of the best education that money can buy.
While yes, the pricetag may seem a little steep, know that there are several lessons that are included in the application’s base price, just so you can get an idea of what can be expected from each lesson. If you have ever been curious about where to start learning an instrument, this would be the perfect place to start. Plus, lets face it, if you are learning from a video, you don’t need to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of a classroom full of students!
Posted March 3rd, 2011 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: ROOM TO IMPROVE
JamPlay Guitar Pack is an instructional guitar-playing app brought to us from jamplay.com that, in addition to its instructional content, contains several other utilities/features which make it unique from similar apps of its kind. Despite its flaws, these features, along with it's large, diverse pool of instructors, have much to offer those looking to improve their guitar-playing skills. And all for a relatively low price.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted March 1st, 2011 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: MUST HAVE
Planet Waves Guitar Tools is a multi-app suite of every guitar-related tool you'll need, whether an active player or enthusiast, regardless of skill level. It contains 7 tools total, including features that enable you to find music teachers/instructors and stores in the location of your choice. Priced at a very-fair $1.99, this app should have a dedicated entry on the iDevice of everyone who plays or owns a guitar.
Posted February 28th, 2011 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: GUITAR GOLD
Guitar World Lick of the Day is an instructional application which teaches its users new guitar licks to expand their skills and repertoire. Based on its comprehensive feature-set, it's obvious Agile Partners and Guitar World Magazine put their heart and soul into creating a quality, affordable resource for musicians of all skill levels, which can be used over and and again to build and refine those coveted skills displayed by the pros featured within it.
The official creator of Guitar Pro for PC and Mac launches an iOS counterpart, allowing you to play with tablature on-the-go, as well as learn new pieces in a shorter time with some useful features such as continuous playback and on-the-fly speed adjustment.
Posted January 7th, 2011 by Kyle Flanigan Our Rating: :: BEAUTIFUL
TabToolkit is "an incredibly powerful music notation viewer with multi-track audio playback" allowing you to follow and play in real time and add your own music, in text / PDF / Guitar Pro / PowerTab files.
Remember how just over a month ago I wrote about AmpliTube, the guitar amplification application for your iPhone and iPad? Well, Peavey Electronics have now joined the scene with their AmpKit software to create a bit more competition and rivalry in the music amplification section of the App Store.
AmpKit turns your iPhone into a highly customizable guitar amp, boasting a myriad of effects and the ability to record your latest music creations. Such effects include the pedals Noise Gate and Elevenizer, and the mics Workhorse 57 dynamic and Germann 87 condenser. As is to be expected, AmpKit contains a number of in-app purchases, including: 12 more amps, 16 effects padls, 13 cabinets and 8 unique mics. Most of these extra purchases are in the range of $2.99-$5.99.
“We’re delighted to be working with Peavey to provide AmpKit and AmpKit LiNK to musicians around the world. Peavey’s world-class hardware design and manufacturing capabilities complement Agile Partners’ unmatched expertise in creating guitar-focused apps for the iOS platform,” said Jack Ivers, a principal at Agile Partners. “Peavey’s music industry experience and global dealer network will provide musicians around the world with easy access to the AmpKit LiNK guitar adapter.”
The aforementioned AmpKit LiNK adapter, required to hook up your guitar, costs $39.99 and is available worldwide. Interestingly, this is exactly the same price as Amplitube’s IK Multimedia iRig, AmpKit LiNK’s main rival.
The iPhone application comes in two flavours: free and plus. The plus version costs $20, and with that you’ll get access to: a Peavey 3120 amp and a matching 4×12 cabinet, a Colonel Vintage amp, a Vintage Brit amp and a number of additional pedals including distortion, fuzz, compressor, chorus, phaser, flanger, reverb and 10-band EQ.
The application is not natively iPad supported, meaning you’re stuck to the iPhone if you choose the Peavey solution. Agile Partners, developers of the application, are also the authors of the much-renowned GuitarToolkit and TapToolkit applications.
If you don’t know what a guitar amp or pedal is then the chances are you won’t be particularly interested in the new partnership between music kit giant Peavey and app developer Agile Partners.
If you do, however, this collaboration will truly rock you…
Forget about the novelty iPhone apps that let you strum virtual strings while looking like a banjo-playing buffoon, AmpKit is true innovation brought about by two major players in their respective fields. Peavey, a brand you’ll no doubt have seen on the stage at every concert you’ve ever been to, and Agile Partners that has under its belt popular apps that include GuitarToolkit and TabToolkit.
Combining an iPhone app with a small interface to connect to a guitar (or any other line-based instrument), musicians can now access all the power of a full guitar rig including a variety of amplifiers, effects pedals, mics and speaker cabinets to create unique guitar tones right from their iPhone. The output can then be sent to headphones or pumped out via powered speakers or a PA system.
What once could have filled a guitarist’s trunk now fits in the palm of their hand and, according to Peavey as well as the tech editor of Guitar World, sounds just as good. While live performance is an option, AmpKit also allows for recording as you play, storing both the unprocessed guitar sounds as well as those from the amplifier making it an ideal training aid or music creation tool.
“We are excited to collaborate with Agile Partners to launch the amazing combination of AmpKit and AmpKit LiNK,” said Hartley Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation. “Peavey is deeply committed to virtual instrumentation innovation”.
The AmpKit LiNK interface will cost $39.99 and is available for pre-order from Peavey right now. AmpKit is soon to be available on the App Store and will be compatible with all devices bar the first generation iPod touch. The app will be available for free with In-App Purchases available from the “Gear Store” allowing users to add amps, pedals, cabinets and mics to their setup.
Check out the video below to see just how impressive this app and hardware pairing is and then start guessing which artist will rock AmpKit on stage first.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted June 17th, 2010 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: EXCEPTIONAL DETECTIONAL
TomChord is a music app that detects guitar chord/guitar chord progression and displays the chords, in real-time, along the top of the screen. It also displays and color codes the root notes of each chord, providing users with a graphical representation of the chord's amplitude/root note(s). While it's not perfect, it doesn't claim to be and does exactly what it says. It's a great tool for budding/inexperienced musicians and weekend warriors alike.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted April 9th, 2009 by Billy Miller Our Rating: :: INSPIRED
Muses don't schedule appointments. They aren't fine with being told to "please hold." If you don't have time for her at the moment, there are plenty of buskers down the street who will. Left your guitar at home? Not her problem. Of course, she might think that your iPhone merits some extra inspiration, that is, if you have Star Guitar.