Seen At The SF AppShow: PatternMusic

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 27th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

We hit the SF App Show earlier this week and, after enjoying our cocktails and appetizers, checked out a bunch of new and upcoming apps for the iPhone and iPad. Of particular note (pun intended) was PatternMusic which offers an interesting take on music creation by comparison to existing tools on the iPad.

PatternMusic’s unique control system allows multiple screens to be dragged into view from the sides of the display in order to control instrument parts that can be built up in layers to produce a song. The main screen allows you to fine tune your overall arrangement by positioning each instrument in the mix based on location (up and down sets the volume level and left and right determines pan). The app offers a variety of instrument voices as well as a range of effects settings and is designed to inspire creativity and experimentation so beginner users can develop their musical knowledge.

We were given a demo of the app that showed how easy it is to get started with PatternMusic as well as the possibilities to use advanced techniques to expand and enhance your songs. Collaboration isn’t currently an option with PatternMusic aimed more as a “solo activity” at present.

“PatternMusic is designed to allow people to create their own original music on an iPhone or iPad” said developer, Richard Lawler “What we wanted to do was to create an environment that was appropriate for a mobile context.”

The app is available on the App Store for free on the iPad and $1.99 on the iPhone and is proving popular already. PatternMusic is currently installed on 1% of iPads and an update is expected soon that will allow for exporting of tracks as WAV files for computer use. This, of course, opens opportunities for music makers to create songs and melody ideas on the go and then add the tracks to their professional software later.

PatternMusic is a fun and intuitive way to create songs and from our time with it, it was clear to see that it’s much more powerful than its simple interface belies.