Create music from a painted squiggle? Colour us cynical
£6.99 Developer Wizdom Music, wizdommusic.com
Works with iPad Version 1.0.2 Age 4+
Something about HarmonyWiz got us all wary straight away. An app you can use to create music without any musical knowledge? We’ve fallen for that one before. Repeatedly.
Yet HarmonyWiz delivers. You paint squiggles on the screen and it translates them into a melody, which it then harmonises. In time, you’ll figure out how to draw something listenable, then try out all five harmonic styles until you find the one that sounds decent. This is an achievement in itself – music might be applied maths, but the maths involved isn’t easy.
Ditch the hit-and-miss painting aspect and it becomes more than just a clever music toy for novices. Engage Expert mode and you get a really useful compositional tool that lets you record your melody using an on-screen or MIDI keyboard and edit notes onto the musical stave before adding the automatic harmonies. You can then change the attributes, the chords, or just go in and edit the individual notes if you prefer. Musical knowledge helps here. You can feed your masterpiece into another app through AudioBus, or export it as audio, MIDI or even as sheet music (using LilyPond).
With limited instrumentation – but decent instrument packs for 69p a shot – and no mixing tools beyond basic reverb presets, HarmonyWiz doesn’t cut it as a standalone music creation app. But as a harmonisation tool in your music workflow, it’s hard to beat. Jim McCauley
See how your squiggly lines translate into music! (Or at least a row of musical notes.)