Cre­ate mu­sic from a painted squig­gle? Colour us cyn­i­cal

Mac Format - - RATED -

£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.)

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