CREATE SONGS BY SHOUTING AT THINGS.
$10.99 | humbeatz.com
STOP US IF this sounds familiar. You’ve had a brilliant idea for a tune, or some beats, and you’re painstakingly trying to play it, trying and failing to find the right chords or notes. It’s a real pain, so say hello to HumBeatz. If you can hum it, whistle it or beatbox it, HumBeatz can play it and turn it into MIDI data.
HumBeatz is based on two kinds of audio: hums and, uh, beats. Choose which one you want to use, tap record and it starts listening. When you’re done capturing your tune, it automatically analyses the pitch or percussive sounds and translates it into musical data. Your hums become piano notes; and your beats become drum machine pads.
It’s very clever. The pitch recognition is pretty accurate, and on the odd occasion when HumBeatz gets it wrong, it’s easy to find the right note. The beat recognition is brilliant, too, turning our decidedly unspectacular “Boom-tssh!” human beatboxing into proper beats. You can easily change which drum triggers are used, too, so if you’d rather have a handclap than a snare, or a tambourine instead of a hi-hat, it’s just a matter of tapping the beat and then the pad you want it to play. You can also reduce the sensitivity if you find the app is putting in a few more beats than you’d like, and there’s a teaching mode so you can train the app to look for certain sounds.
Where it gets really good is in its ability to loop your tracks over two bars and stack up to four tracks together, so you can jam with yourself. You might put the beats on one track, the main melody in another, a harmony in the third track and a bassline in the fourth. Having done that, you can then do a rough mix and add reverb, or you can export the musical data in MIDI format for use in Garageband, Logic or the audio app of your choice. Because it’s MIDI, it can play anything MIDI-controlled, so you can sing what turns out to be a synth lead or a string section, or come up with beats for an 808 or one of Logic’s incredibly realistic Drummers.
This is a fantastic tool for capturing musical ideas and turning them into tunes.