Echo String – Music Improvisation

I needed to test a new reverb setup and the Zoom MS-100BT effects pedal, so I went ahead and pressed the record button.

This is an improvisational take I made to have real-world data to test against some various reverb settings. I know that doesn’t sound inspired, but I like what turned out.

The song is performed on the Echo String iPad application with it’s audio output routed through an external reverb. I video captured the iPad screen using my MacBook Pro and then post-processed everything in iMovie.

This isn’t a typical review because I haven’t really been using Echo String for anything in particular – it just happened to be available in my tool box of musical gizmos. After hearing the results of my reverb test, it became apparent I needed to say a few words about this app’s potential.

Echo String is an iPad musical instrument and composition application. It’s sort of a touch screen digital harp. There are three sections split across the screen, each containing pluckable harp-like strings within a musical scale.

The scales in these sections are overlaid by a chord mask, so the instrument is very easy to play, even for those who don’t consider themselves to be musically inclined. I’d even say it’s difficult to get much out of the instrument that isn’t notably pleasing.

Echo String is also a decent educational tool if you’de like to intuitively learn how scales and chord progressions work together. By simply playing the instrument and altering the available scales, as I do in the demonstration video, you can come up with some reasonable compositions.

I could easily see myself using Echo String to sketch out a few chord progressions, then bringing the entire composition into a DAW to polish up a musical idea.

The full version of Echo Sting allows you to record your compositions within the app and then export them out as MIDI files. That’s well worth a minimal cost if you find yourself inspired by the instrument and actually writing music.

Echo String is available in the iTunes AppStore free to use, and with premium features made available with purchase.

Developer’s Website:
http://www.supertintin.net/echoString.html

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