Developers Tin Pan have just released their first app, the aptly named Tin Pan Rhythm. Besides being a great app to help me perfect my spelling of the word "rhythm", it is a very user-friendly tool for song composition.
First, I have to say how much I appreciate the demo video above. Love the kid's playroom in the background as he sits down to work on music. I think many of us can relate to that scene much more than the scarf-wearing hipster strolling through NYC to bust out some "fresh jams". One other point here that is clearly being made in the demo is that this app is accessible by everyone.
Tin Pan Rhythm is an app that focuses on composing songs. By creating simple chord progressions using acoustic instruments, putting together a song couldn't be easier. Previous music theory is not required for this app, and Tin Pan Rhythm will actually help teach users the basics as you use it.
There are two main screens in the app, with a side menu for settings. Mainly you'll be using the Arrangement and Chord Progression screens. Starting in the chord progression screen, you'll select the chords for your song. The chords available will be based on the key you've chosen (which can be accessed in the Settings menu - three dots in the upper left corner). Simply tap and slide the chord into the slot, and you're done. In the Settings menu, you can choose to use either the chord name or degree (i.e. I, IV, V) for the chords. You can also change the tempo while you're there, and whether you'd like 4 or 8 bars.
In the Arrangement screen, this is where you'll choose your patterns for your song. The instrument selection includes piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, and two percussion instruments. Simple volume sliders allow you to do some mixing here. For each instrument, you can choose a pattern from among many different options. Play around with these until you find something you like. For example, the guitar has some picking options and strumming options, where the piano will have either some whole chords or arpeggios.
For the tuned instruments, you can also drag the sections up or down to alter the octave range that is being played. This adds some flexibility in what you can do with the preset patterns. But where it gets good, is the ability to change the patterns for each measure. If you see the two vertical rectangles on the right edge of each pattern, they will be aligned by default. When they are in this position, any changes to the pattern affects the entire pattern. But, when you "unlock" these (see the acoustic guitar below for the unlocked icon), you can change the pattern per measure. Here's where you get to add some variation in your song. Add a little drum fill on the last measure, or an picked arpeggio among the strummed chords.
This is a very nice app to help get you writing songs fast. Now, for some of you "noise" musicians or ambient /drone types, this app likely won't hold much appeal. But, Tin Pan Rhythm can help songwriters try different chords until the arrangement works. The in-app sounds are quality, so you could even record these for demos if you wanted to add some vocals on top. Bring your iPad back to your bandmates to show them the progression you've put together. Throw together some ideas on the bus. I played around with this with my daughters, ages 7 and 5, and they were putting together tunes immediately. If you're a songwriter interested in a tool to help work through some progressions, this might be the app for you.
If you're thinking about buying Tin Pan Rhythm, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 963594351]