Ian Chattam is a sound designer of some fifteen years for TV and film, a musician, dad and all round Mac monkey based in the UK. He gets ver Ian Chattam is a sound designer of some fifteen years for TV and film, a musician, dad and all round Mac monkey based in the UK. He gets very excited about new technology especially if it’s audio related. He spends most of his free time fiddling with his iPhone, looking for new and exciting ways to spend money in the app store. You can find him on Twitter via @SackofSoul.
If you’d told me not so long ago that I could have a touch screen device in my pocket quick enough to allow me to manipulate audio by scratching with a virtual turntable, I’d have told you to get out of town. Nonetheless here I am, displaying my next to useless DJ’ing ‘skillz’ to anyone who will listen, using Baby Scratch from developers Async.
After launching the app you are presented with a nice looking virtual turntable complete with volume slider disguised as a pitch control, stop/start button, transformer button (more on this in a minute) and a button to trigger some ready made beats for you to scratch over. As soon as I ‘grabbed’ the turntable with my finger for the first time, I knew I was going to have fun.
The scratch noises provided include a lot of classics and the turntable itself is impressively responsive. Wiggling your finger back and forth and tapping the transformer button is immensely satisfying even if, like my good self, your skills leave much to be desired. The way the pitch fluctuates as you scratch really sounds smooth, despite the overall sound being a tad grainy. There’s a lot of nice maths going on here though, and all credit to the developers for getting this working in real time on a Phone.
You can also record a snippet of audio using the iPhone’s microphone by pressing – you guessed it – the microphone icon. During testing this led to a lot of puerile fun I can tell you, fun which continues to this day.
As is the fashion these days, you can download extra sound packs for $0.99 a pop. I haven’t done this yet because despite the ‘808/Electro Crate’ and ‘8 bit Crate’ previews sounding good, the one I am most interested in, ‘Dusty Crate’, seems to have a broken preview.
Baby Scratch is great fun if a little basic, but in my view that’s the charm of it. Async also make a couple of other tasty looking turntablist apps for your iDevice but this one costs the princely sum of absolutely nothing (excluding in app purchases), so go and grab it now and start making beautiful music. Or as in my case, an enjoyable racket.
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