There are apps for productivity, apps for learning and well, apps for most things. With the exception of Ocarina by Smule, there are few virtual musical instruments for mobile devices that involve more physical interaction than just tapping a screen.
UK indie creative studio, Club 15CC, has just released the first in a series of new apps for the iPhone 4+ and iPad 2+ (we found that it also works on the latest iPod touch). Sound Wand makes use of the built-in motion sensors in these devices to create very unique and sophisticated virtual musical instruments.
The name of the app points to the action you need to play your mobile device as an instrument. Tap the screen and wave the device around like a wand and the music will start to play. The coloured bars act a bit like strings, as you move, they pass under your fingers where you touch the screen and are ‘plucked’ to create the music.
It’s nice to try an app that helps you move a round a little as opposed to just staring at the screen. There are various styles of music and you can change the pitch and tone with a few simple alterations in settings. The little information in settings is just enough for some light learning too, so this app would be suitable for kids, or those who are easily amused.
It is unlikely that you’ll create your opus on this app and there does not seem to be a way to record or export the tunes you can create. But as a distraction and an intriguing way to interact with a mobile phone or iPod, Sound Wand is not a bad way to pass the time. Just take care to wear headphones if you are planning a long jamming session.
Check out the video to see more about how it works.