Fresh iPhone Apps for May 3: Slewpi, NodeBeat, ScatterBrain

May 3, 2011
Tech

Heading up today’s Fresh Apps lists are a couple of musically inclined apps, but neither of which is really a musical instrument. Instead, Slewpi and NodeBeat are more visual, allowing you to manipulate things on your iOS device’s screen in order to create sound. Each has a different take on the process, so give both […]

Heading up today’s Fresh Apps lists are a couple of musically inclined apps, but neither of which is really a musical instrument. Instead, Slewpi and NodeBeat are more visual, allowing you to manipulate things on your iOS device’s screen in order to create sound. Each has a different take on the process, so give both a whirl along with ScatterBrain, a super-simple note-taking app.

Slewpi (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

Mixing audio and visual is Slewpi, a music synthesizer app that doesn’t present you with a keyboard or other traditional musical instrument. Instead, the app lets you paint on the screen using your fingertips, creating sound as you go. The music you play is determined by the art elements you choose — colors adjust the note, brushes adjust key and so on.

Slewpi is designed for all ages and is as useful for musicians and DJs for creating synth loops as it is for teaching children about music in a visual way. It also has some external video support with the iPad 2, a feature that developer Rumi Humphrey says he is working to improve, as well.

NodeBeat (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

NodeBeat is another interesting visual music app. It presents you with a screen full of colored discs called nodes, some of which give off a pulse that reacts with the others. By moving the nodes around the screen and linking them together, you can make nodes fire in different orders and with different timing, creating music, or at least interesting sounds.

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While not exactly a full-blown music instrument, NodeBeat is an engaging and fun little distraction. It’s filled menus that allow you to adjust how it works — including how many nodes you’re dealing with, how they’ll react to one another, and how fast pulses are fired, helping you get some interesting sounds out of the app without too much trouble.

ScatterBrain (iPhone, iPad) Free

Simplicity is ScatterBrain’s claim to fame. It’s a note-taking app that’s specifically designed to be easy to use and quick on its feet, allowing you to capture ideas as you have them, rather than scribble notes on pieces of paper. Each time you fire up ScatterBrain, you can quickly jot down a note, and then color-code them for later retrieval.

ScatterBrain is marked by a clean interface without a lot of frills, but tap on a note you made and you’ll get all the information present — like when it was created and when it was last modified. You can also organize your ideas and search through the using ScatterBrain’s comprehensive search bar.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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