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iPhone: Guitarist And Bassist – Instrument Simulators

7 November 2009 Leave a comment

iphoneguitarist1iPhone guitar apps seem to be evolving into more and more complex utilities.  We’ve considered just a few of the guitar-related apps before and now we’re looking at Guitarist and Bassist from MooCow Music.

“Never be without your guitar again”, say MooCow Music.  It’s a slogan we here at Guitarless can get behind.

MooCow have released Guitarist and Bassist – instrument simulators for your iPhone.

The Guitarist app presents us with something new.  While we’ve seen virtual fretboards with strings that can be plucked or sounded before, MooCow go further.  Their basic ‘manual-fret’ interface allows you to move around the whole fretboard, right up to the 21st fret.  You fret the string where you want and then ‘strum’ it to sound it.  If you hold the string, it will sustain, and if you release it, the note will mute. Chords are possible although MooCow admit that the size of the screen – and touchscreen limitations – make complex chords difficult.

Their ‘hammer-on’ screen makes life easier by removing the need to strum the string manually.  When you press a string, it sounds.  This makes it easier to play faster, more complex scales and even solos.  You can even hammer-on or pull-off notes.  Vibrato is also possible.

The ‘tab’ guitar reverses the concept of the hammer-on screen by providing a tab interface instead of theiphoneguitarist2 fretboard.  The tabbed notes take care of the fretting for you and you pluck each string accordingly.  This seems a little less useful but certainly has applications as a learning aid.

Likewise, their ‘scale’ guitar could be a useful learning tool too. It allows you to run through a large number of scales in any given key.

That’s far from the full story however.

The app ships with a number of sampled instruments from acoustics to clean to distorted guitars.  Each instrument has its own effects bus where you can apply delay, wah or fuzz effects.

Still want more?

You can even record your compositions.  Two separate guitar types can be loaded at the same time and recorded together into a song.  The songs are actually ‘recorded’ as a list of notes rather than an audio file.  This obviously saves space but also makes it easy to erase mistakes or create overdubs.

Take a look at a video of Guitarist in action.

If you prefer your notes fatter, maybe you could consider the Bassist app.  It has some of the same features as Guitarist but less strings.  One or two less – depending on your preference, you can set up your virtual bass with four or five strings.    Bassist will even accommodate all your slapping needs.  Bassist seems not to be as full-featured as Guitarist, but it’s still an interesting app for the low-downers among us and it may well expand in the future.

Incidentally, if you want to get the rest of your band members involved.  MooCow Music also offer Pianist, Organist and Band apps.  The former are self-explanatory but the band app provides a little bit of everything – drums, piano, bass and guitar.  It even throws in an appreciative audience for you.

While these remain virtual instruments, they are fun and, in my opinion, are much, much better than and app where you simply have to click the right coloured buttons in order to play Smoke On The Water.

Go to MooCow Music to see them all in action and to get links to the App Store.

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
This article is listed under: Featured, Software

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