Macworld Masterclass: Create your own music

Construct tunes out of everyday objects using Smule MadPad

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  • anno Intro
  • Step 1 Image Step 1: SoundTrigger
  • Step 2 Image Step 2: Capture a sound
  • Step 3 Image Step 3: Import a clip
  • Step 4 Image Step 4: Save and play
  • Step 5 Image Step 5: Change it up
  • Step 6 Image Step 6: Save, share, start over
  • More stories
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Intro

If you’re desperate to express yourself musically, but don’t have access to a conventional musical instrument, you should try MadPad. It’s a fun and effective way to make music out of more or less anything. Every object that can make a sound, from kitchen utensils to pets, appliances to musical apps, can become part of your music with MadPad

We recommend you start by planning a theme, or getting an idea of what sorts of objects you’ll use to make sounds for your music set. You’ll need to choose 12 sounds to record before you can play and record your music, which can be harder than it seems.

Here, we’ll talk you through the creative process. You’ll have a musical masterpiece in no time – and hopefully a bit of fun along the way.

Vital Info

Device: iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: 30 minutes

What you need

iOS 4.2
A selection of ‘musical’ objects
Wi-Fi or internet to share
MadPad – Remix Your Life app (69p/£1.99)

Next »

Next Prev anno

If you’re desperate to express yourself musically, but don’t have access to a conventional musical instrument, you should try MadPad. It’s a fun and effective way to make music out of more or less anything. Every object that can make a sound, from kitchen utensils to pets, appliances to musical apps, can become part of your music with MadPad

We recommend you start by planning a theme, or getting an idea of what sorts of objects you’ll use to make sounds for your music set. You’ll need to choose 12 sounds to record before you can play and record your music, which can be harder than it seems.

Here, we’ll talk you through the creative process. You’ll have a musical masterpiece in no time – and hopefully a bit of fun along the way.

Vital Info

Device: iPhone/iPod touch/iPad
Difficulty: Beginner
Time required: 30 minutes

What you need

iOS 4.2
A selection of ‘musical’ objects
Wi-Fi or internet to share
MadPad – Remix Your Life app (69p/£1.99)

 

Step 2 of 7: Step 1: SoundTrigger

SoundTrigger is a clever feature that starts the recording automatically when a sound is detected. If you want to use this, calibrate the sensitivity based on your room’s noise level. Move the slider to the left if you want quiet sounds to act as triggers.

 

Step 3 of 7: Step 2: Capture a sound

Pick a sound, and set up your camera to capture the ‘instrument’. The light bulb icon shows if your lighting is suitable. To record, tap the ‘record’ button on one of the twelve rectangles. Ensure that the noise is loud enough or it won’t record.

 

Step 4 of 7: Step 3: Import a clip

You can import sounds and video from other users’ creations, the examples given by the developers, or previous projects that you have created. Just tap the ‘import’ button, choose a clip (you can preview it by tapping on it) and then choose ‘load’.

 

Step 5 of 7: Step 4: Save and play

Once you’ve recorded 12 clips, tap ‘save and play’. This will take you to the launch page, where you’ll see your clips. Play by tapping them. If you want to record what you’re creating, tap the ‘menu’ button, and then tap the circular icon on the right. 

 

Step 6 of 7: Step 5: Change it up

Experiment with pitch and volume to create new sounds. Using two fingers, drag up or down on a clip to change the pitch temporarily while you record. To loop a sequence, tap the icon with two arrows, record, and tap the icon again to stop or play it.

 

Step 7 of 7: Step 6: Save, share, start over

After recording, MadPad asks ‘Now What?’ View your set, save to Photos or share to YouTube. Once you’ve saved, you can reset and start a new recording. You can share via Facebook, Twitter or email, or submit it to the Featured list in the app.

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