Be your own rockstar
In your pocket lies a music studio that is as versatile as it is powerful. Load your phone with these apps to give your talent a productive outlet
Walk Band is Android's answer to Garage Band. It is probably what Garage Band was a few years ago. You can make drum loops, use pre-made loops for arrangements, play a virtual drum and guitar just like you can on Garage Band. However, the choices of loops are limited, there is no guitar FX, the drum pad is not as responsive. For Android, this is the closest there is to Garage Band, which still makes it a fun experience for novices, and you can use it to make decent music. The one negative—and this is a big one—is the barrage of advertisements that you are forced to watch unless you want to fork out R200 for permanent VIP status.
Take Creative Vocal Recorder
This audio recording app lets you record and tweak your voice to make it sound perfect. You can use it to record music instrument as well. Take Creative also has built-in loops and beats to help you create your music. You can edit your tracks, tune your voice to sound on pitch or even electronic, if you want to. The app also lets you create harmonies by doubling up your voice. The best part is that it is all available for free. Unfortunately, it is only for iOS devices.
Voloco is a great tool if you want to record rap on the go. The app lets you load backing track, either something from their selection or something you want to sing over. Then you can set the key to which your vocals will be tuned in. You can set various adjustments to your vocals and record your vocals or rap over the music. The app will automatically tune your vocals to the key, essentially giving you that autotune effect. Voloco is mostly free, but they have premium effects that you can get by subscribing. You can also share your creation on their platform for some instant fame.
Platform: iOS, Android
Music Maker Jam
Music Maker Jam is the ultimate novice music-making machine. It features pre-made samples that you can mix on its eight-channel mixer. Add FX and adjust the tempo for your own unique sound. The app has a huge collection of audio samples. There are a bunch of free ones, but most of them you will have to unlock using coins. If you don't earn enough coins, you can buy them using actual money. Once you are done with your masterpiece, you can share it on the Music Maker Jam community for unsuspecting followers on social media.
Platform: iOS, Android
Fruity Loops Studio is an excellent piece of software that, if you master, let's you produce album-worthy pieces. It has a built-in mixer, synthesiser, percussion machine, virtual keyboard and the ability to capture live audio. You can also download samples and use them for your audio tracks and add effects to make each instrument your own. The only downside to FL Studio is you need to know what you are doing to get the most out of it. You can't just pick it up as a novice and wing it.
Platform: iOS, Android
Price: Rs 300 onwards
If you own an iOS device, especially an iPad, then Garage Band has to be one of the apps you should install. It is a powerful piece of software that can help you make music, but at the same time, it is very approachable and you can really have a lot of fun with it. The app features touch instruments that mimic real instruments including an entire drum suite, keyboards and guitar. You can also add external loops and use a bunch of FX to produce your tracks. The app also supports live guitars, acting like an FX pedal that can create different sounds.
Make electricity out of thin air
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed a device that can create electricity from moisture in the air. The find was reported in Nature magazine. The device is called Air-gen. The bottom of the film rests on an electrode, while a smaller electrode that covers only part of the nanowire film sits on top. The film adsorbs water vapour from the atmosphere. A combination of the electrical conductivity and surface chemistry of the nanowires, coupled with the fine pores between the nanowires within the film, establishes the conditions that generate an electrical current between the two electrodes.
Microsoft to bring antivirus to iOS and Android
Microsoft plans to bring its Defender antivirus software to Android and iOS devices later this year. Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) will step in to fix a growing problem of malware and malicious apps that are currently targeting mobile phones. Along with protection from malicious software, Defender will also help prevent people from visiting online destinations that are unsafe.
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