“A beautiful new app for the iPad, called Rotor, lets you make [dance club-style] music on your screen, and record it and alter it, by moving shapes around with your fingers,” reports Russell Smith in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada). “There are several such virtual controllers on the market.… Rotor lets you lay down loops and samples; each one of these looks like a little circle. You drag and drop them from a sidebar onto the centre of the screen. You can alter the tempo and the volume of each throbbing circle by rotating its edges. To make them play together, you draw a line between them. The computer will synchronize their beats, and even their keys.… It’s like conducting an orchestra.… Most of these synth/controller programs—even down to the simplest one of all, which is the game Guitar Hero—rely on visual appeal as much as nice sound for their fun. These are games of sound and colour.…  Now, one can compose, record and alter music on the fly, using an almost limitless orchestra of virtual instruments, using one screen.… It opens the game to amateurs and to those without an intuitive understanding of electronic machinery.”

Posted October 24, 2016