iFretless Bass - Virtual Bass App
iFretless Bass is a virtual bass instrument and MIDI controller with a unique interface, designed by Blue Mangoo Software for iOS devices.
This app features bass sounds that are controlled by a unique and intuitive interface, ideal for live performance use.
This app's main purpose is to provide you with a bass instrument that is easy to play, providing you with the typical MIDI/sampled bass sound that will help you produce music while you are on the go.
Aside from the bass sounds, iFretless features a unique and intuitive interface that makes it more playable than conventional guitar or bass apps. Rather than trying to mimic a real guitar's long interface, the designers decided to take it up a notch and make a new interface that is based on the traditional string design, but would fit a small rectangular screen.
Typical guitar apps would have you scrolling horizontally to find the notes on a virtual fretboard that closely resembles the original instrument. This app however is designed to avoid the limitations imposed by these small screen sizes, so instead of a long virtual fretboard, the designers chose to have strings stacked on top of each other.
iPad users will see nine strings that each have nine frets, this is equivalent to a three octave range or a total of 81 playable notes. This means that you can play your music without the need to scroll too much, because a lot of notes are already available within one screen. Should you need more, the app also lets you add more strings by scrolling in the vertical direction instead of horizontally.
All of the notes on the screen don't suffer from small fret spaces since they are stacked on top of each other, giving you a consistent touchable area with plenty of room for expressive fingerwork. The frets are also color coded like a piano keyboard, with black and white frets, to give you an even better visual idea on where you are and what you are playing.
To get the virtual scrolling to work, Blue Mangoo Software decided to remove the "string-bending" feature that other guitar apps have. I say it is a good trade off for having a clutter free and wide area to play music with on your screen. Anyway you can closely imitate a bend sound via careful sliding. The interface maybe a bit awkward and unfamiliar at first, but once you get the hang of it, its an impressive digital equivalent of a stringed instrument.
To make this unique interface even more useful, the designers turned the app into a MIDI controller substitute. You can use it to control your iPhone or iPad synthesizers via virtual MIDI. Just run your synth or music production app in the background, link the iFretless Bass and use it make hammon organ sounds, moog synth sounds, electric guitar sounds and many more.
Here is a video demo that showcases the app's flexibility:
Hans Anderson, Director at Blue Mangoo Software, was quoted saying: "If you've ever watched YouTube, chances are you've seen an iBand; a group of musicians who get together and jam on their iPhones and iPads. It's a joke, usually. Some of the performances are polished and well played, but it's the novelty of watching rock stars strumming on mobile phones that attracts viewers, not the quality of the music. But with iFretless, the iPad is now a legitimate musical instrument. Have a look at the videos and you'll see what I'm talking about."
iFretless Bass is currently available from the iTunes App Store and is currently priced at $4.99.
For more information about this music making application, you can visit iFretless.
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