Fans of obscure musical instruments may know of the ocarina, an ancient flute like instrument with a unique feature. Unlike other flutes where the length of the instrument matters, the ocarina depends on surface area coverage of the holes to produce various tones. Not long ago Smule, an app development company brought the ocarina into the digital age in the form of an iPhone app. With the ocarina app, the user blows into the iPhone’s microphone while holding down several on screen “holes,” and tilting the phone this way or that. Around the globe people are recording their ocarina creations and sharing them.
But now there’s more. Smule, shortened form of Sonic Mule, no known relation to the Sonic Hedgehog, is on the scene again with Glee, the app. Everyone can get their Glee on with this app that allows users to sing along and record Glee tunes. Not so good singers need not worry because Glee the app has pitch correction and harmony. All the better for aspiring Madonna wannabes. The app comes with three songs but possibilities are limitless as songs such as, “Like a Virgin,” can be purchased for just 99 cents.
The Smule folks are definitely the ones to watch for magical future apps for the iPhone and the iPad. They’ve already created the Magic Piano app specifically for the iPad and collaborated with auto tune expert, T-Pain on an app for him. Co-founder of the company, Ge Wang is among the geekly set always carving new ground with emerging technology. Even with a full time job as a professor in the computer music department at Stanford University, he created the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. But for now, it’s all about Glee.
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