Sound Apps

Tablet computers offer great potential as platforms for creative sound-making. Being able to control sound directly by touch and to couple it to visual representations opens up a new world of expressive musical instruments. This is a series of experimental iPad apps made to explore these tactile and audiovisual possibilities.


Ops is a modular synthesiser designed to make it easy to create and explore sound interactively with a touch screen. Ops does away with patch cords, instead using a system of connected blocks with a clear signal flow.

The blocks, called ops, are joined together into structures by dragging and dropping them on screen. Structures can easily be copied and varied to build-up rich, interesting results.

There are ops to perform a wide range of functions, including interaction, signal generation, effects processing, control, audio input, MIDI input, and pitch and rhythm manipulation.

Go to the Ops page.


scriptSONIC is a programmable musical instrument for the iPad. Use it to generate and control interactive musical patterns using simple JavaScript code. Make interactive rhythms; send and respond to MIDI messages; explore notes, chords and scales; manipulate samples and live sound input, and record the results. scriptSONIC combines the open-ended creative power of a programming language with the expressiveness of a touch-screen.

Go to the scriptSONIC page.

Strange Attractor is a truly novel sound generator based on chaos theory. The outcome of PhD research, it uses a feedback system to process and generate sound. Unlike conventional synthesis techniques, sounds emerge in surprising and unexpected ways, almost having a life of their own. By moving your finger on the screen, you can navigate through a space of evolving sounds, that build-up, pulsate, and decay. Sound input through the microphone or headphone socket can be processed into fractal textures, or will trigger and control oscillations.

Voco is a touch controlled phase vocoder. Sounds can be manipulated by touching the screen, and played like like an instrument. Time is represented on the horizontal axis, and pitch on the vertical. The yellow bars display the sounds intensity. Sounds can be sampled through the microphone or headphone socket, or loaded via iTunes. There are also features to constrain the pitch to different scales, and to glide the playing point around the screen to make rhythmic loops.