The Strange Agency LLC has released Sound Scope Space (App Store link), a unique audio-visual, multi-touch musical instrument for the iPhone.
With a completely rewritten audio engine, Space gives users the unique wave-sculpting touch interface of the original, but with added range and precision. Notes are now quantized to standard MIDI semitone values, allowing Space to play nicely with other instruments — on stage, in the studio or on the bus.
Unlike other mono-synths that let a user select from two or three basic waveforms, the Sound Scope series allows users to sculpt sound waves freely, giving its users an endless sonic palette. The now classic realtime Sound Scope display, an oscilloscope-like waveform rendering, lets users see their sound as well as hear it.
Rather than use a keyboard of fixed size, Space utilizes the potential of touch by allowing users to pan and zoom the pitch space. Using two fingers on the pitch ruler along each edge, the user can pinch or drag to quickly hone in on a given octave with great precision or to zoom out for maximum range.
The novel Kuzmoscillator provides two LFO controls in one unusual gestural interface. With a quick swipe of the finger, the user can set both pitch and volume modulation. Rather than using a “rate” and “depth” knob for each LFO, the Kuzmoscillator measures both the direction and the speed of a swipe, thus a fast vertical swipe creates a warbling vibrato while a slow horizontal swipe will gradually shift the volume up and down.
Capitalizing on the iPhone’s multi-touch capability, Space adds an arpeggiator thus allowing users to easily play patterns of notes. A synchronized echo effect adds even more sonic possibilities; with the arpeggiator disabled, a user can vary the length of the echo effect using the tempo control, packing a lot of variation into a simple interface.