SphereTones – A Free ‘Visual Instrument’ For Android

SphereTones is an ‘intuitive visual instrument’ for Android.

Here what the developer has to say about it:

In contrast to traditional composition methods this approach places intuition, randomness, playfulness in the focus of attention. The base element is the Sound-Sphere. Imagine a planet, where the ball you drop, will always be bouncing, creating a perpetual-motion machine. The height of the drop controls the time between bounces, hence the rhythm.

Zooming is the other key part of the composition. By changing the perspective, the user is able to change different aspects of the sound. At the normal level, the rhythm can be created, in a deeper state it is possible to shape the triggered sounds.

It’s a free download.

If you’ve used SphereTones, let us know what you think of it!


7 thoughts on “SphereTones – A Free ‘Visual Instrument’ For Android

  1. The circular interface is cute, but a rectangle with bouncing balls (a la Tenori-on) does the same job in smaller screen space.

    If you could attach those bouncing event balls to outside nodes to build hierarchical structures, there could be a point, now it seems fairly limited – for instance bound to the synth sounds they happen to include with the app (same as a huge number of ios apps, of course, including Tenori-on gwd I wish i could control just ONE of the stupid params in their stupid little synth, ooops sorry rant…)

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    • Hi Squarewave,

      This app is not meant to be a general purpose sequencer, it is trying to bring a new way of interaction and music creation.
      In the new update you can set some parameters (global tempo, octaves)
      On your sdcard there is a folder cc.openframeworks.SphereTones/sfx where you can copy/replace the samples.. Good luck.

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  2. ok i saw this post and Downloaded the app because these bell sounds were entrancing.

    First the Bad/ improvement suggestion:

    1. i tapped all around this thing till i realized that you have to press and hold to create a node. i was about to delete it and say that it didnt work on my Droid bionic but it works very well.

    2. i would like the ability to change the original sound again after creating a node.

    3. a volume parameter would be a good way to make sure that the sounds could mix well.

    Things i thought about:

    1. saving functions would enable me to revisit the sounds i made, and exporting to mp3 would also be awesome. Then i could make one of these an alarm clock tone for when i wake up in the morning.

    2. The sounds i was making were very peaceful, i could see myself making one and just letting it drone while i read or try to fall asleep.

    3. a snap option in a menu might be a cool idea because it could allow people who want to use the app in a more approximate setting to do so. the intended nature of the app is to create variable organic movements and resonances but i couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if i could snap the sounds to a tempo.

    The good:

    1. I really liked all of the sounds I could choose from, they were all very beautiful and distinct.

    2. using the app was somewhat of an adventure. i liked the height parameter because that could help me estimate rhythms i wanted to create and they weren’t always on time so interesting variations occurred.

    3. there were surprises as i explored the app like when you zoom out all the way, polygons are formed by the sub nodes! that was cool! I also enjoyed zooming in all the way to discover i could change the pitch.

    4. isolating the sounds based on where you were panned or zoomed on the pallet was a smart idea!

    Thank you for developing something fun for the Android system!

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  3. I’m having trouble finding this on Google Play or anywhere I can download it to my phone. Any advice?

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  4. “In contrast to traditional composition methods this approach places intuition, randomness, playfulness in the focus of attention.”

    This begs the question… How did you assume we were all composing if not by already incorporating intuition, randomness and playfulness? :)

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  5. Picked up a Galaxy Nexus last week and put this on it today. Starting to look at what can be done in the Android world. I found the volume can be a bit low as with the post above; headphones or line out to an amp are better anyway. The little speaker on the phone isn’t really that good, I suspect the frequency response isn’t that wide, but that may be my secondhand purchase. As for the app I like the interface and what can be done by zooming in and out – moving to focus on one sphere set when zoomed to various sizes is a pretty cool idea. Thinking a bit and applying some ratios makes for some interesting stuff.

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