I did a round-up article a good while ago here on the Music App Blog that looked at the various ‘MIDI performance’ apps available for iOS. If your keyboard skills are not so great, or perhaps you just don’t get on with virtual piano keyboards on a touchscreen surface, or maybe you don’t have any skills on a traditional musical instrument, apps such as Chordion, ChordPolyPad, Navichord and a number of others offer some interesting alternative ways to ‘play’ MIDI data into your virtual synth/instrument or DAW/sequencer apps.
A few weeks ago I reviewed another such app; ChordUp from Dmitry Klochkov. ChordUp is a universal app, requires iOS8.0 or later, is a 27MB download and, priced at just UK£2.99, is likely to be within almost everyone’s price range. This is a very neat little addition to the genre, bringing a slightly different take on the whole MIDI note creation process and I’m sure many iOS musicians could find a use for the app amongst their utility apps.
The app received a new update over the week-end and, alongside some more routine minor fixes (always welcome), a couple of new features have been added. In terms of the internal instrument options, a new acoustic guitar sample set has been added to sit alongside the existing piano, organ, string and various synths sounds. While, in the main, you would probably use ChordUp to drive an external sound source, these internal sounds are useful to have to both explore the app or for just noodling some musical ideas.
Second, in addition to the right-side note triggering grid, you now how the options of a set of six strings to trigger notes. This gives a Guitarism-like feel to the app and, if you engage the sustain button, you can get some nice ‘strummed’ chords going. This works well some some sounds, both internal and when used to trigger an external sound in another app, so it’s a welcome addition. It will be interesting to see if Dmitry develops the functionality of this further to make it even more ‘guitar-like’ when performing.
ChordUp is a neat little utility app. I can already think of a few ‘extras’ it would be nice to see added – velocity response on 3D Touch screens and a key/scale options to confine the chord selections – but Dmitry obviously has a continuing development plan for the app so I’m sure we will see further additional features in time. Anyway, for further details, check out the original full ChordUp review and the video demo of the new features below.