iPad App – Soundrop

A ball drops from a mysterious hole on the upper left side of the screen…

Lines of four different colors (and sound assignments) can be drawn to make the ball bounce.

Drawing multiple lines gets the ball bouncing in a rhythm, and adding more lines makes that rhythm more complex. With each line a different tone, it all gets pretty crazy when the next ball comes out to bounce through what you’ve created.

The further the balls drop, the higher the pitch, so with some careful placement you can make something very melodic and fun (if a bit maddening at first). Instruments are a bit limited, and I wish I could import my own sound for use in this app.

So far I’ve had the most fun with the default gravity setting – it’s the easiest to control. But you can turn gravity off or set the app to respect the position of the iPad, and that’s a whole other experience. More chaotic, and perhaps more fun for experimental applications. You can also control air friction and bounce.

It’s simple… draw lines and watch a ball bounce off of them to create fun rhythms and hidden melodies. The free version is a lot of fun, but the pro version is only $1.99, and allows you to save your creations. I have to admit this is one of the most simple, but simply addictive little apps for generative music.

November 2012 update  - I had an experience with Soundrop that I just had to share… While hanging out in a coffee shop, two of my son’s kids (both boys) immediately took to Soundrop and went cray drawing lines. What I found interesting was that they determined the “point” was not to make music, but to just prevent the ball from falling off the screen. This resulted in a cacophony of noise as multiple balls bounced within their cages. Add the fart sounds that come with the app, and it was al downhill from there.

Here’s an experiment that was created while Audra plays the iPad and I manipulate a reverb effect.