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CymaScope Android App Review


Nov 14th 2016 at 01:17pm by Brooklyn Midas

Brooklyn Midas

Brooklyn Midas is a freelance tech writer and enthusiast

GiveMeApps Rating: 4 out of 5
  • New approach to composing
  • Includes sequencer and audio record mode
  • UI is very plain
  • Could use some more features at this price point

2016 will most likely go down as a major year for innovation in music making. While a lot of this year's releases stem from years of development and prior ambitious releases, the instruments and gear released over the past eleven months marks a comfortable marriage between tech, price and user friendliness.


See Also: Perfect Ear 2 (Android)


Products like the ROLI Seaboard Rise keyboard allow for never seen before forms of expression. The Novation Launchpad series takes arranging to the next level. On the mobile side, the CymaScope draws on a heavily researched concept to which the price of the hardware using kept it out of the reach of anyone without major cash to burn.


Android App Review: CymaScope | GiveMeApps Android App Review: CymaScope | GiveMeApps

Cymascope Has Two Modes For Recording And Viewing Visual Patterns


Cymascope simply put is an apparatus which turns sounds into patterns or geometric shapes. There are many versions of this all of which stem from the study of Cymatics. Inorganic matter such as grains, pastes or liquids such as water would generate patterns when items placed on top such as flat brass plates played with a violin bow would send vibrations to the matter underneath. This in effect would allow you to "see" what you are playing. You might say, "don't spectral analyzers exist already?". This is quite different. These patterns are note-based and not frequency based. 


See Also: Livinity (iOS)


On the mobile front years of research and development have culminated with the Cymascope app for iOS and Android. This playable app will just like its mechanical cousin display patterns on the screen as you play it. For seasoned musicians who have even basic piano knowledge, playing the app will be a breeze. Piano keys are laid out in a circle on screen with notes ranging from A0 to C4. Each note will generate a unique colored geometric pattern. As most devices do not detect pressure, there is no touch sensitivity. Playing notes octaves apart will display the same color with the shapes varying in intensity. For example, playing F1 will display a blue shape. F1 will display a more intense blue shape. Colors remain the same with each octave. C is a yellow-orange, C# is yellow, D is green, D# is a more vibrant green. Eb is turquoise, E is a softer turquoise, F is blue, F# is blue-purple, F# is pink-purple and G is pink. 


See Also: Audio Recorder HiFi (Windows)


A nice touch is a simple one track sequencer which will let you record melodies. All you get is record/stop and play here. After recording, you can play back your sequence and study the patterns. Even better is the record audio feature. Singing or playing an instrument in this mode will generate patterns and tell you which note you're playing. While keyboard mode was fun, the record audio mode was far more interesting and useful for studying Cymatics. Another nice touch is utilizing different tuning frequencies. You go with the 440Hz standard, the controversial 432Hz and the classic 444Hz. Your pick.


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The app is not free. I'm usually impartial to app prices when it comes to music software because the funding for development is typically harder to come by (compared to consumer based utility apps and games). $8.37 is not bad at all, but I'd still like to see more features and UI improvement at this price point. Hopefully, this financial commitment will encourage further development. There is a lot to like about Cymascope. For one, it's a slightly different approach to creating music. More importantly, for the one experiencing the music, it adds a whole other dimension for enjoyment.  


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