Petites Ondes: iPad Video App Review
Fans of the ondes Martenot and its otherworldly sound can rejoice. A digital version of this instrument (originally created in 1928) is now available at a price that won’t break the bank. It’s called Petites Ondes and it’s from developer Masao Suzaki. Sounds like your dream of covering every Radiohead song just got one step closer to completion. Our iPad app review will let you know if it’s worth your while.
Thanks to a variety of control options, timbres and reverb levels, the Petites Ondes iPad application does a fairly good job of recreating the eerie wavering tones created by the original instrument. Like its predecessor, while playing Petites Ondes you will use one hand to control the note dynamics, and the other to manipulate a brass ring or the instrument’s keys to select the pitch.
There is a help feature in the application, but for those of us with minimal ondes Martenot experience, this feature isn’t really that helpful. It only advises you to touch the dynamics pedal to control the sound. And it doesn’t even do a very good job of that. Not only are you to touch the pedal, you must press it, from the top downwards, to do any good. Simply touching it won’t accomplish anything.
This app does do a wonderful job of preserving the sound and feel of what some consider an “endangered” classical instrument. We just wish it was a bit more beginner-friendly.
Layout & Design:
Petites Ondes makes the most of the iPad’s screen space by centralizing all the dynamic controls in the app’s lower left-hand corner. The app has a feature for auto scrolling the keyboard when the brass ring is manipulated, which makes it even more screen-friendly. You can access more notes and have a smoother playing experience if you put this feature on, which we highly suggest.
Design-wise the app is sleek, compact and uncomplicated, as long as you know what all those buttons, scales and options are for. We approve.
We experienced a few issues learning how to use the Petites Ondes application initially, and there were a few functional complications as well. Once we had to reinstall the app to get it to function properly, but that was after playing it for quite a long time. Otherwise the app worked well. We suggest taking your time and getting to know the instrument and the app’s translation. It’s really very well done.
This is a highly sophisticated application and it’s available for a fair price. Downloading Petites Ondes only costs $2.99 and gives you access to an instrument you may never see otherwise. We think that’s a small price to pay for preserving a classical sound and giving it a new voice on today’s latest technology.
Petites Ondes iPhone app requires iOS 4.2 or later and is compatible with iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone App Review’s rating: