SoundSlate: iPad App Written Review
Author’s Note and Comments: In our review of SoundSlate, we tended to focus on the app’s usability in terms of live music performance—this is a bit of bias on our part, as we like to moonlight as professional deejays when we can. It’s worth noting that SoundSlate finds many homes, and often more successfully, in other areas, such as special needs education, radio broadcast, theater performance, and podcast creation. If you’re looking to use the app for these purposes, you’d be hard pressed to find a better aide than SoundSlate. Otherwise, keep rolling to see our thoughts on the app’s live music potential, and where it perhaps could be improved.
We’ve been seeing a lot of deejay-oriented apps floating through the App Store recently, and we have to admit, it’s a trend we like. We’re suckers for any app that allows us to manufacture wicked beats with nothing more than our iPad and a little bit of ingenuity. Added to the mix this week is a brilliant little app called SoundSlate, by developer SpinThought. The title makes it incredibly easy and root-level friendly to create any number of soundboards, adding highlights, accents, or whole beats to your live shows. Even if you’re just looking to make a quick soundboard for all those cute things your children say, that’s possible, too. All in all, for our full thoughts on this killer music app for the iPad, check below beyond the break!
Concept and Functionality
The idea behind a generic soundboard is relatively simple: The player is presented with a large spread of various buttons. Clicking on any of the buttons produces a predefined sound. This can be something as intricate as a classic, orchestral pop, or it can be as silly as Bones saying, “He’s dead, Jim.” Either way, the idea is that these buttons can be hit in time with another piece of music to create further accents or highlights on-top of the original track. SoundSlate, as a soundboard application for the iPad, brings all of this to the table, including a little bit more.
The real boon of the app is its total customization potential. Users are free to load any of their own sounds to a new soundboard, either via iTunes File Sharing, or through the iPad’s built in recorder. We found it quite easy to record sounds made around the house, allowing for some Stomp-esque beat productions. Users can even add their own photos to each button, making it easier to find a specific sound in the heat of the going. All in all, this functionality, combined with faders, repeat timers, and individual volume levels for each sound make SoundSlate a viable option for the mobile deejay.
Design and Interplay
That being said, we really wish the application played nicely with others. We loved the iTunes File Sharing potential, especially as it allows us to load our pre-cut tracks. However, we would have loved direct integration via Sonoma Audio Copy/Paste with our other music apps, such as studio.HD or Looptastic. We’d like nothing more than to take a customized loop produced elsewhere, and then dump it directly into SoundSlate, allowing for perfectly mixed and spot-on playback during a gig. We also would have appreciated a slightly more eye-candy ridden interface, as the current one leaves a lot to be desire aesthetically when compared to apps like Garageband.
SoundSlate brings a wealth of customized potential to the table, and with easy file sharing and a spacious interface, we can easily see a professional house musician using the app in-set. However, with a less than pretty interface, no real connectivity with classic studio apps, and a high price tag ($7.99) we feel the app may require an additional update or two before fully coming into its own.
SoundSlate requires iOS 5.0 or later and is compatible with iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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