YouTube link for mobile viewing

Sometimes I get introduced to some app for which there are no real words to describe it. Plasma Sound easily falls into that category, tripping me out while I was playing with it and making me scratch my head as to how to best explain it.

Plasma Sound is an electronic instrument that responds to touch. The pitch of the sound varies with where your finger is on the screen and you can even cause multiple pitches to ring out because it supports multitouch. The sound it produces is this kind of weird, techno-electronic sound. It's strange but definitely versatile.

There's a settings menu where you can change the kind of waveform your notes will have, and that also affects how the note sounds. From the menu you can also change the highest and lowest pitches on the "board," which will give you a wider or smaller range depending on what you choose. There's also options for things like vibrato and tremolo, although in my experience, I couldn't discern any difference from my tablet's speakers.

There's also a sequencer where you tap squares (that represent pitches) and when the white bar scrolling across the screen passes them, the note plays. With a little bit of experimenting and some creativity, you could definitely create some cool grooves, provided to set the appropriate tempo.

There's a settings menu for the sequencer too that lets you (among other things) pick how big your grid is and set the tempo, giving you total control over your creation. What you can't do, however, is have a note get played on an upbeat, so everything runs the risk of sounding, for lack of a better word, square.

Plasma Sound is completely free and devoid of ads, so if making sweet electronic music from your Android device is something you want to be able to do, grab it from the Market and get to it. While it may seem more of like a toy at first, the developer says he uses this as his instrument in a band, so there's more to it than meets the eye at first pass.

For the budding musicians, there's download links after the break.

 
There are 7 comments

rj says:

for the vibrato and tremolo, remember to change the depth in order to notice the effects.

Neat toy!

gkatsev says:

It's pretty fun. Also, the word you were looking for is Theremin. The instrument that makes sounds without touching it. It also makes a lot of those "sci fi sounds"

Awesome! A great app for musicians on a budget to play around with.

icebike says:

Joshua step away from the tablet.... space ships are landing..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUcOaGawIW0

ravenuse says:

Gonna have to check this out. Now, if only Korg would port iMS-20 to android.

crxssi says:

OK, this is a really neat program. Pretty useless, but very much fun to mess with.