Ocarina

When I first heard about the Ocarina app, I thought to myself “ o okay, it’s just another music instrument app. After purchasing the app, I was mistakenly surprised, it exceeded my expectations. This app turns your iPhone into a virtual Ocarina. It is a very nifty little app.

Pros:
-Extremely interactive, great for anybody!
-Sound is very good
-Very cool global view
-Stream live to the world!

Cons:
-Sound echoes (reverb)

4.7/5

$0.99

The app begins with 4 blue dots (or holes) and what looks like a little tower icon at the bottom-middle of the screen. To the right of it there is a little yellow are indicating where you should blow. Yes, blow, you must blow into the mic in order for the app to create a tone. In conjunction with blowing you use your fingers to “cover up the holes” to create varying tones. The audio is quite good, even when playing repeated notes, however, the sounds echoes (or as if it was been played in a large empty room). As you blow into the mike, green “waves” are emitted from the tower-looking icon, this will be explained later.

Something that really impressed me was the breath-velocity & sound-output. Depending on how hard you breath into the mic, it will affect how loud the tone is.

By tapping on the tower icon (wifi-looking-tower-thingy), a toolbar will appear with four icons (left to right) – the first is the Ocarina screen, the second is a global view, the third, a settings page and the fourth, is an about page.

Upon tapping the second icon from the left (the global view) what looks like Google Earth will appear (but of course you can’t do much zooming here) there are several yellow dots on the globe, these indicate other
Ocarina users. The app will automatically begin displaying a tune in this view, what you are hearing is someone else broadcasting their tune, (hence the tower emitting green circles in the Ocarina-view). At the top-left of the screen a heart icon is displayed, it you tap it, and then you are simply saying you enjoyed what the user was playing (you can view your stats in the about page). Next is the user that is broadcasting, their user name (you can create your user name in the settings tab). Then the icon on at the top-right allows you to skip to another user. What I really like about this view is the ability to visually see the stream coming from the user’s location as well as each tone that is being played.

On the settings screen, you can name your Ocarina, change the root (the lowest note that the Ocarina begins its scale on [I think.]) You can change the modes, the colors of the “holes” and the “breath” You can switch on/off the “Play melodies when asleep” or “Share your
melodies,”
I believe these options are self-explanatory.

Overall I was extremely impressed with this application for a mere $0.99 .

This application is nearly perfect to me, I am giving it a 4.7/5, mainly because it’s a great app for $0.99, I however would like to see improvement on the sound output, as the echoing sounds annoy me a little.

Author: Matt Sawyers

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