Dating back 12,000 years, made famous by the cult classic game Zelda, the Ocarina has now been thrust into the digital age, courtesy of music app specialists Smule. This app is a must have for any musician; transforming your iPhone into a fully functioning musical instrument. This is also for those who just enjoy showing off the technology, as it parades the iPhones’ entire bag of tricks.
Be prepared to say, “Yes, I’m actually blowing into it!” as the length of notes is controlled by how much you blow into the microphone. Coloured waves glide across the screen in sync with your breath but for those of you without the lungs for it, you can set the notes to play when you simply press the holes. Like a real ocarina there are four ‘air-holes’ that you cover or leave open to run up and down a variety of scales. You can even give you notes shape and vibrato by wobbling the phone!
One interesting feature is how this app connects to all the other budding ocarina-ists across the globe. By tapping the globe at the bottom of the screen you are shown melodies being played live from all continents. The social aspect doesn’t stop there with the added ability to record and share composed melodies online or via email, straight from your iPhone.
Aside from the ingenious innovative nature of this app, the layout, operation speed and design are all flawless. All these features are backed up with guides, tips and support on the Smule website which has a “learn-to-play” section. The notes truly have a pleasing sound to them, making this not only a fantastic app, but also a new medium for musicians of all abilities to experiment with.