Recent winner of the Children's Technology Review EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD!
Jot down musical ideas with your fingers or the Apple Pencil and hear them come to life! Composer's Sketchpad lets you create music in a visual and intuitive way, minimizing the time and effort needed to invent new melodies, fiddle with musical experiments, or simply give life to the sounds rattling around inside your head. The notes you draw in Composer's Sketchpad have no limits on meter or pitch: sketch out bendy guitar solos and mind-boggling rhythms with almost no effort — or snap to the grid if you want to play it safe. No matter how fancy you get, there's no tangle of knobs or controls to get in your way. It's what sheet music always wanted to be!
- A massive, easily-navigable canvas to sketch your music onto.
- Flexible notes that allow you to represent almost any kind of music.
- Frictionless controls that let you to draw, edit, and play your music without delay.
- Over 100 instruments and a percussion set available to use.
- Several export options (including AAC and MIDI) for your compositions.
- Support for the Apple Pencil and iOS 9 multitasking.
• iOS 10 bug fixes and improvements.
Ratings and Reviews
Not done well
Play icon doesn’t toggle. Erase button doesn’t. Stops playing every time I touch the piano roll even though I’m just trying to move the screen. Looked like a good idea. Just not done well to my way of thinking.
Please add midi IMPORTING next!
I was hoping to find something to edit midi on at an affordable price, and I was disappointed to be unable to import music. Please add this.
Cool composition tool; needs export of some kind or other.
Updated update: *still* a cool idea. Dark UI theme is very much appreciated, as are standard iOS gestures for drawing and zooming. Now: copy/paste? Please? It is the one missing function that keeps me from using this app more than once every few months.
Update: MIDI export: yay! All the other stuff: still want, especially copy/paste, dark UI, and regular iOS scrolling and drawing gestures. Also, there seems to be an annoying lag with the current two-finger drawing: I lift my left thumb but if I try to scroll too quickly with my right, I end up with a stack of notes that have to be erased.
Thanks for listening to your users!
I'm giving this app four stars because I like the idea so much and because even though it is missing some fairly basic functionality it is already extremely flexible in the variety of musical ideas you can take down. I was not even sure anyone had made a simple piano roll music editing app when I went looking for one, but here it is, brand new!
So it is a piano roll-style music writing app that comes without a hugely complex DAW attached to it. It can be used for microtonal work at a fairly rough resolution: if you turn off the snap-to-pitch option, it will let you draw notes anywhere between (Western even-tempered 12-tone) pitches that you would like. It is equally flexible with regard to meter: snap-to-time can be turned on or off, and although the roll itself has grid lines for regular measures, you can ignore them entirely.
Without the snap-to functions, you can sketch melody lines freely, but there is little precision if you want to be able to create tones at precise frequencies that are not on the even-tempered scale. I have not been able to find any additional preferences to changes scales for the snap-to values. And so this truly is a sketchpad if precision is important to your music but you are trying to work outside of modern even-tempered Western music.
My main problems with this app are that very basic digital tools are missing. There is no copy/paste on the sketchpad itself, so repeating structures can take some time to fill in. There is no export of any kind: no audio files, not even an image file of the sketch itself. A dark background app theme would be very helpful for those of us who find glaring white backgrounds painful--or even just annoying--to work with.
This app has a lot of potential. Honestly, I could see it becoming into a synth/sampler that created audio stream output. MIDI would be gravy, if challenging to implement.
At the least, my wishes for added options would be something like the following:
Improved editing: copy/paste; the ability to draw straight lines from one arbitrary point to another rather than being restricted to snap-to-pitch; and making the non-standard two finger drawing/zoom function optional while adding the usual iOS gestures for these functions--myself, I find those gestures adequate and those implemented here to be awkward.
Import user samples for custom instruments.
Export and/or record audio into aiff or wav format.
A sine oscillator as one instrument choice--this would give the app and the user some basic synthesizing power.
Audiobus integration that would allow further processing of the audio output.
Great start. Add more stuff! :)
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.