By Mike Gao
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Polyplayground by MIGAMO (Mike Gao Mobile)
This app is great for the producer, composer, music theorist, and student. It makes understanding music theory easier, because the spaces are ISOMORPHIC. This means that chords are the same in all keys. One only needs to learn a chord shape once to use it in any key.
This app has a synthesizer built in, with separate pitch bend for each finger, but is designed to be used as a MIDI controller via Camera Kit and MIDI interface. For live performance, the app takes MIDI input, allowing you to visualize what a jam partner is playing. You can also stream chords you have already played into the device so that you are never lost if you want to improvise.
You can press the Horizontal/Vertical buttons to change your pitch space.
Guitar/bass players can change the pitch space to 5:1 (fourths by chromatic) for their familiar layout, while cello players can use 7:1 (fifths by chromatic).
Other notable spaces are 4:7 (Longuet Higgins) and Gerald Balzano's 4:3. In 4:7, a square is a major 7th. You can move this square one step at a time to the left to do a very John Coltrane like progression: transposing a major 7th down by major 3rds.
MIDI input allows one to visualize existing music in this space to understand it easier. One can jam along with another musician, or existing MIDI chords and never get lost- because you can see what is going on.
It also works wirelessly via OSC, which will be explained on our website. This will allow for music theory lessons to be taught remotely, or notes to be sent across the stage.
I love composing in bed utilizing OSC across WiFi, streaming chords to my Ableton recording in another room.
Synthesis via libPd, with special thanks to Tom Erbe's Pd class. GUI elements by Lawrence Ervin. Splash screen by Jenny Yoo. Icon By Strangeloop. Additional knowledge and guidance from Jerry Balzano. Algorithmic composition strategies from Miller Puckette's class on algo comp. Programmed by Mike Gao.
What's New in Version 2.3
iOS8 audio bug fix
This app is really cool, it helps me understand how the music works without proper musical training. It's really easy to get into the zone and and just experiment with different combinations of sounds. Mike Gao finally fixed the issues with the synths on ios8 so now you can use this app standalone.
You can also hook up this app to Ableton (and other DAWs that work with network midi). I am going to make a video how to do that soon, you should be able to find it by googling polyplayground ableton setup.