Trapezoid - Hammered Dulcimer for the iPad
By Michael Eskin
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Trapezoid is an amazing Hammered Dulcimer app for the iPad.
Written by an experienced Hammered Dulcimer player, this virtual dulcimer sounds and plays like the real thing!
The app now supports both Audiobus and Inter-App Audio for use with GarageBand and other multi-track recording apps.
The app has the full range of a standard 15/14 instrument and supports both Standard and Michigan (octave) tunings.
15/14 means there are 15 bridges on the Treble (left) side of the instrument, 14 bridges on the Bass (right) side of the instrument.
To play, just touch the strings on either side of the left (Treble) bridge or the left side of the right (Bass) bridge just like on the real instrument.
To get repeated note "drag roll" effects, drag quickly horizontally across the strings. The drag roll sensitivity can be set on the settings screen. The higher the sensitivity, the shorter distance you need to move your finger to get the effect.
Toggle between Hard or Soft hammers sound by touching on the "Hard" or "Soft" label on the upper left corner of the screen.
Touch the rotate arrow to toggle between landscape and portrait orientation instruments. Portrait provides the most string spacing.
Touch the "?" on the upper left corner to show the note names for the strings.
Touch the "i" on the upper left corner to show the settings screen where you may:
- Adjust the volume and right/left panning for the bass and treble bridges
- Choose between "Traditional" or "StrikeZones" instrument styles
The new "StrikeZones" instrument style shows you exactly where to touch on the screen for each note. The zones light up when touched. It is an excellent tool for understanding or teaching the layout of the instrument.
- Choose between Standard or Michigan (octave) tunings
- Show or hide the hammer touches
- Show or hide the note name highlights (when note labels are displayed)
- Enable or disable the drag rolls as well as set the sensitivity for how far you need to drag to get the roll effect
- Using the "Soft Hammer Filter" control, choose between equalization of the soft hammer sounds for best sound through the iPad speaker or through headphones. The "iPad" setting optimizes the soft hammer equalization for playback through the iPad speaker. The "Headphones" setting optimizes the soft hammer sound equalization for headphones or for use when connected to an amplifier through the headphone jack. The "Headphones" setting allows more of the low frequency content of the sound to pass through for best quality.
On the iPad Pro, with its amazing stero speakers, set the "Soft Hammer Filter" to "Headphones" for best quality sound when playing with the soft hammers.
- Learn more about ThumbJam or visit the AppCordions website
Touch the "Shhh" button on the upper right corner to quiet all the ringing strings.
Play along with music on your iPad by starting a song in the Music app, then run Trapezoid. Adjust the relative levels of the dulcimer and the background music using the sliders on the settings screen. (Touch the "i" on the upper left).
To truly experience the full stereo spread of the instrument, plug in a set of headphones or amplified speakers.
Audio samples of Wes Chappell's amazing dulcimer provided by Jesse Chappell from ThumbJam.com. The instrument was built by James Jones, from Bedford, VA.
I have played and taught the Hammered Dulcimer for over 20 years. This app sounds and plays as close to the real instrument as I'm capable of doing on a touch screen.
Be sure to visit the AppCordions.com website to watch the demo videos!
What's New in Version 3.0
Added Audiobus and Inter-App Audio support.
This means that Trapezoid can be now be used as an Inter-App Instrument for multi-track recording of your playing using Apple's GarageBand for iOS.
Great realistic sound
Love his apps. I have the Dulcimer app (hammered). What impressed me was the
realistic sound on my iPad. I've found it useful on long trips to try out tunes
(as a passenger, of course😉). I've even dropped in on the occasional workshop & have used it to try out whatever technique is being taught.
I especially like the fact that I have the option to tune the Dulcimer in Michigan Tuning (octaves) like my Webster Dulcimer or in the Fifth tuned style. Very handy as I teach to folks who have both tunings.
I'm brand-new to hammer dulcimer is. I haven't gotten my instrument yet but this app is very realistically teaching me the way the notes are laid out. I had an intro lesson on actual instrument and this is really good. I was able to work out several songs already. Great job and I'll be using this to help tune my hammer dulcimer when I get it.
Cool but cheap
Very cool little app. Added a star because it was only 99 cents.
The samples are noisy, a slight hiss accompanies each press of the note which would require some serious gating or EQ to make them usable for music production. MIDI implementation would be nice. As it is, it's cool for generating ideas based on the dulcimer tuning, or if you're looking to learn how to play the instrument.