Free, by Konakalab
Any music app that harnesses the power of the iPhone’s accelerometer deserves some attention, and the Fourier Touch, a bare-bones Theremin emulator, does exactly that by allowing users to control the pitch and volume of a sine wave by tilting the iPhone in various directions. Still more toy than instrument, this app is an elegant step in the direction of accelerometer-based instruments, which are poised to start making a permanent splash in the performing arts (check out the K-bow from Keith McMillen for the real deal). Gesticulating never sounded so good.
Free ($29.99 sensor required), backbeater.com
Backbeater is a tempo-monitoring app that reflects the tempo being played on an acoustic kit. Simply attach a sensor to the snare, start playing a groove, and the app will gauge your speed in real time based on an adjustable window of every 2—16 beats. For now, the app is most reliable when used with basic grooves that have predominant backbeats. Thankfully there’s the included option to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor so that ghost notes don’t throw it off. Although a $29.99 sensor is required in order to use the free app, it’s still cheaper than products like Tempo Ref and Beat Bug.
If you haven’t already, every drummer will at some point feel the burn of a lead singer’s death glare because they think the song is too fast or too slow and it’s all your fault. Here’s your chance to prove lil’ miss Goldilocks wrong.
Holding h3 for years as the frontrunner in the timekeeping business is Visual Metronome, which includes basic elements like tap tempo, odd time signatures, a library of tones, and the ability to save presets. Its presentation is stark and simple and it comes bundled with virtually every option possible. The only thing missing is a mute function that silences certain lengths of bars, this being more of a request from the world’s nerdiest wish list than a slighting.