From the “click-clack, click-clack” of your car’s turn signal to the honking of a passing bus, life is a symphony of sound — there’s just no one conducting.
This morning, Smule (makers of many a fine/remarkably clever iPhone app, from Leaf Trombone to I Am T-Pain) is looking to change that with their latest iOS app: MadPad. By capturing short, everyday sights/sounds and arranging them for playback at your fingertips, MadPad turns the world into your beatbox.
Their demo video probably explains it better than I can (though I’ll do my damnedest in a second):
Make sense? MadPad lets you capture those fleeting sounds (that turn signal click-clack, that bus honk, a barking dog, a finger snap, or anything else) and arrange them into a video soundboard. Each sound (and its accompanying recorded video) is laid out at your fingertips, and tapping any of the soundboard’s squares fires off its paired event. A few dozen taps and a good bit of experimentation later, you’ve gone and turned those random sounds into something resembling a melody.
Recording each sound is remarkably easy — far more so than I expected, actually. After you set a button to record (and set the ambient noise level), the app can automatically monitor for a volume spike and intelligently edit down your clip accordingly. Or you can just do things manually and hope for the best.
Once you’ve figured out your grand arrangement, videos can be recorded and exported to YouTube with just a few clicks. Who knows! Maybe you’ll be the next Jack Conte (minus the sweet beard.)
Interestingly enough, this app wasn’t actually built entirely in-house by Smule. It began its life as a project of Stanford student Nick Kruge, only to be adopted a few months later as Smule’s first trip into the publishing world. While it’s not nearly as graphically rich as some of their in-house efforts , it’s just as polished and well-built as anything else we’ve seen come from Smule. Plus, it’s really friggin’ fun.