APP OF THE DAY: MadPad HD review (iPad)
Since Pocket-lint started App of the Day back in May 2010, we've covered over 300 interesting applications of all shapes and sizes. Games, productive utilities, educational and reference software titles have all passed through our sweaty mitts, and for a variety of platforms, to boot.
However, what we've also realised in the process is that sometimes an app doesn't need to be anything other than a pleasant waste of time. An oddity that doesn't really fit into any general category. Digital ephemera.
- iPad (iPhone version also available)
- £1.99 (69p iPhone)
Developer Smule is something of a master at making interesting apps for iOS that can't really be generalised. They all, to a point, have a whiff of musicality about them, but in a more whimsical, peculiar and fascinating way. And MadPad HD (the iPad version) is most certainly all of those, and much more besides.
It is, at its heart, an audio sequencer; a device to loop sounds in order to create percussive or musical clips. However, it does so with miniature video clips recorded from, basically, anything.
The tagline of MadPad HD (or the iPhone's MadPad) is "remix your life" and that's essentially what you can do. You can record 12 individual small clips of unique sounds, store them on your iPad (or in the cloud) and then play them back by tapping on each thumbnail. A basic looping function is included, plus you can record a larger sequence.
Now, if you were to record, say, 12 different drums, that'd turn it into a visual drum machine; funky, but otherwise dull as there's so many other apps that can do a similar thing. But if you recorded your dad snoring... That's an altogether different kettle of fish. Come to think of it, you could even record a kettle of fish.
You can also change the pitch and volume of each clip, effectively turning a person speaking into a Smurf or Barry White, or making a mundane noise, such as traffic, much more interesting. And, if you're completely out of inspiration, you can download entire sets of clips from Smule and other users. Similarly, you can upload your own for others to use, and share them through Facebook, Twitter or via email.
And the sharing element doesn't even end there: once a complete song has been created, that can be shared with others too as a video file through YouTube.
Naturally, as this is predominantly a video application, you will really need an iPad 2 to get the most from MadPad HD, after all, you won't be able to record clips if you don't have a camera. But you can still use any of the other sets to create your own mixes on a first generation iPad, so maybe there's some value in it for owners of the original tablet too.
What we would advise, though, is that unless you're Damon Albarn (who should really bring out his own breakfast cereal - Albarn's All-Bran), making a successive racket of beeps and blips is not particularly commercial. But it is incredible fun.
Surely, that's all that matters.
Just think what you could do with a cacophony of rude words... Not that we would do anything like that, of course. A "monkey scrotum" would never pass our lips. Ahem.
Have you created a MadPad set? Let us know what you think of the app in the comments below...