Smule, the iPhone/iPod touch development house that has released an Ocarina and a Leaf Trombone to the iPhone, has now partnered with T-Pain and Auto-Tune to bring a T-Pain-branded app to the mobile platform. I interviewed Ge Wang earlier; he gets exceptional music geek cred for the creation of the real-time synthesis language ChucK.
But this app goes further. It isn’t just called Auto-Tune for iPhone, or T-Pain Presents Auto-Tune by Smule or something like that. It actually promises to turn you into T-Pain, sort of like the toys that make you sound like Darth Vader. And that means it has exactly one application – one essential application, I’d say. It means you can do amazing covers of “I’m on a Boat.”
Something has jumped a shark here, but I’m not sure which. Maybe it jumped over the shark onto the boat.
Two more serious observations:
One, this theoretically could be a useful addition to your mobile arsenal. Mike Una uses Auto-Tune to map the continuously-varying pitch of his “Beep-It” optical Theremin to a scale. Of course, the problem is that the iPhone lacks an audio input jack, though maybe someone has an idea for how to solve that.
Two, a question: just when, exactly, will we get basic audio DSP coding on a platform that’s not the iPhone? Sony’s PSP is arguably more powerful, but requires you to take your game system into a back alley to modify it to run homebrewed software. Google’s Android has more powerful hardware in the pipeline, at least, but there’s still not really official support for running native audio code (even though that’s how the phone’s own audio system was built). People are starting to simply say “iPhone app” when what they mean is “mobile app,” and that’s a shame.