luanna is a beautiful new application out of Tokyo-based visual/sound collective Phontwerp_. Amidst a wave of audiovisual iPad toys, luanna is notable for its elegance, connecting swirling flurries of particles with gestures for manipulation. I imagine I’m not alone when I say I have various sample manipulation patches lying around, many in Pd, lacking visualization, and wonder what I might use in place of a knob or fader to manipulate them. In the case of luanna, these developers find one way of “touching” the sound.

As the developers put it:

luanna is an audio-visual application designed for the iPad
that allows you to create and control music through the manipulation of moving images.

The luanna app has been designed to be visually simple and intuitive, whilst retaining a set of rich and comprehensive functions. Through hand gestures you can touch, tap and manipulate the image, as if you were touching the sound. The image changes dynamically with your hand movements, engaging you with the iPad’s environment.

The interface is multi-modal, with gestures activating different modes. This allows you to select samples, play in reverse, swap different playback options, mute, and add a rhythm track or crashing noises. It’s sort of half-instrument, half-generative.

Phontwerp_ themselves are an interesting shop, descibed as a “unit” that will “create tangible/intangible products all related to sound.” Cleverly naming each as chord symbols, ∆7, -7, add9, and +5 handle sound art, merch, music performance / composition / sound design, and code, respectively. That nexus of four dimensions sounds a familiar one for our age.

Sadly, this particular creation is one of a growing number of applications that skips over the first-generation iPad and its lower-powered processor and less-ample RAM. Given Apple can make some hefty apps run on that hardware, though, I hope that if independent developers find success supporting the later models, they back-port some of their apps.

See the tutorial for more (including a reminder that Apple’s multitasking gestures are a no-no).

US$16.99 on the App Store. (Interested to see the higher price, as price points have been low for this sort of app – but I wonder if going higher will eventually be a trend, given that some of the audiovisual stuff we love has a more limited audience!)

Readers request Audio Copy and sample import right away. I think sample import, at least, could easily justify a higher price, by making this a more flexible tool.

Find it on our own directory, CDM Apps:

Very similar in its approach is the wonderful Thicket, well worth considering:

See our recent, extensive profile of that application’s development:
Thicket for iOS Thickens; Artists Describe the Growth of an Audiovisual Playground

See also, in a similar vein, Julien Bayle’s recent release US$4.99 Digital Collisions:

  • Chad

    I’d love this if it allows loading custom samples.  :) 

  • Adam

    no acp? the price is too heavy…

  • Zymos

    Like thicket but 10x more expensive…

  • Pschwag

    Peter – All this gestural iOS stuff you seem interested in, but still no love for TC-11?

    • Peter Kirn

      Thanks for the reminder! Checking it out!

    • Jonathan Mackenzie

      How about some love for these!

  • Chad

    Am I correct in asking: Is designed only for iPad2, not iPad1 or iPad 3.  It says it won’t work on iPad1 and the image quality declines in iPad3.  Or am I misreading that?  Curious!

    • Peter Kirn

      I’m reading that as meaning that it doesn’t yet support the new iPad Retina Display.

    • Chad

      So it currently supports neither iPad 1 or iPad 3.  :)

  • tdollrsign

    speaking of touch gesture….

    imagine the possibilities with this. 

    • Peter Kirn

      Yeah, researching that one.

  • Øivind Idsø

    That’s my main gripe with SO much iPad software: You can’t use your own samples.

    Which is why I end up buying none of them, unfortunately, because many of them look very promising.

    • Peter Kirn

      I’m curious – what would the ideal way of doing this be? Dropbox? iTunes? Or just anything that worked? 😉

    • Øivind Idsø

      You raise a good point. :) One of the things I wish for in iOS 6 is a kind of unified file center – like the Finder (aha!). As it is now, you have to load the same sample into several iOS apps if you want to use it in more than one app, which is pretty ridiculous, not to mention a waste of space.

      But, yes, you could use Dropbox, though I suspect transfer times between Mac and iPad will soon become a drag. I have music apps that will accept files via iTunes, which is fine, but wireless drag and drop is definitely the easiest.

    • Horaflora

      If you jailbreak your pad/phone/touch, and get ifile (like finder) you can do at there; make a directory, put your samples there, and link from there to wherever your apps each look for samples… Great space saver!

  • ghost dog

    No thanks