Vocal modification is a natural app for iOS, yet a lot of the offerings out there are complicated to use. (At least one that springs to mind has options for add-on purchases that can muddle the user experience.) Audiofile Engineering (via a new brand, Square B) has just released an app that looks like loads of fun. Turning the interface into a swirling vortex of particles might not seem to be a step forward for ease of use, but here, the reduction in interface clutter lets you focus on singing. I’m retreating into the studio in a quiet moment to play with this one, certainly, but wanted to share the release.

(One alternative I’ve played with before is Improvox; that’ll definitely be what I would compare this against. Controlling mic levels and feedback is always a challenge – notice the use of headphones in the video.)

Under the hood, you get a combination of pitch correction and harmonization, ready for your next cover of Imogen Heap. The interface lets you swipe around through the particles to adjust which harmonizations are added, and reverberation levels. There are various presets, and a looping option looks useful.

A lot of these sound toys skimp on important utilities, but here you can share recordings via email, SoundCloud, Dropbox, and iTunes file sharing. Unfortunately, you don’t get Audiobus or AudioCopy, which seem like naturals, but perhaps that can be added if this app is a hit. Updated: AudioCopy support works now – just select WAV as your output (which readers here probably want anyway). And Audiobus support is coming soon, say the developers.

For some reason, the target audience includes a valley girl, your grandma, and a punk… Klingon?

No matter; the app looks great. Time to start singing. US$2.99.

http://squareb.co/vio/

Singers, are you using iOS apps – or plug-ins, or hardware – for your harmonization / effects? We’d love to hear what you use (and your music).

Tutorial on Vio:

Vio Tutorial from Vio on Vimeo.

  • Oliver Chesler

    I love the idea but I don’t think what it produces sounds very good do you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisstack Chris Stack

    Just bought it. Will check it out later. So far, my favorite is iVoxel.

  • Matthew Foust

    Vio does support AudioCopy/Paste if you choose WAV in the iOS Settings app > Vio.

  • Matthew Foust

    And AudioBus support is coming soon.

  • Matthew Foust
  • Patrick Flanagan

    Hey everybody, I wrote the audio engine in Vio. A couple tips based on my experience and observations: flinging the particles all over the screen is fun and you should try it, but I get my best musical results when I slow down and let the vortex sit in one spot for a while. The arppegiator takes a while to “speak” and you’ll miss all the patterns we designed if you stir the particles constantly. You’ll find those patterns in their purest, un-morphed form in the corners of the screen. Second, while I’ve seen people beatbox through the app effectively, I like to sing long, vowel-y notes so I can hear the patterns in the appegiator and the frequency domain LFOs. Finally, if you’re a JI freak, the Sitar Hero preset uses pure intervals and is my personal favorite.

  • http://twitter.com/peanutismint Peanut Turner

    I’m really interested in vocal harmonizing apps, but as yet I have been unable to find one which I can ‘play’ with a MIDI keyboard. I guess I’m basically looking for sort of a vocoder but one that leans more away from the ‘Daft Punk’ style and more towards the Imogen Heap style mentioned in the article, i.e. to sound less like a robot and more like a small chamber choir.

    Any suggestions?? I’ve tried Improvox but I don’t believe that has MIDI support….

    • Jon@MuseAmi

      Hey Mr Peanut. I’m the Product Developer for ImproVox (the other vocal processing app mentioned in the article). We’re working on a bunch of new features right now, including MIDI support, where you’ll be able to do exactly that: control pitch mapping with a MIDI keyboard. First on our update list is Audiobus support, but MIDI is in the pipeline too.

  • audiohufter

    Funny video! Really cool how you guys got on to the more or less voyeuristic nature of youtube and the fenomenon of some users expressing their identity with arranged ‘accidentally’ laying around objects: it started with iphones, up to expensive photo lenses, unused Roland TR’s and dozens of grown men flashing their little dolls :) I am waiting for the first set of carkeys, but it probably allready exists.
    Great idea very well excecuted!