Looks like something is finally getting goin within the small world of music apps for Android.
I don’t mean apps that were ported from iOS to Android, but that were actually designed with being Android native from scratch.
HumOn is a very nice sample of a super easy to use, convenient songwriting tool that was born for Android smartphones and tablets. It allows you to sketch ideas for songs quickly and efficiently.
The workflow is very simple:
- You literally hum your song idea in your smarphone mic.
The app “draws” your melody line efficiently, following the pitch, drawing a cool line on the screen. You even have a “noise filter” to turn on if you want to attempt to remove some ambient noise.
- After you finished your masterpiece, the app tries some kind of pitch-to-notation conversion, analysing your sound wave and decoding it to “actual” notes on a score. Being human voice (almost always) monophonic, the process is quite fast and accurate.
It manages to retain legatos, staccatos and so on.
And it looks good!
- Here the fun begins. Now the app created your melody line on the score, and also a supporting harmony that fits the melody. Usually, this works quite well!
On a melody level, you can pitch, position and duration of the single notes, or even split them into different rhythmic figures.
- On a harmony level, you are allowed to change any of the chords to make your supporting harmony richer or different while still keeping the same melody.This allows maximum flexibility and experimentation.
- On a global song level the app can also arrange your song in a variety of styles, from classical to rock n roll to RnB, complete with full accompaniment, drums, fills and all. Very cool!
Other global parameters include tempo, pitch (transposition), and undo/redo functions.
The arrangements, though sometimes a little “too much” or “bombastic” are useful to inspire you even further from the original ideas and sound much richer and appropriate than other more famous apps like Apple’s Music Memos.
- Now that you created and edited and arranged your ideas, you can conveniently store them in HumOn’s song format (that allows you to organise songs in album and even assign cover arts) or export them in WAV format for further editing.
The whole app feels very smart, very convenient and very easy to use. It is actually very well designed at it allows you to sketch ideas in minutes. Bid kudos to COOLJAMM for creating something that was sorely missing in the Android world.
One feature that I missed, however, is the ability to export your creations in MIDI format, so that you can load them into your favourite DAW and get serious with your HumOn songs.
Next version maybe?