I can’t remember how I ran across it but I’ve had the Soundrop app on my iPad for a few months now. As you can see in the video below, it’s really more of a game than a music-making app.
Using the sound harvesting techniques I outlined in a previous post, I’ve been recording the output of my Soundrop sessions to create some raw source material for my music and sound design projects. Tonally, Soundrop is a one-trick-pony. You either enjoy the mallet sounds or not.
Here are two short pieces I put together in Pro Tools using only material taken from Soundrop:
In “Soundrop Experiment”, I took a 2 minute 30 second long section from the raw Soundrop recording and copied it to four tracks in Pro Tools. I then inserted a copy of the Sci-Fi plug-in on each track, with different settings per track, to do a moderate amount of spectral modulation. Lastly, I applied some very elaborate volume automation for each track using the pencil tool’s random option, as you can see in the screenshot below:
I really like the way this turned out. It sounds like a very demented marimba falling down a flight of stairs.
The second piece “Soundrop Vignette”, is a very short, three-part fugue. I took a one-second loop and copied it to three tracks in Pro Tools. I pitch shifted the loop on track 2 down one octave and the loop on track 3 down two octaves. Finally, I automated the effects to create the craziness at the end. I love doing that!
So can you write a song with Soundrop? Probably not, but as I just demonstrated, just about anything that makes noise can be turned into something interesting. I encourage you to spend some time looking for new aural inspiration. There’s probably at least 5 potential sound sources within arms reach of you right now. Use them and make some happy noise!