Jordan Rudess

EarWizard

EarWizard
By Wizdom Music
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EarWizard releases July 11 2013

Wizdom Music has been designing music apps for iOS a long while now. Jordan Rudess is one of the more recognizable names in music to start with and even more so among those who enjoy iOS as a creative option. We are used to seeing innovative music apps we can use as instruments or controllers from the Wizdom Music team.
EarWizard is something different and, at least speaking for myself, unexpected.
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EarWizard is a fun learning tool that helps one become familiar with scales & keys using a take on “Simon”. This makes the presentation of EarWizard as a game of sorts immediately understandable. It is familiar and fun while being educational at the same time.
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I don’t think I need to describe how “Simon” works, but I will describe how EarWizard puts its own spin on things. The concept is simple: you can change the key and game speed from the settings or begin with a tutorial.
You start off in a particular scale and key. Then select a level. Instead of boring sequences of increasingly complicated tones that must be repeated perfectly, there are windows displaying a short video of Jordan playing a chord. Starting off slowly and then progressing to a more complex series of chords to repeat. Easy enough.
Each correct interaction is followed by a pleasant audible indication. Make a mistake and you’ll hear about it with out of tune chords. A clear indication an error has been made.
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As you play through it becomes more and more challenging. I found that along the way I had been learning to recognize keys. Such is the benefit of this game.
What really kept my attention other than just trying to concentrate on recognizing each key, was the videos of Jordan. He makes different facial expressions for each video where he strikes a chord on a piano. They range from benign to hilarious. I found myself a little distracted at times because I ended up laughing at the expressions he would make. I mean this as a compliment. It kept me interested and always looking forward to seeing what he would do next.
I really thought that was a great idea, and it works for me. You really gotta just see it for yourself.

EarWizard is a fun way to either develop or exercise an existing skill and have some fun while at it.

EarWizard was tested on iPad 3 & 4

Additional Screen Shots

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SpaceWiz App Review

Wiz Around The Aural Expanse Of Space

SpaceWiz is made By Wizdom Music
Review is based on experience with iPad 2,3 & 4

UPDATED REVIEW: 8-1-2013

SpaceWiz will not be receiving Audiobus support. The reason being that SpaceWiz is built on the Unity graphics engine, which somehow prohibits it from functioning with Audiobus. That’s sad news for many. One can still hope for iOS 7 and its anticipated “inter-app audio” connectivity might resolve this? Who knows? JACK could still be on the table as well.
For now SpaceWiz users will have to get along with AudioCopy.
There are some new sounds to play with, and improved stability in the recent update.
It’s a bummer that we won’t be using this with Audiobus, but SpaceWiz is still a pretty cool generative music app.

Ever wondered what it would be like to manipulate celestial bodies to create interesting sound and melody? Yeah…me either, but thankfully Jordan Rudess did. With the combined imagination and talents of the Wizdom Music team, Jordan Rudess, Kevin Chartier, and Tobias Miller, comes SpaceWiz!
An audio visual marvel that allows you to control 8 planets, each with a variety of assignable timbres to play with or off each other. 250 instruments, 45presets, and access to control other MIDI instruments. There’s a lot of possibilities. All controlled by intuitive touch.
 Visit Wizdom Music for all the detailed specifications, click HERE
You can sit back and watch the galactic show, relax, chill out to the orchestra of a randomly generated scene admiring the musical and visual experience. The real fun is interacting with planets and particles, tossing around asteroids, manipulate the individual gravitation of each planet like a tripped out space god experimenting with an infinite universe of sonic realms. You have control. Alter the mass, volume, width, and more independently. Control pitch depending on the x/y axis delivering different results with the angle of particle impacts. Each planet can be set or randomized independently. You can also control mute or solo with each of the planets. Anyway, its all really quite a blast.
SpaceWiz also features a 2 oscillator SW 3000 SpaceWiz synth built from scratch. You can play along using the synths virtual spacey keyboard. Craft new patches. Volume, envelope filters, both with ADSR, filter cutoff and resonance are all controllable by virtual knobs. It’s a good synth, pretty basic but it does sound very nice and has dedicated FX. The synth is a big part of SpaceWiz of course and it will see further development. This is just the beginning.
The FX included are Chorus, Delay, and Reverb.
There is also a fully controllable modulation matrix allowing a planet to control most of the parameters. Additionally SpaceWiz has deep preset and customizable tonality control of modes, scales and chords.
 SpaceWiz today is only just the start. An impressive fun start! There will be updates expanding on the already impressive features. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jordan Rudess, so you can be assured nothing here is assumed. SpaceWiz is very near and dear to his heart. Hearing him speak about it really got me excited about things to come. A whole new universe (pardon the pun) of possibilities are being dreamed up, considered, and explored with this very unique instrument.

A first for music apps, SpaceWiz has great eye candy thanks to clever implementation of Unity, a well known graphics powerhouse.

!!!!!!UPDATE- Wizdom was real fast with an update adding audio copy, a recordings manager, and .WAV formatting. Making the following info in this paragraph old news already.
Don’t be discouraged that for now SpaceWiz only offers iTunes file share of recorded AIFF format audio files. This is temporary. It wont be long before we see a way to manage recordings, Audio Copy, and .WAV format support.
It does have a nice, and easy MIDI capability, which also supports virtual control of other compatible background apps. This is especially fun with SampleWiz being controlled by SpaceWiz.SpaceWiz suits various moods. From random, chaotic, galactic extremes, rocking the planets, or a tranquil ambient experience awaits. Whether you wish to veg out by rolling the virtual dice for a totally randomized experience that’s never the same thing twice, or you want to drill down to control every aspect and perform to your hearts content, go ahead, the choice is yours.
SpaceWiz certainly will send you on a trip either way in a performance friendly, uncluttered UI.
I am very impressed with the fantastic creativity of this app, and cant wait to see whats next!

Recommended highly to those who enjoy a nice, interactive, audio visual, musically inspiring, and creative experience. Those who are interested in a very unique, imaginative MIDI controller should also find SpaceWiz quite useful and highly entertaining all around, it is just down right fun!

Buy SpaceWiz at iTunes, click HERE !

SampleWiz App Review: The Wonderful Wiz Of Ahhs

UPDATED 7-19-2013

Wizdom Music has finally taken this (Including GeoSynth, and MorphWiz) fantastic app to the next level. Audiobus support is here! No more fussing with the time limited recording function. Sorry if you liked that. It’s definitely a very welcome update to a great app that has suffered in many iOS users dust folders of non-Audiobus supported apps. So get to it! Sampling and re-sampling is easier than ever.

Update!!! 9-7-2011
SampleWiz has just seen a nice update that brings us MIDI support, 12 new cool presets. Also added to Sample Wiz in this update is support for AirTurn Pedal to change presets, and function to disable animation, and finger vibrato.
Review prior to this update follows.

OK, corny title, I couldn’t resist.
Jordan Rudess of Wizdom Music brings us a new, fascinating and fun sampler in SampleWiz.
This review is based on use with iPad 1. But it is also compatible with 3rd generation iPod and up.

Right away you’ll notice a colorful and simple interface that is very strait forward and easy to understand.
The design looks cool with some unique visualizations, depending on what you are doing. It lights up under your fingers both literally and figuratively providing a very smooth work flow not to mention looking great.
If you are familiar with Wizdoms MorphWiz you will see right away that this was designed with ease of use in mind. Customers asked for less complexity, and they got it. SampleWiz looks easy but is also quite elegant.

The preset samples are a nice variety of sounds from leads to a friendly thank you from it’s creators. While there is no way to record a performance, there is however a resample feature which allows you to create all new samples created from the presets. Recording is limited though to 10 seconds. When I asked Wizdom Music about this, I received a very logical and satisfying explanation from one of it’s creators named Kevin. He said: “Jordan and I considered adding a recorder for longer performances, but we felt that it compromised the feel of the app and would lead to the unintuitive juxtaposition of the resampling option and another record option.”
Makes sense. It works fine as is. Sounds great to me. I would however like a little more than 10 seconds. Still, this is nothing to be overly concerned with.                            

The playing surface isn’t limited to just a keyboard. There’s 3 playing surfaces in all. In addition to the keyboard (which is adjustable) you can further express you creative juices using the Wave Edit screen, and or the ADSR window.

The sampler has three modes. Classic sampling which is the common method where samples speed up or slow down as you play over or under the samples original pitch.
Granular mode is fun, with adjustable grain size and speed. You can twist up and granulate your samples to your hearts content.  The notes retain the speed they were recorded in.
Last is Modern Mode. A new way to explore sampling  using “Dirac” technology, this automatically adjusts time and formant over a selected range.

For a full list of specs check out SampleWiz in the iTunes app store.

 You will find lots of control over your samples from playing to editing. All the features you expect like trimming, cropping, standard looping, forward or reverse, ping pong (plays forward and reverse in loop). Adjusting and selecting a wide range of scales, BPM selection and lots more. You can have one or two keyboards, and if you choose two both can be set to have it’s own different scale and range of your choosing.

Hold, is a neat feature that allows you to select and hold notes just as it says, and the held notes can have a different synthesis mode. This is very nice allowing even more expression and avenues to explore samples and new possibilities.

SampleWiz sounds very nice. I didn’t notice any compromise is audio quality during hours of use with all the various settings.
As far as FX go there is a solid delay. Really SampleWiz is a big FX unit in a way.
I would like to see some more FX. Adding Reverb, would be great.

Some users were experiencing low memory problems causing their first generation iPads to crash. I didnt experience any crashes myself but they already updated that with a fix. Nice to see such speedy action with a solution.

All in all if you’re looking for a nice, highly capable sampler with lots of possibilities to create unique sounds, instruments, or just have a grand time. SampleWiz delivers. It has appeal to pros and newbies as well. The ever important sharing capabilities are here with MAPI copy paste,(with compatible apps) and iTunes file share, both allow you to bring in (or out) new samples of your own and use them just as well as the presets. SampleWiz looks great, sounds great, and is loads of fun. At $9.99 US, it’s a good buy for all.

PS Occasionally I get various promo codes, so stay tuned. I’m all out of SampleWiz codes for now.

5 stars. Get it.