Matérias, Notícias, Novo na iOS App Store!, Reviews, Reviews de Apps, iPad

Slide Control: controlador MIDI para iPad no estilo ThumbJam (Review)

Marcus Padrini maio 12, 2011 150 Comments »

Enquanto ThumbJam e MorphWiz não apresentam suas novas versões com implementação MIDI compatível com o nível destes apps, outros títulos vão surgindo na App Store para desempenhar funções semelhantes. Este é o caso do Slide Control para iPad, um app sem timbres, dedicado ao trabalho como controlador MIDI.  Ele surgiu há pouco na App Store e, como já tive a oportunidade de testá-lo algumas vezes, vou registrar minhas impressões sobre o aplicativo neste review.

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Interface

Se você já tocou com o Bebot, MorphWiz, SynthX ou, principalmente, com o ThumbJam, será bem fácil entender a interface do Slide Control. A tela de performance é formada por faixas verticais, marcadas por diferenças sutis de tonalidade. Cada uma destas faixas é uma nota musical diferente. O local em que você toca na altura da faixa, no sentido vertical, pode gerar variações no volume do timbre controlado, ou disparar algum comando MIDI previamente configurado. Ou seja, é quase um ThumbJam para seus instrumentos virtuais ou sintetizadores.

Destaque para o visual do Slide Control. Sei que vários desenvolvedores criticam outros que se preocupam demais com a aparência do aplicativo, muitas vezes prejudicando a performance em função de gráficos e efeitos visuais de maior qualidade. Porém, a interface do Slide Control é do tipo que não faz feio em cima do palco.  O usuário pode escolher entre 16 imagens de fundo diferentes e os toques na tela geram um efeito bem interessante, semelhante aos gerados pelo MorphWiz.

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Conectividade

Basicamente, há o que você precisa. MIDI via Wi-Fi para seu computador (sem necessidade de drivers no Mac, com rtpMIDI no Windows) e conexão com o Camera Connection Kit para seus sintetizadores e outros equipamentos MIDI. Por ser um controlador dedicado, acho que seria ótimo se o desenvolvedor pudesse incluir suporte à MIDI Mobilizer e ao controlador SynthStation 25 da Akai em novas atualizações.

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Recursos

Estão disponíveis recursos que podem auxiliar bastante a performance na tela do iPad. É possível escolher entre diversas escalas, definindo inclusive quantas notas estarão presentes na tela. O usuário pode assinalar um controle MIDI  para ser controlado de acordo com a região tocada, em uma determinada nota da tela, no sentido vertical. Infelizmente, não há a possibilidade de escolher qualquer controle MIDI, mas existe uma lista com mais de 10 opções, incluindo os MIDI CCs mais comuns.

O Slide control oferece ainda a escolha de canal MIDI, para enviar suas notas e comandos, e controles de fácil acesso na tela para auxiliar na performance, como acionamento das funções de Sustain, Portamento e Legato.  Há também a funcionalidade de salvamento de presets do usuário.

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O drama do Glide

A cada aplicativo que surge com este tipo de interface, minha esperança de ver um controlador MIDI para iOS com funcionalidade plena para Glide se renova. Ainda não foi desta vez. Explicando o que gostaria de ver: quando você desliza seu dedo, de uma oitava à outra, pelas teclas do piano, o que você ouve são várias notas em sequência, bem definidas, com suas frequências corretas e perfeitamente divididas. Você é capaz de perceber que várias notas estão sendo tocadas neste movimento. Ao tocar o MorphWiz, Bebot ou SynthX, no iPad ou iPhone, com o recurso de glide é possível passear por diferentes notas de forma ligada, ouvindo aquele efeito semelhante ao pitch bend, sem interrupções entre as notas tocadas. Dá para realmente deslizar entre as notas ouvindo um resultado muito bacana, como se tocasse uma guitarra com um slide.

Porém, o SynthX e Slide Control, atualmente os dois apps com esta interface capazes de controlar instrumentos externos via MIDI, ainda não conseguem reproduzir este efeito quando estão controlando os sons gerados por instrumentos virtuais ou sintetizadores reais. Eles disparam as notas, mas ao deslizar o dedo da tela, o que você ouve é um resultado parecido com o exemplo do piano: notas soltas, sem efeito de ligação. Uma pena.

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Resumo do Slide Control para iPad:

O que há de bom:

  • Interface simples e bonita
  • Controlador MIDI de baixíssima latência. Próxima de zero com o CCK, cerca de 2.5 ms com Wi-fi
  • Polifônico
  • Gravação de presets do usuário
  • Controles de fácil acesso para performance

O que pode melhorar:

  • Compatibilidade com a interface MIDI Mobilizer
  • Compatibilidade com o controlador SynthStation 25
  • Inclusão de um recurso de glide das notas tocadas
  • Permitir a importação de planos de fundo do usuário

E finalmente:

- Slide Control para iPad:

Slide Control (AppStore Link) Slide Control
Desenvolvedor: Jeremy Rouet
Preço: USD 3.99
Baixar na App Store!

Tocabilidade (4/5)
Qualidade Sonora: -
Interface gráfica: (4/5)
Flexibilidade: (3.5/5)
Profissional: (3.5/5)
Diversão: (4/5)
Geral: (3.8/5)

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Conclusão

O Slide Control combina alguns dos bons recursos de aplicativos como o MorphWiz e ThumbJam, porém dedica-se a controlar instrumentos, equipamentos ou softwares externos. O app faz bem aquilo a que se propõe e apresenta uma bonita interface de controle, com boa resposta e baixíssima latência.

O controlador sofre do mesmo problema da maioria dos apps MIDI para o iOS baseados em linhas ou pads: a incapacidade de lidar com o recurso de glide. Uma das coisas mais interessantes do iPad, como controlador, é a ideia de continuidade das notas tocadas na tela de forma ligada, algo bastante presente no MorphWiz, SynthX, Bebot e no próprio GarageBand, na seção de sintetizadores. Mas, quando este tipo de interface se presta a controlar outros instrumentos ou softwares via MIDI, este recurso, por um motivo qualquer, desaparece completamente. Ainda espero um aplicativo capaz de controlar outro equipamento ou software mantendo a característica da tela do iPad de fazer o efeito de glide, modulações e tudo mais.

Se este recurso de glide não é fundamental para você e está procurando um app capaz de controlar outros instrumentos reais e virtuais via MIDI, sem ter que pagar por timbres internos que você não irá utilizar, o Slide Control é uma opção excelente a ser considerada.


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