by WaveMachine Labs Inc.
We look up to musicians because what they do isn't easy. Let's not even consider the brutal cycle of self-promotion and working in basement bars, all to sign a deal far removed from their own interests. Put aside also the isolation that fame brings, surrounded at all times by fans and sycophants that sever their last ties to reality, all exacerbated by reckless drug abuse and liquor sponsorships. Just start with the fact that learning to play guitar is impossibly hard, and ruins one's hands beyond any moisturizing cream's ability to repair. It's like that French king's illegitimate brother forced to wear an iron mask for life, only with fingertips. At least HE could wipe his ass without getting a rude surprise whenever the paper's too thin.
Fortunately for us, we live in a time where one doesn't need a literary agent, or indeed any remarkable literary ability, to publish a multi-volume work of derivative vampire-themed young adult fiction which goes on to become a movie franchise of obscene proportions despite being directed by people who've apparently never seen another film before. Yes, these days one can become a director, actor, dreadlocked R&B vocalist, investment banker, or social media expert without the troublesome benefit of technical expertise.
Now, with this month's release of the Voice Band iPhone music app, that last bastion of artistic commitment has finally met its match.
Voice Band only requires one to hum in tune to master the guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and drums. Start it up, choose an instrument, hit record, and listen to the sound of session musicians all over the world hitting the sidewalk from the tallest skyscrapers they can find. Concentrate, and you'll even hear recording studio owners amidst the squelchy symphony. Because once you've laid down your first instrument, you can go over the recording as many times as you like, overdubbing a new instrument each time until tomorrow's nonsensical chart-topper is finished.
Don't have a tune in mind yet? Just load up a track made the old-fashioned way, anything in your iPod library, and proceed to make it sound even better by adding a dozen more guitars and two keyboard solos. It's just like attending a Broken Social Scene concert!
Positives: At long last, the democratization of guitar wankery.
Unpositives: Overdubbing only, no multitrack editor. Kick/snare drum combo a little tricky to control.
Rating: 4 / 5
Buy Voice Band in the iTunes App Store.