If you ever thought that musical instrument apps for the iPhone didn’t feel real, take a look at the RIFF app from MasterMedia Productions. RIFFing is now mainstream and anyone can do it. Using a set of colorful touch sensitive buttons, RIFF transforms your iPhone into a lifelike fully loaded electric lead guitar with a range of impressive features including a full range of notes, harmonics, mutes, bendable notes, expressive vibrato, and the ability to play along with any song from your iPod library.
RIFF makes is easy to play rock & blues scales (Pentatonic scale) by mapping those to the large keys on the screen, while the the smaller keys are passing notes which you hit on your way to the big notes. Each octave has 6 large keys and 5 small keys in 3 rows. The top row are the harmonics, the middle row are the open notes and the bottom row are the muted notes.
Playing with RIFF is as easy as tapping on buttons, holding and shaking, and sliding your fingers across the keys to create amazing guitar sounds that will impress even the pickiest of guitar fans. The keys are mapped to high quality 48k guitar samples and light up when you tap them. Play to the rock & blues scale (Pentatonic scale). The top of the screen has buttons for moving through all the keys including E minor, F minor, F# minor, G minor, G# minor, A minor, A# minor, B minor, C minor, C# minor, D minor, and D# minor. On the lower part you have buttons for navigating through 4 octaves. By default the open notes play through their normal duration and fade out. You can tap the blue clutch button to mute all active notes during while playing. While a note is playing you can slide your finger up or down to bend notes and hear the pitch change. Tap, hold and rock your finger on any button to create a vibrato effect.
You can load up any song from your iTunes into the app by tapping the music button. For a some fun grab the some free music to RIFF to from the riffapp.com web site. RIFF auto-adjusts to play in the correct key when opening a properly named MP3 file, plus the app dynamically controls your mutes, open notes and harmonics as you play. To properly name songs, append the key of the song to the song title in your iTunes library (with a + or – to represent major or minor). For example: A#- is in the key of A sharp minor. Then be sure to set RIFF to the key of the song you’re playing to make things sound perfect. The only limitation in the riff app at this time is that you can only hit one note at a time, but that doesn’t bother us since we were only are able to use one finger at time anyhow if we want to follow along with normal scales.
RIFF is by far the funnest, most innovative, and most usable guitar app for the iPhone we’ve played so far. Get yourself a copy if you’re a fan of electric guitar and want to shred some killer tunes on your iPhone.
Here is a video demo of the RIFF app on the iPhone
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