With something of a cult following in the Android world, Caustic comes into the iOS universe with real pedigree – a rare event. But just moments after launching the app, it’s hard not to become an instant believer in this truly potent, fully featured sonic monster, and the almost overwhelming number of excellent-sounding ingredients it offers up for cooking up tasty riffs and compositions. Caustic delivers an array of synthesizers, effects, and MIDI recording tools, featuring both depth and excellent sound quality, plus a vast variety of useful presets for each and every one of its many components.
Every time a new photo effects app pops up, it’s often frustrating to see the same sepia toning filters, blur effects, and other reliable features that are all getting rather long in the tooth. This fact makes the appearance of Fragment all the more exciting, as it produces effects that nothing else in the App Store even attempts to mimic, yet remains exceedingly easy to use and explore. The app lets you choose from one of 46 built-in base effects, which are essentially distortion masks based on a variety of shape combinations, from simple frames to abstract designs – including crystal shards, geometric patterns, and circular constructs – which distort the image in any number of ways.
Virtual ANS is a happy aural mutation unlike anything else on your iPhone or iPad. While it bears a resemblance to the longtime Mac-only wonder MetaSynth, it’s a lot easier to fall into from left field, not to mention much less expensive. The app is a software recreation of an extremely rare Russian synthesizer (of which only one remains in existence) that used light and optics as the foundation of its synthesis engine. Time is plotted from left to right, pitch is mapped vertically, and onto this grid you'll use a variety of basic drawing tools to "paint sound," essentially.
There are many iOS music creation apps, but very few that are designed primarily as real-time multi-FX units. Turnado instantly takes the throne as the king of iPad audio processors. It’s a powerhouse of 24 different audio effects – all highly programmable and sonically luscious – resulting in a monster effects unit suitable for both studio and live performance that sports excellent audio quality and some truly insane sound mangling potential.
One-tap, Instagram-style filter apps are a dime a dozen, so why not give your photos a unique look by actually lifting objects off of their background instead? That’s the premise behind PopAGraph, a slickly produced image editing app for the iPhone. PopAGraph uses Photoshop-style masking tools to separate key objects from an image, making them "pop" away from the background to create a 3D-style effect. It’s a clever trick and the developers do a good job of pulling it off.
At this point, it’s easy to get lost in the endless stream of iOS photo apps that basically offer variations on the expected themes of color tinting, vignetting, posterization, and other usual suspects. While lots of them are nice, it all gets a bit repetitive and predictable. Every now and then, something unique and different pokes through the pack, and Tangled FX is exactly the kind of app we love to see. It might seem a little limited in scope, but it’s a darned good gag with enough flexibility to make it compelling, plus a look that is like nothing else we’ve ever seen.
Sure, Adobe Photoshop is and may always be the king of the image editing jungle, but for those of us who simply can't afford it or prefer to support smaller developers, Pixelmator is about as good as it gets -- and with an update on Thursday, that's even better than before.
Modern camcorders can automatically focus, white balance, and color correct for you. As a result, most of your clips will look fine and be ready to be included into a project the moment you import them. But machines being what they are, they do sometimes get it wrong, which is why iMovie’s various video tools can come in handy. With them, you can alter the brightness, contrast, and color of any shot. You can obviously use them to also distort the image, giving it an unnatural appearance to simulate unusual weather conditions or to create that alien planet feel you were after.
When I was a kid, I really wished I had one of those nifty voice changer boxes to prank call the pizza place with. Now, I've got something better, and way more convincing. iMovie 11's voice changing feature is what we've been waiting for a long time, and it's sure to add some flair to your home movies. All you need to get started is a video with some audio in it.