Turn Your iPhone into an Ocarina

Today, Stanford professor Dr. Ge Wang and his company, Smule, introduced Ocarina, the first and only app that transforms the iPhone into an expressive musical wind instrument.

The app synthesizes sound in real-time, just like a regular instrument, based on actual gestures including wind input, tilt, and finger placement over the four holes overlaid on the multi-touch pad. Unlike other iPhone audio apps, the sound is not pre-compiled but is generated by the notes, gestures and nuance of the individual performer. As a result, it allows an iPhone user to explore and master the musical sounds of an entirely iPhone-native version of an ancient flute-like instrument.

Smule’s audio engine (CHiP) and the Smule Sonic Network make it possible to hear live performances around the world. With the globe view, you can hear performances, and see the origin of that performance.

Dr. Wang, in addition to being CTO of Smule, is director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, and the author of the Chuck audio programming language.

Formation of the first iPhone Philharmonic cannot be far behind. Perhaps one day, iPhone music will be its own category at the Grammys.

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  • John

    I’m pretty sure, if you play zelda’s “song of time” on it, the awesome power of the iPhone will actually take you back in time :p

About the author

Lonnie Lazar

Lonnie Lazar is a writer-musician-web designer-attorney. He writes about Apple for Cult of Mac and Mac|Life, and about VoIP and telecommunications for Voxilla. Follow Lonnie on Twitter @LonnieLazar, join the Cult of Mac on Facebook, and find Lonnie's photos on Flickr.

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