It’s Here: Tenori-on for iPad [Review]

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If you, like me, have lusted after the Tenori-on electronic musical instrument for years since it was first announced in 2005, then here’s some good news: an official iOS port of the device is now on sale in the App Store.

There have been many clones and Tenori-on-alikes there for ages now, and doubtless those of you who actually know how to play them will be able to tell the rest of us which ones are best (feel free to do so in the comments).

But this is the official Yamaha product, an official product named TNR-i, as opposed to the official meatspace products TNR-W and TNR-O.

It’s not the most intuitive of apps. People who’ve used similar apps in the past will have a better grasp of how to use it, but if you’re a beginner, don’t download and expect to be playing Depeche Mode’s greatest hits within minutes. It will take time and practice to play this thing properly, like any musical instrument.

There is a manual included, but frustratingly it’s locked away as a PDF inside the app. You can’t refer to the manual and play with the app at the same time, you have to keep switching back and forth. That’s a pity.

Don’t be fooled by the app’s initial simple appearance. There’s a lot of features and extras buried inside – tap the text display box to see the full menu. Oh, and there’s this:

“If you are connected to a network, you can participate in TNR-i sessions with distant friends and others. Up to four people can connect to each other over a network and enjoy performing together simultaneously.”

The TNR-i is available in the App Store for $20 – a considerable saving on the price of the real thing.

[xrr rating=80%]