My Favorite New Virtual Toybox

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Like I've said before, I'm aware that being an early adopter is a sucker's game and that the iPad is far from a perfect device (I still have a hard time believing it doesn't have USB ports). But the minute someone makes an iPad app that does something like what the Hobnox Audiotool does as a Web-based Flash program, I am positive that my present resolve not to give Apple several hundred more dollars of my money will shatter like a plate glass window hit with an 808-emulating brick. The Audiotool provides a surprisingly flexible and fast-responding workspace well stocked with modules: three emulate the vintage Roland machines that house, hip-hop, and techno were built with (the TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines and the TB-303 monophonic synthesizer), and the others include a "tone matrix" similar to a Tenori-On, a series of effects units (cutely rendered to look like Boss pedals), and a few different kinds of mixing tool. All of them are manipulated in a way that's remarkably similar to how they work in real life. The Audiotool even provides the option of recording and exporting your songs to play back outside the program.

It's actually pretty robust for a little Flash app. I imagine developing it as a native application could allow for higher audio quality, and throwing in touchscreen capabilities could make the interface even more natural feeling and intuitive. Considering how easily the Audiotool nuked 45 minutes of my afternoon in its current state, I'd say that it doesn't need much more work to become serious electronic crack.

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