Welcome to the SongSynth app – we hope it helps you to write some amazing songs. We’ve tried to make it simple to use, but if you are struggling with some of its features, please read this page (also, watch a short video here). If you have a query this page doesn’t solve, or are experiencing any other problem, please email us.
This is where your songs are stored and created. Tapping the ‘create new song’ icon will immediately open a brand new song.
- You can rename a song by tapping its title in the main view on the iPad, or on the ‘lyrics’ section of the iPhone interface.
- To delete a song, tap and hold a song’s icon in the Song List view to reveal a delete icon. Tap this to delete the song permanently.
- If you suffer from any problems with a song when opening them, quit the app. Then make sure the app is not running in the background before reopening the app. You should find your songs have returned to normal in most cases. If this has not worked, try restarting your device.
Playing Chords / The Keyboard
SongSynth is designed around a simple method of playing chords. On the iPhone, nearly 100 chords can be played with two fingers; on the iPad, nearly 300 can be played using no more than 3 fingers!
- Hold a chord button with your right hand, and then play a note using your left hand… If the chord type is Minor and the note is A, you are playing an A Minor chord. Very simple.
- You’ll soon get into the habit of hitting notes and chord buttons at the same time. To play more smoothly, try selecting chord buttons just before you play a note, but you may find your own way of playing that suits you. Adjusting the ‘release’ pot may also help you play more smoothly.
- The keyboard is monophonic, meaning it will only play one note at a time.
Chord Inversions (iPad only)
If you are using SongSynth on the iPad, you’ll have access to two ‘inversion buttons’, labelled ‘I’ and ‘II’. If you press one of these in conjunction with a chord button, a first or second ‘inversion’ of that chord will be played.
- First inversions will sound ‘higher’ than normal chords
- While, in this app, Second inversions will sound ‘lower’ than normal chords.
- If you want to know more about inversions, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_(music)
- The large pot controls volume.
- ‘tone’ will alter the sounds brightness.
- ‘release’ affects how long the chords last after a key has been released.
- ‘strum’ changes the way the chords are triggered so the notes are played one after another, rather than at exactly the same time. The time distance between them becomes longer as you choose a higher setting. It can make a chord sound like it’s being strummed on a guitar, and works especially well on the ‘guitar’ sound.
- The large pot controls volume.
- ‘tempo’ controls the speed of the drums. It also affects the speed of ‘strum’ on the ‘instrument’ section if you are using it.
- ‘swing’ changes the amount of swing/shuffle the patterns have. Experiment with it to hear the subtle difference in feel.
In SongSynth, every song file can store a recording. This recording can be of you playing the instrument, but also of your voice (or anything your device’s microphone can pick up). As well as being able to overwrite the recording, you can also ‘overdub’. This means you can lay a recording on top of another, and you can do this as many times as you like, effectively turning the app into a 2-track recorder. After you write over/overdub onto an older recording, a dialog box will ask you if you want to make this change permanent. REMEMBER: if you agree, there is no undo.
Recording and playback is controlled with standard Record, Stop and Play/Pause buttons and there is a ‘scrobbler’ so you can use a finger to drag to different points in your recording. Below the scrobbler are three important buttons:
- ‘overdub’ – when selected, a new recording does not overwrite the previous recording, but is instead added to it. For example, it’s very useful for adding vocals after playing in a chord sequence.
- ‘voice’ – when selected, the device’s mic becomes active during recording. It is best to use headphones or you will experience feedback issues, especially if the volume of the device is high.
- ‘drum auto-start’ – when selected, the drum machine will start automatically when pressing record.
- If you want to add vocals to your demo, it is best to not have the ‘instrument’ section set at full volume. If you record your chords too loud, there will be no ‘headroom’ for your voice.
- If you really want to sing without headphones, turn the volume of the device down as low as you can. You do this at your own risk!
- Try and sing (or play) loudly and close to the device if you are using the ‘voice’ button.
- Though the notepad is for lyrics, you can also use it to help you remember chords or structure as you record.
- Dropbox – you can upload your demo as an mp3 to this popular online storage site. If you don’t have a Dropbox account, you can create one through SongSynth.
- Soundcloud – you can upload your demo to your soundcloud account from SongSynth, choosing to store it as a private or public track. The lyrics will also be copied to the ‘description’ area of the Soundcloud track. You can create a Soundcloud account through the app if you do not have one.
- Email your Song – this will create an email with the Mail app with your lyrics as text and your demo attached as an mp3.
- Export to iTunes – this will copy your demo to your iTunes and allow you to pull it off your device and onto your main computer/laptop.