A Performance Touchscreen Instrument
for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
YouTube Videos

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09-Sep 2010

How to use the Motion Filter

Hexaphone 1.1.1 provides a unique "Motion Filter" - a Moog-inspired Resonant Lowpass Filter driven by your accelerometer. This filter amplifies a small part of the frequency spectrum, and "cuts off" all frequencies above that part of the spectrum. You can "sweep" the filter by moving the cutoff up and down - producing an effect similar to a wah-wah pedal.
Check out this demonstration of the Motion Filter:

(Also available on YouTube)
To sweep the filter, slide the SETUP > FILTER REZ slider up from zero, and use the accelerometer tilt:
The position of the FILTER REZ slider effects the "resonance" of the filter - how much the frequency is amplified just before the cutoff. More resonance will make the filter sound "wetter".
The filter will sound most interesting when it is in motion - even small movements up and down produce a noticable change in the sound.
Not every patch sounds good with the filter - Tonewheel sounds especially bad, especially at the higher registers. The filter sounds best with "edgy" sounds (with sharp wave edges), like Power Square, Power Saw and Bass Buzz.
09-Sep 2010

How to Share Hexaphone Recordings

Hexaphone 1.1 leverages iOS4's file sharing features to make it easy to share your creations with others.
Hexaphone recordings aren't audio files - that's done via AudioCopy or iTunes, which will be described in a future post. These recordings are small text files containing scale, patch, and note data. This format offers the following advantages:
  • Recordings are very small file sizes - just a few kilobytes
  • When you play back a recording, you can see which notes were played when
  • You can modify the recording on the fly by changing the patch (sound), transpose the key, put in a lowpass filter effect, or even swap in a different scale
The easiest way to share recordings in Hexaphone is via email. To send someone your recording, do the following:
First, create a recording in Hexaphone, tap the File icon (in the REC menu), and tap "Email Recording" in the pop-up.
Next, enter an email address in the To: field, and tap Send.
Your recipient will receive an email like the following. If they have Hexaphone installed, they'll see the Hexaphone icon, and be able to tap the attachment to open it.
Unfortunately, opening the attachment shows you the raw data - tap "Open in Hexaphone" in the header to open the recording file in the Hexaphone app.
The app will open, and your recording will play.
Advanced users can access the files directly through iTunes. Connect your device to your iTunes computer, select it in the left navigation, click the "Apps" tab, and scroll down.
You can select a recording and click "Save to..." to save the file on your computer. Or if you have a file you want to load onto your device, click "Add..." and browse to the file you want to add.
Finally, you can share recordings via web pages. Hexaphone registers the "hexaphone://" URL schema. This allows you to post a file on your web server (i.e. http://hexaphone.com/rec/Reggae_Jam.hexrec). (Note that spaces must be expressed as %20 in hyperlinks). If you change the http:// part of the link to be hexaphone://, you can create hyperlinks like this:
<a href="hexaphone://hexaphone.com/rec/Reggae_Jam.hexrec">Reggae Jam Recording</a>
If you post this link on the web, users who have Hexaphone installed can click on these links in Safari, and open the files directly in Hexaphone.
If you make a recording you're particularly proud of, send it to recordings@hexaphone.com . If we like it, we may link to it on the website, include it in the app's Featured Recordings, or even publish it on YouTube.
11-Aug 2010

Hexaphone Lesson 4: Introduction to Reggae

NOTE: This lesson uses the Reggae loop, one of the new loops in version 1.1 of Hexaphone, coming soon.
This video demonstrates the use of the Minor Chord scale (called "Minor 2" in v1.0) to play a reggae jam.
The Minor Chord scale, like a number of others (Major Chord, Trance, and Dance) form one triad on the top row, and another on the bottom. Thus, adjacent notes on the same horizontal row can always be played together, and will sound good.
The distinctive reggae sound comes from chords played between each beat. This technique is a subset of a more sophisticated reggae technique called "The Bubble".
Patch: Tonewheel / Scale: Minor Chord (Minor 2) / Loop: Reggae (available in version 1.1)
04-Aug 2010

Hexaphone Lesson 3: Basic Chords

Hexaphone's simplified six-note keyboard makes it easy to play chords.
This video demonstrates the use of the Minor Chord scale (called "Minor 2" in v1.0) to play dance chords over a bassline.
In this scale, as well as the Major Chord scale (aka Major 2), Trance and Dance scale, all the notes on the bottom row form one chord, and all the notes on the top row form a different chord.
Touching keys to the left or right will transpose these chords up or down.
Patch: Power Saw / Scale: Minor Chord (Minor 2) / Loop: Hard (Dance)
There are other chords you can make by combining keys from the top and bottom rows - these will be demonstrated in a future advanced lesson.
22-Jul 2010

Hexaphone works on iPad, too!

Hexaphone was painstakingly designed to the form factor and dimensions of the iPhone and iPod Touch - so it's somewhat unexpected that it's really, really fun to play on the iPad!
The graphics are a bit pixellated at 2x - it's an iPhone app after all - but the sound quality is perfect.
19-Jul 2010

@hexaphonejam on twitter

If you're on Twitter, follow @hexaphonejam to receive updates, send feedback, or share Hexaphone info with your friends.