A Performance Touchscreen Instrument
for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
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.

Recordings in Hexaphone

Hexaphone includes a built in recording capability: the circular button in the top left corner.
  • Press this button once to begin recording (the recording icon will blink)
  • Press it again to finish recording (the recording icon will stop blinking)
Recordings are saved on your device as JSON files on your iPhone - future updates will enable you to copy, archive, and share your JSON recordings.
Recordings are most effective when used in conjunction with a Loop - recordings are aware of the beat, and will attempt to keep in sync with the loop as it plays in the background.
One particularly fun way to use Hexaphone is to record a few bars of one instrumental part (for example, the bass line), and then immediately play along with a second part. Hexaphone makes this easy - as soon as you stop making recording (with the top-left circle button), that newly-made recording will begin playing on the next loop of the beat.
The following video demonstrates this:
It's possible to layer recordings - creating a new recording while one is already playing, and adding some new notes with your fingers. Unfortunately, this is a very CPU-intensive operation - iPhone 3G and Classic users are advised to turn off key illumination (SETUP > KEY ILLUM > OFF) if they're making sophisticated recordings.