I love it when I see an app that actually offers something new. So often it isn’t coding but instead innovation that acts as a stumbling block for developers. Thus, we see the same rehashed ideas for app that, honestly, aren’t that exciting. Nodebeat is the type of app that you get excited about just by reading its Market description and glazing over the beautiful screen shots. It’s the kind of thing the Android Market needs more of and the kind of app that once you try it, you’re sure to fall in love.
Straight to the most obvious question: What the hell is Nodebeat? The developers get 100 points for the app but 0 for its description: “NodeBeat is an experimental node-based audio sequencer and generative music application for Android.” I was lost at “is.” A much easier way to think about Nodebeat is thinking of it as a visual music creation app.
Nodebeat basically provides you a blank canvas to create interestingly complex sounds and music. The app, conceptually, is similar to FM3 Sound Machine in that you’re basically combining different loops of sounds to create a rhythmic beat. However, where traditional sound machines are basically pre recorded loops that you can either turn on or off, Nodebeat comes across as dynamic, sexy and exciting. If you’re into techno, electronica or anything related to the sound then you’ll love it.
Nodebeat gives you basically two things to work with: Nodes and Notes. The nodes act as the power source for whatever you create and send out pulses to the notes that you select (Nodes are the big circles and notes are the small ones). Visually seeing how your musical creations come to life is incredible looking — nodes pulse with energy and send out signals to the individual notes that pulse on cue. Nodebeat is both beautiful and minimal in its execution.
The real question is ultimately, “What can you do with it?” — especially since this is a Paid app. Nodebeat is really about creation; it lets you record any of your songs which you can share directly via the app on service that supports it (e.g. Dropbox). Music is saved as a wave file on your phone. The app also has a sleep option that lets you listen to your music while you’re falling asleep. Strangely, the only option not feature which seems like a no brainer is an option to save your music in an editable format — so that if I have a particular beat I like, I can create several different variations of it without starting over again.
If you can’t tell already, I’m a big fan of NodeBeat. It doesn’t matter whether you have any musical ability or not — practically anyone can create an interesting sound that will impress any of your friends. Whether you want to feel inspired while writing or try to put yourself into your own little place of zen, NodeBeat can make it happen for you and is an app that pretty much everyone will love.
Paid: Nodebeat ($1.99)