It’s a bit of a secret around here, but if you press hard enough, this author is happy to own up to the facts: Once upon a time, long before app reviews became my vocation, I worked as a musician.
Those good times are long gone, though, but it doesn’t mean I’m without my inkling for the industry. As such, I am stoked to be bringing you a full review of MusicTrans, from Franco Catrin, for Android, the ideal companion for any wanna-be Zappa out there that might like to make some music notations.
MusicTrans is a wonderful app that makes it simple, effective and time-efficient to create transcriptions of your favorite music.
But if you want to know the gritty details, you’ll have to slide on down below the break for our full review!
Concept and Functionality
The idea behind MusicTrans is simple in concept, but actually quite complex in reality: How does one make it easier for the artist to transcribe music heard aurally into physical notes on a page?
It’s difficult stuff, requiring many hours spent at a keyboard with section after section tortured via sound loop. Thankfully, the application takes all of this and in turn makes it quite a bit more bearable.
To begin with, MusicTrans will load any of your music files into its greedy maw. Once those tracks are there, it will arrange them into neat waveforms for review.
Want to slow that section that’s giving you fits down? You can do that! All the way down to 25% of the original tempo, in fact.
This is not only fun, but incredibly useful for the struggling music scribe.
Additionally, you can speedily lock off portions of the music track for looping, saving you the time needed to move the “needle.”
However, it hardly ends there: Want to take out the lead vocals? Use the multi-variable voice cancelled to get there, complete with pre-defined EQ options.
Speaking of mixing, use the actual sound board to boost the bass, treble or vocals in any track.
And to top it all off, MusicTrans even comes standard with a real-time, fairly accurate keyboard impression of your waveform. Every millisecond is transcribed immediately into note suggestions, helping you to get a handle on chord clusters in mere seconds.
Design and Interface
When you sum up its parts, MusicTrans certainly sounds impressive. And thankfully, this level of functionality and power isn’t wrapped in an ugly, hard to manage exterior. Quite the contrary, in fact!
We positively zipped around the interface. It does take some time to get used to the slightly complex head system. But once you’ve figured out what buttons do what, you’re well on your way to being a music transcribing master. Plus, there’s plenty of documentation should you feel stuck.
Better yet, the app doesn’t fall into the classic cliche of stealing a soundboard’s gray metal and white knobs.
This is not a cheesy homage, but a useful, functional tool. We love that.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to argue with what MusicTrans is offering. Granted, we can see arguing with its price tag. The app clocks in at a hefty $9.99, and though it is easily worth that much (and more), that’s a lot of dough for an application.
Still, treating this as a useful tool for the aspiring artist, it’s certainly indispensible. Having spent hours transcribing myself, this kind of utility can make or break an all-nighter.
It’s quick, easy on the eyes, and extremely useful. All things you want to hear, and with that frame of reference, is the cost of two Starbucks lattes all that much to ask?
MusicTrans requires Android version 4.0+. A small expedite fee was paid to speed up the publication of this review.
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What do YOU think? We’d love to hear your comments, try it and let us know!