As part of a study project together with a public school in Trossingen, I developed the free Android app PocketComposer. Based on earlier ideas about DAWs, workflow and inspiration and the way contemporary composers of new music like to work, the app starts with a nearly blank screen and an entry point. The design deliberately avoids a fixed grid for the rhythm (i.e., quantization), pre-recorded samples and fixed layout for your tracks.
Link to play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jf.pocketcomposer
The composer can create new audio or synthesizer items anywhere on the zoomable canvas and record sounds directly with the phone or import .wav-files from the SD card or internal memory.
The audio/synth/break snippets are connected with arrows, so a composition is essentially a directed graph. Each edge on the graph can be traversed a limited number of times. When a node has multiple children (i.e., outgoing edges), more voices are automatically added and allocated to the player. The maximum number of voices is 16.
In the following days, pupils from the Gymnasium Trossingen will work with the app. I am eager to see some bad-ass compositions with everyday sounds and a little anxious because those 8th graders might be very tough beta testers 🙂
Please be aware that the app is still in an early stage of development and is rather a proof-of-concept than a well-forged, reliable composition tool. I hope to add improvements step by step later. Bug reports below in the comments, please!
The interface was made with the 2D cross-platform game engine LibGdx
The sound engine uses libpd/Pure Data.