Live Guitar is designed to support playing complex chords, arpeggios, and finger-style guitar lines on your iOS device. Because the iPhone and iPad are not shaped like the neck of a guitar, the app provides an innovative way of selecting chords, while also leaving enough room to play individual strings accurately and expressively.
Chords are organized in sets, which you can customize and change on a song-by-song basis. A single touch on the fretboard selects the first chord of a set; two touches selects the second, and so on. It's possible to move quickly and accurately between fifteen different chords without needing to look at the screen. When playing guitar, switching between chords smoothly is critical; the app has been designed so that you can play music, not just notes. By making switching between chords quick and easy, you can play complete songs, rather than just noodling around, locked into a single scale.
Single string notes and strums can be played with touches or swipes; the organic sonic texture that comes from varying note intensity is obtained by adjusting where on a string you touch. The interface orientation on the iPhone gives more space between the strings, allowing you to play individual strings more accurately.
Sets of chords can be assembled quickly within the app -- choose from standard chord constructions, with dozens of chord types, or select specific chord voicing from the standard-tuning guitar interface. Sets of chords can also be imported and shared easily using the built-in Twitter interface.
MIDI connects your playing to laptop or desktop recording tools like GarageBand, Logic, Reaper, or ProTools. CoreMIDI, Virtual MIDI, and DSMIDI are all supported; you can choose the interface that gives you the best performance on your system. Live Guitar can send MIDI to the GarageBand app, as well as most other synthesizer apps.
Each string can be mapped to a different MIDI channel, to work with guitar tablature and transcription programs. Use Jam Maestro, Progression, or GuitarPro, and others -- by using chords based on a standard tuning guitar, and a MIDI channel per string, you can capture every detail of your playing with ease.
Live Guitar has hundreds of sounds built in -- guitars, basses, pianos, organs, and more. The app uses the acclaimed General MIDI SoundFont by Christian Collins, which can be found in many of the leading music apps. With support for Audiobus and Inter-App Audio, you can integrate Live Guitar with your other music apps, to add a natural and realistic guitar sound to your music.
Live Guitar has been rebuilt from the ground up, with hundreds of sounds, extensive MIDI support, Audiobus 2.2, and IAA.
As promised Live Guitar made it to the App Store on time! It came with a bit of an iPhone 6 glitch but that was promptly fixed by developer Secret Base Design which bodes well for the future ... perhaps THIS time we'll get an app that receives attention into the future and create a really usable tool!
Live Guitar is beautifully simple. Six horizontal bars represent your 'strings' ... player you may strum or tap these. Their thickness makes them an easy target particularly on an iPad. There's two modes of playing 'Strum' which sustains notes for as long as you hold down a 'chord' on the finger pad, and 'Touch' which sustains notes for as long as you keep touching the string-bar. Nice.
Chords are selected by touching the grey 'pad' underneath the string-bars. You can use up to 4 fingers in combinations to create unto 15 chords ( no fingers mute the guitar ) which can be assigned in the configuration pane. Theres a great selection of chord choices ( Maj, Min, dim and 25 or so other embellishments ... in 5 octave positions! ). When you touch the chord pad red circles appear ( most of the time ) to give feedback that your touch has been recognized. The chord you have triggered is also indicated in the Pad area. That's good ... but as I was concerned about in my last post, once several songs have been programmed into Live Guitar it's the devils job to remember what finger combination is what! Please SBD can we have a chord legend down the side of the GUI? Theres *tons* of room!
Sounds are triggered from a built-in GM Sound Font ... which is very high quality and the playing is especially responsive. Top marks there. Velocity / dynamics are controlled by the position along the bar-string which is strummed or tapped. Also excellent ... though theres so much room on the iPad version I almost want the strings to be shorter!!
The internal synth can be deactivated and the interface used as a MIDI controller. This works *really* well ... I haven't have it glitch yet! There's still the 'when does the note end?' problem which means that some synth patches receiving Live Guitar MIDI go on and on and on... but nothing a 'Note Length' parameter or a per string note off pad couldn't fix. Please? Strings can be set to separate Midi channels so if your iPad can handle it, you can generate quite a cacophony!
And in a nutshell that's it. I bought it immediately and though I'm seeing some complain about the $4.99 price lets get real. A developer needs cash to keep an App alive. Sure five bucks seems more than the .99c we are used to, but niche markets like iOS music just don't generate the kind of income a Fart Machine app does. Quite a few promising guitar apps have stumbled due to the amount of work and time required to develop against very little return! I'm hoping this price point gives SBD the headroom to add to LiveGuitar because it could be so much more.
For Instance : a Chord Legend, Pitch Bend by sliding on a string, ability to load other Sound Fonts, scale based solo note pads in that black box area, an option to have the finger-pad down the side of the iPad ( making the stings shorter which would make controlling dynamics easier ) so the device could be held 'accordion' style ...
Otherwise this is a great start. Try it out and leave them some feedback.