A friend of mine recently pointed me in the direction of a very cute music app called ‘Bebot‘. People can be very categorical with apps and music software in general, either they fall in the toy or the tool category. Bebot is a good example of something between the two. At first, it really seems like a toy. Straight off the bat, one of the biggest strengths is the graphic design. The little robot is strangely inviting, politely waiting for you to make your move. The whole screen becomes an XY playing area, with horizontal movement controlling the pitch and vertical movement controlling the timbre. You can choose which sound to use, and you get a few options for tweaking the synth parameters.
However, once you get past the cute outlook you have a very musical device capable of some serious expression. The best feature is the ability to change pitch quantization settings. It can either be free, quantized to scale degrees of your choice, or somewhere in between. The touch surface is so sensitive on the iPhone and iPad that you can even do a surprisingly expressive vibrato!