Yes, that is correct, I did not forget to capitalize the name of that app. Rob Jackson has a thing for ambient sound. I’ve seen his videos where he has made great use of Borderlands Granular Synth and Animoog, and he can make some great soundscapes. It came as no surprise to me that when he set out to develop his own app, it was going to be something that involved ambient sound. What really surprised me was the fact that he made this app auto-generate music.

Rob’s first app, moodscaper(read about it here) was pretty interesting, in that it gave you options to perform your own pieces or just hit auto-generate and it would just play on it’s own. Brilliant piece of work indeed! Now, I didn’t see this coming at all, but Mr. Jackson decided to make another app related to good ol’ moodscaper, but with a different tonal palette and a timer. Enter pianoscaper.

So what can I say about pianoscaper that is vastly different? Not much, really. The layout is virtually the same, the operation is quite familiar, and it does the same auto-generation. What does stand out on pianoscaper is, that it has a timer on it and the sound set is different. The timer was added so that you could just go into auto generate mode and set the timer so that you can actually fall asleep to it and it’ll shut itself off after the pre-determined time has expired. The sound set with pianoscaper is…well…a piano. I think there’s some string action going on in there as well. Combine that with some reverb and delay, and you have a nighty-night soundtrack.

Here is Rob’s description of pianoscaper:

Pianoscaper is a generative music app and virtual instrument that’s easy on the ears and fun to play. Launch the app, and with a single tap of the auto-play button, pianoscaper will create evolving and ambient soundscapes that are unique every time.

While all of the pianoscaper sounds originated from acoustic pianos, many have been extensively processed to create an “impossible piano” that can morph between orchestral-type swells and ethereal choir-like sounds. Think of it as piano DNA taken to the next level!

Pianoscaper in auto-play mode is the perfect companion for relaxing, studying or providing non-intrusive headphone music at work or on your commute. You can even set a timer so you can fall asleep to its gentle and soothing tones.

You can also play pianoscaper as a virtual instrument using the dedicated keypads and performance loop recorders, and tailor the sounds with built-in reverb, delay and “character” effects parameters. And while you’re playing, pianoscaper can lend a hand by adding auto-accompaniment parts and even provides hints for notes it thinks might sound good depending on which notes you play!

As a sample-based instrument, pianoscaper currently supports two “moods” – a happy mood, based on the G major pentatonic scale, and a sad mood, based on the Dm pentatonic scale. Please note that pianoscaper is not a chromatic or MIDI-compatible instrument, and it is unlikely to become one, although additional moods and scales may be added as free updates.

You can also record and process the audio output of pianoscaper using any Inter-App Audio host that supports IAA Generators.

You are free to use pianoscaper in your own recordings or live events and installations on a royalty-free basis. All I would ask for is a simple credit that includes the name of the app – “pianoscaper”.

I hope you will agree the pianoscaper interface, while minimalist and a perhaps a little cryptic initially, will eventually become very easy to use. Please do take the time to read the quick-start guide which can be found on the pianoscaper.com website. This is also the best place to ask questions, get technical support or report any issues.

Happy pianoscaping!

*** Special note for moodscaper owners ***

While pianoscaper is very similar to the current version of moodscaper, it is not intended to be a replacement. Development of moodscaper will continue, and moodscaper will remain my flagship generative app, eventually gaining the advanced features you’ve all been patiently waiting for, such as MIDI and better sample import etc. Think of pianoscaper as a lightweight (and cheaper) alternative for those who don’t require the advanced bells and whistles. Pianoscaper also came about because I was inundated with requests to make an app similar to moodscaper that sounded less “intense” and more relaxing and I hope I’ve managed to do that. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

If you would like to purchase pianoscaper, you may do so here:

That’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading and as always, happy apping!