SoundBrush, An App That Lets You Draw Music, Turns The Untrained Into Musicians

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An iPad app called SoundBrush is out to make music composition accessible, even those who don’t play an instrument. After releasing a MVP in April 2012 to test out the concept of drawing music on a tablet, SoundBrush released a more sophisticated second version last month along with a sharing and collaboration platform, Discover.

Think of it as finger painting with music. Users draw lines across the app’s grid, with time and notes mapped onto x and y axes, respectively. Recorded instruments form the sound of each note; piano, ocarina, and harmonica come free with the app, and users can pay a few dollars to upgrade to different instrument packages.

Co-founder Basil Al-Dajane told us that SoundBrush is looking to differentiate itself from competitors like GarageBand by offering a wider range of notes and by making it easy to move and copy groups of lines. They’ve also eschewed looped samples, which Al-Dajane said limits the range of songs a person can create. Most importantly, drawing on a touch screen is simple and intuitive for users.

After the release of the original version, Al-Dajane said that he and co-founder Jayson Rhynas found that it was being used largely by people who didn’t play an instrument. Professional musicians of course have their own music-making means, so SoundBrush will win by keeping things uncomplicated enough for the consumer music market while still offering advanced composition options for those who get really into it.

As it stands, the app has been out for less than a month and is drawing about 2,300 users weekly.

Soundbrush is based out of the VeloCity Garage, the incubator that has worked with Thalmic Labs, BufferBox, and Couple. It’s entirely bootstrapped at the moment, but Al-Dajane said they would be looking to begin raising an initial round in October or November.

Check out SoundBrush in action below: