In 1906 John Philip Sousa criticized the gramophone saying, "These talking machines will ruin the artistic development of music in this country." Nevertheless, because Sousa did not forsee user-generated culture proliferating alongside "mechanical music" he could not have been further from the truth. Not only have machine technologies aided in musical development, but there are a variety of mediums to choose from. While audio engineers may scoff at the idea of making music on the iPhone, there's no denying that a number of options exist for the pocket DJ. Below are a few tools to get you started:
1. Melodica: Melodica is like Yamaha's Tenori-On instrument for the iPhone only it doesn't cost $1000 to play with it. This tool interface consists of rows of buttons. Users touch specific buttons on the app surface to create ambient loops. From here the loops can be layered and combined to make fuller sounding music.
2. Sonifi: Sonifi allows users to remix, record and control visualizations via the iPhone. Created by electronic DJ BT, the service allows for real-time collaborations and users can control beats, bass, melody and harmony via the iPhone's accelerometer.
3. ZOOZBeat: Similar to Sonifi, Zoozbeat allows you to remix and make music via gestural motions from the iPhone. Users shake and tap to change song tempo and tone. You can also record your voice directly to the App.
4. Looptastic: With this service users can import loops, share them between sets and combine them with others. You can also download pre-existing loops to experiment. Users rave about this app, but for many the $9.99 price tag will be a deterrent.
5. Thounds:Thounds is a music platform that allows you to create music and share it with friends and family. The service lets you to create one portion of a musical track and share that link with other musicians for additions. Users can contribute a basic baseline, vocals or guitar riffs. An iPhone app is expected shortly.
If you've got more tools to add to this list or examples of music you've made using any of the above products, link to them in the comments below.