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Review: Songbirds – music creation has never been so relaxing

The songbirds keep singing in this smart, new relaxation app

Price: $1.99 / £1.99
Version: 1.01
Size: 101 MB
Developer: Pelican 7
Platform: iPhone / iPad

Download Songbirds

Relaxation apps keep on getting smarter and smarter. One of the latest, which also puts an interesting spin on music creation, too, is Songbird, from developer Pelican 7. In it, users control virtual songbirds in order to create soothing melodies and harmonies. Forget counting sheep: songbirds are here to help you zen out and clear your mind.

There are three main modes in Songbirds for users to choose from, and each one offers a slightly different music creation style. In the first, called “The Sky,” users are presented with four different songbirds which follow any path you draw across the sky. As the birds move along their path, they’ll sound out differently pitched notes; after sending a handful of songbirds on their flight paths, you’ll have quickly built up an uber-relaxing polyrhythmic pattern!

Each point on the flight path represents a different note being played in your songbird piece.

There are a couple of features here which make Songbirds particularly well thought-out. First, the longer the flight path, the longer the sequence of notes “played” by that particular bird. And second, you can alter the value of each note played by individual songbirds using an icon in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen: quavers, crotchets, dotted crotchets, and minims are all available, allowing users to really build a multi-layered piece of music through carefully-placed songbirds. Of course, the application intelligently layers and blends these sounds together to create impressive pieces of digital music.

Here’s “The Lake,” where falling songbirds create beautiful harmonies.

The other modes in Songbirds follow in the same vain. “The Lake” allows users to place songbirds which sound when they dive into a lake, while “The Flock” lets users guide a flock of songbirds around “sound clouds.” This latter mode lets users more precisely control the pitch and sequence of notes played, and as such it’s particularly different compared with the other two.

Recorded creations can be shared with the Songbirds community!

In all three modes, Songbirds allows users to record their creations, and as you’d expect, these recordings can be saved or shared. You can also browse through a community of songbird creations online, and see what other users have been up to.

“The Flock” has a much different feel, giving users more ownership over note selection.

There really is a lot to keep users going in Songbirds. And for fans of either the music creation or relaxation genres, it’s a must-have. The functionality on offer feels unique and it works brilliantly. Plus, if the app does help you relax, well, that’s a huge bonus, too.