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Mantra Music

Mantra Music, is a cross-culture/technology universal iPhone/iPad app for the mobile musician. Use it to relax, explore unfamilar melodies/sounds, and compose innovative musical riffs in unusual time signatures.

Based on a kind of sequencer known as a lehera, which is used traditionally by tabla players to practice complex Hindustani rhythmic patterns, Mantra Music contains over one hundred rhythm/melody patterns that can be transposed to any key. Instead of traditional Indian musical instruments the app uses a FM synthesizer to play these patterns. Thousands of unique sounds are available.

Mantra Music is easy to use. Randomly select any sequence/sound combination by a roll of the dice or use the top control bar to access any parameter. Adjust the tempo, volume, and reverb. Tap the pads to play any one of five drum sets, or play along with the melody. Optional bass accompaniment accents key beats in the rhythm.

Record and share your compositions via email.

You can even construct progressions (progs) of sequences, varying the notes, rhythm, timbre, and tempo of each sequence. Edit, play, save, or export prog midi files to other apps.

How to Use

As soon as you launch the app, Mantra Music starts to play a randomly selected sequence. The pattern is displayed visually over a petal of touch sensitive pads. The upper right button turns the note names on/off. The upper left button turns the repeating sequence on/off. Touching a pad plays either a drum or the current FM synthesized sound.

Tap the "dice" icon on the bottom control bar to randomly select another sequence/sound combination. Use the slider to change the volume, reverb, and tempo. Tap the drum icon (below and to the left of the pads) to turn the drums on/off. The button below allows the user to select Darbukka (middle Eastern), Djembe (African), Tabla (Indian), Cymbals (assorted), or a Western Drum Kit.

The top bar provides access to all control controls. The outer "<<" and ">>" buttons cycle through the control parameters:

  • Taal - the rhythm
  • Raag - the melody
  • Pad Octave Shift - shift the pitch of sounds played by touching the pads up/down relative to the repeating melody
  • Decay - the decay of the sound
  • Freq. Ratio - controls the color (harmonics) of the sound
  • Mod. Index - controls the harmonic complexity of the sound
  • Patch - 16 presets are provides as well as 16 setting you change change that are automatically stored when you exit the app
  • Octave Shift - increase/decrease the pitch of the sound in octave increments
  • Tuning - increase/decrease the pitch of the sound by a semi-tone (1/12 octave)

The inner "<" and ">" buttons let you change the value of the outer control parameter. An extremely wide range of sounds are available to those willing to experiment with the settings.

Tap the recorder icon on the bottom right to expose the recorder bar. Touch record to start/stop recording. Listen and share.

Tap "Prog" to expose a table view listing ten progressions. The "factory" button on the bottom control bar lets you to restore the factory presets. The left button toggles between editing a prog or running it. In edit mode tapping a row in the table allows you change any of the parameters of the sequence using the top control bar. The "trash can" deletes the current row (sequence), and "+" adds a row below the current row. The action button icon on the right lets you export the prog as a midi file via email. Closing the app automatically saves all settings.

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