SampleWiz: Deep Preview with Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess

SampleWiz, a follow up to the best-selling MorphWiz music app, is available soon. Dream Theater pianist Jordan Rudess gives BYTE TV the first deep-dive view.
Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess visited BYTE TV and gave us the first deep-dive view into SampleWiz, the long-awaited follow-up to Wizdom Music's hit app MorphWiz.
In one of our first shoots at BYTE TV studios, Rudess--the renowned classical pianist and keyboardist for progressive band Dream Theater--shows how SampleWiz lets sound enthusiasts play around with samples -- and even use the iPad as a musical instrument to play along with traditional ones. In studio, Rudess did an iPad jam with teamBYTE contributor and guitarist Jon Hoffberg, which you can see in the last three minutes of this video.

"Sure, this is an instrument--I just keep making instruments," Rudess said. "But SampleWiz is more--it is something for the sonic explorer. Whether you're a synthesist who just wants to play with cool sounds or play with [the app's built-in] library of sounds or it's great for DJs and electronic musicians [who need sampling]."

Priced at around $10, the app has an easy interface that allows for classic sampling -- he recorded me saying "Welcome Back BYTE" and sampled that at different tones and rates. But the app goes deeper, overlapping, and sometimes exceeding, such mobile music apps as GarageBand and SampleToy. Both are available for the iOS platform.

After watching this in-depth demo, teamBYTE technologist and long-time music synthesist David Biedny said the app so far looks impressive. "SampleWiz offers features lacking in the sampling tools found in GarageBand and SampleToy, including a granular synthesis mode, advanced loop editing, and JR's [Jordan Rudess signature] extensive collection of presets and bundled samples."

Watch the demo to see just how advanced sampling can get on this app. It allows you to bend between notes, sample at higher frequencies, retain speed, and dynamically control samples. Rudess says such features are useful. "DJs are going to freak out when they see this," he said, adding that SampleWiz will be available on iPhone and other mobile platforms later this year. BYTE's David Biedny, who also is a Yale lecturer based in New Haven, CT, will be reviewing this app, and comparing it to competitive offerings from Apple and others when SampleWiz is available.

Gina Smith is Editor of BYTE, coming in July. Follow her on Twitter @ginasmith888 and BYTE @BYTE.

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