iPad apps that let you twiddle your fingers onscreen to create techno soundscapes are legion. The latest one to come across our radar, Thicket, hopes to keep users interested by offering an ever-expanding menu of “modes” (audio-visual modules based on a theme, like “Love”) that they can download and install into the app. Here’s a preview:
These generative-art/music toys always look like fun, but the novelty wears off fast. Which why it seems like a smart move on the part of Interval Studios, the creator of Thicket, to position their app as “an expandable platform for interactive experimental art.”
That’s where the concept of “modes” comes in. These “song-like audiovisual pieces” serve as an easy way to get new users started with the app: You can fire up a mode like “Scary Ugly” or “Cathedral” and instantly get a feel for what Thicket can do. And once your appetite is whetted, Interval will offer new modes for purchase–sort of like apps-within-the-app–so Thicket doesn’t get relegated to the “fun for a week, then forgotten” screen on your iPad.
With so many similar apps on the market, this may be a tough row for Interval to hoe. But I give Thicket points for showing small children rocking out in their demo video rather than hunched, headphone-clutching DJ wannabes. Let’s face it: The user experience of these apps has more in common with finger painting than club hopping. And the soundscapes your toddler makes with Thicket are bound to be better than listening to Yo Gabba Gabba for the umpteenth time.