Audio Editing Apps & the “Power of 10”

By Shuka Kalantari

There aren’t a lot of audio editing applications for smart phones–and they don’t hold a candle to software like Audition and ProTools–but they can be useful for small projects & quick deadlines. Most have the capacity to record, edit, fade, mix, upload and download audio files, etc. The Monle app by American Public Media was featured at the 2010 Third Coast Audio Conference in Chicago.

Monle iPhone Application

Monle iPhone Application

The application is not very compatible to the iPhone 4G because it was produced for the iPhone 3G. I have a 4G and the application constantly crashed or froze on me while I was producing on it. Ochen Kaylan is the creator of the program. He says he’s in the process of making it more compatible to the 4G. In a review of Monle and another audio editing app, Hindenburg Mobile from Nsaka, Transom.org’s Jeff Towne noted that the app tended to crash often, though he didn’t mention for which type of iPhone.

The major difference? Hindenburg has one audio track, while Monle has four. Towne says Monle is better for layering audio and Hindenburg is better for editing within tracks. In the Transom.org article, Towne writes that he expects better models of smart phone apps to come soon:

“It’s almost certain that these apps will add more features, and that new programs will join them, so tomorrow, who knows what will be possible? …It’s unlikely that we’ll abandon our full-sized computers completely, especially for long-form and complex productions. But for a time-sensitive story in the field? An iPhone might be enough…”

Here are additional audio editing options for smart phones:

Here, Ochen explains why he created Monle:

[audio:http://shukakalantari.com/Ochen-Kaylan-MONLE.mp3]
Ochen Kaylan, creator of the Monle application

Ochen Kaylan, creator of the Monle application

The Monle company held a “Powers of 10” contest in honor of the 10 year anniversary of the Third Coast Conference. The challenge? Produce sixty-seconds about the number ten in less than forty-eight hours using the app. The winner got an iPad.

People came up with some fun ideas. KQED Public Radio‘s Rachael Myrow produced a montage of ten voices reciting Rumi poetry.  Jim Leesch, a math teacher at North Shore Country Day School in Illinois decided to do something about the mathematical powers of 10 – ie: 102 = 100, 103 = 1,000, 104 = 10,000, etc. A KALW Radio producer made a piece with people saying “Happy Birthday” to Third Coast in 10 different languages.

I produced a montage of voices talking about memories from when they were ten years old and–not surprisingly–most of them were embarrassing. It’s pretty low audio quality (disclaimer, I did it in an hour!), but kind of fun nonetheless:

[audio:http://shukakalantari.com/Kalantari-powers-of-10.mp3]

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