Ever wondered what that DJ in the booth was doing at the club? Ever sat and watched him spin the records back and forth and think – Hey I can do that. Well here is your chance. Flare from Itunes is a DJ table on the go.
First things first go to their website http://www.async-games.com/flare.html and link up to their baby scratch video and the Flare Scratch Tutorial on You Tube. These tongue and cheek introductions to the program will have you in stitches.
When you load up Flare you are greeted with a turntable and several lit buttons. It is obvious the developer wanted the application to look cool when the user is working the table. Thus, there are really no identifiers for what the buttons do. I accept this since you probably don’t want to rap out on what looks like a Wii game. You really need to go to their website or watch a tutorial to figure out everything that is available in the package. I just wish they had a menu page that would let you do this but I can’t have everything.
The table includes a start and stop button that will spin the disc. This basically gets things going so you can start scratching the record. There is also a transformer button that acts as a mute button. The guy on the video did some pretty cool effects with the transformer. You also have a level fader that lets you up the volume on key parts of the sound effect.
The application comes pre-programmed with three thumping beats to let you scratch on top of. The sound effects are also pretty cool and you can really do some neat effects with them. In the future it would be pretty cool if they would let you pick out what sounds are on that record so you could have a streamlined mix.
The developers say you can upload more beats by using a web address that is provided on the record. The user is supposed to close the application and go into Safari and enter the address. To make things more irritating the address won’t stay on the screen. You have to keep pushing the button to get it to come back. I tried to get the address to pop up in Safari and failed. I noticed every time I went into the application the address would slightly change. I am sure these are introductory bugs. However, the developer could do us all a huge favor and patch it so we could access the site directly from the application.
I have never touched a turntable before. Frankly, I never really had any desire to do so. I do listen to rap but really never understood the whole DJ scratch thing. If you watch the instructional videos and then try and do some of the stuff it makes you respect what they are doing. It really is fairly difficult to pull off some of the sounds they achieve.
The controls are fairly simple. Put your finger on the record and spin it in any direction. The record will scratch and hiss in time with your movements. The turntable buttons work with swipes and never seem to have any issue registering your hit. The only gripe I have is moving the needle on and off the record sometimes doesn’t register. It thinks I’m spinning the record rather than moving the needle. Overall the controls work fine but like any instrument there is a learning curve and it takes time to master.
+ Cool sound effects and beats
+ Developer is actively supporting the app with updates
+ Great party device that is fun to play with your friends
+ This is a full functioning DJ turntable in your pocket
+ When plugged into your stereo you have some truly thumping beats
+ Learning to master the application provides a high replay value
What We Disliked:
– Difficult to upload new records and beats
– Needs to have a menu button for application instructions and website
– Want to be able to scratch over tunes in my Ipod
– Want to be able to record some of my awesome mixes
If you are into turning records and mixing music this application is sure to please. It can really pull off some wicked beats. The beauty is you can pull the jams off anywhere. I have already annoyed my wife by rapping and scratching in our car with our Ipod friendly car deck. Even if you are not into this sort of thing you might be pleasantly surprised like I was. The dislike section in this review is different than my other reviews. This is really a wish list: let me save my mixes, easily upload new beats, and scratch over my own tunes and you have a must buy music application. In the meantime music lovers check it out.