FIRST LOOK (AND HEAR): Vulcan Harp App for iPad
Admit it: ever since you saw Spock (and later Uhura) pluck his Vulcan harp on Star Trek: The Original Series, you’ve wanted to do the logical thing and strum your own harp. Well, now’s your chance. Shiverware and CBS Interactive have teamed up to present a Star Trek Vulcan Harp app for iPad. Available now in the Apple App Store, it’s a replica of Spock’s harp that features a rich, inlaid wood detail and moving starfield background, as well as 15 vibrating strings (each identified to make song-playing easy), 5 instrument sounds (veering from futuristic to classic harp) and a large 6-and-a-half octave range in 5 octave banks. Further, there are custom controls for multi-level distortion and reverberation, one button background arpeggio (sequence chords) and the ability to choose pentatonic scale (five notes per octave).
"What sets this app apart from the other musical apps we've built is the application’s pure beauty and fan following,” said Brett Park, lead developer at Shiverware, a Saskatchewan company specializing in interactive software development. “We hope Trekkers will love it, but musicians will also get a kick out of it."
“We felt it was important,” added lead designer Mishayla Kapell, “to maintain the integrity of the original design while incorporating functional, sleekly styled controls to give iPad users the intuitive interaction they expect.”
Interestingly, the idea for the app came to Shiverware via Katherine Kelly, a long-time Star Trek fan who approached Shiverware with the concept. "I've always wanted to own a Vulcan harp, but the prop-style harps are either decorative or just have acoustic strings, and they rarely come up for sale,” she said. “A digitized Vulcan harp with working dials is not only cool but, dare I say, fascinating."
The Star Trek Vulcan Harp App is compatible with iOS 6 or 7 and with iPad 2 and up, with recording and/sharing through SoundCloud. It costs $1.99.