Music should always be about fun and it’s a word that is easily applied to this little application. Australian developer MachineCodex has been around a couple of years now with this app in various stages of beta, and version 1.0 of AudioCodex marks a milestone in the company’s growth.
What can you do with it? AudioCodex is essentially an audio mashup tool with superb integration with Mac OS X’s CoreAudio, iTunes and any Apple Loops you may have installed. The level of integration can’t be overstated — serious work has gone into making AudioCodex a Mac experience from top to bottom. The work space is a dead ringer for the iLife applications (GarageBand in particular) with direct access to your iTunes playlists from within the application. It happily allows you to tweak any of the files in any supported formats including podcasts and movies. Audio or video can also be dragged directly into AudioCodex.
A bunch of alternate visualisers are thrown in and all can be customised — some are more than worthy of being added to iTunes’ small stable of visualisers.
The audio tweaking options involve changing the pitch, time, equalisation and reverb in real time. Any AudioUnit plugins installed can be applied and punch in/punch out points set for looping.
A Watched Folders icon can be found in the media browser — in my case the default Movies folder was listed under it as well as the Apple Loops folder. Right-clicking (or control-clicking for the one-button holdouts) on Watched Folders allows you to add others.
Once you have your folders set up, creating something is as simple as selecting combinations. Select a song from your iTunes library by double-clicking on it. Choose a movie or visualiser file to accompany it if you like — whatever you create is then automatically saved to your Loops folder.
The real fun comes with the pitch and time knobs. Pitch obviously makes the music play back at a higher pitch, Time speeds up or slows down the music. What impressed me here was that the Time function affected both video and audio. I tested it on some YouTube videos I’d downloaded and the video maintained sync with the music as I shifted its speed.
Australian Macworld’s buying advice. AudioCodex on its own won’t produce a finished composition but it does provide an excellent creative scratchpad. I’d even goes as far as to say you shouldn’t let true productivity taint your time with AudioCodex — just enjoy it. $US29.95 (yes, you pay in greenbacks for Australian software) is a small price to pay if mashing up music and video amuses you endlessly and with the trial version you have 30 days to decide if you get your kicks long term in that way.
Here’s to MachineCodex’s continuing its work on what may eventually be a killer application.