Tabletop, by Retronyms, is a fantastic tool for sound designers looking to work in an environment that simulates the “real thing” while allowing the functionality of electronic expandability. The main goal of tabletop is to provide a studio-like experience for those designing, mixing, and recording sound. Everything from a light loop for a video game snippet to a full demo-song could be produced with this app, and most of this could be done with the free software as-is, no additions necessary.
Of the 27 “devices” made available in the Tabletop virtual studio environment, 11 are included in the free version. This means that immediately, musicians have access to mixers, instruments, pattern-makers, effects, turntables, and a master controller from the start of every project. The routing of these devices is up to the musician, as there are virtual “cables” that can connect one piece of equipment to another, a great effect borrowed from the real studio. Routing cables means that musicians decide in what order these effects are processed, granting the fullest-possible creative control to the musician in the moment.
There are several demos that make learning how to use Tabletop quite easy, as a brand new user can watch the demos and learn how each individual piece of equipment operates. From their, the app offers user support through retronyms.com. More experienced users will appreciate the advanced features available on the 11 devices included within the free package. The best feature of the package is the Recorder, which allows users to input and record samples from their own songs library, as well as record their creations and export them as .wav files.
For an all-in-one free application that introduces users to the world of sound design, equipment, and recording, this app can handle it’s own weight and then some. Well worth checking out, playing with, and creating new music as soon as possible!