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iShred LE review

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In recent years, the shift away from the electronic in popular music and the burgeoning popularity of hit games such as Guitar Hero have seen a surge in the guitar’s popularity. Now you never have to leave yours at home, thanks to iShred LE. The opening screen is suitably rock-tastic, with the Stratocaster of the opening logo zoomed in on so it becomes the app’s actual interface.

If your music theory isn’t up to scratch, the first time you look at iShred LE it can seem a bit befuddling. Along the top is a collection of chords, which is associated with an amplifier preset listed down at the bottom. Specific chord progressions are linked to each amplifier preset- iShred LE doesn’t just chuck a random atonal bunch at you.

As you press the chord buttons along the top, iShred LE will fret the appropriate notes to make the chord. It lists the frets at the end of each string, so if you know the shape of a chord but not the name, you can see if it’s the right one or not. Likewise, iShred LE can be used to learn new chords as it provides you with both the name and the shape of chord.

When a chord is fretted you can strum or fingerpick (tap individual strings on the interface) away to your heart’s content. Timing your strumming and tapping the buttons to change chords in rhythm is a little awkward at first, and it’ll likely take some practice to teach your fingers to do so smoothly. However, the sound made is most impressive, with the little iPhone speakers spitting out surprisingly convincing guitar-like audio.

The different amplifier presets range from ‘Psychedelic 60’s’ to ‘Surf’s up’, and there’s a ‘Heavy Metal’ setting that features a chord button for dead-noting all the strings. There are eight effect pedals too, covering pretty much everything you could want including a wah pedal, which you can use by tilting your iPhone.

However, the main attraction of iShred LE is in recording and uploading your own songs. You can manually set the chord buttons to show whichever chords you want and then record, save and upload your songs for others to hear over the Internet. For some inspiration, you can listen to music other users have made via the ‘Airplay’ feature.

Okay, so to call iShred LE a fully-fledged guitar would be a bit of an exaggeration, but it does get damned close all things considered. At just 59p, it’s a bargain mess-around application for anyone that’s ever had dreams of rock stardom.

iShred LE Info

Ease of use: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21620″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
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Overall [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21621″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]

Platform: Apple iPhone/iPod Touch

Version of app: 1.1

Price: £0.59

Developer: Frontier Design Group

Website/Demo: Frontier Design website

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