Psyclops Dance Mixer is a creative music app that lets users drag and drop pre-recorded tracks into a music mixer to create customized songs and then pair their music with an animated dancer to create a simple video. While my musical abilities consist of reading sheet music and playing the piano, I have very little experience with music-making software and so Psyclops Dance Mixer was a bit of a unique test run for me.
There are four different types of tracks to fill in sequences with — drums, bass, elements, and SFX. The various elements are tabbed for easy viewing and you can scroll through a pretty varied selection ranging from orchestral-sounding bass to electronica beats. You can preview the sounds before dragging to the mixer by holding your finger on each item in the list. When you find you one you like, simply drag to the appropriate box.
The very first mix I created with Psyclops Dance Mixer was a pretty jumbled mess of offbeat rhythm and unflattering sounds. It took several playbacks and rearrangements before I achieved anything that sounded remotely decent. I was more eager to move on to the dance moves than to compose a loop of cool sounding music, so I passed it on to my more musically inclined teenage son. Having studied music, possessing the ability to play several instruments and being proficient in Garage Band, the process made much more sense to him and he quickly created a fairly catchy beat for my one-eyed dancer to groove to.
With your music track in place, you move on to the dance creation. Selecting a sequence of dance moves seems like a random process rather than an actual exercise in choreography. There are numerous choices, but in the end, I get the sense it doesn’t really matter what you choose. I admit the characters, Ike and Syndi, are very stylish for shadow people and will perform a pretty broad range of dance moves, but if there is a way to actually command the rhythm, I didn’t discover it. In every dance sequence I tried, they were almost always off beat.
In addition to creating a dance sequence, with Psyclops Dance Mixer you can choose from various backgrounds as well. Ike or Syndi can dance on a background of clouds, the beach, the moon, and several others and you can change the background with each move if you choose. Once you’ve completed your dance sequence, you can email your video to a friend.
The general consensus at my house was no way would anyone send their video to a friend except for the 9-year old who had no clue what he was doing but thought it was cool anyway. To be fair, I don’t really know any recipients that would be impressed that I created a music video with my iPod touch featuring a semi-stick-figure dancer.
Just to test the video feature, I sent our video to my own email address. It provided a link where the video could be viewed in Quicktime format and saved if the end user has Quicktime Pro. Maybe as an alternative to free happy birthday e-cards or other electronic greetings, I could see creating a video to send since you can add a personalized message that will scroll across the screen when the video loads.
For those who like the ability to play around with different tracks, loops, and mixes to create unique sounds, Psyclops is smooth enough for that purpose and because of the added ability to play around with the dance sequences, Dance Mixer is a bit unique.
Check out Psyclops Dance Mixer in action on YouTube: