iOS ukulele app: the Futulele

[Video Link] What's the word for liking and hating something at the same time?

FUTULELE is an upcoming Ukulele synthesizer for iOS. Although it can work on a single iPad, similar to our well-known guitar synth OMGuitar (, Futulele really shines with a special guitar-shaped case that holds both an iPad and an iPhone, which are connected to each other via Bluetooth. iPhone is used to define the chords and iPad is used for strumming.

We have managed to reduce the chord switch lag to a minimum level and capture every little nuance of a high-grade professional Ukulele instrument. You can use up to 12 chords for each song, and change chord sets on the fly. Full recording and sharing possibilities come straight from OMGuitar, as well as the effects section.


  1. What I love about this is that it’s taking the most incredibly simple, easy to build, easy to play musical instrument and recreating it in the most over-the top, technically-complicated, mind-bogglingly complex way. …and yet it all looks and plays pretty much the same.

    I don’t know if this is a great musical tool or not, but conceptually I think it’s a work of art.

      1.  …you ask that question as if those are two poles of a continuum, and not utterly orthogonal.

        An equivalent invention to my mind would be a cheese slicer that instead of a wire, features a high-powered laser. (and yet is designed to look and function exactly like a traditional cheese slicer)

    1. Practicality is definitely not its strongpoint. Playing a stringed instrument without feeling the strings is a bit…. counterintuitive.

      1. On the other hand, being able to play the uke without altering your standard nailcare regimen is a practicality plus point.

    2. The problem with this thing is that it doesn’t play much the same as a real ukulele. The strum pattern on even the one demo song was stilted and unmusical. Now, I don’t know what the price of this contraption will be, though I did see the guitar one at NAMM and it doesn’t look like it’ll cost less than an ACTUAL ukulele that’s just as good or much better for practicing. Just buy a ukulele, seriously. Get a crappy one for $10 or $20 and if you get good and/or really like it, then go splurge and spend a couple hundred on a pretty good one.

  2. The good side of such (of what i feel is complete) crap is that it insites you, makes you wanna play the real instrument, to draw on the real paper–endless batteries, extremely high bit resolution, completely analogue etc..

    1. I don’t know. If skeletons having sex on a tin roof sounds like this:

      …then I think these iOS music apps that aim for the sound of a single ukulele have a ways to go.

  3. Is there a name for this category of software, apps that work across iPad and iPhone/iPod? There’s a painting app pair that does it too, with the main canvas app running on the iPad and the color-mixing palette app running on the smaller device. 

  4. The rhythm heard bears only passing resemblance to her simpler up-and-down hand movements. All she really needs to do is select the chord with her left hand and the machine does the rest. Why pretend to strum? It’s clearly unnecessary.

  5. I had to stop this in the middle. While the technology at work here is pretty neat, I couldn’t stand the rhythm being off like that.

  6. You know, not to toot my own horn too much, but my ukulele sim has been up a year,  doesn’t need two iDevices, has been totally ripped off by Smule, has a chord chart, lets me play along with my Gil Evans, has a happier soul, and actually is an interface innovation.

    Just saying.

    And I totally agree with the point about getting a $40 uke. All ukieshaker has going for it is portability.  

  7. do you guys ever write about mobile devices that are not Apple products?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a non iPhone “apps for kids” or any other article about a new app tec that wasn’t Apple.  

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