Brakebills, Twang, Stuff!

Oh em gee. So much to report.

First, do you know Lev Grossman? He’s an incredibly talented author who recently toured Portland. If you haven’t read his book The Magicians, then stop whatever you’re doing and procure a copy immediately. Without trying to spoil anything, the major college in the book is named the Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. Lev saw the Brakebills T-shirt that I designed for my sweetheart’s birthday present:

Long story short, my Brakebills shirts are now officially endorsed by the author! Please buy twenty of them, or thirty if the spirit moves you. Zazzle’s print quality is great. The colors are vivid, and the ink has survived many washings. Rabid fans are buying and even customizing them! I love the internet.

Lev blogged some of my other work, too (“the guy who does this has the enviably fake-sounding name of Zach Archer”). It’s true, I have an awesome pro wrestler name.

Second, my new iPhone app has landed in the App Store:

Twang is a handheld guitar. It’s easier to play than a real guitar, and is very expressive. Instead of using audio samples, Twang uses physical modelling techniques to create a more natural, dynamic sound. No two plucks are identical. Watch my grainy first video if you disbelieve.

In the next version of Twang, left-handed people will be able to switch Twang’s orientation, and serious musicians can dampen or mute strings with their fingers. And probably more! This version is already in development, and may be submitted in a week or two? Follow Control Z, Inc on Twitter if you have a ravenous thirst for updates!

5 thoughts on “Brakebills, Twang, Stuff!

  1. Zach,

    I bought your incredible app. However, despite my not knowing how to play the guitar I was able to play with the intuitive UI and came up with a song for my wife and son within 10 minutes. Also, I posted your vid on Facebook and a buddy of mine saw the post and bought the app about 3 minutes after seeing my post. Cool, eh?

  2. Kevin, that’s beautiful! Your story is exactly what I hoped would happen — everyone should be able to write & play songs. I’m grinning from ear to ear right now.

    Also, thanks for promoting Twang! I hope your buddy gets a kick out of it.

  3. @Keith Currently there’s no way to get 9th chords… There are secret fingerings for 11th chords (it’s supposed to sound like open strings — try V+iii, or viiĀ°+iii, and the third finger raises/lowers the pitch). Several people have asked for special chords, so apparently there’s a need for some sort of chord-remapping screen! I’ve added this to my task list…

  4. @ Zach I’ve messed around with a bunch of Vulcan nerve pinch combinations to see what’s in there. You definitely go off the deep end with some of your chord choices. The ability to reassign modifier keys would be great. Maybe, eventually, a way to save presets for a particular song(s)? Alternate tunings? You could go nuts on this thing.

    Too bad my fiddle skills don’t translate. Still having fun though!

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