Given that the sum total of my musical experience is five years of piano lessons and the time I was in a rock band for ten minutes, I’m not sure if I’m the ideal target for SuperMegaUltraGroovy’s Capo 2. But the latest update to the program that helps you learn by ear the songs you’ve always wanted to play certainly appeals to me.
Developer Chris Liscio has put a lot of time into tweaking Capo 2, adding new features that not only allow you to hear the song you’re playing, but to see it as well, thanks to a new spectrogram feature that visualizes the audio. Grab any song from your iTunes library, drag it into the app, and Capo will show you the notes that are being played; you can even use it to detect the exact chords. From there, you can quickly create a tablature—a way to represent music based on which fingers you use to play notes.
As with the earlier version of the software, Capo lets you slow down songs without adjusting the pitch, loop parts of the song, and drop markers at certain parts of the song. You can also export the slowed or pitch-adjusted versions of the track back to a file that you can play on your iPad, in case you need to work on your licks while you’re on the go.
And though Capo’s an extremely powerful piece of software, that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Liscio’s also added a series of tutorial videos that demonstrate the key features of the program and make it easy to get started quickly.
Given the magnitude of the new features, Capo 2 is a paid update, running $19 for those who purchased the application before May 2010. A new license is $49, and you can also grab a set of five licenses for just $89. There’s also a free trial version that lets you give Capo a whirl to see if you’ll like it. Capo requires Mac OS X Snow Leopard.