Two top songwriters review Writers Session, an app that promises to help creatives record and store lyrics and melodies.
As a songwriter a great idea can hit you at any time and when it does, we tend to reach for the nearest thing to hand – our phone. That typically leads to a bunch of (let’s be honest) unorganised voice memos and text notes. The Writers Session app is designed to streamline the songwriting process. It provides a single place to record and organise all your lyrics and melodic ideas.
We asked two great songwriters, Natalie Rei and Freddie Mercer, to take the app for a test drive and share their thoughts.
I usually use two or three different apps to save my ideas, but this app can do it in one.
I really like the “Session Info” section where you can add writers’ names, splits, publishing and the song key. I also like the “Rhyme, Thesaurus, Dictionary” option. Highlight a word, click and you’ll get offline results within the app.
Importantly you can record quickly wherever you are in the app and you can also import tracks into a session. You can’t, however, type and listen simultaneously – it would be so great if you could.
What I’d change: I’d like the app to be made available for the MacBook so that I could open the same session on the phone and laptop.
Overall verdict: This is an easy-to-use intuitive app for songwriters.
I’ve been looking for an app for a long time that can capture the erratic musings of my brain. Writers Session means I can now capture any bright ideas very quickly.
Whether it be some lyrics or an audio recording of a melody, all you have to do is click the app and the plus sign and you immediately have the option to “Quick Record” or “Quick Notes”. A third option, if you have more time, is “Add New Session”. This allows you to fill in all the necessary information such as the writers’ names on the track, key, tempo, genre and other information if you so wish.
Once you’re in the session and writing, the app is straight forward. One useful feature is the “Rhymes, Thesaurus and Dictionary” tool. It’s brilliant for quick referral. You just highlight a word, click and – voila – a list of words that rhyme with it will come up. You don’t get that many rhymes or half rhymes, but it’s better than nothing.
It’s visually pleasing to be able to add in sections (verse, pre-chorus etc which come up in bold) and chords (which come up in blue) to your song. The performance button, where you can preview your song in full screen mode, is useful for sitting back and playing through what you’ve done so far.
Another great feature of the file system is that you can keep your songs in folders as well as tagging them with different icons and colours. I use red flags for songs that need urgently finishing and green flags for finished songs. It’s good to be able to scroll down quickly and see what you have got.
A few gripes too though. If your ideas are flowing, the audio recorder within your session can quickly fill up with memos. And you can’t name the takes nor can you send them all at once via AirDrop or email. Not the end of the world, but this app should be built from the ground up to save people time.
The “Share” feature of the whole session is great because if you’ve collaborated with two or three other songwriters, you can send them all a one pager with the song information and the writers percentage splits etc – useful for not getting yourself in a twist further down the line.
There’s also a metronome that you can playback and tap into to get the BPM of your idea.
What I’d change: I’d like to see is a desktop version as I use my laptop constantly for songwriting and I like to keep things in one place.
Overall verdict: For the price, this is a great app if you’re a songwriter on the move and you need something to keep track of your musings in a coherent fashion.
Writers Session is available in the AppStore.The Writers Session App is free with in app purchases: £2.99.
Follow Natalie Rei on Instagram @WavesTheGirl
Follow Freddie Mercer on Instagram @freddiemercermusic