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Ocarina app review: with amazing responsiveness to breath, touch, and movement



Anyone who has heard of The Legend of Zelda video games series is probably well aware of a gorgeous instrument known as the ocarina, and with this iPhone and iPad app you can a digital ocarina with amazing responsiveness to breath, touch, and movement.

I must admit that although I’m a musician I usually find iOS instruments such as piano and guitar apps to be temperamental at best and plain annoying at worst, so I was very pleasantly surprised to discover this awesome little app.

The developer has clearly put a lot of thought into providing a realistic, dynamic, and wonderfully responsive instrument that offers even more freedom of expression than an actual flute, plus you’re going to love sharing your performances with other users on the online community.



Calling All Zelda Fans!

On the surface, Ocarina looks to be a very simple development akin to the other iOS instruments you’ll find in the Music category of the App Store, but the dynamics available while playing really place this app in a league of its own, at least as far as I’m concerned.

There are three different ways you can control the instrument. The first is to simply blow into your device’s microphone; this produces a basic sound, and by using different touch combinations on your device’s screen you can begin to play different notes while sustaining the pitch with your breath.


Ocarina screenshot 1
Ocarina screenshot 1

Enjoy a Truly Expressive and Dynamic Instrument

Once you’ve come to grips with the basic controls of volume and pitch you’ll want to try tilting your device as this will allow you to applying varying frequencies of vibrato based on how your position your hands.

There are loads of keys and modes to choose from, including the ‘Zeldarian’ mode which the Zelda fans amongst you will definitely appreciate. You can also share your performances with others online via email or on the online community, so start practicing and you’ll be ready to go live in no time at all!


Ocarina screenshot 2
Ocarina screenshot 2



Pros and Cons


  • Enjoy a digital ocarina with amazing responsiveness to breath, touch, and movement
  • Blow air into your microphone to create a sound
  • Use varying touch combinations on your device’s screen to play different notes
  • Apply vibrato at varying frequencies by tilting your device while playing a note
  • Also supports other keys and modes, including the gorgeous ‘Zeldarian’ or Hyrule mode
  • Join the online community of users and listen to other’s performances
  • Provide other users with feedback by rating their performances online
  • Name your Ocarina so others can listen to you play
  • Share your performances with others online via email
  • Record and archive your favorite performances on your own “My Ocarina” web page



  • There is nothing negative to say about this app


Ocarina screenshot 3
Ocarina screenshot 3

Final Words

Ocarina is probably my favorite iOS instrument app of the year, so I’ll definitely be keeping it on my iPhone and iPad for a while!



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Mark is an opinionated writer who loves to review apps. In 2012, he started reviewing Apple apps on a regular basis and wonders how he survived up to that point without these apps.