Aaron Shekey (B.S. Graphic Design '08) Builds a Better Songwriting App

Thumbnail image for Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 11.44.48 AM.pngA new app launched by Aaron Shekey (B.S. Graphic Design ’08) is giving the napkin a run for its money. Frustrated by capturing song ideas using voice memos on his phone and storing lyrics in the same place as his shopping list, Shekey wanted a better tool for songwriting (i.e. napkins are out, for now). He teamed up with former colleague Joseph Kuefler to design a solution.

“We interviewed our songwriter friends Thumbnail image for hum-sketch01@2x.pngabout their process and found it was incredibly similar to what we had going on,” writes Shekey in a recent blog post. “We’d stumble across a riff or progression that we’d want to remember or build on … The problem is once ideas are in a voice memo, they’re often lost. You can’t sort them. They’re hard to revisit. Names are based on the date they were recorded. You have no idea what key they’re in or how your guitar was tuned.”

Their solution, Hum, combines note-taking and audio recording into a single app for capturing and organizing songwriting ideas. It keeps lyrics and song ideas organized and sortable. Since it launched in January 2014, it’s been downloaded thousands of times, was featured by Apple as a Best New App, and currently carries a 4.5 star rating.

“Our design background is the only reason we were able to build Hum,” Shekey explains. “It’s relatively easy to build the base functionality of Hum, but to be able to simplify and refine the idea down to its most usable core takes some design prowess.”

You can still use a napkin to jot down ideas, but Hum is gaining attention for it’s polished design and usability. Download it from the App Store.