As a sequel to their popular Capo 2 music learning software, SuperMegaUltraGroovy today has launched Capo 3 for Mac, a new version of Capo with several feature improvements and enhancements. Let’s take a look at what’s changed.

If you’re familiar with Capo 2, you’ll be right at home with Capo 3, which features the same great design as its predecessor, with just a few tweaks. If you’re new, however, you might be surprised by just how great Capo looks. it’s not difficult to use either. The first time you launch the app, you’ll be greeted by a series of quick start videos which teach you the basics of how to use Capo’s various features.

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Since the objective of Capo is to help you learn how to play your favorite songs, you’ll find a wide array of features that cater to picking out guitar chords and beats. Dragging in any audio file will reveal Capo’s interface, a Garageband-esque UI with a playback region, a control panel, and various audio tuning controls. In the playback region, you’ll find a waveform of the song you’ve brought in, as well as a spectrogram which outlines the notes and chords you’re hearing from the guitar track in the song, for a visual representation of what you’re hearing. The spectrogram can be annotated to better outline chords.

Below the spectrogram, you’ll find one of Capo 3’s biggest new features, the guitar chord box display, which uses automatic chord detection to outline and show how to play the chords Capo has detected. If you don’t agree with the chords Capo has detected, you can easily double click on any chord to change it. You can even add your own.

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Capo 3 also includes a brand new beat detection engine. This allows a few new features. The software now displays a bar and beat display instead of a simple timecode, and there’s now a built in metronome, automatically configured by the detected beat of the song.

Rounding out the new feature set, you’ll find region snapping, which also benefits from Capo’s new beat detection engine. You can now name and snap multiple regions according to the beat of the song, to allow precision timing and looping.

Of course, Capo 3 still offers all the great features of the previous version, like speed and pitch controls, quick tab entry, and excellent sound quality, even after applying speed and pitch changes.

I’m not a guitarist, but in my testing of Capo 3, I found the interface very easy to use, and after only about half an hour, I was comfortable with the software.

Capo 3 is available for $29.99 on the Mac App Store today.

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Michael Steeber

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