In this month’s iOS / iPad / iPhone music production app roundup, we look at a percussion instrument called Impaktor, an update to Propellerhead’s Figure, an effect processor called Glitch 1, and a new sampling interface with BeatSpiral.
Impaktor Drum Synthesizer
Impaktor from iOS developer BeepStreet is without a doubt the most exciting music app we’ve seen this month. It’s a percussion synthesizer that turns any physical surface into a playable instrument. To understand what this really means, watch the above video to see how a table and an iPhone can be used to create incredibly dynamic sounds. BeepStreet explains, “The real acoustical impulses from the built-in microphone are used as an excitation source for advanced sound modules that simulate the behavior of membranes, cymbals, metallophones or strings. This makes Impaktor a highly responsive and expressive instrument. With semi-modular architecture and several types of synthesis, Impaktor can produce a wide range of tones, from acoustic sounds like tabla, djembe, marimba, cymbals or metal bars to electronic or industrial sounds.” We have to applaud BeepStreet for expanding the sonic capabilities of your iOS device, and we recommend trying it out for $4.99 on the app store.
Propellerhead Figure 1.2
With the 1.2 update of their fantastic audio application Figure, Propellerhead have added some great new features. While the application’s main appeal is still its simplicity, features such as audio copy/paste and support for Korg’s Wireless Sync-Start Technology (WIST), Figure is becoming more of a professional music creation tool. In addition to the back-end updates, the company has also added a grid to the performance section of the instruments and a new atonal/chromatic scale mode for complex melodies. For 99 cents it’s still one of the best values for fast inspiration via its simple and effective interface. For a deeper look into Figure’s new capabilities, check out Mark Settle‘s article at DJWorx (also the source of the above photo).
While the music accompanying the video for BeatSpiral (above) may be less than inspiring, the interface and idea behind this new performance sampler app are very interesting. As developer Xylio explains, “BeatSpiral is designed to let you chop samples, make beats and perform with them live. You can choose from an included library or import your own.” You can work with prerecorded loops included with the app, or import your own sounds via iTunes (MP3, WAV, AIFF and M4A file formats are supported). Then you use physical gestures by way of the iPhone/iPad’s multi-touch abilities to rearrange sample slices, mute pads, edit samples, and crossfade. The app has an autosave function that maintains your latest work as well as an undo function for those less inspiring moments. Beatspiral is currently available for $1.99 at the Apple App Store.
Developer Eiji Nishidai’s new Glitch1 application is a real-time effects processor that uses six different effects modules to chop, stutter, filter, and gate an audio signal from your iOS device’s microphone or a prerecorded audio file. There are six basic effects to start with: bit crusher, delay, beat repeat, gate, tape stop, and auto pan. There are also three global effects that can be layered on top of the first effect: a limiter, a delay, and a stereo enhancer. The latest update also includes support for Sonoma Wire Works’ Audio Copy/Audio Paste. While we haven’t been able to try the app for ourselves, the audio effects in the above video sound impressive.
Readers: Have you used these, or any other iPad / iPhone music production apps that you’re fond of? Tell us what you think!
Dubspot blog editor Michael Walsh is a journalist, DJ, music producer, and Dubspot instructor. He believes in open-source ideas and advancing the evolution of music by sharing ideas that push technology in new directions. As a catalyst for of electronic music’s growth, Michael was co-founder of the Ritual Recordings house imprint, helped develop numerous club nights and events, and has curated music for corporate events with clients such as Nokia, Puma, and Betsy Johnson. Michael has been a professional DJ for over two decades and produces house and techno music under a number of aliases.