Archives for February 2016

iSpark review – Arturia bring a super-slick take on the virtual drum machine

If you are an iPad- or iPhone-owning musician, and you have been hanging around the App Store for any length of time, then I suspect you will be well aware of just how many excellent virtual drum, groove and rhythm instruments there now are available in a very modestly priced app format. These do, of course, come in a range of flavours, whether that’s virtual acoustic drummers (for example DrumPerfect Pro or Luis Martinez’s various ‘drummer’ apps), recreations of classic drum machine hardware … [Read more...]

AUM review – does Jonatan Liljedahl’s brilliant app change the iOS music-making landscape?

Within the iOS music-making community, there are some developers that qualify for almost universal hero worship; Jonatan Liljedahl is one of those. Whether it is the ubiquitous utility app AudioShare, the truly inspiring (and sometimes mind bending) electronic rhythm/groove app Sector, or the minimalist audio effects of the AUFX series, Jonatan creates brilliant apps that almost any iOS musician would want to own. And, with his latest app – AUM - that has appeared on the App Store today, he may … [Read more...]

Phlox Phaser update – first of the ‘floral series’ iOS effects apps gets AU support

Bells and whistles are all very well in your software but, when a developer tries to add every conceivable feature into an application, things can get just too complicated. You end up with a maze of choices, 90% of which you might never use. That's not a criticism anyone is going to level at the iOS audio effects apps from developers Timothy Barraclough and Paul Mathews. I've looked at a number of these 'floral series' apps here on the blog - Phlox Phaser, Dahlia Delay, Tiger-lily Tremolo, … [Read more...]

Launchpad update – Novation add MIDI Clock sync via IAP

I posted a full review of Novation's Launchpad when it was first released back in spring 2013. For those that like to mix and match loops as a creative music making option, Launchpad is a brilliant concept and, as the basic app is free to download, you can give it a try without having to make any commitment to a long term relationship. Novation have kept up a pretty good pace of updates with the app and it has gained new loop content (via IAPs) and also the ability to load your own samples … [Read more...]

BIAS FX updated – Positive Grid fine-tune their flagship virtual guitar rig app – and it’s still ON SALE

As was the case with IK Multimedia a couple of years ago, there are some iOS musicians who are perhaps somewhat less fond of Positive Grid than their apps themselves deserve because of other aspects of the company's approach. I think PG would be the first to admit that they have not always got everything 'right' but, having had some interaction with a number of folks at PG HQ, I don't think it is possible to fault their creative efforts or commitment to the iOS platform. This is also a … [Read more...]

Voice Rack: FX update – vocal effect preset app from TC-Helicon gets a full make-over

As an off-shoot of TC Electronic, TC-Helicon are highly regarded in the music technology world for their various hardware products aimed at vocalists. However, they have also taken a punt in the world of iOS music apps and I've reviewed, Voice Rack: FX, VoiceJam Studio and Voice Cross Trainer here on the blog in the past. In fact, all three apps have been updated today but I'll focus on Voice Rack:FX here as I think it is an app that could appeal to any iOS music maker.... I reviewed Voice … [Read more...]

LooperSonic review – streamlined looper recording app from David O’Neill

In a stompbox form, looper pedals are quite popular with guitar players but, despite the guitar being my primary instrument, it was only really when I started exploring iOS music apps that I got into the whole looper thing. I’ve always loved what some artists do with loopers live – KT Tunstall for example – but somehow never found the time to explore for myself. Of course, then I reviewed Loopy HD and that all changed as I began to realise what I’d been missing; loopers can be hugely creative … [Read more...]

Composer’s Sketchpad update – quirky composition tool from Alexei Baboulevitch gets some tweaks

One of the things I enjoy most about running the Music App Blog is that it can expose me to a wide variety of iOS music apps. While some can be great, but perhaps conventional, others are based around a core idea that is interesting or innovative in some way. One such app is Alexei Baboulevitch’s Composer’s Sketchpad that I reviewed on the site a few weeks ago. The app is iPad-only, requires iOS8.1 or later and is a 140MB download. The launch price is discounted at currently sits at just … [Read more...]

Elastic Drums updated – brilliant iOS drum app from Oliver Greschke gets further round of tweaks

If you are a regular visitor to the Music App Blog you might well be familiar with Elastic Drums from developer Oliver Greschke and Mouse On Mars. I reviewed the app a while ago and was very impressed with the sound and feature set of the first release. The app has also had a number of very useful updates since then bringing improved IAA and Audiobus support plus a number of other new features, including, in v.1.5, becoming 'universal' and offering graphical layouts that were able to … [Read more...]