Luis Martinez has a series of ‘drum’ apps that sort of sit between the ‘virtual drummer’ and sample-based drum machines and, in many ways, offer something that is a bit of the best of both. I’ve reviewed Rock Drum Machine, Rock Drum Machine 3, Brazilian Drum Machine and Funk Drummer previously.
One other title in the catalogue has been Afro Latin Drum Machine 3…. and I reviewed this back in April 2016 when v.3.0 bought a major update, adding a range of new features and new preset rhythms. Well, the app have now had another refresh – v.4 landed on the App Store today – and this brings a new logo and some very welcome new features that Luis has gradually been rolling out to all the apps in the series.
In line with more recent releases and updates in the series, this brings a number of new features alongside some tweaks to the UI and a new logo. The highlight is undoubtedly the inclusion of Ableton Link. While many iOS musicians are keeping everything crossed that Apple AU format is going to gain more traction, Ableton Link – another new-ish iOS music making technology – has already proved a very popular introduction.
For drum/percussion apps in particular, this has rapidly become a ‘must have’ feature so it’s great to see Luis upgrading all the apps in his drum series with support. Having given this a bit of a workout this morning via AUM, I’m happy to report that Afro Latin Drum Machine 4 seemed to be up tight and in sync with both Soft Drummer and Patterning (for example) based upon the tempo set in AUM itself.
Luis has also added the Live Pads feature that has been introduced in other apps in the series and this really is very cool. It allows you to identify eight patterns and then trigger then ‘live’ from the pads (or MIDI) as well as adding fills or endings. Live Pad sets can also be saved and re-loaded while the New button allows you to clear the current selections. These pads are great for creating a complete performance on the fly.
Afro Latin Drum Machine 4 is a 84MB download, requires iOS8.0 or later and is a universal app. Both Audiobus and IAA support are included, as is MIDI Clock sync. The app is priced at UK£10.99/US$14.99.
I’m not sure what Luis might have up his sleeve for the next release in this series…. but I already know I want it. For now though, Afro Latin Drum Machine 4 is well worth exploring and, once fired up, I defy you to not dance around your music space; infectious rhythms in a very neat app. Highly recommended.