Beat-Machine updated – Primitive Digital Software’s iOS drum machine revamped

Download from iTunes App StoreBeat-Machine logoI reviewed Jam Synth from Primitive Digital Software a while ago on the blog and was impressed by just what you could do with the app give the asking price (it’s free!). The developer’s other iOS music app is Beat-Machine and, while it is not free, at UK£0.69, neither is it going to break the bank. And, as the app’s logo and name suggest, this is essentially a virtual drum machine featuring a series of drum pads, sample-based drum triggering and a pattern editor.

Of course, the iTunes App Store is not short of rather neat drum machine recreations. We have the excellent Funkbox, DM1, iMPC Pro, Boom 808!, Boom 909! and a number of others besides. That said, at UK£0.69, if you like your beats, then Beat-Machine might be worth a punt anyway and, as of today, that deal might be even more tempting as the app has received a significant update with lots of new features.

Beat-Machine's main interface; a classic drum machine look....

Beat-Machine’s main interface; a classic drum machine look….

The interface has had a bit of a make-over and is now more streamlined to use (and is also much improved for use with the smaller iPhone 5 display). In addition, the app now uses an improved 64-bit audio engine which should result in better sound quality. MIDI Clock sync has also been improved for better reliability.

Another significant addition is the song mode where you can chain your patterns together for form a full arrangement. However, if you want to sequence parts from a MIDI sequencer (such as Cubasis) then Beat-Machine seems to have good MIDI support and this update also bring Audiobus 2 support with State Saving (always good to see). However, the other wider workflow addition is IAA support and, having given this a try with Cubasis as my IAA host, Beat-Machine seemed to behave very nicely once installed on a Cubasis MIDI track.

Beat-Machine now has IAA support and seemed to work nicely within Cubasis.

Beat-Machine now has IAA support and seemed to work nicely within Cubasis.

There are two other significant new features worth a mention, both of which are available as individual IAPs (and both cost UK£0.69); a drum synthesiser and a pitch/time/vinyl tool. The Drum Synthersiser IAP allows (on the iPad only I think?) you to create your own drum sounds and trigger them from the pads/sequencer. While the synth engine doesn’t perhaps have the clout of a dedicated drum synth app such as Impaktor or MoDrum, it is easy to use and capable of creating some decent sounds.

The Drum Synthesiser IAP will set you back all of UK£0.69 :-)

The Drum Synthesiser IAP will set you back all of UK£0.69 :-)

The Time/Pitch/Vinyl IAP allows you to change the pitch of a sample without changing the duration and to change the duration without changing the pitch. It also features a rather neat hiss and crackle option so you can add a dose of vinyl vibe to your sounds; very cool.

Beat-Machine is supplied with a collection of sample-based kits but you can also import other samples to expand your options.

Beat-Machine is supplied with a collection of sample-based kits but you can also import other samples to expand your options.

In all, this is a lot of new stuff for what is a pocket-money priced app and, even if you buy both of the new IAPs, it will still set up back less than the price of a large coffee. The fact that you can load your own samples into the app in WAV format (and up to 24-bit) means that you can get pretty much any drum sound out of the app that you might wish.

If you like making your own beats – or want an inexpensive way of getting into beat production – then Beat-Machine is a bit of a bargain, performs well above the asking price suggests it has any right to, and is well worth a look.

Beat-Machine


Be Sociable; share this post....

    Comments

    1. Steve Johnson says:

      This actually looks like a pretty hot app.. I like the interface of it. Does anyone know how it compares to Ableton? Anyone have experience with that comparison? I’m asking because I’m a guitarist and I’m gonna program beats to my guitar pedal drum machine (if any of you are guitarists like me, you should check it out at mybeatbuddy.com – I’m not a promoter or anything, it’s just the coolest thing ever!!) – and I’m looking for alternatives to Ableton, I wanna try something new to program my beats in.

    Speak Your Mind

    *