I posted a full review of UVI’s BeatHawk iOS music app here on the blog when it was first released. I was hugely impressed with BeatHawk. There are drum/groove box apps that perhaps pack in more features than BeatHawk does but I actually think UVI have struck a brilliant balanced between functionality and ease-of-use with the approach they have adopted in the initial release.
Anyway, UVI seem keen to keep things going forwards with BeatHawk and the first updates for the app arrived on the App Store not long after the initial release. These included changes to the audio and MIDI preferences, a significant memory optimisation for improved performance and the option to use the app as an IAA instrument to complement that of IAA audio. Using Cubasis , for example, as an IAA host, you can add BeatHawk to a Cubasis MIDI track and sequence a performance from within Cubasis; if you want the sample playback tools of BeatHawk but the option to sequence from your favourite iOS DAW/sequencer app, then this is a useful addition.
A further update – taking the app to v.1.0.4 – has arrived on the App Store today. Amongst the new features are support for a AIFF, AIFC and CAF files while certain tweaks have also been added to change the startup behaviour of the app (the previous project will load by default) and certain editing actions have been improved to speed workflow.
However, perhaps the headline new feature is that UVI have now added the option for MIDI sync-to-host when the app is used via IAA so that BeatHawk will follow the transport controls of the IAA host app. Having given this a try with Cubasis this morning, once you engage the Host Sync button on the main screen, BeatHawk seems to sync tightly with the IAA host. It responded to the Cubasis transport controls and, when I changed the tempo of the host project, BeatHawk happily also changed tempo to follow that.
BeatHawk has become my ‘go to’ pad-based beat/groove construction app simply because it is – once you have spent just a short time with it – so intuitive and streamlined to use. As a stand-alone tool for electronic music production based around the well-established ‘sample pad’ concept, this is a lot of fun but, with the fuller IAA implementation now available, this is easily an app that you can now integrate into a wider music production workflow. Here’s hoping UVI can keep the updates coming (IAA transport controls would be nice as would a loop slicing function) and they can make an already great app even better.
However, if you have not yet taken a punt, but want to give the app a try for yourself, then you can still pick it up for just UK£3.99. This is still the ‘50% off’ introductory pricing… but you need to get a move on as that ends in just a few days time (19th April I think). At full price, BeatHawk is still a great deal but, at this reduced price, BeatHawk is an absolute steal and worth owning even if only for occasional use.