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 the app. There are drum/groove box apps that perhaps pack in more features than BeatHawk does but I actually think UVI struck a brilliant balance between functionality and ease-of-use with the approach they adopted in the initial release…. and as it allows you to include melodic instruments within your projects, this is, in reality, much more than just a beat/groove box.
Anyway, UVI kept things going forwards after the original release with a number of useful updates appearing. 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. However, recent updates have been more about maintaining compatibility with changes to iOS itself rather than adding further new features or refinements….
Until today of course…. as v.2.0.0 of BeatHawk has hit the App Store this afternoon…. and it really is a big update. The list of new features is very impressive…. so, we now get universal support (iPhone 5 or newer as well as the iPad), screen layouts optimised for each screen size, a new piano roll editor, automation of parameters via a MIDI Learn system, more AudioCopy options for importing samples, loop markers in Song Mode and support for accelerometer velocity and 3D Touch.
However, perhaps the best news is that v.2.0.0 adds Ableton Link support, Ableton Live Sets export and – top of the list – AUv.3 plugin support; BeatHawk can now be used as a plugin within a suitable AU host. Oh, and the update – with all these new features – is free to existing users.
While I have a number of other drum machines apps that I use regularly, for something that offers more of a complete composition environment but in a pad-based beat/groove construction format, BeatHawk is hard to beat. Once you have spent just a short time with it, you realise just how intuitive and streamlined the user interface is. 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 all these new features, the update promises to take an already very good app to another level. Not perhaps as comprehensive as something like Gadget for electronic music production but a sophisticated and super-slick platform for electronic music production none the less.
And, aside from the update being free to existing users, UVI also have the app on sale for new users to celebrate the update. If you have not yet taken a punt, but want to give the app a try for yourself, then you can, for a limited time, grab your own copy for just UK£6.99/US$6.99. Anyway, iPhone users are going to love it…. and when I’ve had a proper chance to put v.2 through its paces – on both iPhone and iPad – I’ll post a fuller report on all the new features….. Until then, check out the demo video below and hit the download button to find out more via the App Store….