Blocs Wave updated – Novation’s real-time pitch/time stretching loop player gets more new features

Download from iTunes App StoreBlocs wave logo 1If you have any background in music technology then the Novation brand (and sister company Focusrite) will be well known to you. Novation’s Launchpad hardware/software combination has been incredibly successful for both live and studio musicians and their ‘free plus IAP’ iOS music app version of the Launchpad concept has proved equally popular amongst both iOS musicians and, I suspect, lots of more general users (folks interested in music making but without traditional instrument skills/background) because of the fun to be had mixing and matching audio loops to assemble instant musical ideas.

Novation recently released another loop-based iOS music app – Blocs Wave – and, given that Blocs Wave and Launchpad are both built for creating music from loops, I think some Launchpad users were perhaps a bit surprised by the new addition. In fact, I think the focus of Blocs Wave is perhaps somewhat different to Launchpad. The new app is still about mixing and matching audio loops but, in Blocs Wave, you get something that is perhaps a little closer in concept to a looper app in that the design not only provides a platform for working with pre-recorded loops, but also encourages you to record your own audio to create loops for use in your projects.

Blocs wave - now with a 'sections' feature for building more complex song structures.

Blocs wave – now with a ‘sections’ feature for building more complex song structures.

Anyway, Novation are obviously keen to develop the concept further and a number of updates have already appeared for the app adding new import features, Ableton Link support, new export features, the very creative Slice Mode and a song construction system based upon the new ‘Sections‘ concept…..  the rate of progress has been considerable and Novation are rapidly turning a great start into a very accomplished creative tool.

However, today has seen another update – the app now stands at v.7.0 – and, aside from a few routine tweaks and fixes, this also brings some new features. There are the usual minor fixes and some modest UI/gesture changes to speed workflow (for example, double tapping on a waveform to reset the zoom level). However, perhaps the most useful addition is in terms of export and import of audio. Sound used in a project can now be much more easily exported while, if you are importing loops from elsewhere, there is now a new ‘multiple import’ screen available via AirDrop so you can batch process your imports. In addition, ‘open in’ is now supported making it easier to import audio from other apps.

I must say that I really like Blocs Wave. And, with the app modestly priced at just UK£4.99/US$5.99, this is not too much of a stretch for almost anyone to take a punt with. Novation really do know what they are about when it comes to loop-based musical tools and, while this is not a ‘do everything’ kind of tool, like some of the very best iOS music apps, the focused feature set is a strength here rather than a weakness; it makes for a fast and efficient – and creative – workflow.

For lovers of loops, Blocs Wave is well worth a look. Check out the original full review of Blocs Wave and the videos embedded below for more details.

Blocs Wave

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    1. After such a fantastic start, Blocs Wave is stumbling a little. Still no sign of the app getting access to Launchpad loops. Still no ability to reverse samples. Still no ability to alter key within a group of sets without changing them all.

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