Blocs Wave updated – Novation’s real-time pitch/time stretching loop player gets fine-tuning

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 – the ‘sections’ feature allows you to build 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, a song construction system based upon the new ‘Sections‘ concept and improved import/export options……  the rate of progress has been considerable and Novation are rapidly turning a great start into a very accomplished creative tool.

And while it doesn’t add any dramatic new features, v.7.1 appeared on the App Store today. It does, however, bring some fixes for a number of minor issues. For example, there are improvements for importing audio and a number of small graphical fixes; all minor perhaps but always welcome….

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. Anyway, check out the original full review of Blocs Wave and the videos embedded below for more details.

Blocs Wave

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    1. Around half the tracks on my current project are based in Blocs Wave. Start there, pump it through AUM, add some filters, then go to a DAW…. it’s mind-boggling just how good IOS music making has become in recent times. ANyone who has bought the app will know that Blcos Wave is right up there with the most useful, and useable, apps.

      It would be great if there was sample integration between Blocs and Launchpad, plus a way to change key per sections, as opposed to changing the whole block, and in Launchpad, some of those Blcos style sections would be marvelous.

    2. I’d love to see sample integration between these too programs as well! It was difficult to load and use early samples in launchpad in early versions, so I’d love to use some of the Blocs without reimport. Also some way to keep track of time or measures in Launchpad please!

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