I mentioned bismark’s bs-16i 16-part multi-timbral sample-based music app in my ‘virtual instrument round-up‘ article some time ago. Given how blessed we are with some excellent iOS synth apps and the fact that we are starting to see some very high quality sample-based instruments appearing for iOS – with apps such as Korg Module now leading the way on that front – you could be forgiven for not getting overly excited by an app such as bs-16i based on the (fairly) humble SoundFont.
With an app like bs-16i, I think that perhaps misses the point though. This is not intended to be a sound source for recreating the detailed nuances of an acoustic piano (for example); it is, instead, an efficient, multi-sound source, workhorse. When you need a single app to produce multiple sounds at the same time, and to do it with a relatively low CPU overhead, this is just the thing.
A further update hit the App Store today. This is mostly of the maintenance variety in that v.2.6.7 sees an update to the Audiobus SDK. Anyway, at UK£7.99/US$7.99, bs-16i is a very respectable virtual instrument workhorse and particularly useful if you find you need lots of different sounds all going at the same time.
As iOS only allows you to run one instance of any app at a time (well, until the AU plugin format takes full hold at least), being 16-part multi-timbral is a big plus (it makes for a good comparison with IK Multimedia’s SampleTank that is eight-part multi-timbral but perhaps features a somewhat more details set of samples). With support for iOS7 or later, bs-16i is a very useful little app to have within your music production toolkit.