Cotracks update – new features added to Futucraft’s collaborative music app

Download from iTunes App Storecotracks logoI originally reviewed the excellent Cotracks iOS music app – produced by Futucraft – some time ago and was very impressed with what it had to offer. It’s a cool electronic music production tool made even more interesting by the way it allows up to four users to collaborate ‘live’ while sat around a single iPad.

The app already offers recording and audio export options that mean it could be used as part of a wider recording/composition workflow. However, one of the things I did speculate about in the original review was whether Futucraft might add Audiobus or IAA audio support to Cotracks so that it would be easier to integrate with other iOS music apps.

Cotracks; 4 into 1 does go :-)  Collaborative music making on a single iPad in a very slick interface.

Cotracks; 4 into 1 does go :-) Collaborative music making on a single iPad in a very slick interface.

Futucraft added Audiobus support back in the v.1.0.11 of Cotracks and this was an excellent addition to the app. That update also included some overall improvements to the audio performance. However, yesterday saw v.1.0.13 arrive on the App Store and this brings some additional new features.

For example, the app now includes an ‘overdub’ recording mode. This allows you to add new notes to an existing sequence and they are blended in with notes already present (lots of desktop DAWs offer this mode for MIDI recording and it can be great when building drum parts, allowing you to play in each drum in turn as playback is cycled).

Groove settings can be made at the Session (project) level but also for individual tracks.

Groove settings can be made at the Session (project) level but also for individual tracks.

This version also adds a swing option. This is non-destructive, can be applied to both timing and velocity and can be used on either  a whole project or just on individual tracks. This works very well and can really help you tweak the groove/feel of your project. And if you want to sync Cotracks to something you are playing externally, there is now also a neat tap tempo function.

However, the final key element of the update is Audiobus 2 support and, of course, this also means some level of support for IAA. You can, therefore, now use Cotracks as an audio source in an IAA host such as Cubasis. Having given this a quick try this morning, it seems to work very smoothly and, as the synth and drum sounds available within Cotracks are actually pretty good in their own right, then this is a neat way to use the app alongside other iOS music apps in your overall production process. As yet, there is no sync between Cotracks and the host – you have to manually trigger playback in Cotracks – but providing you match your tempos OK between apps, it works well enough. MIDI Clock sync would be good to see next though.

Cotracks can now work as an audio source via IAA in a suitable host such as Cubasis.

Cotracks can now work as an audio source via IAA in a suitable host such as Cubasis.

Of course, Cotracks stand-out feature is still the ability to allow up to four musicians to collaborate around a single iPad. You can read the full details of this process in the original review here and the way the interface accommodates this really is very slick. It’s great to see the latest version moving the app forward on various fronts and, if you do have a friend or three who are into electronic music production, and you have not yet given Cotracks a try, given the current UK£2.99 price tag, this really is an app worth experimenting with.

Cotracks


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    Comments

    1. I just love Cotracks it is one cool app. At first it was surprising how much fun it is was to operate, solo or with a friend. The sounds are very high quality, and the structure of the UI lends itself to some interesting tunes, probably because of the limitations (small and few keys and pads), although any limitations can easily be overcome. Now with overdub it’ll be even better.

      Another thing to note, I checked the devs website (futucraft.com) and found that they also offer a nice sounding fee desktop plugin synth (VST/AU) called Kairatune. I installed it and checked some presets and it sounds good, plus I heard some demos and they were really good. A lot of info and extras can be found at the KVR forums (Kvraudio.com/forums — where a section is devoted to mobile music apps too).

      Cheers,
      Toz

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