There are lots of what you might call ‘conventional’ virtual instruments available on the App Store; virtual pianos, software recreations of hardware synths, strum-able guitars, for example. However, Earhoof – from developer Psicada – and currently priced at UK£3.99/US$4.99, is not one of them.
I reviewed Earhoof when it was first released in March 2014 and, while it looks like some sort of virtual toaster, what you actually get is a rather intriguing – and very playable – rhythm instrument. The interface does take some getting used to but, once you have read the instructions and experimented a little, it really is very simple to use. That said, dig a little deeper, and there is plenty of flexibility on offer. If you like to create something other than drum-orientated rhythms to use in your music, then Earhoof is a brilliant option.
With the version 1.1.0 update released in August 2014, MIDI control of the app was added. In fact, you get the option of three different MIDI control approaches depending upon how specific you want to get about that control. All these different modes can be configures via a MIDI settings screen.
However, since then, things have been quiet and, while I’ve used the app on a number of occasions over the last 18 months or so (and it worked fine), I was starting to wonder whether it had been abandoned (which would have been a great shame). Thankfully, that appears not to be the case…. as Psicada have released an update today taking the app to v.1.1.1. This is just some under-the-hood bugfixes – I assume to keep the app running smoothly under the latest incarnation of iOS itself – but it’s great to see even so.
Earhoof is yet another example of the strength of iOS and mobile music technology using a touchscreen; highly creative and, in my experience at least, highly unique. Well worth the entrance fee for those with an experimental streak to their music making and an iPad with iOS9.3 installed :-)