Figure updated – Propellerhead add new features to their classic iOS music app

Download from iTunes App StoreFigure logoThere are a few iOS music apps that, in some way, have helped define just what mobile music making might have to offer. For all it’s simplicity, Propellerhead’s Figure is one of those apps. With its brilliant use of the touchscreen interface and its ability to let almost anyone – musician or non-musician – making some cool-sounding electronic dance music in the blink of an eye, Figure was an instant ‘classic’.

In terms of the actual music creation process, Propellerhead haven’t added huge numbers of features to Figure since I first reviewed it but the various updates since then have improved the workflow, included Audiobus support and the potential for creating material that you can move on to other apps to develop or share with others. As such, instead of being ‘just’ a rather brilliant musical distraction, it is now also a genuinely useful musical tool.

Figure - an instant iOS music app classic.

Figure – an instant iOS music app classic.

Propellerhead’s have made v.2.0 available on the App Store today. This brings various performance improvements and refinements including improved sharing via Propellerhead’s own user platform. However, there are two new headline additions. First, there are new sounds that have been added to the app in all three sounds sources – bass, kit and lead – for you to explore (always welcome).

The app now includes an arpeggiator function available via the Song screen.

The app now includes an arpeggiator function available via the Song screen.

Second, if you visit the Song screen, you will now see an Arpeggiator’ button that you can toggle on/off. On both the lead and bass screens, this then allows you to trigger multiple notes and you will get an arpeggiated pattern between those various notes. You can think of this as a melody line or an arpeggio of a chord (the choice is yours). OK, so it is no match for Thesys or Arpeggist but then it doesn’t come with the same price tag either. It does, however, fit the streamlined, ‘make music quick’ ethos of Figure perfectly; it’s a very cool new feature and a lot of fun to play with.

The update includes a number of new sounds in all categories.

The update includes a number of new sounds in all categories.

Propellerhead’s Figure is an absolute classic iOS music app. The novel interface – with scale confined XY pitch pads, rhythm assisted drum part creation and some simple, but very cool, effects options that can be automated – is both a pleasure to use and easy to learn. If you have a musical bone in your body (OK, a musical bone that likes electronic styles) and you have not yet given Figure a try then you are missing a treat. Simple but brilliant – and currently also free – so what’s not to like?


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    1. Shame you can’t copy instrument tracks pieces though, isn’t it? I mean take a bass part from one piece and combine with a lead from another existing track.

      Also – though I suppose this would go against the ultrasimple grain – it would be nice to have an option to display note values on the ‘pattern’ note grids: it would be quite informative for those of us with a minimal grasp of scales and modes.

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