It must be a bit of a ‘day’ for all-in-one EDM iOS music apps today. Alongside an update to the excellent Oscilab, we also have a further update to Allihoopa’s Figure. Figure, originally release by Propellerhead, but now managed by its own team under the Allihoopa banner, is undoubtedly one of the iOS music apps that, in some way, helped define just what mobile music making might have to offer. 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, Allihoopa haven’t changed too much (which is a good thing) but they have added all sorts of useful features to Figure since I first reviewed it. These include Audiobus support, export features, a community ‘share’ environment (which is where the Allihoopa branding comes in), a simple arpeggiator feature, Audiobus remote triggers and Ableton Link. As such, instead of being ‘just’ a rather brilliant musical distraction, it is now also a genuinely useful musical tool, albeit a streamlined and compact one.
A further update – to v.2.2.4 – appeared on the App Store today. This refines some elements of the Allihoopa community sharing system and fixes a UI issue related to 3D touch devices. However, the highlight change is that, in a nod to the revival of Chip Tune music (given a shove by the re-issue of some classic games consoles from the 1980s), the Props have added and new drum kit, three new bass sounds and four new lead sounds, all with a Chip Tune vibe.
Having given these a bit of a workout this morning they all sound very good (in a retro way!) and, frankly, there is something rather retro about the simple sequencing that Figure is all about that suits these new sounds down to the ground. Very cool…. :-)
Figure is an absolute classic iOS music app. There are other compact EDM music production environments you should also try – Oscilab, iKaosilator or Triqtraq for example – but don’t miss out on giving Figure a try. 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 also free – so what’s not to like?