GoBeats update – Positive Grid add further features to their iOS AI drummer/jam app

Download from iTunes App StoreGoBeats logo 1Positive Grid are well known within the iOS music making world for their highly regarded guitar rig/amp modelling software with BIAS Amp and BIAS FX being the current flagship products. Having started with iOS, they are, however, one of the few iOS developers that have attempted to ‘go the other way’ and expand their product line into the desktop world. Equally, they have also moved into hardware and their latest product – the BIAS Head amplifier – is an ambitious undertaking, especially as they are entering a market already occupied by some established big-hitters such as Line 6 and Kemper. BIAS Head has, however, been getting very positive reviews….

They have also stepped outside the pure guitar-based products with, for example, the Final Touch iOS mastering app and some rather nice processor plugins for the desktop. However, on their website, there are also details on an upcoming project – AI Drums – a new sort of virtual drummer app for iOS and that was originally slated to arrive in Q4 of 2016 (doh!). While things may have slipped somewhat on that front, the project does appear to still be live and the interesting thing about AI Drums is that it ‘listens’ to your guitar performance (play a riff or strum some chords) and will then attempt to cough up a suitable drum part….

GoBeats – now you get better genre selection options. Things do look a bit lost on the large iPad Pro screen. The app works great on an iPhone screen as well though.

…. all of which made the appearance of GoBeats from Positive Grid – it arrived as a free app on the App Store back in August – rather a surprise because it is an app into which you strum a few chords or play a riff and it attempt to generate a suitable drum part for you to then play along to. Anyway, I reviewed the initial release of GoBeats so feel free to check out the details (such as they are; the original release was a pretty simple user experience).

In playback, you now get a simple bass line as well as a drum backing….

Anyway, while I was away last week, GoBeats received an update to v.1.7.1. There are a number of new additions to the app. For example, the voice control features introduced in a earlier update seems to work a little better and you can now use this to access two new features; a metronome and a tuner. Both are basic but get the job done.

However, there are more changes than that. The selection of drum styles seems to have grown and, once the app has ‘learned’ your guitar part, you now get offered a genre selection that seems to have grown so you can pick the style that best fits. You can also ‘pin’ (save?0 your jams to later recall and these seems to survive quitting and then reloading the app….  quite a cool feature if you have a new music idea and you want to return to it on a number of occasions as you develop it.

GoBeats now includes both a tuner (shown here) and a metronome feature both of which can be launched under voice control.

Perhaps the highlight new addition is the addition of a bass line though….   the app tries to recognise the root note of any chords you played in the ‘learn’ phase and then auto generates a simple bass line to go along with the drum part. I’ve not tested this extensively – and I suspect, at this stage, the bass lines are pretty limited is scope – but it does mark a bit of a transition for GoBeats from ‘AI drummer’ to ‘AI jam band’. It will be interesting to see where PG go next with this….

I’m fairly sure GoBeats is a bit of an experiment by Positive Grid and a precursor to the planned AI Drums. OK, in its current format, GoBeats is perhaps limited to the ‘occasional practice tool’ category (and, as a free app, there is no shame in that). I am, however, still intrigued enough by the basic concept to now be looking forward to AI Drums. That is, I suspect, what Positive Grid might be hoping…..


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    1. It took a few moments, but then I remembered this being launched (I think I read about it here). My interest lasted until I found there was no Audiobus, IAA or AU :-(

      Music Memos – which you’ve reviewed – can also build drums/bass tracks from chordal parts (guitar, ukulele, piano, etc.). As long as you play fairly cleanly, I’ve found the results are not at all bad (and can be tidied up in the app), and although MM also lacks Audiobus, IAA or AU, it will use CoreAudio inputs and can export “projects” to Garageband and Logic. It’s a really handy app for intensive songwriting challenges like FAWM (which I’m doing again at the moment), where you don’t have time to “faff around”!

      I look forward to your review of AI Drums when it comes :-)

    2. Too bad i don’t get the updates for this app in iOS9.3.5 anymore. It seems PG is going iOS10 only with both this app and their upcoming AI drum app. I got an invite for the beta a few months ago but can’t install that either since it it iOS10 only. Looks like anyone that wants some AI Drums will be forced to upgrade to 10.2 and up.

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