Groovebox launched – new all-in-one EDM music app from team behind Launchpad and Blocs Wave

Download from iTunes App StoreSince launched, Novation’s Blocs Wave has moved forward at quite a pace. The app itself, like Novation’s Launchpad, is also a loop and sample-based music creation tool…   but with some feature differences that make it distinct from the LaunchPad approach.

The team behind Blocs Wave – a Novation-based team that went under the banner of Blocs – rapidly developed the Blocs Wave concept further and a number of updates have added a whole host of new features, Ableton Link support, new export features, the very creative Slice Mode, a song construction system based upon the new ‘Sections‘ concept, improved import/export options and added panning and iOS10 support……  the rate of progress has been considerable and Blocs wave has rapidly turned a great start into a very accomplished creative tool.

A new app from the Blocs Wave team….. Groovebox is a free download to try :-)

Anyway, given just how good Blocs Wave has become (and Launchpad also is), it is perhaps worth taking notice when the same team releases a new app. And that’s exactly what we get today with the release of Groovebox, an EDM music production platform that combines a drum machine and synth engines into an all-in-one music production environment. Note that the Blocs team – while still the same group of folk – are also rebranded; the Blocs moniker is replaced by the new Ampify name tag and Blocs Wave will also continue under this label.

The app includes three basic sound engines and you can have up to eight instruments running at once within a project.

Groovebox arrives as a free download -so you can try before you buy – and with an IAP-based model for unlocking more advanced features if you think the app is for you once you have tried it. You get a drum machine plus two different synth engines – one designed for bass sounds and another for melodic parts – and Soundpack IAPs are also planned for those that get hooked. Up to eight instruments can be used at any one time from whatever combination of these three types you wish…  with basic mixing features provided.

You can try before you buy, but IAPs are required to unlock the full control set for each instrument.

Each of the instrument types is supplied with a number of presets sound and associated patterns. The patterns ‘scale snap’ so, if you change the key/scale combination, then any melodic parts will automatically adjust. You can also ‘roll the dice’ to generate new patterns or flip to a grid editor to edit/create your own variations.

The grid-based pattern editor allows for easy pattern creation and uses a key/scale based pitch grid.

The basic sounds seem very good and, as a means to start a new musical idea, even in the brief time I’ve had with the app so far, it looks like an interesting proposition. Ableton Link and Export are supported as is Audiobus and IAA. The app is also universal and requires iOS10.

Each instrument is supplied with a number of preset sounds and preset patterns…. a great source to start off a new idea and more patterns are, apparently, to be added.

What I can’t see (in this first release at least) is an equivalent to Blocs Wave’s ‘sections’ feature for building a more complex song structure (patterns can, at present, be up to 8 bars in length). However, Matt Derbyshire from Ampify also tells me that there is already a list of new features that will be coming soon…..  and if the team move Groovebox forwards with the same pace they did Blocs wave, this could get very interesting very quickly.

Anyway, as a ‘try me free’ app, you have nothing to loose by giving it a shot. As soon as I can dig in further, then I’ll write up a full review. Until then, watch the demo video below and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.

Groovebox

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. So far it reminds me of Figure, except with Ableton Link….

    2. poorcushun says:

      seems fun i am somewhat disapointed it cost 5$for each synth to be unlocked . i use and love figure . of course this app is much more advanced.

      • As you say, Groovebox is much more advanced. I’ve been testing this for a couple of weeks, and would say that the IAP’s for control are worth it, if you like to fiddle with synth sounds and fine tune your own versions. The IAP sound pa is are very good. The first is more of what you get for free, with a large number of variations available by tapping the appropriate control next to each name, and the other packs are really nice analogue sounds.

        • Nothing in it that stands out and makes it worthwhile. It’s great if you want generic choons though.

          • You know, that kind of comment is plain irritating. Who the hell ‘wants’ generic tunes. Maybe the kind of pillock who can’t be bothered to use the controls and variance to make something different.

            • Raf/Zen…. please just chill out…. Feel free to disagree with each other about something but, if you are going to disagree with something someone else has said, then do it in a polite fashion…. or just let it pass and move on with something more important in yor day….. best wishes, John

    3. Great deal. A free app that does a huge amount without any extra purchase.

      But $15 or so to get extra stuff if you want it – no problems with that. The developers have to pay rent and buy food like all of us.

    4. Incredibly fun and addictive app. I already purchased all the instruments as well. $15 might appear a little expensive for the few extra functions that it only offers, but i agree with Simon that it is also worth supporting the developers for their work. You however can control the most important settings for the instruments without spending that money. The IAP doesn’t really unlock all that much extra. But still i don’t regret the purchase. This is a solid app and i can see this expanding with more content in the future. Creating music from scratch is incredibly easy and intuitive. I already loved all the other Novation apps so far and this is a great addition.

    5. Sounds like the IAP model is working well, for Ampify and others. And that team really has it licked. They really understand casual musickers.

      Purchased the extra presets and the Poly 8 extra features, as an instabuy, upon hearing the sounds. Half-expected that the app would do MIDI in but that’s allegedly planned for the future. Given this team’s track record, we probably won’t have to wait too long.
      The ability to export to Ableton Live projects does make it quite different from Figure. There will be tighter integration with other Ampify apps. Could really hear myself starting something in Groovebox, bringing parts into Blocs Wave, then playing with them in Launchpad and finally sending the results into Ableton Live. Even with my limited skills, it could allow for some fun and fairly elaborate stuff to come out.

      The “dice” feature is probably the standout, for me. Thought it’d generate random patterns but it sounds like it’s randomly selecting pre-designed ones. Neat strategy and those patterns sound pretty good, if a bit busy. Been layering a few of them, duplicating them and adding a bit of variation by taking off notes. Probably easier than creating those patterns from scratch.

    6. Stephanie says:

      Raf, it’s not just ready-made patterns, you can enter your own rhythms and melodies. I didn’t not know why a lot of people think it only provides ready-made Loops…

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