Crudebyte’s have a number of orchestral iOS music apps now available including their flagship iSymphonic Orchestra which was update just a week or so ago to include support for the AUv3 plugin format.
One of their other apps is Heavy Brass, which I reviewed this time last year when it was first released. Containing a collection of quite detailed, sample-based, brass instruments and sections, this is undoubtedly a bit of a niche app but the sounds themselves were very good with a powerful presence.
The app itself is 16-part multi-timbral within the obvious bounds of the total polyphony and that itself depends upon the generation of your iPad hardware with up to 140 voices available on the latest iPad models. Audiobus, IAA, MIDI and Jack Audio Connectivity are all supported as are use of external MIDI keyboards and background audio. You also get a very respectable reverb as found in iSymphonic Orchestra.
Given the app has been around for almost a year, I was surprised to see that the update that appeared just before the weekend – and taking the app to v.1.1.1 – was actually the first since the app’s release. Still, as it has always worked fine when I’ve pulled it out for some ‘heavy brass’, I guess the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it….’ approach is fair enough.
Anyway, the update is now here and it provides a number of suitably minor fixes, updates for more recent versions of iOS itself and adds support for Bluetooth LE MIDI (providing you have suitable hardware). However, perhaps the main change is that all the underlying sounds have been fine-tuned for improved sound quality (it was already pretty good) and there are now seven new sounds added – with appropriate buttons on the main ‘Singles’ screen – including solo trumpet, sax and trombone. These are ‘free’ to existing users rather than requiring any IAP purchase…. and very good they sound too :-)
Perhaps the only disappointment with the update (and, hey, it is a free update after all), is that, unlike the iSymphonic Orchestra update I mentioned above, this update to Heavy Brass doesn’t add AU support. Here’s hoping that is still in Crudebyte’s plans though as I’m sure many users would really appreciate the option….
Of course, at UK£14.99/US$19.99, Heavy Brass is perhaps not in the casual purchase category for the occasional use. It might not be every brass sound you need but, for some more aggressive brass styles – including the funk, pop or soul Crudebyte mention in the app’s description – I think this is a pretty good deal. At the fairly focused range of sounds that it does, Heavy Brass is as good as it gets under iOS at this point….
Doug over at thesoundtestroom did a neat demo of initial Heavy Brass release if you want to hear some of the sounds in action.