Impaktor update – BeepStreet’s drum synthersizer gets 64-bit support

Download from iTunes App StoreImpaktor logoThere are lots of brilliant iOS music apps available on the iTunes App Store that I’ve never quite got around to doing a fully-blown review of. BeepStreet’s Impaktor is most certainly one of them. If you have not encountered this app before it is an interesting concept…

BeepStreet are perhaps best known for their Sunrizer synth app but, like the obvious competition of Elastic Drums and DM2, Impaktor s a drum synthesizer. It features a pretty sophisticated synth engine featuring physical modelling, frequency modulation and noise shaping. The engine features two modulation sources with both velocity and LFO envelopes plus a multimode filter, modelled harmonic exciter. There are also reverb and delay effects.

Impaktor; brilliant synth engine and very expressive results.

Impaktor; brilliant synth engine and very expressive results.

The app ships with a good crop of presets covering all sorts of electronic and percussive drums sounds and you can, of course, also create and save your own sounds. The presets are organised into a number of categories so just tap the category label at the top of the selection panel to access sounds in other categories. While you can only ‘play’ (and I’ll come back to the playing part in a minute) one sound at a time, you can load six sounds into the easy-access slots at the base of the screen and flip between them at the touch of a button.

Equally, however, the app includes a 6-track loop-based audio recorder. This means that you can built a full drum/percussion part one layer at a time . This can be saved and then exported to use elsewhere. However, as the app also works with Audiobus and IAA, you could just as easily build up a performance within your favourite DAW app.

The app contains a large collection of drum and percussion presets organised into several categories.

The app contains a large collection of drum and percussion presets organised into several categories.

However, there are two things about Impaktor that really make a bit of a mockery of the UK£4.99/US$4.99 price tag. First, it sounds absolutely fabulous. Whatever the details of the synth engine and how it works, it is certainly well executed. The sounds have a real depth and quality to them and could grace anyone’s recordings or live projects.

The drum synthesis engine has a whole range of options if you want to program your own sounds.

The drum synthesis engine has a whole range of options if you want to program your own sounds.

Second – and what helps you get the most out of that synthesis engine – is that you actually do ‘play’ Impaktor. The app uses the built-in microphone of your iOS device and lets you tap out your required rhythm parts on almost any surface. The response of the app to such tapping is virtually instantaneous (very low latency) but the real surprise when you first use the app is how expressive it is. With just a little bit of practice you can coax some really dynamic and believable performances for the app and, because the synth engine itself produces some great sounds, the end result can be very satisfying indeed.

Of course, what prompted my post today was that the app has been updated. V.1.4 appeared on the App Store yesterday and, as with Sunrizer a short while ago, this update brings compatibility with 64-bit architecture….  it is should future-proof the app for a little while yet.

The only other couple of things to note is that (a) you need to work with headphones rather than speakers when using the app (otherwise the sound from the speakers would trigger the app and cause a feedback loop) and (b) the app currently only operates in portrait mode (a landscape mode at some stage would be nice to see). Otherwise, this is a brilliant little app and well worth the UK4.99/UK£4.99 entry fee; very playable and with sounds that sound great and contain great expression. I’d happily use it in any music production context.

Impaktor

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. shane griffiths says:

      i use it with a foot/stomp style pedal (the type solo guitarists use a lot to stomp out a beat) plugged into my iphone via an irig adapter.. it makes the pedal become a suprisingly responsive electronic drum pad that i play with my hands/fingers.. it works very well

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