ThumbJam update – Sonosaurus add further refinements their classic iOS music app

Download from iTunes App Storethumbjam logoThere are a few iOS music apps that have a sort of ‘classic’ status and ThumbJam – by developer Sonosaurus – is most definitely one of them. If you are a newbie iOS musician – or maybe just never got around to giving the app a try – then you really should give it a go :-)

Perhaps the thing that makes the app stand out from the iOS music app crowd is the rather wonderful way in which the playing interface has been implemented and, while the app is still a little quirky in some respects,the playing experience makes brilliant use of the touchscreen and allows you to squeeze maximum expression out of the sample-based sounds. The app also makes for a pretty good MIDI controller for other iOS synths and, if you dig in, also includes monophonic audio-to-MIDI conversion. Not bad in an app that only costs UK£6.99/US$8.99.

After a period of quiet, Sonosaurus have been pretty active with Thuimbjam’s development over the last few months. This has included all sorts of minor tweaks and improvements and the headline addition of support for Ableton Link. This is all good to see and here’s hoping it will continue although whether this is an app that is going to be easy to convert to an AU format is more difficult to predict….

Thumbjam provides an unconventional way to 'play' a musical instrument - but it is both intuitive and expressive.

Thumbjam provides an unconventional way to ‘play’ a musical instrument – but it is both intuitive and expressive.

A further update – taking the app to v.2.5.2 – has arrived on the App Store today. This brings a series of minor fixes including solving some start-up, loop sync and audio paste issues. However, there are also some modest – but welcome – changes to the feature set. For example, when you change ky, if the arpeggiator is latched, it will now transpose also. In addition, the continuum mode has been improved to provide better feedback on the actual pitch. Finally, when loading a new preset, you can choose to ‘keep performance controls’ as currently set rather than loading those embedded within the preset.

Thumbjam now lets you retain your control settings when loading a new preset.

ThumbJam now lets you retain your control settings when loading a new preset.

You can read the original Music App Blog ThumbJam review here and I’ve also covered previous updates. It offers some great sounds but the real highlight is that touchscreen performance interface that, set up correctly, almost makes it impossible to play a duff note. It’s great to see a classic of the iOS music app world staying up-to-date…  long may it continue.

ThumbJam

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. This was the second app I ever purchased….about 4 years ago. Still use it today. One would be hard pressed to find a better cello and string ensemble sample set. If one uses an instrument app that doesn’t have a scale feature, using TJ’s extensive list of scales as a midi controller solves that problem nicely.

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