ThumbJam update – Sonosaurus bring their classic iOS music app up to date

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£8.99/US$8.99.

ThumbJam – still one of the most expressive performance options for sample-based virtual instruments under iOS.

That said, if you are new to iOS as a music making platform, you could be forgiven for not having been exposed to ThumbJam as things have been pretty quiet on the development front for a while. Thankfully, that’s a silence that have now been broken and v.2.6 has arrived on the App Store.

The latest update add Audiobus 3 support.

While the update doesn’t bring us AU support (which would be good to see although perhaps quite a challenge to implement?) it does bring ThumbJam up-to-date as the new version seems to be working well under iOS11 and the headline new feature is support for Audiobus 3. As before, IAA and MIDI support are also included. The update also brings some additional MIDI CC features and support for the new iPhone X…  as a well as a few minor fixes that have been applied.

Having given the update a brief run through via Audiobus 3 and as a standalone app on my iOS11 equipped iPad Pro over the week-end, all seems to be working smoothly. While the core functionality of the app has not really changed over the years, it’s a testament to the original design that it is still a lot of fun – and somehow very expressive – to play even after all this time.

ThumbJam has built up a good range of instrument presets since it was first launched.

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 being bought up-to-date…  long may it continue….  and fingers crossed we might see AU support at some stage also :-) Watch the demo video below and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.


Download from iTunes App Store

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    1. Thumbjam is one of my “toolkit” iOS music production apps that I would not want to be without, yet it took me quite a long time to “click” why it is so useful. I think the issue was that it bundles so many features together – sampler, MIDI controller, performance tool, pitch-MIDI converter, etc. – but that said features are relatively wide-ranging and different from each other, so I didn’t really “get” the app for a while, even through I had it installed.

      I especially value the quality of the sample-sets – considering how relatively small they are on the device, they sound great and are eminently usable. Full marks to Sonosaurus for keeping Thumbjam going, and I look forward to using the app on a good few more recordings!

      • I couldn’t agree more! Really happy for the update! It really is an amazing power packed app!
        It’s a steal at this price point!!!!

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