Troublemaker updated – Bram Bos tweaks his 303 inspired AU-ready iOS synth app

Download from iTunes App StoreAs I mentioned last week in doing a full review, Bram Bos has just delivered a new iOS music app to the App Store to tempt us with. The choice of name – Troublemaker – suggests this is going to be an app with a certain amount of attitude. It doesn’t disappoint and I think this might already be a strong contender for my ‘top 10 iOS music apps of 2017’ selection (and, if it’s not, then we are in for a heck of a year!).

Bram is building an impressive collection of iOS music apps. I reviewed his Phasemaker iOS synth app here on the Music App Blog just after it was released. It’s a brilliant little synth inspired by the FM synth engines of the 1980s (such as the classic DX7) but with a few modern twists thrown in for good measure. I’ve also looked at both of his drum synth apps – Ruismaker and Ruismaker FM – and was suitably impressed. Troublemaker is, however, even better; this is a developer who is really hitting his stride and, in addition, embracing the AU plugin format.

Multiple instances of Troublemaker via AU work a treat…. as shown here within AUM.

Anyway, read the full Troublemaker review for the details…  but the app has already received its first update with v.1.1 arriving on the App Store over the weekend. This brings a number of refinements and minor tweaks. For example, the MIDI Clock sync has been improved and the app now also responds to MIDI start/stop messages. The LFO behaviour has been fine-tuned as have the envelopes. The Audiobus support has also been enhanced with playback triggers. However, perhaps the most intriguing change is the ‘realtime mutation probability engine’…..

Errr….   no, I don’t really know what that actually means either….  other than, as shown in the screenshot below, it allows you somewhat greater control over the option for creating subtle variations on your patterns within the mini sequencer. The sequencer is a bit of a gem and this option within the app allows you to apply some real-time changes to the existing pattern during playback….  Used gently, it makes for some great minor variation on your pattern so it gets an extra sense of movement.

Troublemaker’s mutation option allows you to apply real-time variations to your sequence.

While I’m sure Bram has plenty of further ideas in mind for future updates, I think Troublemaker is already absolutely fabulous. I love the design ethos and the AU support seems to work flawlessly. The sequencer option in the stand-alone app is also a bit of ‘keep it simple’ genius. Oh, and, most importantly, Troublemaker sounds great; if you are looking for synth-based trouble – in a sonic sense at least – then this will be right up your street.

Indeed, I think any half-addicted iOS musician is going to find the lure of Troublemaker quite hard to resist. At UK£7.99/US$9.99 then, hopefully, your bank manager (or pocket money provider?) won’t lose too much sleep over the investment…. but Troublemaker is absolute worth the price of entry. Top-notch stuff from a developer that just keeps getting better….

Troublemaker

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. ConfusedKitten says:

      Under iTunes -> Purchased (on the iPad) it still says version 1.0 although I’ve updated it (but on the iPhone under iTunes -> Purchased it says version 1.1) has anybody else noticed this?

      • ConfusedKitten says:

        UPDATE: The App Store has since been updated to reflect the new version(s) of ‘Troublemaker’ (which is great as I wondered if iOS 10 had broken again)! BTW… With UK App Store prices rising by up to a 3rd this week, if there’s anything you’re on the fence about (out there in the musicAppBlog universe) now might be a good time to get off the fence and spend some money (before things get even worse) lol! :0

    2. ConfusedKitten says:

      Hi John, there’s actually been yet another update this evening (v.1.1.1) which is a relief as it fixes a gain issue with the ‘Fold’ distortion effect (which had become overly aggressive) but thankfully it’s sounding ultra smooth again! It was an amazingly fast response from the developer too (which is great to see)! The mutation engine is a really cool addition as well, it opens up some interesting live improv possibilities when running Troublemaker in standalone mode and it’s lots of fun to play around with!

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