Back in November 2014, I posted a review of the rather interesting Voice Jam Studio app from TC-Helicon. If you have experience of the wider music technology world then you are probably familiar with the TC-Helicon brand. This is an offshoot of TC-Electronic that has a strong focus on products aimed at vocalists and they have created some very innovative products for vocal processing in both software and hardware.
Voice Jam Studio brings some elements of the same technology found in TC-Helicon’s hardware vocal products into the app format. What you get, therefore, is a nicely featured 4-track audio looper section (similar in principle to something like Loopy HD, Loopr or LoopTree), a simple mixer/filter section for balancing the loops, a collection of preset audio effects that can be applied as you record into the looper section, the ability to record a full performance (up to 8 minutes in length), video capture of both your interaction with the onscreen controls and the front facing camera (capture your performance!), and export options to share your finished project with other apps or the wider worlds.
Audiobus and IAA are supported, as is MIDI sync support, so you can, therefore, get the app working alongside other iOS music apps quite easily. The supplied audio effects are based upon TC’s Voice Rack:FX app, and work within VoiceJam Studio via AU… they are aimed firmly at vocal applications as they include vocal doubling, subtle and not-so-subtle pitch correction, basic harmonies and pitch-shifted voice transformations. Note that effects are applied ‘live’ to an input as you record. You can’t apply them post-recording as an insert or send-return effect might be (well, at least not without getting some other apps involved).
Anyway, a further update for Voice Jam Studio – v.1.8.00 – appeared on the App Store yesterday. It deals with a few bug fixes but also takes the opportunity to bring the Audiobus support up to the latest SDK and add some fine-tuning to the AudioCopy support. You can now also apply a double/half-time tempo to the metronome if that makes it ‘feel’ more comfortable as you add overdubs.
However, perhaps the most interesting addition is the new ‘Smart Metronome’…. and if you are new to to the whole ‘looper’ concept (or just like things a bit more ‘freeform’), this means you no longer have to set the tempo prior to recording your first loop. Having given this a quick spin this morning, you have to enable the Smart metronome within the Settings menu and then, when you record your first loop, the app will attempt to work out the correct tempo for you. Yes, there is still a bit of faffing about but, on the whole , it works well and is a very useful addition.
Voice Jam Studio is a lot of fun to use. As a looper, it is perhaps not in the same class at Loopy HD but, with the two available IAPs, it becomes a decent live performance tool and the combination of the looper and the very smooth-sounding vocal effects makes this a very attractive – and easy to use – ‘idea capture’ tool.
Read the original Voice Jam Studio review for the full details…. Oh, and if you are more interested in the vocal effects presets (which are very good indeed) than the looping, then check out the review of TC-Helicon’s Voice Rack: FX app. It features the same vocal processing options as Voice Jam Studio but in a format where they are simply used as standard effects processing… and offers Audiobus, IAA and AU support.
Voice Jam Studio