Voxkit update – Secret Base Design bring new features to their novel drum pad app

Download from iTunes App Store

voxkit logo 2I reviewed Secret Bass Design’s rather interesting Voxkit app when it was first released back in July 2012. At one level, the app is a fairly standard a drum pad/sample triggering app (although you don’t have to use it exclusively for drum samples; it works with SoundFonts and a whole range of different instruments are included with the app). You can trigger sounds by tapping the onscreen pads (with velocity response depending upon where you tap each pad) and, if you wish, you can have each pad output MIDI data to another app.

However, Voxkit does come with one very particular trick up its sleeve – the ability to trigger the pads via sound – so if you prefer the more natural way of playing your drum tracks (or samples) by hitting real objects with your fingers or drumsticks rather than tapping virtual drum pads on a touchscreen or programming to a grid, Voxkit might be for you.

What’s new in 2?

While the app has had a number of updates since my original review, a couple of days ago, v.2 hit the App Store and Patrick Madden – Secret Base Design’s main man – has bought the app up-to-date with a number of new features. First, compared to when I originally reviewed the app, there is a completely new – and rather funky – visual look (not sure if Patrick likes poker or not?). Other new features include Audiobus 2.1 support (and, as a consequence, also IAA support), faster sound detection and built-in support for Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth.

Voxkit's main interface with the 16 sample trigger pads. Cards anyone?

Voxkit’s main interface with the 16 sample trigger pads. Cards anyone?

Voxkit offers plenty of configuration options. For example, as well as being able to associate a sample with one of the pads, if you wish, you can configure it to trigger a single MIDI note, a chord (you you could set up Voxkit as a MIDI chord performance tool) or a MIDI control or program change message.

You can configure the pads in a number of ways including getting them to generate MIDI data.

You can configure the pads in a number of ways including getting them to generate MIDI data.

Of course, the most fun it to be had when you set Voxkit to respond to sound to trigger your pads/samples. You can ‘train’ the app to respond to up to four different sounds (one for each column of pads). You can then toggle playback of any combination of the four rows on/off so that, when you make one of the trigger sounds for a column, the samples from any active rows within that column are triggered. Yes, this does take a bit of getting used to and you have to make sure you use four distinct sounds, but once configured, the actual triggering is very responsive.

Voxkit is both fun to use and a useful utility. It is a universal app and requires iOS7 or later. Like all of Secret Base Design’s apps, it is also just a little bit on the quirky side (in a good ‘indie developer’ sort of a way). At the time of writing, Voxkit will set you back UK£0.69 so, even if you just want to give it a casual try, it is not going to break the bank. If you are a tabletop drummer who likes to hit things other than a touchscreen to trigger your beats, Voxkit is well worth giving a shot.


Be Sociable; share this post....


    1. I bought this to support Patrick and because it looked kind of cool for all of 99 cents. Secret Base Design has been doing some cool stuff with SoundFont players and stretching traditional iOS functions like a Bluetooth Keyboard being re-purposed into a MIDI controller (Double Decker app).

      I will say that I did not get the sound triggering to work immediately, but that’s probably due to my haphazard/rushed review of the instructions. I think people may gloss over the fact that it’s basically a full SoundFont player with a little bit of Chordion mixed in for 99 cents, and that may actually be the most widely useful feature of the app. Of course, I have other 9 or 16-box grid MPC-style samplers that play .wav files, but there’s a good deal of content here.

    2. Patrick/Secret Base Design says:

      Thanks much for the coverage! The prior GUI was done by me. And it was horrific. Which is why I’m hiring graphic design pros when I can.

      The new look is thanks to Alisha Brunelli from Kapow, a local company. We were looking for something visual to distinguish the pads, so that it wasn’t just a sea of uniform color buttons. The playing card theme was one of the ideas that came up, and it has clear “horizontal” and “vertical” groupings for the SoundFonts and audio triggers.

    3. Dave Carter says:

      I LOVE the GUI! This is one of the coolest looking apps I’ve got now. It’s a bonus that it is a Kickass drum maker as well. I wasn’t a “Pencils banging the Coffee Can” type drummer until now. Thanks for the awesomeness!!! (And the great review!)

    Speak Your Mind