[App Review] BeatMaker

Aug 15, 2010 by

BeatMaker by Intua is a mobile music creation studio for the iOS platform available on the Apple App Store for $9.99.

First impression: The app is very complicated (read description) and I found it hard to use but if you know how to do it right, you can create a masterpiece.

Description

BeatMaker™: the mobile music creation studio for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Inspired by professional drum machines, samplers and sequencers, BeatMaker combines them into one inspirational instrument.

Ideally suited for live performance and intuitive composition, with ease, produce complete songs using trigger pads, sequencing tools, audio effects and much more !

Pick up samples from the original sound-bank, including many genres and special sound packs made by featured musicians and producers.
Record your own audio samples on-the-go and use them instantly into your composition!

Expand your sound library from your computer and other beatmakers through our growing user community.

For amateurs and professionals alike, BeatMaker unleashes your musical creativity !

FEATURES:

★ 16 sample-based trigger pads, with multi-touch support (up to 5 pads at once)
★ Low latency playback and sample-accurate audio engine
★ Live pattern recording and arranging
★ Audio recording from microphone or headset (iPhone and iPod Touch 2nd gen only)
★ Step sequencer with different resolutions for easy and precise pattern creation
★ Change the volume, pan and pitch of each steps to compose rich melodies and beats
★ Multi track song sequencer: arrange your patterns into complete songs
★ Create unlimited number of patterns of different sizes (one to four bar)
★ Export your songs to Audio file (WAV) and MIDI score and share them with your friends
★ Original sound library provided with multiple genres: BreakBeat, Drum & Bass, Dub, Electronica, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rock and more to come !
★ Featured artist/producer sound library: Richard Devine, Man Parrish, Jacque Polynice, Rafiralfiro, …
★ AIFF and WAVE audio file support (any sample rate, 8 to 24-bits resolutions)
★ Network sharing capabilities via BeatPack, to upload and download content
★ 2 effect channels, each with 4 effects
★ Synchronized delays with feedback and wet-mix control
★ 3-band Equalizers (Lo, Mid, Hi)
★ “Bit-Crusher” for down-sampling and bits resolution reduction
★ Lowpass, Hi-pass and Bandpass filters
★ Transport toolbar for quick playback control, with BPM, signature and metronome support
★ Handy selection mode to control multiple parameters on pads at once
★ Individual/multiple loading of samples
★ Automatic sample slicing over the pads (Chop)
★ Control volume, pan, semi-tone, octave, tuning, fade in/out and sample start/end positions on each pad
★ Velocity, Pitch, Pan spreading, allowing you to use the 16 pads as a mini-keyboard for easier melodic composition
★ Wave editor permits to manually selects your samples Start/End position markers
★ Automatic change of sample pitch to match a particular sample duration for each pad
★ Output channel selection (3 buses available: Main Out, FX 1, FX 2) for each pad
★ Mute and Reverse samples during your performances
★ X/Y Cross Controller for live manipulation of combined effect and sample parameters
★ Loading and saving of your kits & projects
★ File browser for file management (load, save, new files, directory and delete) and BeatPack content management (upload, download)
★ Auto discovery of local BeatPack servers (via Bonjour)
★ Sample preview within the browser
★ Auto-saving of your current project
★ and much more…

DOCUMENTATION, BEATPACK & COMMUNITY

➡ BeatMaker User’s Manual PDF is available on our website, for free, at http://www.intua.net/shop.html

➡ BeatPack, the Mac/PC synchronization companion application, is available for free at http://www.intua.net/shop.html

➡ BeatMaker community/forums are waiting for your participation at http://www.intua.net/forums

➡ Follow us on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/intua

I found BeatMaker somewhat intuitive to use and it took me a few minutes to create my first beat. It was not the best beat but I liked it. You get 16 different pads with different sounds from clicks to kicks to guitar sounds and drum loops. You can choose a speed and record it in a loop or continuously. You can then edit your audio through the sequencer which shows your beat in bars and you can alter the music through the FX screen. In addition to the ability to create your own beats, there is the BeatMaker Soundbank where you can change your pads to 16 sounds for any of the kits from Jazz to Funk to Hip-Hop. You also have access to Artist Kits which is similar in concept to the BeatMaker Soundbank. Honestly, I do NOT know how many different sets of 16 pads there are. I believe that description is suffice and I will now tally it up!
Graphics: 4/5 – Pretty good.
UI: 4/5 – Great I guess, a little hard to use.
Simplicity/Ease of Use: 2/5 – Quite complex.
Creativity: 5/5 -The possibilities are endless.
Sound: 5/5 – So many different sounds and combinations. Blew my tiny mind.
Controls: 3.5/5 -Okay, I guess.
Speed: 4/5 – Not bad.
Longevity: 5/5 – I distinctively remember saying “The possibilites are endless.”
Entertainment: 5/5 – Blew my tiny mind.
Value: 2/5 – $9.99 is sort of a lot.

Total: 39.5/50 or 79% – Awesome!
– Dennis

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