First iPhone DAW: Beatmaker

This sweet little app appeared on the App Store last night, and I’m totally blown away.  It’s called Beatmaker by Intua [App Store link] and it’s the first attempt at a full fledged music creation program for the iPhone.

As you might know, I don’t have an iPhone, but I do have an iPod touch.  This actually only means I have to use headphones for this program.  In its current state it doesn’t record via the built-in microphone on the iPhone, though that’s probably a planned feature for a future release.

The main screen is pretty straightforward, and allows you to save or export your work.  Beatmaker features a “file system” for organizing samples and projects.

The pad view is very fun to play with, and allows recording with automatic quantization. This feature is great for a mobile pre-production app like this.  It also makes using it as a performance gimmick all the easier.

The sequencer view is both yummy and well-designed for touch input.  Obviously it’s a bit toned down from Logic or Ableton, and only 16th note grids are available but the loop-based song creation is actually very effective for coming up with sketches and ideas.

The effects “rack” takes an obvious cue from Reason for its design, and features Reverb, EQ (lo, mid, hi only) and Bitcrusher (which I was surprised to see even though it’s a technologically lightweight plugin).

Beatmaker is available for $20 through the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch.  This price is a bit higher than other programs, but unlike most of the apps which are toys for your device, this one could actually be used for creative/performance purposes.  Definitely check it out!

Author: Will Kuhn

I teach music technology to high schoolers. I do some other stuff too. @willkuhn on Twitter.

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