Extremely cheap loop maker for iPads and iPhones
Figure is an iPhone and iPad app for creating musical loops. The app is a joyful mix of two products: Thor Polyphonic Synthesizer and Kong Drum Designer. Music makers may recognise them from Reason, Propellerhead’s desktop music-making program.
For 69p you get 32 basses, 46 lead synthesisers and 13 drum kits, plus various parameter tweaks that vary depending on the chosen instrument but can be very detailed and fine grained. There is also the ability to set the tempo and key, modulate between major and minor, and mute or mix various combinations of instruments.
It is also possible to set the rhythm, tempo and range of the bass and synthesiser, as well as the pitch and tone of the drum kits. The length of the loop can be set to one, two, four or eight bars. The result is a wonderfully expressive loop maker that makes excellent use of the iOS device’s touchscreen.
The included sounds and effects are top-of-the-range for this kind of old-school loop making. It plunders the back catalogues of classic analogue and FM synthesisers to produce a fast, intuitive way to create music on the iPhone or iPad. The interface takes moments to learn, no musical skill is required and the results are crying out to be incorporated into other musical projects.
Several flaws in older versions of the app have been fixed. It is now possible to save multiple projects and export them to your computer, via iTunes, or for use in desktop music-making programs such as Apple Garageband or Propellerhead’s own Reason.
Curiously absent is the ability to transfer files using cloud storage services such as Dropbox and the music-oriented Soundcloud.
Unfortunately, conventional individual note editing is missing, as is the ability to arrange loops into longer musical passages. However, we can live without these features, given the very low price.
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A brilliant loop maker that is fun to use and produces good results
Intuitive interface; Great sounds; Easy, flexible loop making
Some editing features missing
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