Intua BeatMaker: Music Suite for iPhone and iPod Touch

Mobile music suites date back to the first PDAs; the Palm has long been a stand-out platform with apps like Chocopoolp’s wonderful Bhajis Loops. The iPod Touch and iPhone have been a hotbed for development, thanks to sharing development frameworks with the Mac. That led our iPod/iPhone software round-up to be bursting with good stuff. But lacking a final SDK from Apple, many of the options were, admittedly, early in development or toy-like. Intua’s new BeatMaker, a complete music studio, looks more like a real music tool. The basic functionality: Mobile sampler: 16 pads for editable sample playback, slicing, and …

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GrooveStep: New Step Sequencer, Pattern Maker for Nintendo DS

  The DS’ stylus and touchscreen make an ideal pocket-able interface: they’re coupled with friendly, conventional arcade buttons, but provide precise control of visual interfaces without using a mouse. (Touch with fingertips is not nearly as accurate, especially on tiny screens.) That’s already inspired quite a bit of music software, but GrooveStep earns extra points for employing a friendly interface for easy, quick pattern sequencing.

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Akai MPK49 Keyboard: Keyboard Controller, MPC, Arpeggiator Love Child

Me-too 49-key controllers have been mind-numbingly dull for the most part. The new Akai MPK49, revealed in Frankfurt at Messe, easily qualifies as different. Not only does it add trigger pads as found on the MPC line, but there’s an onboard arpeggiator, functionality borrowed from the MPC, and additional MIDI control options, as well. It’s a control surface: 8 endless encoders, 8 sliders, and 8 backlit switches, each of which can be controlled via 3 selectable banks (8 x 3 = 24 “virtual” controls each, 72 controllers total). It’s a transport control: Start/stop transport buttons that actually send MMC or …

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