Intua BeatMaker 2
Following the initial novelty of making music on a phone, we're now slightly jaded. We want 'serious' features like effects, quantisation, timestretching, automation, mixing, MIDI and straight-up good sounds.
BeatMaker 2 offers all of these, providing a sequencer, two types of instrument (a drum machine and a sample-based synth with a large and varied preset bank) and a mixer. Sounds can be recorded in from the mic or pulled from your iTunes library; swing can be added; the mixer looks great; tracks/MIDI can be uploaded direct to SoundCloud or exported; and you can swap audio pasteboard clips to and from iOS. And that's just for starters.
BeatMaker 2 is going squarely up against the superb NanoStudio, but it's hard to say if one eclipses the other. For example, NanoStudio offers up a true synthesiser with sample playback to boot, while BeatMaker has only a (well spec'd) sampler. But then BeatMaker doesn't restrict the number of instrument tracks available - it's limited only by your hardware.
BeatMaker also trumps NanoStudio's two fixed (but fairly flexible) effects per instrument, with your choice of any three out of a roster of ten. But the interfaces are generic slider-based affairs, which doesn't inspire creativity or excitement, whereas NanoStudio's have a characterful 'custom built' aesthetic and entice you to twiddle their knobs.
BeatMaker 2 isn't perfect. It doesn't replace your proper studio and we did experience a few quite irritating hang-ups and glitches (which we hope are ironed out soon). However, you can certainly have plenty of fun with it and create some very pro-sounding results.
Feature packed. Very usable.
Effects interfaces look vanillas. A few hang-ups and glitches during testing.
A powerful micro studio app that sounds good and is enjoyable to use.
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.
iOS 3.1.2 or later
iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad