NanoStudio has long been championed as one of the best iOS music-making apps, but recent updates could leave the competition in the dust. Everything we found lacking our review of v1.0 has been addressed.
For example, v1.2 brings compression and EQ, both of which sound decent and make it much more possible to create finished mixes on your iDevice. These processors are found in the new per-channel FX chain; this allows you to use up to four of any effect, including the pre-existing reverb, chorus/delay and waveshaper. A high-quality output mode alleviates certain sonic anomalies.
Other new goodies include support for CoreMIDI, Retina Display and Sonoma AudioCopy/Paste; Eden sample pre-loading, increased polyphony, tempo/meter on the main menu… there's way more than we can list here.
You can now use up to four sequencer tracks per instrument, and quantise goes down to 1/64. You can quantise the lengths as well as the start points of events, and view the grid without snapping. Features such as these make the sequencing much more mature and usable.
Possibly the most significant update is an in-app purchasable option to up the track count from six to 16. Costing just £2.99, this is a compulsory purchase if you want to make full productions on your iDevice. The new tracks do mean more scrolling, particularly in the mixer, but that's a small price to pay. More tracks and effects means greater CPU consumption, and those with newer devices will be able to get considerably more mileage out of the app.
NanoStudio doesn't offer competition to a full-blown desktop DAW. However, as a truly mobile software studio it provides an inspirational set of tools that offer far more than the asking price would suggest.