Released in 2010, Blip Interactive’s NanoStudio was rightly regarded as one of the best all-in-one iOS music production apps you could buy. Despite its lengthening teeth, it’s remained popular to this day, but a new version was definitely in order.
Happily, after six years of work, developer Matt Borstel has released what could be his magnum opus: NanoStudio 2. While users of the original will be pleased to hear that it sticks to the same design principles as its predecessor, this is very much a new app that looks set to restore NanoStudio’s place at iOS music-making’s top table.
NanoStudio 2 is designed for end-to-end music production, taking you from the ideas stage through to a final master. Although you can use AUv3 plugins, NanoStudio 2 can also function perfectly well as a wholly self-contained app, giving you a couple of impressive-looking new devices to work with.
Synth and sampler
First up, there’s Obsidian, a 3-oscillator, 16-note polyphonic synth with stereo voices. Each oscillator can used one of seven different synthesis methods (Analogue, Wavetable, Phase Distortion, FM, Multi-Saw, Shaped Noise or Multisampled Zones) and there are multiple filter types, modulation options and effects.
Drums are handled by Slate, a 32-pad sampler that has four internal busses and a final master output bus with limiter. Each pad can use up to three split or layered samples and has its own filter, waveshaper, envelopes and voice grouping options, and you get 500+ factory samples ranging from multisampled acoustic drums through to cutting-edge electronic percussion and effects, all arranged into 50 kits.
Linking everything together are powerful sequencing and mixing options, and Blip says that the workflow has been carefully thought through to ensure maximum productivity. Under the hood, there’s a new audio engine that promises best-in-class sound quality, and it’s been optimised for CPU efficiency. This means that you should be able to create larger, more complex projects with a greater number of instruments and effects.
NanoStudio 2 is an iPad exclusive to begin with, priced at £28.99/$29.99. A universal version that works on iPhone and is optimised for the iPad Pro will arrive in 2019, along with more features such as a convolution reverb and linear audio tracks in the sequencer.
You can purchase NanoStudio 2 on the Apple App Store now.