Former Arturia V Collection developer releases Polaris, a fast and furious Android music-making app that embraces the trend for ‘DAW-less’ beatmaking

The Android music-making app scene is certainly in a healthier state than it once was, but it’s still relatively rare to see a new beatmaking tool being made exclusively for Google’s mobile OS. Meteaure’s Polaris, then, is a very welcome addition to the Play Store, particularly as it seems ideally suited to making music in short bursts on your phone or tablet.

This is the work of Arturia veteran Baptiste Le Goff, who previously worked on the V Collection titles both as a software engineer and product manager. Luckily for us, he’s also a bit of an Android expert.

“My hope is that Polaris will create new opportunities for people willing to use their phones as music-making devices, matching the philosophy of the growing DAW-less setup trend,” he says.

Accordingly, Polaris has both sample and synth engines and offers a groovebox-style workflow across six tracks. The 4x4 grid on each track enables you to input steps into the sequencer, and step modulation gives you an easy way of adding variation to your patterns. You can also adjust the step duration on a per-track basis (from 1/32 to one bar) and set the triggering conditions so that each step doesn’t sound every time.

Meteaure Polaris

(Image credit: Meteaure)

Each track’s sample or synth engine can be tweaked on the Design page, where you’ll also find a filter with its own envelope, and an output section with distortion. There’s a dedicated Mix page, too, with reverb and delay sends and output level controls. You can mute tracks here, too, though there’s no option to solo them at the moment as far as we can tell.

A collection of samples comes included with Polaris and you can also import your own. You can’t record directly into the app, though; if you want a groovebox-style workflow with that facility, take a look at Koala.

The clean and concise GUI and feature set is very appealing, though, and the fact that Polaris is step-based means that you don’t have to worry about any latency issues when you’re jamming. Yes, there are more ‘complete’ Android music-making apps available, but this is definitely one to have if you like the idea of creating loops at pace - either for use elsewhere (an audio export button would be nice to make this easy) or just for the fun of it.

Polaris is available now from the Google Play store for just $4, so go and grab it.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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