First look: Arturia brings its hybrid drum machine to iPad with iSpark

Arturia has launched an iOS edition of its drum machine software Spark 2, which can still utilise the Spark LE hardware or run on iOS alone.

Existing users of the Spark 2 software and LE hardware will no doubt recognise the interface. iSpark will offer users the ease of making their beats on the move, whilst opting to use the app on its own, or teaming it up with the hardware by purchasing the Spark LE controller.

First impressions of the app are very good indeed. The hugely impressive catalogue of sounds is all there and Arturia has one a great job in porting most of the key features to this iPad version. Sadly, the biggest omission is the Modular section, which was an awesome addition to the Spark 2 update. But then, this app is a fraction of the price compared to the desktop version and perhaps to the iPad's possible lack of processing power is an issue, with maybe the exception of the iPad Pro that is.

Let's not dwell on that though, as there are still plenty of features in iSpark to make it high on your app shopping list. It's worth noting that importing and exporting your own samples and loops is possible. Not only that, iSpark is completely compatible with Spark 2 so your kits, patterns and projects are transferable both ways.

Alongside this wealth of content iSpark features in-app purchases, which come via the Arturia Expansion store with packs featuring five projects, 80 instruments and 160 patterns, all for £2.99/$3.99 each.

So far, we'd say that we've just found a new favourite iOS beat-maker and even existing Spark 2 users might want to think about investing, even if it's just to tweak your projects in a more portable fashion.

iSpark is Audiobus and Inter-App Audio compatible, so it will slot in with your iOS DAW setup with ease. The launch price will be £7.99/$9.99 for for the first three weeks then rising to the full price of $15.99/$19.99. For more information, check out the Arturia website.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.