iPad App Review: Intua Beatmaker 2

Beats, sequencing and effects      03/03/11

No flash plug

   QuickTime (MP4)  | iOS MP4
7:38 mins


This is a really impressive app, Intua have gone further than just transferring the design of standard composition software onto iOS. Instead, they've used the touch screen to create an extremely usable and quite original piece of software that suits the needs of a pro musician.
There are two methods of inputting your music:
Drum Machine

- Up to 128 trigger pads: 16 pads over 8 different banks
- Chop Lab: Slice audio loops to automatically create new sound presets
- Control sound parameters on individual pad: volume, pan, mute, output bus, semitone, fine tune, reverse and autoscaling
- Low/high pass filter per pad with cutoff and resonance control
- Choose between various pad trigger modes: one-shot, hold & loop
- Customisable envelope (ADSR) control for each pad
- Exclusive groups and polyphony management
- "Live" modes: trigger, mute, reverse, velocity and tune spreading.


128 keys keyboard with pitch wheel, double keyboard mode, note display and zoom controls
- Easily create your own instruments from any sample combination with the keygroup editor
- Volume and filter ADSR envelopes
- Low/high pass filter with cutoff, resonance and key tracking
- 2 LFOs with customizable amplitude, offset and rate (synchronizable), controlling volume, pitch and filter parameters
- Polyphony control, with up to 32 voices per keyboard sampler
- Legato play mode with customizable glide
- Keygroup controls: volume, pan, semitones, fine-tune, reverse and one-shot, hold, hold & loop trigger modes

So as you can see from these features, inputting and recording your own music is easy, as is using the keyboard and drum machine. You can also record or import your own samples, and alter the sounds of the instruments built into the app.

Recording is simple, everything is on an edit and a mix window, so even when you've recorded your sounds, you can still do a helluva lot to them:

- Create unlimited instrument and FX tracks
- Automations: Record, edit and replay instrument and effect parameters
- Record, draw, arrange and resize patterns along the timeline to build your song
- Compose and modify patterns with a piano-roll interface. Edit notes, parameters, and automations.
- Instrument and effect recording options: Quantize, take or partial undo, pre-roll, Overdub, note erasing.
- Includes multiple convenient tools such as zooming.

The wave editor allows you change the pitch and timing of individual notes, so you can punch in your music rather than playing it in, or simply just quantize and pitch correct what you have played to eliminate any unwanted mistakes. Wave editor features include:

- Full-fledged wave editor with intuitive pinch and selection for manipulating samples
- Basic edition tools: trim, cut, copy, paste, with 8 levels undo/redo
- High quality time-stretching and pitch-shifting algorithms
- Audio tools: normalize, silence, reverse, fade in and out, cross-fade
- Record new samples from device microphone or plugged instrument
- Loop points and tempo/signature editor

Once you've finished your mix, you can share via Sound Cloud and iOS Pasteboard. The importing of samples is also easy, especially with an integrated FTP server for import and export.

All in all, an extremely comprehensive App, with everything planned to perfection. It is a good bit of fun for those first getting into production and composition, but you can also make some brilliant sounds on it if you know what you're doing.

Fully recommended.

Compatible with: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch (3rd gen, 4th Gen), iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later

Priced  £11.99 / $19.99



More From: INTUA
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8 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Artemiy    Said...

I am sorry but this review is misleading. BeatMaker is not a native iPad app, it requires you to use the pixel doubling mode, but it's nowhere near as usable as it would have been on a native iPad app.

03-Mar-11 11:56 AM

Adam Bailey    Said...


That is all...

03-Mar-11 03:46 PM

Blocker Beech    Said...

Its true its not a native app, but I dont think we said it was. Its actually pretty usable on the iPad - moreso I would say than the iPhone and so it seems fair to review it on one

04-Mar-11 06:48 AM

L56    Said...

An ipad app review that can't be played on the iPad....kind of a shame methinks! :-(

That said, beatmaker 2 and nano studio are great on the ipad in 2x mode. Not one problem.....albeit a bit expensive now compared to garage band for ipad. Ipad music apps just got a price woopin'!

04-Mar-11 04:32 PM

Nick B    Said...

Well yeah Garage band is going to set a new standard methinks. Really looking forward to seeing how they've done that

04-Mar-11 05:21 PM

Benedict Johnson    Said...

Still not entirely sure what Beat Maker 2 does? I heard that instruments in the new GarageBand can receive velocity data through gyroscopic motion. Does this do that? Surely velocity sensitivity is the minimum requirement of any drum pad program?

05-Mar-11 11:11 AM

Rich B    Said...

The velocity sensitivity on Beat Maker 2 is geared towards the keyboard rather than the drum pad. This obviously came out before Garage Band for iPad, and having done a bit of research on Garage Band, it looks like it's going to blow Beat Maker to pieces.

That said, Beat Maker 2 was fantastic in my eyes, if only for one week! haha.

05-Mar-11 06:37 PM

Carlos    Said...

I'm pretty sure he said it was an "intuitive" app, not a native one. I have both Garage Band and Beatmaker 2 and can honestly say that Beatmaker 2 is by far one of the most impressive apps I own for creating beats.

20-Jan-12 03:10 AM

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