A great music app with a toy’s friendliness. $4.49 | BLOCS.CC
Blocs Wave is designed for fast music composition and recording, and it delivers: with two taps, we had a fantastic EDM tune playing. The app is deceptively simple. You start with six hexagonal pads, each with a different kind of instrument — drums, melody, FX, vocal, percussion and bass — and if you tap on the pad, it’ll play a loop. Tap again for a different one; tap a different pad for another instrument. And that’s all you need to create music.
If you’re familiar with apps such as Ableton, you’ll recognise the approach: you create your song as individual sections and move between them without duplicating, so instead of having the chorus in there twice, you just create it once and tap it when you want it. Bloc Wave has room for six different sections, each of which can have eight instruments, and you switch between them with a tap.
It’s the kind of app that rewards experimentation. Tap the tuning fork icon and you can pitch-shift in real time; do the same with the dial icon and you can change the tempo. You can also change the volume and pan of each track, as well as cutting up sounds to make them unique. There’s a basic selection of instrumental loops, and there are lots more available via IAPs. You can also record your own audio.
Bloc Wave plays well with others, too. It supports Ableton Link, so you can jam in time with Ableton users on the same network, and it also supports hardware input, Audiobus and AudioCopy/AudioShare so you can use it with other music apps. You can export as AAC or WAV and specify how many bars the song should run for, and input your own sounds via iCloud Drive or Dropbox as well as from Novation’s Launchpad app. Best of all, you can export it as an Ableton Live project.
If the measure of a music app is how quickly you can make something you like, then Blocs Wave scores very highly: our productivity has plummeted as we’ve been engrossed in the app. It’s enormous fun for amateurs and pros alike.