Blocs Wave

A great mu­sic app with a toy’s friend­li­ness. $4.49 | BLOCS.CC

APC Australia - - Software -

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.

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