[GUIDE / REVIEW] BeatMaker.

Discussion in 'iTunes App Store Reviews' started by Abcmsaj, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,501
    Likes Received:
    122
    Device:
    iPhone 6 Plus
    I finally got around to it. What I'm going to try and do in this brief thousand words is explain the basis of the app to you, and give me opinions, etc. It will be like a magical party - But with knowledge to take away at the end instead of cake.

    The Home Screen

    After a long wait for the Default.png to disappear, the home screen appears. It looks like an authentic steel dashboard, with a screen which holds all of the info.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    I'll tell you what each of the buttons does from left to right.

    Home

    The Home button takes you to the instructions page. These instructions are useful, and also a good read - I read mine on the bus, 3 days after I bought the app. Once you've read them, you feel altogether more smarter.

    RSS

    This is an RSS feed from the Intua homepage. It tells you of updates and such, and new addons such as BeatPack, which is a PC/Mac program to help you create your own packs.

    Pads

    This tells you what kit you're currently using.

    Sync

    Use this to sync your BeatPacks to and from your iPod.

    About

    Tells you the version, the company name, the year copyrighted and the website.

    Tabs

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Now, we'll move onto the bars. See the tabs in the top and bottom left corner? These are the two most important buttons on the app. I'll explain why.

    Top Left Tab

    This is your Navigation tab. That's what I'm going to call it. The icon for it looks like a Pokeball. I could call it the "Pokeball Tab," but I decided not to.

    This tab takes you around the app. As you can see, "Home," "Pads," "Sequencer," and "FX" and the 4 main areas of the app. I'll show you these later.

    Bottom Left Tab

    This is your Transport. This controls whether or not to play, stop, record, turn the metronome on or off, loop the song, change the tempo and shows you the bar and beat you're on. It looks confusing, but you'll get the jist.

    Pads

    Ok, let's delve into the top bar. Pads is where you select your instruments and decide what to play for each part. I'll give you a brief guide to recording in a second too.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Here, I have open the default pack, which will load whenever you start the app. If you want to change Pads, tap "Load Kit."

    You can edit the Pitch, Volume and Length of each pad by tapping "Edit." This is useful after you've finished your song, to get the levels right for everything... so something isn't drowning out something else with volume.

    Sequencer

    This is where all of your sounds go. After I've explained this, I can tell you how to record.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    See on the screenshot? I've got open 3 Patterns. Each pattern is a layer. You use different layers to differentiate between instruments. For example, I put a drum beat down on Pattern 1. Then the bass on Pattern 2, and other parts on 3,4,5,5,6,6,7,77, etc.

    At the top of this screen, you can see a row with numbers in it (you're able to see up to 7 on my screenshot). You use this to determine the length of your song. Simply drag out however long you want your song to be. As I'm explaining this to you, I'm going to record a song so you can see what it looks like as you go along.

    Understand patterns? Ok good. You're ready to learn to record.

    Recording Tutorial

    Ok. Guide to recording. Tap your Nav Tab, and tap "Pads." Each of the 16 pads has a seperate sound. Let's say... for your first pattern... you want a basic drum beat?

    So, open your transport bar and tap record. Automatically, the Loop button lights up, and the metronome turns on. The Transport will minimize. Don't tap anything yet... While this is looping on record, tap "Record" on the Pads menu - (It's next to Edit). Choose the pattern you want to record to. I set mine to 1.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Now, record one bar of your drum. After you've done it, it will loop so you can hear how it sounds. If you're not happy with it, tap "Clear" on the "Record" submenu, and try again.

    Remember - It's VITAL that for each new part you add, you record it on a new Pattern, otherwise you're just adding to the same pattern the whole time, and it will become difficult to work with.

    I've recorded my pattern - Now let's put it in the Sequencer.

    Adding to the Sequencer.

    Because I recorded on Pattern 1, this means that my drum beat is on that layer. If I want the drum to play through the whole song, I need to select which bars it plays. This is as easy as a few taps.

    Tap the boxes that you want filled with the beat you recorded, and they will appear.

    A visual will also appear in these boxes, to help give you an idea of what's in the layer, and so you can estimate the timing.

    It should look like this:

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Whoops! I made a mistake with my drums... But I don't have time to rerecord!... Hmm..

    EDITTING

    On the "Sequencer" menu still, tap the black box on the left hand side, for the pattern you wish to edit.

    This brings up the Matrix, where you can tap and untap beats.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Look. I fixed my pattern. Yay. But I want the first kick to be louder than the others. Tap "Velocity."

    Velocity is just a fancy word for volume... Using the menu, you can raise or lower particular beats in your song to be louder or quieter. Look how I've made the first beat louder.

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    FX

    We'll finish off by going over the FX tab. First off though, you need to assign a layer with an Effects channel. This is easier done than said.. =D

    Go to "Pads" on your Nav Tab, and tap "Edit" and then the middle button of the Speaker. This is volume control, but also defines the Effects Channel.

    For the Kick, I want it to change the EQ of it to be more bassy and less trebly (if that's a word...). Tap on the Kick Pad and it will tell you which pad you've selected in the bottom left corner. Now, choose an Effects Channel for it. By default, "FX1" is the automatically assigned channel - So I'll select "FX2"

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Go to the Nav Tab, and tap "FX." You see the screen is split in two. The left partition is FX1, and the right one is FX2. We'll leave FX1 as it is, and focus on the second channel.

    On either side, are two arrows pointing up or down.. These select which effects you want to put onto the channel. I wanted EQ, so I go down once and there it is! Wahoo.

    First thing you need to do is Unbypass the effect. So tap "Bypass" so it is grey - Not Green. Green means it's being bypassed.

    Now I play around for a bit while the song is playing on Loop until I get the right sound I want. Eventually - I do. And it looks like this:

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    Finally - We have the basis to a song. It's only a start, but after playing around for a while, you can master all of the capabilities of the app and start making your own kits and full songs.

    Conclusion

    To sum up, this app is brilliant for the money. You'll say it's expensive - But in comparison to some PC or Mac based software, this is better value and makes you look cooler in the street. A portable sequencer app.

    My overall score for it is: 9/10.
    And that's for price, features, ease of use, looks and how long the fun lasts.
    It's only 9, because I'm going to be picky and say the buttons have a slow reaction time.
  2. GrooveMachine

    GrooveMachine Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    11
    Device:
    iPod touch
    Wow, excellent tutorial and review. First good one I've seen since...ever! I'll be buying this tomorrow once I get an iTunes card.
  3. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,501
    Likes Received:
    122
    Device:
    iPhone 6 Plus
    thanks for your opinion. And I'm glad! It's a superb app.
  4. Matt27272

    Matt27272 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    0
    Device:
    iPhone 3G (Black)
    Can you explain how to make triplets with the groove editor? I'm making a song and can't figure out how to make triplets.
  5. chefsta

    chefsta Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    4
    Device:
    iPod touch
    excellent guides my old chum, now i know the basics lets move onto the bigger things

    Please Register or Log in to view images

  6. TmacHot

    TmacHot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    0
    Device:
    iPod touch
    nice review
    i have a problem when i was trying to submit a thread whit ten pics
    and i havent solve
    the app is amazing
  7. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,501
    Likes Received:
    122
    Device:
    iPhone 6 Plus
    You probs had:

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Please Register or Log in to view images



    In there.
    And they count as pics. =]
  8. bkram1

    bkram1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Device:
    iPhone 4 (Black)
    Wow.... Amazing... great job man! Excellent guide

    Please Register or Log in to view images

    Now I just have to get the app

    Please Register or Log in to view images

  9. Abcmsaj

    Abcmsaj Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,501
    Likes Received:
    122
    Device:
    iPhone 6 Plus
  10. papachango

    papachango New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    6
    Device:
    iPod touch
    Don't think you can make triplets, but you could get close by doubling the project's tempo and stretch your patterns over 2 patterns (then double them in the sequencer) .... then you can make triplets with the new "semi-quavers" you now have access to .... not true triplets, but close ...

    Does that make sense?

Share This Page