Review: iMaschine

This is probably the best $5 I’ve spent in a long time. Portable drum machine, sampler, sequencer, 4 track recorder. Granted it won’t replace many pro applications, but it is a great supplemental app.
I have used this app on my Verizon iPhone 4 ever since it came out without any problems. It packs a 4 track sequencer inside. Each track can be a 16 pad Mpc style instrument, a keyboard instrument, or a live microphone track. Thus you can make a 3 track beat and put a single track of vocals on top. While this has it’s aim at hip hop or electronic music production, I use the app for other purposes.
Either the pads or the keyboard instrument can use a user created sample as a sound source. Enter the sample editor of this program. While it is modest it is powerful, allowing you pitch change, volume adjustments, Pan, a one-shot mode (to play sample beginning to end regardless of if you hold the key/pad) and choke (makes any sound with “choke” on part of a monophonic group. Most notably used for hihats so that open and closed hats don’t sound at the same time). the main beauty is that it has a sample capture section which allows you to use the iPhone microphone to capture a sound. This sound capture works like other samplers, allowing you to set a threshold and start recording. Then when the sound source gets above the threshold the capture actually takes place. This has allowed me on occasion to start recording, set down my phone, then start making sound and everything works great, no 2 seconds of dead air before the sound. I have captured some really cool found sounds this way. They can then be set to play on certain pads, or along a keyboard which instantly transposes them making a pitched instrument. The surprising thing is that the mic isn’t too bad, and it is extremely sensitive. You can also export the samples to your computer. I have captured little scratches on fabric, clicking my fingernails, and other small sounds then used the sample editing in it to make cool percussion effects.

Overall this is a highly usable app with the ability to export you track, the individual samples and project ( for import to maschine) and soundcloud export.
One thing that I would have like to see in the app is a couple more effects. There is no distortion ( there is lo-fi which at times can get you close) and no compression. It would also be nice if it were possible to play more than one note at a time with velocity sensitivity. As it is, you first select the note/pad you want to play then enter the velocity playing mode and you get a screen where topmost notes are loudest and bottom most areas play quietly.
Great app, highly recommended! Like I said, best $5 I’ve spent in a while.

A couple short riffs I made
Made from all found sounds sampled through iPhone:
The second riff I ever made with iMaschine. I had been using it maybe 10 minutes:

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