Hey everyone! Starkbot here…. and it’s time for another installment of Beat Artillery. This time we’re going to iOS for Retronyms’ iMPC update, the iMPC Pro. The company has been giving sneak previews for a few months now…. but today the new app for beatmaking on the iPad was finally released. I was lucky enough to get it early …thanks guys 😉 ……so I’ve been playing around with it for a few days, and thought I’d give you a quick rundown of my initial reactions.
When you first launch the iMPC Pro you’ll notice your sessions are saved on what looks like old school floppy discs. You’ll find that sort of nostalgia in the interface and overall feel of the app… but they’ve added some features that really take advantage of the iPad’s multi-touch screen that aren’t possible on a hardware MPC. The linking of filters to stutter beat effects in an almost Kaoss-pad like interface leads to some cool experimentation with your beat-making. And that’s really what I see as the strength of the iMPC Pro. When I’m using it, I’m not doing anything that I would be doing if I was sitting in front of my computer with a keyboard or other midi interface.
The sample editing tools are really easy to use with the app; and the FX are very musical. I found navigating through the different tracks and sequences to be pretty intuitive after spending about 15 minutes clicking around everything.
The lack of option clicks, command clicks, etc… on the iPad can often make tasks that are really easy to accomplish on a computer-based DAW, or even some hardware systems, take forever to do. Or they take countless double taps, tap and hold, two finger taps, swipes, etc…. to figure out how to do them. The iMPC Pro does a pretty good job of making “normal” production tasks easy to accomplish…. however, I did have some issues with re-adjusting the quantization grid in the sequencer window. It’s probably super easy to do…. but for some reason I was having issues with it. That was pretty much the only hangup I had the entire time I spent working with the app.
You should definitely check out the Retronyms YouTube page for all their preview videos of iMPC Pro because they show off all the capabilities of the app. I’m looking forward to having a tune that I start on the iMPC turn into something pretty sick.
The iMPC Pro is on sale for a limited time for only $12.99 on the App Store… so make sure you grab it. It’s really a steal at that price.