App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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Creating electronic music is no walk in the park, especially on an iPhone. The lack of screen space means that users can end up playing a game of one-man finger Twister and producing a piece of music that sounds like a robot having a seizure.
iMPC gets around feeling cluttered by incorporating side menus into the interface. These can be exposed with an edge swipe, from either side or below, each of which reveal a whole host of new options. Swipe right for an FX board, Mixing Desk, and Sampler (using music currently stored on the device), left for track selection, and up for track playback options. In its default state, however, the screen is simply filled with pressure pads that are definitely more finger-friendly than a miniature keyboard. The 3D Perform feature cleverly lets users control samples and effects with motion by using the iPhone's accelerometer; just another example of how resourceful and intuitive an app this is. Best of all, though, iMPC automatically syncs ill-timed taps to the tempo, so perfectionists needn't lose sleep.
An app with this many features will always feel overly-complex on this platform. The layout can feel cramped, and the wealth of options is somewhat overwhelming to newcomers. Still, although it may not have the simplicity of something like Figure going for it, the functionality is undeniable. The rewards from iMPC come from perseverance, and in next to no time users will be experimenting with various effects and creating multi-layered compositions, which can be uploaded to SoundCloud directly. There is a steep initial learning curve, but stick with it.
It's not completely ideal, and it's certainly more usable on iPad, but once users get used to the interface they won't look back. Considering the musical possibilities of iMPC, the developers have done a great job fitting so much in. I am by no means a talented musician in any shape or form, but even I managed to create an impressive variety of recordings. For anyone who is interested in creating electronic, R&B, or dance music, iMPC is a great way to stay creative on the move.