Price: Free (In-App Purchases)
Version Reviewed: Pre-release
Device Reviewed On: iPad 3
Available: June 27, 2013
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These days it seems that everyone wants to be a club DJ. In the scene I’m involved in, a person is in the minority if they’re not queuing up 4/4 beats for a bunch of people in black eyeliner and knee-high combat boots. I’m in the minority. I’m not a DJ. I am a musician, and there are some missed opportunities for those who make their own beats and samples.
That app itself is a cool concept. It’s a sample player with 16 triggers. It’s loaded with a preset sample pack. Most of them are actually quite cheesy, such as “put your hands up,” and “turn up the bass.” Users can purchase additional sample packs, but the starter kit is far from inspiring. This is one of the app's biggest weaknesses, because users may never see its potential with more interesting sounds. It would be great to hear at least a few stronger samples to really grab my attention.
There is an in-app purchase for a feature that allows users to load in their own samples, but I’d personally rather purchase the app initially and have sample importing as one of the built-in features. This is because I enjoy making music, and I saw this app and its functionality as a perfect opportunity to record real-time drum patterns. I could load my own samples, and tap loops or midi notes into my computer’s digital audio workstation (DAW). It’s a fun way to work, because tapping patterns in real-time gives drum beats a more human feel than arranging them with step sequencing.
There are some very well-produced sample packs available for purchase, and they could do some more interesting things for live improvisation. The problem is that not one of these cool screaming synths or growly basses is in the initial sample pack. I understand that the app has to be monetized somehow, and that’s through in-app purchases. Still, the default library is so basic that a user may never go far enough to check out some of the more interesting sounds in the iPro.DJSampler Store.
The app is ideal for adding a little more flair to a live performance by triggering samples. Still, the app could benefit from MIDI functionality for use by studio musicians. The app benefits most from the much more interesting in-app purchase sample packs. It also gets some extra points from me because it doesn’t have that stupid, overplayed DJ siren.
The App is free, but expect to buy some add-ons if you want to get real use out of it. iPro.DJSampler arrives on the App Store June 27.