Developer: UK Music Apps Ltd
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Mini

iOS Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

SessionBand – Piano Edition lets users create professional piano backing tracks for songs in minutes thanks to its chord-based audio loop capability. It features over 7,000 chord based loops recorded by Tom Cawley — a famous world leading pianist. The chords are converted into amazing audio that can be exported into other apps. The best news is that the loops are not copyright protected so audio lovers are free to use them in their music without worrying about infringing on any laws.

sessionband 1The interface is clean and simple to use. To play a track, users just tap on the play button at the bottom of the screen. Tapping it again will pause the track. Next to the play button is the rewind button that lets users return to the beginning of the track with ease. Above that is a “1,2,3” button that activates a 1-bar count in before the track starts.

The track view shows the current song that is displayed in chord-based loop blocks. Tapping on one of these green blocks begins playback at any time. The loop markers are set to repeatedly play at a specific section of the track. Tapping to the right of the bar line sets the start loop marker, and tapping to the left of the bar line sets the end loop marker. To remove a loop marker, simply tap on it.

It’s possible to add, delete and re-size chord-based loop blocks by tapping the pencil button to go into edit mode. Additionally, the music style can be changed by going into the Style menu and the volume levels can be adjusted by tapping on the mixer button.

sessionband 3There are two ways to record tracks: Users can either do a live recording where the real-time adjustments are recorded, or a high-speed recording which records the last saved version of the track. All recordings are saved to .WAV format but are compressed to .m4a files when they are emailed. SessionBand also supports Audiobus and AudioCopy so tracks can be exported into other music apps like GarageBand.

While the app is confusing to use at first, the included tutorials really help a lot — although there’s a lot of tapping and reading involved. After making it through the tutorials I’ve gained a lot of musical inspiration from SessionBand – Piano Edition. Its quick and easy-to-use interface combined with the studio-quality loops makes it perfect for songwriters, producers, singers, and music newbies.

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