Developer: Retronyms
Price: Free
Version: 1.4
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

There are a wide range of music making apps available for aspiring musicians like GarageBand and Reason, but there aren’t too many quite like Tabletop. Developed by Retronyms, Tabletop is a music mixing and matching app designed for serious musicians. The app provides users with more than 25 devices such as a mixer, keyboard, sequencer, sampler and many other tools that turn the iPad into a music studio. The app initially comes with 11 free devices, which means users will have to purchase the rest of the tools needed to create mixes.

Tabletop’s interface is impressive at first glance, and it looks even better as users interact with it. Updated with retina support and new swipe controls, Tabletop focuses on providing users with a crystal clear and easy-to-use interface to ensure the app is top notch. I was blown away by how easy and intuitive the app is to navigate, and the automatic routing made it a breeze to create music as well as scratch tracks.

Upon opening the app, users can select a previously saved session, create a new session or select one of the demos. Users can then create music, add or remove devices or even change the session settings. Don’t worry if it all looks overwhelming at first because Tabletop comes with a built-in tutorial to help users navigate the app and configure all the devices.

I had the opportunity to play with all the extra devices and add-ons. I felt like a natural born DJ, although I’m sure my creations only sounded great to my ears. All of the extras help make Tabletop more powerful, but I’m not sure if users would agree that they are worth purchasing due to the high costs. It is appealing to pick and choose devices, but users who wish to unlock all the tools will have to shell out the big bucks because the IAPs range from $0.99 to $6.99. Bundling some of the devices together would help cut down on costs to make Tabletop more wallet friendly.

The other issue with this app is that there are recent reports of it occasionally crashing. The developers suggest restarting the iPad or closing the app from the task bar and restarting it. If users continue to experience problems, it is suggested to contact the developers at support@retronyms.com.

Tabletop is an expressive music app that beginners and professionals can enjoy. Since it is currently free, I recommend everyone to check it out for themselves. While users may be limited to the number of devices they can interact with at first, it will help them decide if this app is worth their time and extra money.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Music, Reviews

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