Beatmaker comparison

edited December 2008 in General
I've been looking for a good music app. that will allow me to compose full songs (multiple tracks of infinite length (or at least very long - more than just like 8 measures or something) with each track allowing for a different instrument), not just beats. I've been looking at both Beatmaker and, and haven't been able to decide between them (or if I need both). It seems like Beatmaker has better sequencers for laying out full songs ('s seem more just for making patterns), but seems better for composing since it has the keyboard (using a step sequencer to record music just doesn't feel natural to me - it works, but I'd like to be able to mess around with a melody and harmony/chords before laying them down in a sequencer). Some type of save and export functionality would be very important to be able to compose multiple songs and then export them to my Mac, preferably as midi, but as audio would be ok too. Effects (delay, reverb, etc.) would be very nice to have as well. Synth abilities are nice, but not as high on my list (unless the app. doesn't come with lots of premade timbres). However, I would like a good variety of timbres - I love electronic music, so pads, etc. are good, but I'd also like some more traditional instruments like strings, winds, choirs, etc.

So am I reviewing the apps. correctly - are they geared toward what I said they are? Which app. do you think better fits my needs? Or do I really need both to achieve what I've described?


  • edited 3:14AM
    There was a previous thread on this topic; if you search on you should be able to find some other comments. You can't substititute one for the other.

    You can't do what you want with alone. It is just a synthesizer and isn't trying to be anything else. It has sequencing up to a point but not complete song construction. The version that has been released to Apple (but not yet in the App Store) will allow you to record and even overdub in, then you can import these recordings to BeatMaker.

    On the other hand, BeatMaker has no synthesizers and I guess it probably will not have them for a while, since the limitations of the iPhone itself will make it difficult to run BeatMaker with any sophisticated synthesis.

    The way I see it is that BeatMaker is where you pull pattern/sample-based tracks together, and there could be various synths or noise-making gadgets used with it. is the most advanced of those right now.
  • edited 3:14AM
    I did do some searches, but I wasn't quite sure what keywords to use. I also posted the same question on's site and got some responses. Thanks for yours.

    So the programs are basically what I thought they were. I'm still wondering though - how easy is it to compose with Beatmaker? The sequencers seem pretty good, but what about the note/melody entering process? It just doesn't seem like the pads are an ideal method of entering (unless all you're doing is making beats or sequencing patterns). Let me put this another way. Is this the process I'd go through to do what I'm trying to do?
    1) Compose a number of different patterns in
    2) Export those to Beatmaker (once the new versions are updated)
    3) Use Beatmaker to piece those patterns together in a song

    or alternatively?

    1) Make cool sounds in
    2) Same as step 2 above
    3) Use Beatmaker's step sequencer to make patterns using the instruments from
    4) Same as step 3 in first process

    It just seems like a kludgy way to compose. I can totally understand using to make the timbres and exporting those to Beatmaker. But it seems Beatmaker should have another way of entering the notes than using the pads and step sequencer (like with a keyboard). I get the feeling this app. is mainly for the guys who are used to drum machines to make electronic/hip-hop/rap/dance beats and not as much for the composer more accustomed to programs like Digital Performer, Vision (yes, I'm that old - I used to LOVE Vision), and Logic.
  • edited 3:14AM
    you are right: Beatmaker is more intended to make beats. It is definitly drum machine influenced. It is not a full fledged DAW. With some effort you can get all the functionality you are looking for. Noise is a great synth. Together Beatmaker and Noise seem to be destined to bring together the full package.
    Now will all users want to use Beatmaker and Noise together? Probably not. Reading this forum for quite some time now, I would say, every user has a different way of using BM. Most people will use some sort of DAW for part of their creative process.

    But if you prefer to do it all on the iPhone, your process sounds about right. You will not be able to eq or compress your mix though unless iZotope comes up with Ozone for iPhone or something (which would be fantastic btw). So I somehow doubt that anybody wants to go iPhone only.

    However, if you find better iPhone software that does what you want please let us know!
  • edited 3:14AM
    Artfoundry: I'm wondering if you've found the pitch editor on beatmaker yet. This is the "piano roll/pitch adjuster" you keep referring to. In case you haven't heard it enough; buy beatmaker to sequence and buy to make your sounds.
    Beatmaker = sequencer/effects/sampler
    Noise.IO = Monophonic Synth
    Put them together and you end up with a complete package. I read in a previous post that you say beatmaker is geared towards "electronic, rap, techno, and a few other genres". What style of music are you trying to create with your iphone? .... Remember it's a phone .... If you're creative you can make things happen. Just use the tools available (and don't forget about a computer) and you'll be fine. If you need more power buy some "pro" gear, but I have a feeling you'll just make roadblocks for yourself with those as well. If you're trapped in a box, it doesn't matter the size, it only matters that you know there's blue sky on the outside!
    Being limited can be a positive thing. Some of my favorite music was made with samplers that only had 2-3sec of sampling time (Korg DDD1/Sp1200/MPC60/3000) or only 4 tracks of audio (Various Tracker apps for Amiga/C64/Atari ST/Gameboy)

    Create>Contemplate>>Repeat>then complain if need be
  • edited 3:14AM
    Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining. I'm just trying to understand the apps. better before buying. I bought another beatmaking/sequencing app. for the iphone and was somewhat disappointed.
    Basically what I want to be able to do is put together bits of songs (or even entire songs occasionally) with multiple instruments involving musical phrases that aren't necessarily 1-4 measure pattens. Then eventually transfer those ideas to my Mac to complete. I don't always have time to sit at my computer to work on music because I'm working on other stuff. But there are times when I'm away that I have some free time to mess around with music.

    It sounds from what many have said that I should get both. They probably won't work the way I'm used to, but as you said, sometimes limitations can produce interesting results. I tried the Noise trio freebie app. and I really liked messing with that interface even though it was something I'd never seen before. Are you able to record from that screen (the one in, not Noise trio), or is that just for performance/experimentation?

    And yes, I think I knew about the pitch editor - it's a graph with pitches down one side and time across the other for doing step sequencing, isn't it? Or is that something else?

    And no, haven't found anything better - beatmaker and definitely seem to be the best apps. for music out there right now. I've just been hesitant to buy because this is more of a hobby for me and money's pretty tight right now.
  • edited 3:14AM
    Okay, so bottom line:
    Beatmaker is freakin awesome to have in your pocket. I've used lots of samplers and this app is on par with many professional appz/hardware. The main thing is: it's a sampler. So what you put in is what you get out. Now with the 1.3ish updates we get a lot more flexibility with pattern creation. We get more timing options plus we can also specify bar lengths. As far as sequencing goes I doubt you'll find anything better then beatmaker. A similar application for PC or Mac would be around $60-$80. Being able to upload midi/wav /should/is enough for most of us here. And if not we'd prolly have a work around for it.

    Noise.IO: This synth rocks! Like you said, there isn't another synth out there with the same interface. I find this to be a big PLUS. This app is great for playing around when you get a few minutes. Being able to save/upload/share preset is also a huge plus. Another big factor for Noise.IO is the dev team. These guys are great, constantly updating and communicating with the users; you can't ask for more! These guys put real passion into their product and $10 is a drop in the bucket for most people.

    For a total of $30, if you're semi-serious about music, or even just do it for fun is well worth the money. Honestly, I can't think of any other appz I would spend my time supporting as much as these two. The iphone has limitation indeed, but I challenge you to find another device/instrument that can compete size and price wise. Of course all of us would love to have our Junos and MPCs, but alas those don't fit in our pockets nor cost $30. Those of us around here at intua/amido are proud of what we got.

    "Is that a beatbox in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
  • edited 3:14AM
    I'm more of a traditional musician by experience (bass, guitar etc) and I had no prior sequencer experience before beatmaker and I've had an absolute blast making music with it. It is different but it's really flexible and a lot of fun. Keep in mind that you can't yet export sounds directly to beatmaker. That has been implemented in but it's a future implementation on the beatmaker side. So for the time being you would still have to go through a computer.
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