Figure is a fun music-making app where anyone, regardless of musical skill, can create professional-sounding synthesized customized songs with killer beats. All it takes is a few swipes of your fingers!
When you launch the app you’ll see a quick tutorial with help bubbles. They are enough to get beginners going creating a song, but if you’re a serious musician and really want to understand the inner workings of the app be sure to check out the online help – tap on System, then About Figure to find it.
Hit record, and start building your beat with the drums – there are lots of different choices, all powered by Reason’s Kong dream machine. To play, just swipe your finger across the pad in whatever pattern you like. (Tip – turn your iPad into landscape mode to have a full screen for creating your patterns). Once you set one drum going it’ll keep on by itself while you move on to the next one.
Next up you can customize your bass and lead synth with the same swiping gestures to create patterns using Reason’s Thor synthesizer.
Once you’ve got a basic setup going, head over to Tweaks to play around with the various options to give your music a unique sound – there are a huge variety of music types to choose from, and a lot of little unique extra sounds that go with each type.
Then head to the Song section to increase tempo, adjust tonality and key, and shorten or lengthen the loop. By the time you finish there, you’ve got a totally unique song going.
Once you’ve got your sound, it’s time to play deejay and adjust the levels of your drums, bass and lead under the Mix section. Add extra drums and bass for a club feel, or let the lead synth shine for a more electronic vibe.
Now that you’ve got your own custom song, it’s time to share it! Upload it to Audiocopy to share it with other music apps on your device, or choose iTunes to export it to your computer.
What I liked: It is definitely made for all skill levels – I am not musically talented and in no time I had a funky song going, and was having a lot of fun doing it – the possibilities are endless, and it all sounds professional.
What I didn’t like: It was a little confusing to figure out at first, especially since a lot of the musical terminology was above my head.
To buy or not to buy: If you enjoy synthesized music and have a creative streak, this is a great app to let loose your inner musician and have fun creating your own custom beats. As the runner up in the App Store’s Best App of 2012, it’s got the Apple seal of approval too!
- App Name: Figure
- Version Reviewed: 1.3
- Category: Music
- Developer: Propellerhead Software AB
- Price: $0.99