One of the greatest things about being an iPad musician is that you have access to some great music making software that won’t break the bank. I especially am pleased when a company releases a software version of their hardware. Now, Arturia is a unique case, in that they started off with software and eventually moved to making hardware. My favorite example is the Microbrute. Not only does it sound amazing, but it was at a price point that allows amateur synthesists the chance to get their foot in the door. Arturia has also done some fantastic work in software as well. Aside from their PC and Mac software, they’ve applied their TAE to apps like iSEM.
Enter the iSpark…
Just this morning, the Apple Store has released Arturia’s latest offering, featuring a look and feel of the physical version of Spark. Now, I’ve only had the app for about five minutes, so I haven’t had a chance to put it through its paces, but first look really shows now flexible it is. If the app is anything like the actual Spark, I’m going to be a big fan.
As far as connectivity, iSpark has Ableton’s Link, as well as Audiobus and IAA connectivity, so it’ll fit right into your workflow.
Here are the specs:
iSpark is an all-inclusive beat-making solution allowing to create rich tracks from A to Z while experiencing an unequaled workflow. It includes a large variety of drum kits and individual instruments based on the most renowned drum machines and top-notch sound design.
It is the result of a simple recipe, care for rhythm, innovation and uncompromising ergonomics combined with the personality of the greatest drum machines.
What you can do with iSpark:
iSpark allows you to play drum patterns in-real time and to tweak your sound on-the-fly. Its optimized and performance-oriented layout gives you a direct access to an extended range of sonic parameters.
It also integrates a powerful and flexible 64-step sequencer enhancing your creative freedom and effectiveness.
iSpark unites our multi-rewarded TAE® technology coupled with a modular engine and crystal-clear multi-layered samples. Beyond drum and percussive sounds, iSpark blasts the frontiers of beat-making through a range of singular sonic effects, warm analog synth textures and melodic elements.
The main screen is all about performance. Its layout, inspired by our SparkLE controller, gives you immediate access to a comprehensive set of fundamental controls and parameters. Its lower part allows you to play and record your drum patterns in real-time, step by step, to jump between your patterns and to set their length.
In the mixer, you can adjust the volume and panorama of your instruments, set two individual effects for each of them, and modify the sending levels to the return effects. The VU meters help you to balance effectively your instruments.
The Studio is the iSpark laboratory of sound. This is where you will customize your kits and all the instruments that compose it. For each instrument, you can choose the samples that are used and adjust a comprehensive list of parameters.
In the sequencer screen, all the steps of your different instruments are right in front of you. You can thus create your sequences in a flash. Besides, the automation tool allows you drawing modulation curves with a simple glide of your fingertip.
The Song mode gives you the possibility to chain your pattern in order to create a whole performance. Organizing your song is as easy as a drag-and-drop. Switch to “Perform” and discover two large XY modulation touchpads that will bring your songs to life.
iSpark offers a total and seamless compatibility with the existing Spark environment. Maintain continuously your creative flow by transferring in a heartbeat your projects, patterns, your kits and individual instruments between Spark 2 and iSpark.
Connect the dedicated SparkLE controller to iSpark and associate the flexibility of an app-based instrument to the effectiveness and comfort of hardware.
The compatibility with AudioBus and Inter-App Audio offers a smooth integration of iSpark in you iPad-based setup. With iSpark, your mobile setup found its beat-making solution.
Pristine quality sound engines including: TAE® analog synthesis, physical modeling, and multi-layered samples provided by our top-tier development partners
· 640 Instruments / 40 kits
– Classic drum machines
– Electronic kits
– Acoustic kits
· Shuffle and shift modes to humanize grooves
· Choke groups to mute instruments naturally
· Song mode with 16 segments
· Song segment triggering from hardware
· Performance master effects: repeat, tape, reverse, strobe, pan, mix, bit crusher, 8-mode filter and Roller
· 16-track mixer with high-quality effects: multiband compressor, bit crusher, multiband EQ, chorus, delay, reverb, distortion, phaser, plate reverb, destroyer, flanger, space pan, limiter, sub generator
· Real-time automation on all parameters
· Compatible with SparkLE controller
· Ableton Link integration
· Possibility to share projects, kits and instruments between iSpark and the desktop version of Spark 2.
Be sure to catch a following post where I do a demo video of what iSpark can do.
iSpark is available now at the App Store for $9.99 and you can purchase it here:
Until next time, make happiness…make music.