The Intua Beatmaker 2 is a great little app you can do big things with. Having a portable app to use while I travel is a dream. Gone are the days flipping the switch on a huge hunk of metal and banging pads being stuck in one location. Now iPads are the drum machine, multitrack, synths and the whole bag of tricks.
How Does It Work?
Well, it’s an app that functions like a MPC. Beatmaker 2 is a sequencer, Drum Machine and Sampler. You can do a full complete song with it which is really cool. The app is not intuitive so you will have to see the tutorials provided from Intua. Intua’s tutorials helped me get the work flow of the app. Once I learned the basics, the rest became easy to learn. The Beatmaker 2 app is like an early version of a MPC similar to a MPC 2000XL mixed with maybe a MPC 1000 with the JJOS. It does come with its own drum kits and samples but the provided presets suck. Why use the presets when you can make your own drum kits and synths. Making your own drum kit in Beatmaker 2 is simple plus placing them on individual pads is effortless. The best way to get samples into the app is by selecting iPod, Recording a sample or grabbing samples from a folder inside Beatmaker 2. I use iFunbox to transfer wav files to and from my computer and it works out. The Chop Lab is wonderful being able to chop samples with the touch of your fingertips. I can chop samples with this app all day laying down in the bed or sitting on the couch. It a liberating experience for a guy who use to chop up samples on a rack mount sampler years ago. The sequencer is good and the timing is on point for the most part. Its rock solid compared to my Roland MV-8800.
The Real Deal
Beatmaker 2 is perfect but with the many features it offers, it still lacks a few to make it Pro. One big feature they need is a way to let a user layer drums. I like to stack drums and this should be included. Also, as powerful as this app is, Intua should add a resample feature so a user can resample sounds with the effects. This could free up effects for further processing. Other than that, Beatmaker 2 is close to perfection. Intua, if you are reading this, please add drum layering or pad layering. Another thing I don’t like is how to move files to and from the iPad but I’m sure this Intua’s fault or Apples. Anyway, aside from those issues, there are not many more so you can have fun with this app. The cool thing is that a user can import sounds so if you processed some drums on your computer or other device, you can simply transfer it to iPad and load it into Beatmaker 2. Those options make this a desirable app for the Boom Bap enthusiast.
Is it Worth it?
Yes it’s worth it. Beatmaker 2 is a little pricey in the app world costing $19.99 but compared to $1300 I spent on a Roland SP-808 15 years ago, this is an awesome deal. Can you make a pro sounding beats with it? I think it’s possible because you can export individual tracks and dump them into your DAW. I actually heard of a few Boom Bap enthusiasts giving up old gear to use the app. Personally, I would never do that. I still use my MPC 2000XL and have no desire to go the full iPad route for all my productions. If anything, I would use Beatmaker 2 as a companion production app you can sketch out ideas and bring back to the lab for further editing. Check out what can be done with Beatmaker 2 below.