120 BPM [rating: 3.5/5]
120 BMP, as its name suggests, is all about modern music with a beat. With a user interface that is not dissimilar to Garage Band (if it had had a fluoro make-over), it is bright, fun, and embraces sharing user generated content, as well as the all important Facebook!
120 BMP fires up quickly and launches straight into one of its sample tracks whilst showing a gyrating club girl dancing away behind the main menu. And you’re off.
The app has basically three parts. A sample recording area, a track creation area, and a world view where you can share content.
The main part of 120 BPM is the track creation area, which is based around a music creation timeline I have already said it is similar to Garage Band, and in fact to most side scrolling timeline based music creation apps. Initially it is a little confusing what each icon above the timeline is for. But with a little bit of experimentation you will find your way around. There are ways to choose sets of samples, alter the positioning of sounds, and save or load your tracks. There is also a “Help” area accessible from the Main Menu, or while in the editor, which has text written instructions on how to use the app.
Basically, you place samples (which are arranged down the left hand side of the screen) into the timeline by simply touching and dragging them where you want them. Moving along the timeline can be done by playing the track, touch dragging it, or using a slider. Unfortunately the app does not let you use the slider while a track is playing. So there is a lot of starting and stopping of the track, and moving back and forth, which is a bit fiddly. This is a shame when the developers have given you so many ways to move around. Simple touch and drag, and a track that is actively playing picking up from where you dragged it to would be preferable, and would have served to clear some space on the display for more info on the sample buttons, and other menu buttons.
The included samples are great. And by and large seem to be beat matched, however you place them. But it is disappointing to download an app and immediately be told that you are gonna need to stump up more cash for any samples over and above the one very focussed set included. However, you can record your own samples using the “My Samples” area of the app. But that area seems to be limited to 6 slots, as far as I can tell.
By far the best feature of this app is the World View where you have a Google Earth style globe that you can pinch zoom and rotate to see markers all around the planet where other 120 BPM users have uploaded their creations. Focussing on any purple dot turns it briefly into an hour glass, before it changes to a green note and you can hear the music that a person has made.
One downside to this user generated content is that it is clear that many people like the same standard tracks included with the app. Or don’t want to pay more for new ones. But hopefully as people experiment more with the sample recording, and downloading the additional sample packs the diversity of these creations will grow.
I have already mentioned this, and I do have a little bit of an issue personally with apps that come with three quarters of their content disabled. But that is just me. At 99 cents though, it is hard to complain. But factor into that price the notion that if you want more than “Electro” sounds, and want a full range of samples from different musical genres to choose from, you are either going to have to make samples yourself, or download them. With the latter option this app’s price is really closer to $4 if you also want to have “Dance”, “Funk” and “Pop Rock” content. After that if you want even more samples to choose from then the developer offers plenty. And all are at the 99 cents a pack.
Worth the money? Yes. Fun? Yes. A Tool for Pros? Definitely not. Will it make you famous? Probably not. But who knows! Look at Justin Bieber!
At the end of the day it’s all about the in app purchases, baby!
- Quality of the samples provided.
- Ability to share your music and listen to other people’s on a global map.
- Sample Recording.
- Limited number of samples in base package.
- Limited number of slots for your own samples.
- Its all about in-app purchases.
- User Interface is a bit clunky, and very very bright – colour-wise!
$0.99 (View in iTunes)
Released: Nov 03, 2010
1.0 (iOS 4.0 Tested)
Seller: Little Worlds Studio, sarl
© Little Worlds Studio
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later