One of the best music-making apps for iOS is getting an update today, one that should make it easier for creators to add distinctive and professional sounds to their songs.
Auxy, the loop-based music creation tool, is adding new sound packs which can be downloaded as in-app purchases. There are some other updates in the new version, like the ability to make notes sound loudly or softly, and the ability to transpose loops up or down an octave. But the new Sound Packs, as Auxy is calling them, are sure to make the biggest impact on the app’s usability.
After updating to the latest version, Auxy users can download the new sounds and begin dropping them into their songs. The first pack features 10 piano sounds from Niklas Flyckt, a Grammy-winning engineer who mixed Robyn’s Body Talk and Miike Snow’s iii. All of the sounds are piano samples that are tuned in the effects chain. The artist provided the samples, then the team went to his mixing studio to create alternative versions. (Flyckt, like the Auxy team, is Swedish.)
Auxy’s creative director Jonas Åhlén tells me that even though Auxy is gaining features, the goal is still to keep the music-making experience simple. With traditional desktop music-making apps, you can wind up with gigabytes of preset sounds and spend hours trying to get them to work with your song, Åhlén says. “We want to lower the time you spend tweaking it, and raise the time you spend being creative.”
The Auxy squad is planning to release a new sound pack “about once a month,” sort of like how a record label puts out its new releases. The packs will be priced at $5, and every release will be promoted with a demo song so you can get in there and inspect the new sounds.
Top of the Pops
This isn’t a huge release for Auxy, but it is significant one, as it solidifies the app’s revered status in the world of electronic music production. If you go on Soundcloud (where Auxy creator Henrik Lenberg was previously the VP of platform) and go to the Auxy channel or browse the Auxy tag, you can listen to some really excellent creations—songs that are even more intriguing once you remember many of them were created using just an iPhone.
With this update, Auxy remains iOS only. I’ve been using it on my iPad Pro, a device that truly feels made for the app’s drag-and-tap production grid. However, I’m a little bummed I still can’t run it on my Android phone. But Lenberg tells me that Android is on the Auxy roadmap, and the team will get there … eventually. I guess I’ll just tinker around on my new Flyckt-approved virtual piano while I wait.
Update, Nov 3 at 12:30pm: This article was changed to reflect that the new additions are called Sound Packs.