What is a good iOS equivalent app to a TE Pocket Operator for a beginner dabbling in beat making?

I was inspired by Andrew Huang — Pocket Operators! video and was looking for an iOS equivalent. I find it really hard to find good information seen I don't even know the language.

What I think I want is a ‘drum pad (?)’ on which I can load my own samples, either from directly recording via the phones mic or from my own library. Apps I found so far:

  • iMaschine 2 — App hasn’t updated in over a year and gets a lot negative reviews
  • Beatmaker 3 — No iPhone version and seems really intimidating
  • Roli Noise — no feature to load your own samples, love the UI.

I know iOS isn't ideal for any of this, but I have no experience and I want to limit myself on what I can use. Music production can be a really deep rabbit hole and I want to try it frist before I’ll buy any kind of hardware.

Some apps named in this thread

triqtraq, Samplebot, Caustic, Werkbench, Beathawk, bip, GrooveBox, Elastic Drums, Grooverider, iKaossilator, Nanoloop, Korg Gadget, fluXpad, Yellofier, GarageBand, KRFT, Figure, RhythmStudio, Triggler

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Comments

  • I would suggest giving Samplebot a try. Although it seems limited upon first glance, the possibilities are endless and that simplicity is actually what makes it so brilliant. It’s one app that I constantly play with and it’s a lot of fun. :)

  • Not knowing what phone you're rocking with Groove Rider might be an option for instant fun?
    It's too small on iPhone 5/5S/SE for my taste but should be fine on the bigger phones.

    Imported samples (AudioShare, Open In... and Files.app) are converted to mono but it might be worth a look?

  • I'd say Triq Traq is the closest to the po-33

  • Beathawk.

  • Triqtraq or samplebot also for me

  • In order of how well they work for me...

    1. GrooveBox
    2. BeatHawk
    3. Elastic Drums

    Any of those will give you great results and probably blow your socks off at all they can do.

  • @Keenan thanks that app looks amazing and a fair price and it just looks like so much fun!

    @Samu I have a 6s Plus so that is fine. It looks a bit complicated but I'll put it on the list if I never need something with more features.

    @pierre & @mschenkel.it seems like what I asked for, only that interface though 😂 it will not win the design price, but looks like a great step up from Samplebot if you want more effects

    @Slava thanks, this good I'm watching this video now and seems like you can do a lot with it! Thanks for the addition.

    Thanks all for the feedback this was axiality what I was looking for!

  • My vote is for triq traq. Inexpensive, not a huge learning curve, and a lot of fun. It is probably the closest to the teenage Engineering pocket operators

  • triq traq, Figure, and iKaossilator are all great for getting your feet wet.

  • edited March 2018

    bip
    Yellofier
    Triq Traq
    fluXpad

  • Just buy the po-33. It’s so much fun. But if you want to use ios I would say roli’s noise.

  • edited March 2018

    Figure and iKaossilator, especially iKaossilator. You can put your Figure loops into iKaossilator too if you want. Most importantly these apps are very fun to use

  • I’m a huge fan of Roli’s Noise too but one of the problems with it as a stand-alone tool for making beats is that it doesn’t have a song mode. You can create variations using the per-pad patterns for each instrument but you’d have to record it into something else if you wanted to create a song. I feel like a lot of tools have this problem including Figure, iKaossilator etc.

    That’s one of the reasons I’d recommend either iMaschine 2.0 or BeatHawk.

  • @mvaneijgen said:
    I was inspired by Andrew Huang — Pocket Operators! video and was looking for an iOS equivalent. I find it really hard to find good information seen I don't even know the language.

    What I think I want is a ‘drum pad (?)’ on which I can load my own samples, either from directly recording via the phones mic or from my own library. Apps I found so far:

    • iMaschine 2 — App hasn’t updated in over a year and gets a lot negative reviews
    • Beatmaker 3 — No iPhone version and seems really intimidating
    • Roli Noise — no feature to load your own samples, love the UI.

    I know iOS isn't ideal for any of this, but I have no experience and I want to limit myself on what I can use. Music production can be a really deep rabbit hole and I want to try it frist before I’ll buy any kind of hardware.

    Caustic 3.2 is awesome, though its way more complex than POs. Its basically a miniature DAW.

    Grab the caustic 3.2 demo off of the store. Watch the developers youtube channel for some quick tutorials to get started. The PC version is free, it might be easier to learn on that. then, take what you learned to the app.

    You can do some very chiptune stuff with the 8bit machine in caustic, the chiptune presets in beatbox, qnd the csfx tool or whatever its called to make arcade sounds.

    Patterns in caustic work similar to patterns on the PO

    Adrian Gates
    Cloud Expert - Apps4Rent

  • @Keenan said:
    I would suggest giving Samplebot a try. Although it seems limited upon first glance, the possibilities are endless and that simplicity is actually what makes it so brilliant. It’s one app that I constantly play with and it’s a lot of fun. :)

    Yup! Nothing easier. @mvaneijgen since it sounds like you specifically like recording your own sounds, to make rhythms with, you should check out Werkbench. It's different from a drum machine, instead of sampling onto a pad, and then playing the pads to make a beat, you sample onto a beat, and it runs through the beats.

    @mvaneijgen said:
    I know iOS isn't ideal for any of this,

    Disagree! This kind of widgety music making is one of the strengths of ios.

  • @Processaurus said:
    Disagree! This kind of widgety music making is one of the strengths of ios.

    I know that is what I thought, but each time I ask the question people say, buy this desktop app, this $3000 synth and you are golden and all I want is make some beats. Thanks for the feedback, will look in to that.

    @all, thanks for the amazing feedback. I have a lot of research to do, but through you guys I found some amazing apps and find it a lot clearer on what to look for!

  • edited March 2018

    @mvaneijgen said:

    @Processaurus said:
    Disagree! This kind of widgety music making is one of the strengths of ios.

    I know that is what I thought, but each time I ask the question people say, buy this desktop app, this $3000 synth and you are golden and all I want is make some beats. Thanks for the feedback, will look in to that.

    @all, thanks for the amazing feedback. I have a lot of research to do, but through you guys I found some amazing apps and find it a lot clearer on what to look for!

    If you’re looking for something as stripped down-yet deep as the POs, with sample import plus hands on access to synthesis (percussion and melodic) be sure to check out the mighty Nanoloop. It’s closest in flavor to the POs of anything mentioned above, and has synthesis unlike all of the above (except the mighty Grooverider, and mighty Caustic, both of which are great but not very PO like)

  • edited March 2018

    @AdrianG001 said:

    @mvaneijgen said:
    I was inspired by Andrew Huang — Pocket Operators! video and was looking for an iOS equivalent. I find it really hard to find good information seen I don't even know the language.

    What I think I want is a ‘drum pad (?)’ on which I can load my own samples, either from directly recording via the phones mic or from my own library. Apps I found so far:

    • iMaschine 2 — App hasn’t updated in over a year and gets a lot negative reviews
    • Beatmaker 3 — No iPhone version and seems really intimidating
    • Roli Noise — no feature to load your own samples, love the UI.

    I know iOS isn't ideal for any of this, but I have no experience and I want to limit myself on what I can use. Music production can be a really deep rabbit hole and I want to try it frist before I’ll buy any kind of hardware.

    Caustic 3.2 is awesome, though its way more complex than POs. Its basically a miniature DAW.

    Grab the caustic 3.2 demo off of the store. Watch the developers youtube channel for some quick tutorials to get started. The PC version is free, it might be easier to learn on that. then, take what you learned to the app.

    You can do some very chiptune stuff with the 8bit machine in caustic, the chiptune presets in beatbox, qnd the csfx tool or whatever its called to make arcade sounds.

    Patterns in caustic work similar to patterns on the PO

    Adrian Gates
    Cloud Expert - Apps4Rent

    Caustic and RhythmStudio are good starters.

    Caustic has a modular instrument that is often overlooked.

    Gadget if you like to get really hands in with the sound design or need tonnes and tonnes of preset sounds.

    Grooverider but you'll need either AudioShare to record your output or a daw like Cubasis to sequence your pattern exports.

    GarageBand.

    Retronyms Tabletop and IMPC apps but buyer beware... they stray from the rest of the pack with their closed system approaches.

  • Samplebot should also be considered....

  • Another voice for TriqTraq and Caustic. Maybe Werkbench would be fun for you. KRFT has some unique advantages - could be interesting, too. Oh, and the "big knife" is, imho:

    Korg Gadget

    (aka PO 1-1000)

  • @Johnba said:
    bip
    Yellofier
    Triq Traq
    fluXpad

    bip! (So cool and still runs on the newest iOS.)
    I’ll see your bip, and raise you one Protein Der Klang...

  • I second Triqtraq.
    The name I'm missing here is Triggler, cheap and fun. Has even Ableton Link.

  • Another vote for TriqTraq.

  • @JeffChasteen said:
    Another vote for TriqTraq.

    Wish TriqTraq and Nanoloop had a live child (I like me some synth, perc and tonal)

  • TriqTraq and NanoLoop will be my votes too
    And they fit the user experience of the Pocket Operators :wink:

  • @Littlewoodg said:

    @Johnba said:
    bip
    Yellofier
    Triq Traq
    fluXpad

    bip! (So cool and still runs on the newest iOS.)
    I’ll see your bip, and raise you one Protein Der Klang...

    Does that Protein thing there make for a good breakfast supplement?

  • @robertreynolds said:
    I’m a huge fan of Roli’s Noise too but one of the problems with it as a stand-alone tool for making beats is that it doesn’t have a song mode. You can create variations using the per-pad patterns for each instrument but you’d have to record it into something else if you wanted to create a song. I feel like a lot of tools have this problem including Figure, iKaossilator etc.

    That’s one of the reasons I’d recommend either iMaschine 2.0 or BeatHawk.

    IKaossilator has a master record for songmaking. Figure doesn’t. That’s I guess a basic requirement for these types of deals

  • edited March 2018

    @Arpseechord said:

    @Littlewoodg said:

    @Johnba said:
    bip
    Yellofier
    Triq Traq
    fluXpad

    bip! (So cool and still runs on the newest iOS.)
    I’ll see your bip, and raise you one Protein Der Klang...

    Does that Protein thing there make for a good breakfast supplement?

    It’s delish!
    (Special recognition for one of the oddest names in iOS music apps)

  • Imperviously, nobody’s mentioned SunVox yet.

  • I would say nanoloop.

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