BeatHawk is UVI’s attempt at a do-it-all iOS music maker. The latest version includes Ableton Link compatibility, which certainly expands the usability of the app, but this is our first look, so here’s a complete overview.
Price £9.99 (plus in-app purchases)
Contact Developer UVI
Web www.uvi.net and iTunes
BeatHawk 2 key features
- 16-track sequencer, up to 16 patterns per part
- Pad, keyboard and pattern performance modes
- Edit sounds with effects and ADSR envelopes
- Ableton Link, Inter-App Audio, Audio Unit v3 plug-in, Audiobus and AudioCopy support
- Piano Roll Editor mode with Note and CC
At its heart, BeatHawk has an MPC-style set of 16 pads to cover your 16 sequencer tracks and produce up to 16 patterns to make a song. You get two sound banks in the 1GB download which cover EDM and urban with sounds broken down into Drum Element, Drum Loop and Instrument folders. Another 30-odd folders will appear when you are connected to the internet but these are all optional in-app purchases – anything from a couple of quid up to £7, but usually four or five pounds. These are varied and include a whole range of World collections and intriguing-looking Trip Hop and Electro Pop offerings. They’re laid out in a very tempting way, so be careful, as you could easily ramp up your costs here.
Producing music couldn’t be simpler: set the app cycling around a couple of bars, hit record and then play your pads. Handily, hitting the Pitch tab opens up a couple of octaves of keyboards so you can quickly get melodic ideas down – indeed, this really is one of the quickest ways for when inspiration strikes when you are on the move. There are also handy Gain, Pan, Pitch and Effect options on the right to adjust each pad/sound.
Loading in different sounds on each pad is also dead easy; a browser brings up all of those collections and you simply choose by folder and then audition. Another great feature of the app is that you can easily import your own samples via the likes of iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox.
BeatHawk really does get very close to a desktop experience which is in some ways its undoing as you then expect more in the way of proper editing or drag-and-drop-style Korg Gadget features. You do get some Piano Roll editing, but desktop DAW users will want more, as Beathawk does what it does so well, it raises your expectations somewhat.
We’d guess, though, that this will be the focus for version 3 and the real strength of Beathawk is just how easily it makes ideas a reality. And for the price, it’s a steal.
BeatHawk 2.0 is a great way to get your mobile ideas down – and more links to the outside world mean they can be easily transferred to your desktop studio, too.