We were lucky enough to get a first glimpse of Coldcut’s live performance gadget at LMC this month – a comprehensive iOS app that could change the game for artists and musicians. Jamm Pro is the brainchild of Ninja Tune Founders Coldcut; Matt Black told us it has been “in development for 25 years”. We recently spoke to Matt Black on the legacy of Coldcut and the values of Ninja Tune – you can read that here.
We will be posting a review of the impressive digital instrument in due course, but it’s worth mentioning now that this is a tool that could easily enhance the live performance of plenty of artists. Available now on the App Store at an incredibly affordable price of £20 (with a current introductory price of £10), Jamm Pro is described by Coldcut as an “electronic music instrument”, not an effects rack or sequencer – which is an understandable definition because it goes way beyond the parameters of that.
Set your sound
As a sequel to Ninja Jamm, Jamm Pro allows you to load up sounds from the downloadable Sound Sets, or your own recordings made from other iPad apps or through external and internal microphone sources. The app comes preloaded with Sound Sets created by a set of international producers, artists and sound designers which can offer instant inspiration and creativity.
Once these sounds are loaded in, you can navigate four main channels, each with nine sequencers. The sequencers include nine six modulation sequencers, a slice sequencer, a pitch/reverse/drill sequencer and a gate sequencer. 64 patches can be saved and utilised, meaning you can perform with up to 2304 sequencers per Sound Set.
Jamm Pro allows plenty of room for experimentation, designed to function as an instrument for playing with sound, rather than a perfect composition on a 4/4 grid. The app is extremely intuitive, offering multi-touch control to get fully hands-on with multiple effects at once and recognising small finger movements. This also lets you switch from one sample to the next in an instant, with everything remaining in sync and in key.
The Coldcutter module is a complex and innovative tool, which enables s buffer shuffle and modulation matrix for sophisticated beat manipulation. You can trigger an automatic ‘call and response’ between channels, plus algorithmic evolutions of samples and utilise patchable sequencers, similar to a modular synth.
There’s also a Loopstation function to layer up tracks and get a groove down quickly, and sequencing is taken up a notch with the Slice sequencer. This provides supreme interactivity, allowing users to simply draw on the screen to restructure samples, quickly and enjoyably changing up sounds on-the-fly.
The Scratch feature allows you to utilise a classic hip hop technique, with authentic sounding results. You can also hook up other devices thanks to a MIDI input and MIDI Learn function, offering triggering options and control of Jamm Pro. An Export to Live option also allows you to take your ideas into Ableton Live and add the finishing touches.
Coldcut is also running a competition in which you can win £1000 by recording a one-take video exhibiting your Jamm Pro skills. More details on the competition can be found here.
Jamm Pro offers a huge amount for performers, especially considering the impressively affordable price tag. This is designed to be an app that plenty of producers, artists and casual beatmakers can spend hours on and achieve unique results. An in-app help screen provides all the support you need with clear annotations to the features.
Jamm Pro is available now for an introductory price of £10 on the App Store. Find out more at jammpro.net
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