So following on from my first impressions post on Pocket Band I’m not going to bore you guys by repeating the points made there (not all of them at least!) but feel free to read the original post here.
I will state this review applies to the full version, not all features mentioned apply to the free version (sorry guys!)
Pocket Band allows you to “Build high quality tracks as a sequence of loops, mixing synths,drums, audio recordings, analog modulators and arpeggiators. Apply FX to channels and export to mp3 or ringtones. Also play and collaborate in our community.” Quoted from Play Store.
The application does require a SOLID data connection. I would advise only to use this app on a steady wi-fi signal and definitely not mobile internet as the application is “cloud” based so uses a lot of web access. If you have a truly unlimited mobile data plan you should be ok but otherwise just go very careful.
The application comes with a polyphonic synthesiser which features 125 different instruments, a drum machine featuring 35 different kits – my favourite of which so far is the garage kit. You can also add live audio recordings of instruments/voice to any track you create.
The application; as the name suggests, works via audio loops which you can create yourself. The only problem with this is the loops only seem to work in bars of 4 so if you have an unusual song format can be a bit trickier to sequence. Of course I chose a difficult song to work with though, most people probably won’t have this issues :).
It is definitely worth getting the full version of this app as the number of loops you can use is limited on the free one, likewise with devices within a loop. If you just want it to play about with though the free version will suffice.
I would advise anyone who is new to this app to watch the tutorial within the application and to follow the instructions on the demo track which comes preloaded. Although it is reasonably easy to use it takes some playing about to really pick up how to use some of settings and I feel these two helpful features really are worth the time to learn it properly. Below is a quick video tutorial of me using the tutorial and then talking through a few of the features.
The actual input screens themselves are very easy to use especially the synthesiser and drum sequencers. They are very similar to what you would expect to find in higher end music sequencing software such as Logic Pro, also with easy to use pan, volume control, reverb options and a mini mixing desk.
The app is broken down into four useful sections; The Workspace – where you spend most of your time inputing and recording your loops, and creating your final mix downs. Here you can also set your “Collab Status”. This lets people track you down if they want some help/collaboration on tracks they have already started or equally you can look for help which is great when you have some friends within the app so you can work with each other on some pretty great (hopefully!) collaborations. My Profile – self explanatory, your profile for the online community. The Community – this is a space where you can publish your work on line through the Pocket Band website. On here you can view and listen to others work by browsing songs or specific bands and people once you’ve added some friends in the community. Finally the “News” section of the site which allows you to see anything that bands/artists you follow on the site have published or posted onto the site.
For the cost of £3.14 in the play store I’d say this app is definitely worth the money. I personally think it is of a very high quality although not all the instrument sounds are as good as they could be, also the limitation on how many bars you can have in a loop is a little bit tedious but easy to work around. Once you get used to this app it is easy to use very user friendly and if you know what your doing you can produce some great results on here. If you are interested in just messing around with some music I’d suggest the free version, however if you take music very seriously and want to produce some high end results then the paid version is definitely for you. There isn’t much competition in the Play Store for this type of app but I feel the Pocket Band guys have hit the top notes with this app and other dev’s are seriously going to have to produce something amazing to better this!