I have to admit, I’m usually not a fan of music-making apps and preferred to make my music using a good old Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) like Ableton Live or even Fl Studio but, after chatting with the boys at Studio Amplify, I decided to give this new innovation a try and boy am I glad I took the time to do so. I’ve only had it for a few days and already my imagination is running wild, trying to master this new style of production and add it to my arsenal of beat-making tools.
I feel encouraged not just to get better at putting notes together and calling it a song, but to actually get better as a full-on musician with the pad-like capabilities that are now at my fingertips. Studio Amplify are two brothers from London that both share a passion for music and have dedicated their time to create apps that inspire a new wave of creative thinking and ultimately break down the barriers of what is possible in today’s modern age of production.
Although it may not be the right first step for beginners, I don’t see why any veteran in the game wouldn’t want to make the most of such a simple, yet effective, upgrade. And it’s not just for hip-hop and trap either. Nearly every electronic genre you can think of is catered for and with the option of MIDI out now available, the possibilities are endless. Without further ado, allow me to tell you all about it in this KRFT Modular Music Production review.
Cheapest Place To Buy: iTunes Store
Operating Systems: Apple iOS
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Based on 37 Ratings)
What Can It Do?
I’m not gonna lie, at first I really didn’t know what to expect when I first opened this bad boy up and I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Take a look at every video or photograph taken of KRFT in action and you’ll notice one thing. Each interface you see looks completely different from the one you saw before, like a unique mosaic from the mind of each producer, giving you endless customisation options to optimise your workspace no matter what you use this app for.
The term they use is Non-Linear Composition and that hits the nail right on the head. It’s almost like I’m playing with Legos that play a different tune with each touch and can be put together to form a brilliant musical collage. All the tools you need come in various shapes, depending on the function, and can be assembled however you like, across the design matrix. The colour of each shape is determined by the channel it’s been assigned (whether it be for drums, bass, or lead) so no matter how colossal your build may be, each element is easily identifiable.
The square cell (or rectangle-diamond-thingy) is going to be your main source of inspiration but don’t think this is just a pool of random melodies for you to choose from. You have to get your hands dirty and build those patterns out like the pro you are and if you’ve got some finger-drumming skills in your back pocket, then now is your time to shine. One press of the record button and you can tap out the perfect beat to go with your mix or the perfect fill to be activated anytime with the ‘non-stick’ function of the cells.
The name of the game these days is ‘expressive play’ and that’s gotta be the most tantalising part for me. There’s nothing better than being able to play live and just because you made your music behind a computer and not behind a guitar doesn’t mean you can’t play your songs like a true musician would. To go along with your loops and fills are an assortment of dials that can be assigned to any cell, plus an oval trigger that can spit back any audio file that you give it to consume. The finesse of an orchestral conductor is all yours
What Can’t It Do?
One thing I have to warn you about is the steep learning curve that awaits anybody that started producing music, like, yesterday but for anybody experienced in this field, it should be a breeze. I’m used to the magnificent fiasco that is electronic music production so for me, bringing any idea to life was a snap. I knew which parameter to look for and I knew which adjustments to make to get the required result and that all comes with experience.
Should I Get It?
Luckily, for anybody new to the game or anybody looking to master the art of KRFT, there is a barrage of tutorial videos on the website for you to sink your teeth into. If you’re already a producer aficionado then I highly recommend this app for one simple reason: this little app finally has MIDI Out. So not only can you create your own custom interface, you can use it directly in your Ableton Live Set to control all the MIDI you want. As if you created your own Launchpad from scratch.
My favourite part of this entire experience has to be the collection of user-made interfaces that are available for you to play with. My imagination skyrocketed when I saw what other people were doing with this app and I couldn’t wait to start making beautiful sequences of my own. They said they would expand my musical imagination…and they succeeded. The future is here and its name is KRFT Modular Music Production.
Want to know more about KRFT? Got any experiences to tell us about? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below!
Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Lead Contributor For HowToMakeHip-Hop.com