Here’s something you probably haven’t seen before. Finnish developer Kovaluu has a drum machine and looper app out called Beats and Loops. So far, so well, but there’s one unique feature. And you have to be very careful with it…
A virtual pedal
Kovaluu’s innovative app uses the smartphone’s proximity sensor to let you hover your foot and imitate a stomp the way you’d stomp on a pedal. That’s quite novel, but you better be careful not to crush your phone with your foot in the heat of the moment! Dangers aside, the foot functionality includes starting and stopping songs, triggering drum fills, switching song parts and recording loops. So plenty of live looping to be done hands-free with this app. As far as I know, no other music app uses the proximity sensor in such a clever manner.
The drum machine sections features 50 beats with A & B parts and several fills. Tempo can be freely adjusted and new kick drum patterns can be entered. The built-in instruments are an acoustic drum kit (vintage 60’s Ludwig), a Cajon kit, and a metronome. Sounds great for acoustic performances!
The looper can record your phrases through the phone’s microphone or an external source if you have an audio interface connected. To awoid feedback, the phone must be hooked to an external speaker, headphones or an AUX input. Built-in feedback cancellation prevents the drums from leaking into your recorded audio. The latter is auto synchronized to the beat, which sounds like a great, Ableton-esque feature to have. It makes for a fluid pattern and clip-based compositional environment.
Price and availability
Beats and Loops costs USD 4 and is available for iOS and Android devices. Head to its product page to get the download links.