Tap, mash and mangle beats, and now jam live too.  ·  Source: elastic drums

Let’s be honest, the world isn’t exactly short of beatbox apps on iOS but what’s less common is coming across one that really shakes things up. Elastic Drums by independent developer Oliver Greschke is a deceptively plain-looking beat machine that actually delivers a ton of cool functionality and in this new update, even more ways to play it live.

Running on recent iPhones and iPads, Elastic Drums has various different sections but at its heart are six synth channels, ten percussion synth engines and 12 parameters for each of the synth engines. There’s a lot more to it than simply pressing squares on a grid, though. Each of the synth engines can have its parameters automated, and the same applies to the multi-FX section which has an X/Y pad for programming effect changes over time. One of the most fun things to try is using the randomizer feature to instantly punch in whole new synth settings and thus create unique kits.

You can chain patterns together to make songs of course and there’s a mixer section as well as a new jam mode that I found really fun and useful for realtime performance. It basically turns the app into something of a live performance tool as well as a programmer. There’s much more to be had too, including MIDI in and out using hardware or a wireless connection and flexible audio export options as well as Audiobus and Inter-App Audio support.

Watch the developer demo the new features in version 1.6:

Don’t let the graphics fool you into thinking this is an amateur invention; it’s actually a fantastic way to create, tweak and sequence electronic beats on your iPhone or iPad. Combine it with a hardware controller like the iRig Pads and prepare to have your mind blown. There will be an introductory discount, after which the app will be available on the App Store for $11.99.