by FRANCIS PREVE
WE’RE BIG FANS OF JORDAN RUDESS’ iOS PRODUCTS. We tested MorphWiz
back in November 2011 and found it to be one of the coolest, most playable iPad
synths available. SampleWiz—Jordan’s entry into the iOS sampler melee—is equally
engaging, not just for its ease of use, but for its inclusion of some pretty sophisticated
SampleWiz delivers immediate gratification. Hit
the microphone icon and boom, you’re recording.
Tap it again to stop sampling and you’re
ready to rock.
From there, you’ve got three sampling modes:
Classic, Granular, and Modern. Classic mode operates
like pretty much every standard sampler:
Play your sound up and down the keyboard and
it’s transposed, as well as sped up or slowed down
for munchkin or Vader effects. Granular mode
lets you choose the playback speed and grain size
for time-stretching effects. Modern mode separates
time and pitch, allowing you to play with
Other processing includes an ADSR envelope
for the amplifier, cropping/looping for the samples,
and a basic delay effect. Personally, I would
love to have seen some sort of filtering as well,
but it’s still a cool app without it.
As with so many iPad music apps, you can
select specific keys and modes for the keyboardplaying
surface, so bum notes are impossible,
unless you’re feeling extremely confident in your
touchscreen playing skills. You can also trigger
sound by playing the waveform display itself, and
since every note is an independent voice, you
can swipe left/right and up/down and have your
sample moving forwards and backwards from
different pitches and starting points!
When it comes to CoreMIDI implementation,
SampleWiz is packed with features. Pretty much
every synth parameter—including waveform
position, playback direction, delay, and envelopes—
can be assigned its own MIDI CC number.
So if you’re using a CoreMIDI interface like Line
6’s MIDI Mobilizer, you can do all kinds of magic
tricks with a bit of advance planning.
SampleWiz is an Internet socialite as well,
thanks to its built-in ability to share your custom
creations via email. All of the preset parameters,
along with the sample data, are contained in the
attachment. This is also a really nifty feature for
archiving patches: Just email your faves to yourself
and keep them organized in your email app.
The online buzz about SampleWiz often compares
it to the Casio SK-1 keyboard, which also
delivered on-the-go sampling for the masses, and
I’m inclined to agree. It’s deep enough to be used
as a “real” instrument, but the fun factor of this
app is off the charts. At $9.99, we highly recommend
it for kids of all ages.
PROS X/Y axis playability
makes for enhanced expressiveness.
Preset key, scale,
and mode make it easy to
stay in tune. Extensive MIDI
implementation. Ability to
email presets to other SampleWiz
CONS Lack of fi ltering is a
BOTTOM LINE Fantastic blend of
sampling with intuitive, realtime
$9.99 | wizdommusic.com