GrooveBox by Ampify: A Mobile Studio in the Palm of Your Hand


Ampify may be a name you’ve never heard before, but you know the products well. The development team Blocs grew out of Focusrite and Novation and gave us the Launchpad and Blocs Wave music-making apps. Now they have changed their name to Ampify for the release of GrooveBox; an all-in-one mobile studio for the iPad and iPhone. While still maintaining the user-friendly simplicity of Launchpad and Blocs Wave, GrooveBox offers more advanced synth parameters. Ampify’s intention is to create a program that is easy enough for beginners to start, and for the more experienced to master. From everything we’ve seen so far it looks as though GrooveBox does just that – blurs the line between ease of use and detailed control all with the user’s workflow in mind.



The free app is based around two dual-oscillator synthesizers and a drum machine. Both synths are designed in partnership with Novation: Retrobass is for crafting deep basslines and the other, Poly-8, gives rich harmony. Both use a powerful new synth engine capable of recreating sounds ranging from classic, wide analogue to modern, punchy electronic sounds. For Retrobass free controls include distortion, waveform, pitch and filter cutoff. For Poly-8, distortion, delay amount, oscillator pitch, glide and filter cutoff are included. Drumbox (the drum machine) allows for pitch, filter, and sample length control. More controls are included for all three instruments with in-app purchases. The synthesizers and drum machine come with ready-made patterns or the ability to sequence your own. These pre-made loops come in all genres, and within each genre there are many, many options. Manual control of velocity and timing is intuitive and allows for quick work. Users can also edit the ready-made patterns in any way they’d like. If you would prefer to perform and record for a live feel, both synths and the drum machine offer playable instrument windows as well.



GrooveBox’s inclusion of all of its capability in the layout of an iPad or iPhone screen is impressive. For mixing, an 8-track window is available for the iPad and instrument-focused windows provide workflow capability on an iPhone. Song key control is made easy with the touch of a button and includes all modes such as lydian, dorian, etc. which is very cool. Changing song tempo is possible in the middle of a production, allowing users to audition different feels after a beat has been made. Jamming with others is also possible through Audiobus, Inter-App Audio, Ableton Link, and Ableton Export. If you like an idea but want to finish it elsewhere, export your project to Ableton Live directly with Ableton Export, or export as project files and work on them in another DAW. The full sound and loop libraries, and the full synth engines are available through in-app purchases, but what is offered free is more than enough to get you started.



GrooveBox is an exciting piece of software. We see amazing potential for beginners. For the more advanced, this could be an excellent tool to make beats on the road or quickly put ideas down whenever inspiration strikes, no matter where you are (assuming your phone is on you). This is definitely something worth checking out if you are looking for easy-to-use mobile studio. Check out more info HERE.


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