I reviewed Secret Bass Design’s rather interesting Voxkit app when it was first released back in July 2012. At one level, the app is a fairly standard a drum pad/sample triggering app (although you don’t have to use it exclusively for drum samples; it works with SoundFonts and a whole range of different instruments are included with the app). You can trigger sounds by tapping the onscreen pads (with velocity response depending upon where you tap each pad) and, if you wish, you can have each pad output MIDI data to another app.
However, Voxkit does come with one very particular trick up its sleeve – the ability to trigger the pads via sound – so if you prefer the more natural way of playing your drum tracks (or samples) by hitting real objects with your fingers or drumsticks rather than tapping virtual drum pads on a touchscreen or programming to a grid, Voxkit might be for you.
What’s new in 2?
While the app has had a number of updates since my original review, a couple of days ago, v.2 hit the App Store and Patrick Madden – Secret Base Design’s main man – has bought the app up-to-date with a number of new features. First, compared to when I originally reviewed the app, there is a completely new – and rather funky – visual look (not sure if Patrick likes poker or not?). Other new features include Audiobus 2.1 support (and, as a consequence, also IAA support), faster sound detection and built-in support for Apollo MIDI over Bluetooth.
Voxkit offers plenty of configuration options. For example, as well as being able to associate a sample with one of the pads, if you wish, you can configure it to trigger a single MIDI note, a chord (you you could set up Voxkit as a MIDI chord performance tool) or a MIDI control or program change message.
Of course, the most fun it to be had when you set Voxkit to respond to sound to trigger your pads/samples. You can ‘train’ the app to respond to up to four different sounds (one for each column of pads). You can then toggle playback of any combination of the four rows on/off so that, when you make one of the trigger sounds for a column, the samples from any active rows within that column are triggered. Yes, this does take a bit of getting used to and you have to make sure you use four distinct sounds, but once configured, the actual triggering is very responsive.
Voxkit is both fun to use and a useful utility. It is a universal app and requires iOS7 or later. Like all of Secret Base Design’s apps, it is also just a little bit on the quirky side (in a good ‘indie developer’ sort of a way). At the time of writing, Voxkit will set you back UK£0.69 so, even if you just want to give it a casual try, it is not going to break the bank. If you are a tabletop drummer who likes to hit things other than a touchscreen to trigger your beats, Voxkit is well worth giving a shot.