Novation Intros ‘Groovebox’ App For iOS

Novation offshoot Ampify has introduced Groovebox – a free music studio app for iOS.

Groovebox offers two powerful synthesizers and a drum machine, designed for streamlined mobile beatmaking. Once you’ve got something you like, you can sync to other apps or a laptop with Ableton Link, connect to other apps with Audiobus and Inter-App Audio and even Export to Ableton Live.

Here’s the official video intro:

Hands-On Demo:


  • Three powerful instruments – Drumbox, Retrobass and Poly-8
  • Discover and build ideas – Quickly explore sounds with hundreds of melody and rhythm patterns
  • Play touchable instruments – Create your own melodies and beats
  • Build beats – Play drum pads or keys, sequence notes or use patterns
  • Sound innovation – Synths developed in partnership with legendary Novation
  • Production-ready sounds – Crafted by world-class sound designers and artists
  • Extendable Instruments – Expose more tweakable synth controls
  • Sequence your music – Draw notes and build patterns instead of playing them
  • Stay in time and key – Choose from any tempo, key or musical scale
  • Mix your music – 8-track mixer on iPad. Instrument focus mixer on iPhone.
  • Share your music – Easily create a mix of your music to share with others

Advanced Features:

  • Jams well with others – supports Audiobus, Inter-App Audio, Ableton Link and Ableton Export
  • Ableton Export – Easily send your project to Ableton Live
  • Full scale support – All keys and major, minor and modes supported
  • Project management – Rename, duplicate and delete
  • iPad Pro support – Optimized to use the entire iPad Pro screen
  • Send your ideas to a laptop – Batch export your pads as a .zip file, or use Ableton Export
  • Bluetooth speaker supported

Supported Devices:

Groovebox is compatible with iPad 4th Generation, iPad Air 1/2, iPad Pro 9.7/12.9, iPad Mini 2/3/4, iPod Touch 6th Generation, iPhone 5/5C/5S, iPhone 6/6S, iPhone 6S/6S Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus. Requires iOS 10.

Pricing and Availability

Groovebox is available now as a free download. Additional content packs are available as in-app purchases.



26 thoughts on “Novation Intros ‘Groovebox’ App For iOS

  1. I dig the Ableton export. Makes it a nice sketch pad and I can finish ideas on the desktop with Live. That separates it a bit from the thousands of other groovebox apps. Looks like a pretty easy to use app too. Can’t beat the price either, though I’m not a fan of being bugged to make in-app purchases. Hope they allow for user samples in the drum machine. Something new to check out!

    PS Novation – add Ableton Live export to the Circuit. Pretty please! You guys are on a roll!

  2. Two synth voices and a sampling drum machine. Does that sound like anything else from Novation to you?

    Why not make an elegant iPad companion to the Circuit, instead of a bunch of half-baked desktop alternatives?

    Just make an app like this and make it easy to go back and forth to the Circuit. I’d love to see modern multitouch patch editing and sample editing for the Circuit on the iPad.

    There’s no doubt the iPad is up to the task – but is Novation?

  3. Yeah you get a free app, but have to pay for aspects of it. Awful isn’t It. Why can’t everything be free. Bearing in mind what they are achieving with their support and products of late, I’m more than happy. An official Circuit editor app is onw btw.

  4. some apps you pay up front, and get additional content for free. for example Patterning.
    i prefer that business model.
    but if you really like advertising freebies, not gonna judge you. hey, maybe they’re handing out cheese cubes at the local supermarket today? i heard it’s even free admission this week!

  5. Nice App,I would like to see midi and Bluetooth midi interface support.overall though it strikes me we have got so many apps on IPad which have got audio share capability that if you don’t quite like how one app does thinks ,just hop to anther.The Rolandesque synth is nice with useable presets.I agree with comment about it being tedious to have essential functions as in app purchase .

  6. Its pretty bland. The fact that its a circuit in your ipad and has nothing to do with circuit is a total waste. Hoping for a circuit app is starting to feel hopeless.

    1. “The fact that its a circuit in your ipad and has nothing to do with circuit is a total waste. Hoping for a circuit app is starting to feel hopeless.”


      Seriously – how hard would it have been to make this app something that is an intelligent complement to the Circuit?

      I love my Circuit – but editing synth patches on it is a complete disaster, and you can’t edit the samples. Both are things that would be a perfect fit for the iPad.

      It’s almost like they have different teams working on these things that don’t talk to each other or something!

  7. Novation stuff is good, this is good too. What people are saying about an ipad companion app for Circuit is spot on. The isotonik editor is alright, it could be less confusing visually though. the whole dark scheme throws me off.
    For this app:
    -please add note numbers to the keyboard interface…it is like the circuit or any of the grid based things for that matter, i don’t know what notes i am hitting
    -midi control

    on a side note: maybe ios 11 will breathe new hope and life in ipad as a music making tool. i am sick of the frustrations that counter all the amazing synths the ipad has

    1. How is this infringing on anything related to Roland? They don’t own the rights to the term “Groovebox”.

      1. Actually, they do. The term “Groovebox” debuted with the MC-303 in 1996. “Groovebox” is a trademark of The Roland Corporation.

        1. This could be an easy case of a genericized trademark. The term “groovebox” became so ubiquitous to describe an all-in-one solution for drums, bass, harmony, melody, that Roland essentially ‘loses’ it’s trademark because it now belongs to the public.

          Like Skee-ball, Band-aid, or Kleenex. It doesn’t mean that Roland couldn’t take action, but it’d be difficult for them if they haven’t protected the trademark very well.

          And it can be a mixed bag. People always using your brand name to describe a type of product (best example: band-aid) can be good for you. It reinforces your brand, even when people are using a different product.

          But at some point you get diminishing returns, and can ultimately be very harmful to the brand. Since Roland hasn’t used the groovebox terminology for a specific product since the 90s (AFAIK), it may be difficult for them to fight.

          1. UglyKidMoe said, “Roland essentially ‘loses’ it’s trademark because it now belongs to the public.”

            Yeah, except they don’t and it doesn’t.

            While a generic term cannot be trademarked, the name of a popular brand which has become generic is still protected if the trademark has been properly filed. That’s why you don’t see generic facial tissue with Kleenex on the box or generic bandages identified as Band-Aids.

            Sure, a registration can be challenged. But would you bet your business on it?

            1. Right well I must apologize as I didn’t mean to imply that Roland has already lost it’s trademark. It would definitely need to be challenged in court for it to happen, and it’s likely not ubiquitous enough of a product line to merit the designation. But it isn’t unprecedented.

              But videotape, aspirin, heroin, teleprompter are all once trademarked brand names that lost their trademark *because* they became generic.

              I’m shocked Frisbee is yet to join that list, myself.

              But, yes, you’re right. As of now, Roland’s trademark stands and remains uncontested.

              1. It would appear that the argument is likely moot since Roland hasn’t maintain the trademark since 2006 and it was canceled in 2011. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that novation won’t be challenged in their use of the term Groovebox, it certainly doesn’t help rolling situation that they haven’t released a product of that distinction in quite a while, and that the term has become synonymous with a type of machine and less and less with Roland specifically.

                Also, keep in mind that novation has had a product on the market for two years known as the circuit groovebox. If this has gone uncontested by Roland, then their chances of successfully challenging novation even less likely.


                I guess we’ll see!

                1. And please forgive the odd typos. “Rolling situation” should be “Roland’s situation.” I was trying to use speech to text pretty unsuccessfully.

  8. I love notation products and apps, my next tour with my girlfriend will rely on notation and Ableton exclusively. I am a classically trained pianist , I got into the dance ensemble on computer devices only 4 years ago, And I have found that the notation products on iPad and hardware are absolutely brilliant. Everyone here is being very picky. Perhaps you need to have piano lessons and music theory for 14yrs like I did so I could play just a piano. Notation has enabled me to compose and publish music I could never have done before. Thankyou Novation and for your telephone support too.

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