Retronyms Updates Tabletop – What Do You Think Of It?

Retronyms has updated Tabletop, its virtual studio for the iPad.

New devices in Tabletop 1.1:

  • Compressor
  • Limiter
  • Expander
  • Bit Crusher
  • Splitter
  • High-pass Filter

Tabletop is a modular virtual studio that comes with a variety of devices, including a pad sampler, matrix synthesizer, mixer, turntable, low-pass filter and more. Additional devices are available as in-app purchases.

Here’s an example of a remix made with Tabletop, a tech house version of Sarah Nixey’s The Homecoming:

Retronyms is trying to make Tabletop the Propellerhead Reason of the iPad – a self-contained, but expandable virtual studio.

What do you think of Tabletop and their approach?

8 thoughts on “Retronyms Updates Tabletop – What Do You Think Of It?

  1. Apps like Tabletop would be a great host for plugins. Why oh why Apple you are restricting the use of plugins in IOS, it would be so much better.

  2. I don’t know if it’s just the presentation or composer choices, but the sound demos of this app have always sounded a bit muddy to me.

  3. The main issue I have with this is the severe audio glitching when you use several effects in the same tabletop. Considering how many effects i can run when using the 16 track version of Nanostudio, I find it pretty unacceptible performance-wise.

  4. compared to other apps trying to do a similar concept (rhythm studio and xenon come to mind) this is very well done. While I don’t think it compares to things like BeatMaker or some other options, it does fairly well for itself. The workflow is interesting and simple and the modules range from sub-par to pretty damn cool.

    I like the all-purpose recorder idea which has more usefulness than I had anticipated. The turntable is a nice, but novel addition. Could be somewhat useful for vocal sample scratching or for loading some backing parts in through iTunes (it uses your music library for file acquisition). It records automation, however as soon as you touch an automated parameter, said automation is erased, which I am not pleased with, but there are worse things in life.

    Far and away the stand-out module is GridLock which is in my opinion the best touchpad-style instrument I’ve found next to Beatmaker with a pretty good response, 2 mono outs (each pad assignable to 1 or 2), a good collection of preset sounds, the ability to record input through the mic, and you can also import recording from the in-app recorder module.

    I would like to see some form of step or piano-roll editing, in case you record something and decide you’d just like to change/remove a single hit or note. I am also pretty pissed that they expect me to pay $10 for essentially A/B insert potential and mute/solo buttons. The 8 ch. mixer is just fine for free, and they do provide a channel splitter in the event you want a dry and a wet signal coming from one instrument, however this could potentially clog the screen and get very messy.

    All in all, it’s a damn useful sketch tool, and has potential in live performance as well. And while it still comes up way short in terms of a “complete” mobile solution, it is better than most other options and a step in the right direction.

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