Funkbox Gets Updated With A Third Helping Of Funk

Synthetic Bits has updated Funkbox, its iOS drum machine, giving it a third helping of funk.

Here’s what’s new in Funkbox v3:

  • iOS 6 compatible
  • Retina graphics support for iPad and iPhone 5
  • Five new classic vintage drum machines: DX, Drumulator, TOM, KR55, and RX11
  • New pattern presets, including a bonus bank inspired by classic drum machine presets
  • Support for 3/4 time signature
  • New box and pattern storage menus
  • New improved custom drum box and sample management menu
  • Improved Audio/MIDI settings menu
  • Easily share your custom patterns and boxes through email
  • Edit pattern names
  • Closed hat chokes open hat
  • MIDI bass line sequencer
  • MIDI CC control of volume, pan, mute
  • MIDI start/stop control
  • OMAC fast switch support, to quickly switch between apps
  • PDF manual included with app for offline reading
  • Misc improvements and bug fixes

Funkbox is $3.99 in the App Store.

If you’ve used Funkbox, let us know what you think of it!

10 thoughts on “Funkbox Gets Updated With A Third Helping Of Funk

    1. The closed hat should choke the open hat when you use the sequencer. It currently doesn’t when you are tapping out beats with the pads. I’ll change that for the next release so it always chokes, but it should currently do it properly in your patterns.

  1. Awesome app. great update. it looks and feels better, and more intuitive to use.
    In addition to midi support, will there be blue-tooth WIST support?
    This would make it my favorite drum machine.

    1. Hey, thank you, appreciate the kind words. Makes me feel bad for what I’m going to say next! I’m probably not going to add WIST to Funkbox, for two reasons:
      First, practical reason, I don’t like being dependent on external libraries, I already have an app I can’t currently update because it is dependent on an outdated library that requires an update that I don’t control. Result is I either release without the library and make people unhappy when a feature they depend on goes away, or I don’t release anything and make people unhappy. I don’t like being in that position so I am only willing to do it in exceptional cases like the upcoming Audiobus, where there’s no native alternative like there is with CoreMIDI for WIST. It is hard enough being a dev and being completely and totally dependent on the whims of Apple… each external library I add is another thing I need to keep track of, figure out the quirks, ask for updates, deal with bugs, etc.
      Second, this is an idealistic one, but I want to encourage people (and especially other developers) to use CoreMIDI. WIST has some advantages – it is super easy to implement, super easy for the user, and the performance of the individual parts (as far as jitter, etc) is good. The downside is it only works with other WIST devices, and (I think, only Korg knows for sure?) it is more of a start/stop synchronization rather than manually keeping the two devices in time and sync. So the individual devices run well but sometimes they go out of sync, especially if they are two different apps from different devs with tiny clock differences.
      I’m a shameless Korg fan, of their hardware and software and apps, and I know there’s users like yourself who would like the feature, so I feel bad about it and it’s possible I’ll change my mind. But for now, I think CoreMIDI is the better way to go, especially for people with hardware gear like those who read this site. An iPad interfacing via MIDI with an x0xb0x or sequencing a Little Phatty or synced to Ableton or whatever is more exciting to me than two iPads sort of synced up. And if you want to sync up to iPads you can do that with CoreMIDI too.
      Thanks again for the kind words about our app and I apologize if this explanation seems like an excuse. It is something I’ve gone back and forth on, but in the end I decided it was better to stick with CoreMIDI and force myself to try to make it better. I do still have a ways to go on making it easier for the user to use.

      1. Thanks for that very well-written and interesting explanation. It’s helpful to know the factors that make developing software within the tight controls of Apple more difficult. Makes me want to buy your app just because you seem like an conscientious developer who cares about keeping the app robust.

        In case you are still tracking this thread, one thing I wish I saw more in drum-machines is a more flexible way to setup odd meters, unusual subdivisions (like quintuplets), different kinds of irregular grid shifts (akin to swing, but with more world-music applications) and maybe 3 levels of accent. Seems like a nice way to break us out of ruts.

        I know these suggestions aren’t appropriate for a “vintage style” drum machine like Funkbox that is more geared toward a retro sound. It’s just that I’ve been tinkering with Metronomics and realizing that some pretty oddball combinations really grow on you after not-too-long.

        1. I completely agree. FunkBox was my first music app of any kind, I wanted to keep it simple and focused, and then use what I learned from it and Little MIDI (another simple, focused app) as a good base of knowledge and code to build cooler weirder stuff. I’m not sure if that will happen at this point, I seem to be running into my limitations as a programmer a lot sooner than I’d hoped. But if I could make a dream drum machine app it would add drum synthesis, parameter locks a la Elektron, per part step length, plus separate step lengths for modulation loops like in Little MIDI, plus a good dose of randomness.

          Unfortunately, I am just not able to make something like that at this time. I’ve found audio programming to be a very deep pool and skimming the surface with something fun like FunkBox might be as far as I’m able to dive into it. We’ll see! But needless to say I agree completely, one of my unfinished apps that may never see the light of day is a sequencer that incorporates a lot of randomness. I’ve found the hard way that these apps take a lot more time and energy than they appear to, though. Making something seem simple is actually really hard, and time consuming.

          Hopefully FunkBox provides some fun and usefulness for what it is. Thanks again for being so positive!

          1. I have to say that your honesty and dedication is very inspiring. Funk box was the first drum app I got and it’s still my most used! Keep up the good work 😉

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