Note: This review is based on a beta version of Anytune V3.0 which is due out this week, pending Apple’s approval of the app. This beta has proven to be incredibly stable and performs beautifully, so I expect nothing different in the final version.
As I have already reviewed both Capo and the Amazing Slow Downer, I wouldn’t have bothered with yet another “slow downer” unless it was something really noteworthy. I am happy to report, that Anystone Tech has raised the bar with this Anytune Pro.
A quick search of Anytune on the iTunes store will bring up previous versions of the app, and you will see solid 5 star ratings across the board. This new version is further improvement upon an already stellar app.
There are a few features that I’ve noticed which really set this app apart from the competition.
The app’s “LiveMix” might be the coolest thing ever. If you use an iRig, iRiffPort or any kind of interface to play your instrument into your iOS device with headphones on, then you can use this to play along with the track. You have full adjustment of your mix and can even pan yourself and/or the music to one side of your headphones or the other. This is incredibly useful and really helps you feel like you’re a part of the music you’re working on.
The app provides the ability to change sound quality to reduce processor strain when it’s not necessary. Say you’re using the app for dictation – you don’t need super hi-fidelity and, if you’re using an older device, you might appreciate the ability to lower sound quality and gain app responsiveness. “Basic” sound quality also provides less battery drain). The app offers three levels; Basic, Pro and HQ.
“Step trainer” allows you to repeat a section that you’re working on and have the app incrementally increase the speed with each repetition. This is of course useful when working up difficult passages.
Loop Delay allows you to add one or more seconds of pause before your set loop starts again. There are controls for lead-in/out times for markers you’ve set (think of it as pre-roll and post-roll in the studio).
Anytune is integrated with iTunes in a way that makes a lot of sense. You can roll through an iTunes playlist, skipping back and forth between songs without having to re-select a tune. Once you’ve chosen a song, the app works pretty much like any audio player.
Other features I’ve found incredibly useful with Anytune include:
- Record notes and comments on each tune
- Attach lyrics to a tune
- Share your tune with markers, etc.. via twitter, email or text/iMessage
- Fantastic EQ with presets or custom EQ
- Fine tune and pitch by a 10th of a cent increments (some go to 100th of a cent, but I’ve never found that level of refinement to be any more useful than a 10th. Maybe if you have perfect pitch? I can’t hear it.)
- Adjust not only the beginning and ending of your loop points but finely move the entire loop as a whole in small increments to a 1000th of a second.
- Add markers
- Adjust the speed from .05 – 2.5 the original tempo
The usability and sound quality of Anytune is equally fantastic. This app may have more bells and whistles than you need every time, which is why I also kept the ASD on my iPhone for any quick fix looping of a section or slowing a passage down for a quick reference.
For any real study and time spent digging into the meat of a tune, I believe that AnyTune is the way to go. In a space saving moment, I removed Capo from my iPad, which I never thought possible until Anytune.
If I had one complaint, it is that the iPhone version gets a little cluttered thanks to all of these features. Anytune really benefits from the screen real estate of the iPad, so much so that I almost wonder if they should’ve simplified the iPhone version. But I’m sure I’d miss many of the features, were they not provided.
I got the hang of the app pretty quickly on the iPhone and got a feel for it very quickly on the iPad. The most useful feature is the little “?” in the upper right corner of the app screen. Whenever you find yourself wondering about a feature, just hit that button and little bubbles pop up over every icon on the screen, offering specifics on each one. This was immensely useful as I first got to know the app.
So, there you have it… Anytune HQ 3 is now my all-time favorite slow-downer for iOS devices. The company spent six months redesigning the app and have integrated many new features users had requested. Job well done!
Anytune is a universal app, available via the App Store.