Shaker Box is a simple, yet well executed app that gives you an assortment of shakers on your iOS device. Only one shaker is included for free but the app has full functionality with no additional cost. A one time $1.99 in-app-purchase gives you access to 12 additional shakers.
The sounds are very actual samples and sound great. The settings allow you to choose between loops in 3/4 or 4/4 time.
You have three methods of play at your disposal (and some are more functional than others):
- Shake: Allows you to actually hold and shake your phone like you would an egg shaker. While the app and gyroscope do a pretty good job, I found it almost impossible to get a real groove going this way (at least for very long).
- Tap: This method allows you to tap the screen to trigger the back and forth sounds of whatever shaker you’ve chosen. I got this working better than the “shake” option but, I wouldn’t sit in with my local salsa band.
- Loop: This was the one for me. You can tap for tempo and just let it go! You can still change shakers and the loop continues flawlessly. The loops are seamless and the sounds are of good quality so I found this to be pretty nice for fun, recording or practicing.
While the app may never take the place of a percussionist, I do think it could be useful for recording (via the headphone out) or just having fun in the shed as a play-along device.
All in all, Shaker Box is a nice and well executed little app that many may find fun and useful. I love playing to percussion loops, and I did find myself having fun by playing along with the app more than once, so there you go!
Shaker Box is a universal app, available from the App Store. The app requires iOS 5.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.