Those of you who have met me at the store might have found out in the course of conversation that I’m also a freelance musician and composer outside of working at mac-fusion. So for this app review, I wanted to get a little musical and talk about one of my favorite apps for creating music on my iPhone: Figure.  This little app is so much fun and it’s a great way for anyone, regardless of musical training, to create interesting and polished-sounding music on their iOS device.

The concept of Figure is simple: you’re given three different categories of instruments (bass, lead, and keys) and you use your fingers to trigger them and record layers of melodies and rhythms.  The style of the music is pretty well within the bounds of “electronic” or “techno,” so if you’re into that type of music, you’re going to love the sounds you get right off the bat.

After creating a new song, you can choose a key and tempo for the song, and then you just hit Record and you’re off and running. Like many music apps, it’s loop-based so once it hits the end of the number of bars you’ve chosen, it loops back to the beginning and lets you continue layering on top of what you just recorded.  You can also go into the “effects” section for any instrument and morph the sounds over time and those adjustments also get recorded.

One limitation of the app is that it doesn’t allow you to compose full songs with multiple sections the way that an app like Garageband can do, but that’s probably because the app is made by Propellerhead which also makes a much more powerful piece of software for the computer called Reason. Nonetheless, Figure is a great way to generate some cool ideas in a very short amount of time, whether or not you’ve spent hours of your life learning how to play a “real” instrument.

Download Figure on the App Store: