BeatFactor, by developer Frank Mantek, is an excellent swirl of both a drum machine and a metronome. The iPhone app’s focus on practice means you can work on nailing a new lick, or even a whole solo with the songs mode. It’s a gnarly piece of machinery, and if you’re itching to hit the woodshed, BeatFactor has a lot to offer your practice session.
After digesting the app and performing the iPhone app review of BeatFactor, I ascertained that the basic premise of is simple: A metronome is grand on its own, but how about adding different sounds and instruments to the same, time-keeping principle? The result is an interface that supports two different click tracks, each which can be swapped out with any other in the library with only a click of a button. Tempo sliders along the top allow for precise time adjustments, as does the tempo pad which users can tap to set the pace.
Another much appreciated addition to BeatFactor is the ability to change the tempo’s style. If you really need a thirty-second note blast, a quick slider sets you up in no time. Likewise, you’re free to choose any other rhythm all the way from quarter notes to triplets. BeatFactor’s metronome function works fantastically, but when the app sports such a vast library of click tracks and song loops, it’d be a shame not to create whole practice tracks. The app makes this easy as well, offering the same two track line-up in song mode. Tempo sliders and pads are present, and the user is free to save selections for use later. The app also comes with a wealth of pre-made practice tracks from a myriad of genres, making it incredibly easy to workshop a new solo.
BeatFactor’s design is every bit as simple as its function. The interface features a lot of negative space, which can feel a bit sparse, but it keeps things simple. Everything the user needs to start cranking out beats is easily in reach. Likewise, swapping between metronome and song mode is a one-click affair. For all its simplicity, though, BeatFactor does look a bit spartan, which is a trite complaint, but a valid one all the same.
Thankfully, there’s nothing trite about the tracks offered here. All of the click-tracks I tried were extremely suited and well-made. One could easily use the included tracks to workshop any style of music.
The BeatFactor iPhone app is nestled in what I consider to be its price sweet-spot: The app is currently $1.99 in the AppStore. Certainly this is more expensive than the one-dollar bargain range, but for your money you’ll get a solid interface filled with great content. Any musician knows the value of a metronome, and having a metronome with this many quality extras is something spectacular, making the price of entry well worth it. If you’re looking to fix a new lick, or just jam to some basic beats, BeatFactor has you covered, and at a stellar price to boot.
BeatFactor requires iOS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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