Reflow for Mac (US$19) and iOS ($5.99) is a tool that makes composition and practice of music easier. A few weeks ago you may have seen TUAW's Editor-in-chief Victor Agreda, Jr. interview Sébastien Bourgeois, creator of Reflow, in our Origin Stories series. The interview spiked my curiosity about the app, so I took a closer look.
While there are some great music notation apps out there for Mac (Tabular) and iOS (Weezic), what caught my attention about Reflow is that it supports both Mac and iOS. Plus, Reflow takes advantage of the latest Mac OS X and iCloud sync features.
Let's say you're composing a song in Reflow on the Mac. Reflow (which supports fullscreen mode) will automatically save your work as you progress with autosave. And if things take an unsurprising turn, simply engage versions (just like you would in Pages, for example) and go back to the last iteration of your work that suits you best to carry on from.
Finally, Reflow takes advantage of iCloud support, meaning you can be working on the Mac one minute and switch over to your iPhone or iPad and carry on where you left off the next.
These simple features make a huge difference to the creative process by letting you focus on the music.
But all of these great features would be meaningless if Reflow didn't have the basics to make a fantastic music notation app. Fortunately, it does. The app's beautifully simple interface lets you build multi-track (guitars, bass, keyboards, drums) compositions with musical notation or tablature. It's as easy as clicking or typing in a note or beat, playing on a MIDI keyboard or, for guitarists, dragging and dropping chords in from the extensive chord diagram database. Of course, you can create your own chords, too.
Furthermore, Reflow gives you an audio representation of your work using a lightweight audio engine, so you have a great idea of what your composition will sound like before the real players step in. And you can modify and edit your work during playback. Reflow also lets you build and re-arrange your own song structures, so if you suddenly decide the intro sounds better as a middle-eight, just drag it over.
Finally, Reflow also supports Guitar Pro and Power Tab files for import. Export your compositions in Guitar Pro, PDF, Wave and MIDI files, or share by email.
For songwriters and composers looking to write for a typical band, Reflow has all the tools you'll need. But where Reflow stands above the rest is in its creative process and workflow. With iCloud support, Reflow allows you to transition work seamlessly between Mac or iOS and takes the worry out of saving your work as well as going back through previous versions.