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J Dilla-inspired sampler makes it easy to create beats on your phone

It wants you to focus on finishing a track, not fine-tuning.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 7, 2019
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Elf Audio

If you ask Elf Audio's Marek Bereza, many music samplers are too fussy -- you're focused more on making tiny edits than, well, making music. He's trying to remedy that with his new Koala sampler. Inspired by the late J Dilla's knack for creating tracks with a BOSS SP-303, the iOS app is not only designed to be easy to understand, but doesn't give you ways to micro-manage your tunes. You just record samples with your device's mic, create sequences and perform those sequences with effects like pitching and stuttering. You can resample if you'd like to put your audio bites through effects, such as dropping them down an octave.

Koala promises to play well with other parts of the music ecosystem. It's MIDI-controllable, supports AudioBus 3.0 and enables collaborative performances over WiFi using Ableton Link. The app costs $3, so it's a trivial purchase if you'd either like to get started with sampling or enjoy the thought of an app that pushes you to fiddle less and create more.

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