Is it a guitar? A drum set? An exotic indigenous instrument of some kind?
Nope. It is an app. That’s right, an app called Caustic. The gent (Rej) over at SincgleCellSoftware.com really nailed it with this one and all it’s power is available right in your pocket.
Also, extremely handy on touch-screen tablets, Caustic puts the world of synthesizers in a nice neat bow for a mere $9.99. They even have a Volca Sampler editor, so you can add your samples directly into your Volca via your phone! Trust me, you won’t miss the ten bucks. I had to look up how much it even cost because of how often I use it. To download from the Play store please click on the link in this paragraph.
Quick side note – if you like free/inexpensive music-making applications, DO NOT miss out on VCV Rack!!
I must admit, I am a sucker for step sequencers, but this one is different. With it’s easy UI, you’ll find yourself making tunes in mere moments with Caustic’s 14 built-in ‘rack mount’ synthesizers. Each of the 14 Modules boasts a crazy number of presets, which all have maneuverability amongst machine parameters (LFO, VCA, Phase, Etc.). I own hardware synths (Moog’s Mother 32 and DFAM, Korg’s Volca Sample, SQ1 and MS20MINI, to name a few) out the yang but always find myself gravitating back towards Caustic. I think it allows me to ground myself and really get back to basics. It allows one the ability to set up structure when running short on ideas. I would trade the Piano Roll in Logic for Caustic any day of the week.
Caustic; Your Music Making Best Friend, even comes with it’s own software for syncing samples to a Korg Volca sampler. How badass is that?? I am yet to really try it though, as I primarily utilize Vosyr to import samples to my Volca, but it is still good to know I have the Caustic tool ready and waiting for me at the drop of a hat.
It is handy to know some music theory when approaching this step-sequencer based application and music making best friend. A lack of knowledge in that area won’t hinder you necessarily, but having some prior experience will go leaps and bounds in this platform. For example, I love to create chords and chord progressions across various instruments. Let’s say I’m writing a Major chord across instruments. The root would logically be on a low-end bass-type sample. The Major third will have a mid-range tonal quality. The Minor third up top will be a plucky, or high-range tone. Now, take that concept and add it to a chords progression. You will not be disappointed with the results!
In the end, it’s a super fun toy to noodle with and I cannot recommend it enough, regardless of skill level. Beginner to Maestro, you will find Caustic to be a beneficial tool to add to your arsenal.
Check out a track I made solely with Caustic here – www.soundcloud.com/chuckwny/eegc-21019