Reactable’s Snap is a tablet drum machine for quick pattern improvisation
Snap also boasts plug-and-play compatibility with NI’s Maschine Jam controller.
Reactable is best known as the company behind the unique table-based gesture interface of the same name (as used by Björk), but in recent years it’s equally notable for music-making apps such as MIDI sequencer Steps and Rotor, which combines an app with physical objects. Its latest app, Snap, is something more traditional: a drum machine, but one with a few tricks up its sleeve.
Snap’s step sequencer interface looks just like a standard Ableton Live clip, allowing you to draw in beats on a grid. However, at the bottom is a mixer-like control that actually allows you to quickly make pattern variations. These “density sliders” will add or remove drums to a track, a bit like Maschine’s note repeat button, and are a quick and easy way to improvise and add variation to your patterns.
Another useful feature of Snap is the ability to create “snapshots” of your favorite variations, which are stored in a handy panel at the top of the screen for quick recall. Alongside this there’s support for playing wirelessly with other apps over Ableton Link and plug-and-play compatibility for NI’s Maschine Jam controller, with support for other devices promised soon.
The Maschine Jam template (which can be downloaded from the Reactable website) won’t be used by everyone, but it’s unusual to see mobile apps built to work with third-party hardware like this. Snap is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, but it’s iPad compatible on iOS only.