'Figure' Music-Making App Lets You Be The Artist

Singer-songwriter Margot MacDonald reviews the music-making app called "Figure" that records and layers different beats to create a song.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now from tech across the globe to tech at your fingertips. It's time for our latest app review. Today, we're going to tell you about Figure, created by the company Propellerhead. Figure is a music-making app that lets you record and layer your own beats, no talent required, just the right hardware and 99 cents.

Lucky for us, singer-songwriter Margot MacDonald has all three and shares this review.

MARGOT MACDONALD: Figure is a really intuitive way to kind of create your own music with a bunch of given set sounds of drums...

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM BEATS)

MACDONALD: ...and bass...

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM BEATS AND BASS NOTES)

MACDONALD: ...and a lead line.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: So you scroll through, and you pick the drum kit you want to use. Let's say, you pick Old-School, and it gives you boing...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: ...cha(ph)...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: ...and pu-pu(ph)...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: ...and create your own rhythm on the touch screen with your fingers.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: Hit record and loop that, then move on to the base.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: Just scroll your finger up and down depending on what note you wanted to hit.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MACDONALD: I'm not sure how it could be applied live or in an actual music setting, but it's definitely - for musicians, it's definitely fun for playing around with some new musical ideas, kind of finding inspiration in an odd source. And for the average person, it's - I think it's as fun as any other game app. So that's (unintelligible) you're going to create something.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: That's singer-songwriter Margot MacDonald reviewing the music-making app called Figure.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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