Sunday, September 04, 2011 by Tim Webb
A mere thirty minutes after my review of Rhythm Studio went up I got an email from Dan, Co-Founder of Retronyms, regarding my comments on their pricing model for Tabletop. He wanted me to try it out, so he gave me a promo-code with a request for feedback.
This article features all of my impressions; the $5 content is unlocked with the retail price of the promo-code. I have included optional In-Article Purchases offering further consultation, which are not included in the original price, for users who feel they need the additional content.
Tabletop is a sexy App. The navigation is smooth and the interface is well thought out. You can tell they got a real artist in on the project and not the accountant who "knows some Photoshop." Unfortunately the artist missed a trick, which is [Good Idea, In-Article Purchase - $9.99 Consulting Fee]. This is an important facet to any music App, as it should be instantly inspiring.
The included instruments in Tabletop's modular environment offer a fairly good mix. The ability to route audio with a visual wire connection is both intuitive and powerful. There is little that could be asked for here, though I did think the GridLok Pad Sampler would benefit from a [Another Good Idea, In-Article Purchase - $9.99 Consulting Fee], which would greatly extend its capability and fit well in the modular design.
Since I started off on hardware I was immediately comfortable with Tabletop's modus operandi. All of the instruments behave as expected. However, users more familiar with software environments may have a problem with this. I have received a lot of viewer criticism of [Trade Secret, In-Article Purchase - $99.99 Consulting Fee] in technoBox2 and Rhythm Studio, both also slavishly beholden to the hardware they emulate.
Fortunately Tabletop looks like it has the underlying architecture to over-come this present shortfall. With existing assets they could tweak some back-end to add [Great Idea, In-Article Purchase - $99.99 Consulting Fee]!
This core technology could add additional functionality in other areas as well:
As you can see, Tabletop's appeal is obvious with a lot going for it, but to get into the useful stuff you should be prepared to make additional purchases beyond the initial $5 investment.
Retronyms has a lot of passion for the project and are unquestionably dedicated to extending it as a platform. With their commitment to further development it is easy to imagine them patching in [Great Idea, In-Article Purchase - $99.99 Consulting Fee] as a future In-App Purchase. With that achieved, musicians comfortable with both software and hardware will want to make sure that Tabletop is a part of their music making!