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Firo4 by Makefast Workshop

Back in 2014 we got the multi-instrument multi-looper Fiddlewax Pro, which later became Firo. Today Makefast Workshop released Firo4! This is a standalone app, as the original was pulled from the App Store back in 2018. There are a bunch of features in here that are designed to make music making fast and easy. And free! There are presently no IAPs or ads in Firo4.

This new Firo is not quite as modern as you might hope, as it is limited to IAA/Audiobus.

Firo4 App Store Description:

Firo4 is a cutting-edge musical instrument, drum kit, chord builder, and multi-channel looper; all seamlessly designed for maximum playability. Create new music like never before with an instrument that's built to help you turn your song ideas into reality.

• Music first •
Designed from the ground up to help you focus on what you’re creating. Reinvented piano layout extends your expressive potential. Supports 10-finger multitouch and seamless use; keep playing even while adjusting parameters.

• Play your heart out •
Choose from 12 instruments, all optimized for high quality playback. Select from four drum modes with both analog and electronic samples. Add filter and reverb effects to shape your sound.

• Informed by theory •
Choose any key in 7 diatonic modes and 7 secondary scales (Pentatonic, Blues, Whole-tone, etc.) to facilitate stylistic riffs and melodies. Intuitively learn relationships between notes and chords as you play.

• Chords with context •
Quickly build complex harmonies with a single touch; push-button chords adjust to include triads, 6, 7, 9, sus2, sus4 and modulation chords while also informing the chorded zither/autoharp.

• Intuitive looping •
Five auto-expanding, synchronized loopers offer layering, contextual sizing, replay, and simple undo/redo via press-and-hold. Tempo control and beat quantization let you easily align looped sequences on the fly.

• See what you sing •
Visual pitch detection allows you to sing what's in your head and see which corresponding notes light up on the keyboard.

• Record your session •
Record up to 90 minutes of live session audio as you play — then output as both a stereo M4A file (clean output and vocal/mic input) and multi-channel MIDI file.

• Share with the world •
Share your audio recordings with other iOS apps and save files to your computer when you sync your device.

• Connect with other apps •
Send realtime audio directly to other iOS apps via Audiobus and Inter-App Audio. Output MIDI to control other iOS synthesizers or to desktop synths and workstations via WiFi / Bluetooth.

Firo4 is the latest version of Firo (short for Fiddlewax Pro, first released in 2014). Since its humble beginnings, Firo has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. We hope you'll give it a try and let us know what you think.

Reader Comments 2

Rather surprising. Thought Firo was gone forever.
Does sound fairly interesting overall, in the “let’s put something together quickly without worry too much about the details”.
Too bad it’s not AUv3.
February 24, 2020  | favorite_border Enkerli
Pretty elegant way to get at a bunch of diatonic chords without too much fuss.

Sus2, Sus4, add 6, 7th, 9th-- and with the idea that the members of the chord are chosen by the current scale. The only exception is the 3rd which can be toggled between major and minor.

In terms of chord qualities, it isn't limitless. You can't alter 5ths or 9ths outside of what is available in the scale.

You can slide entire chords up/down a 5th or up/down a half-step. Which I suppose is useful.

On one hand, the setup is logical and intuitive. It will give you such a nice range of moods within the available scales.

On the other hand, I can't help but wonder if they could at some point offer user-scales and/or user chords. Probably a can of worms, considering the scope of the app.

No complaints though. Nice app for making accompaniments to practice along with.
February 25, 2020  | favorite_border stub
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