When developer Sonoma Wire Works set out to create a multi-track recorder for the iPhone, they enlisted the help of Retronyms, creators of the best selling Recorder iPhone app. Together they built FourTrack, the closest anyone has gotten to creating a rich-featured, studio-quality multi-track recording app for the iPhone. It allows you to create songs on the go, without the need to carry around any other hardware.
FourTrack offers a lengthy list of features for musicians of all calibers, all in a wonderful, easy-to-use package. As the name suggests, you can record a maximum of four tracks, limited in length only by the space on your device. The main screen is a mixer with, you guessed it, four tracks, each with their own metering, panning and fader controls. One of my main complaints with most serious music production apps, including Logic and Pro Tools, is the ridiculously steep learning curve. Thankfully, FourTrack has avoided all the hassle by presenting its features in an intuitive and simple way.
One of my favorite features is what Sonoma calls WiFi Sync, which allows you to copy your recording onto any computer with a browser. The addition of this feature means that you can start working on a song on the go on your iPhone and complete it at home, using more powerful software. In essence, it’s somewhat of a musical sketch pad, which lets you lay out the framework for a song anywhere, anytime.
That being said, there’s no way you could replace an application like Logic Pro with FourTrack, because there simply isn’t a way to cram all of those features into an app that can run on a mobile device efficiently. Missing features I’d like to see include a metronome, a sequencer, the option to monitor while recording and individual track deletion. On the other hand Logic Studio costs $500 and FourTrack is under $10.
Overall, FourTrack offers phenomenal bang for you buck, in a tiny package. If you’re a musician looking for a way to create songs on the go, grab FourTrack for $9.99.