Voxkit is a MIDI drum controller with a twist. In addition to touch pads on the screen, you can trigger notes with sound. Clap your hands, tap a pencil on a desk, or use your voice — Voxkit detects the tone of the sound, to trigger a sample from the app, or a MIDI note.
What’s Unique with Voxkit
Voxkit is a drum controller; for drum tracks, timing is everything. Drum sounds are sharp and percussive: slight delays are easy to hear and throw off timing. Voxkit triggers drum samples based on sound coming in; because iOS devices have been optimized to handle audio quickly, there’s less delay than with touch screens, and Voxkit can respond faster.
Triggering Drum Samples
Voxkit uses a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to analyze incoming audio signals. You first train the app to recognize different sounds (hand claps, a pencil tapping on a glass or a metal pan, or beat box sounds made with your voice). Each sound has a different frequency spectrum from the FFT; Voxkit listens for a sharp sound, determines which spectrum is the closest match, and then triggers a drum sample.
First Steps in using Voxkit
We would suggest watching the YouTube video, as it gives an overview of how to use the app.
Open the app, and once running, touching on the grid of drum pads will trigger samples. For the iPhone and iPod Touch, the control on the left will select different banks of samples. On the iPad, all control pads are available for touch.
Press the “gear” icon to switch to configuration mode. On an iPhone or iPod, select “Pads” to open the touch pad configuration panel. On this screen is a four-by-four grid, corresponding to the four banks of for pads each. Touch any pad in the grid to begin configuration.
Train a Pad to respond to Sound
Trained pads respond to sound; you can train other pads in the same way. We recommend starting with one or two sounds, and then adding more as you become more comfortable using the app.
Plan your Drum Kit
You can select the sample that Voxkit plays for a particular pad in the same location that you train them; tap the up or down arrows to switch pads. Voxkit also sends MIDI notes, and can be used with other apps; change the MIDI note assignment in a similar manner.
Customize the Drums
You can customize the sounds that Voxkit makes — add WAV format samples through iTunes File Sharing, to make the drum kit of your dreams.
Making a Complete Track
Voxkit was designed to help drummers create a more natural feeling track, one that reacts to the music. Use a drum machine to create a “time keeping” track with a shaker, and breath life into the music with Voxkit playing instruments that are out “in the front” of a mix.
Recording with Audiobus
Version 1.1 of Voxkit adds Audiobus support; audio produced by Voxkit can be sent through effects apps, and to recording apps. Please see the documentation on Audiobus for more details.
Recording with Voxkit
Voxkit also support basic recording of your playing, and can export the results as a WAV file (with Audio Copy, iTunes File Sharing, or by email). MIDI events are recorded too, with the same sort of export options.
By listening to external sounds, rather than just the touch on a screen, Voxkit can capture the subtle velocity and rhythm variations of real drumming. The sound interface also allows Voxkit to react quickly, making the app more responsive and expressive.
There are hundreds of apps that will let you program drums on a grid — and you wind up with something that sounds stale and mechanical. Break free with Voxkit!