triqtraq Review: More Than Meets The Eye


Zaplin Music’s triqtraq is a fun little jamming app for iPhone and iPad (portrait mode only). But don’t be fooled by is small size. It is a very powerful sample recording, beat making, little groove machine.
It features 4 tracks or sequencer channels each sporting 8 sample pads. Each of the tracks has 16 steps. You can also record up to 16 patterns to play an entire song. It also features a filter, delay, pitch, pan, level, and decay, which can all be automated in real-time. It does not seem to have any MIDI implemented but it does support IAA as a generator and the input slot in Audiobus.

Although triqtraq has over 350+ quality sounds built in, you can also import your own. The only option for importing samples are to use iTunes file sharing or AudioPaste and the samples need to be 44.1, 16-bit .wav files. I also tested the limit of the imported samples by loading in a 20 second loop and it seemed to stop at 10 seconds. So it will import a longer loop but it seems to only play the first 8 seconds. (UPDATE: the developer just got in touch with us about this, explaining that ‘the 8 seconds limitation is there because a pattern inside triqtraq is max. 60 bpm – or with the loop speed set to 0.5x 30 bpm. So, since each pattern is max. 8 seconds, we decided to only load the first 8 seconds of an audio file to save some memory.’).

Importing your samples is not the only option to getting custom sounds into triqtraq. You can record samples directly into the app using the onboard microphone (fun!). I have also tried using an external interface with mixed results. My Akai EIE (the red one) did not really work but my Avid Fast Track Duo worked like a charm. I was able to record my guitar and vocal samples without any issues. The workflow for recording samples in is super easy so building an entire kit can be accomplished in just a few minutes. One addition I would like to see for sampling into the app would be to allow it in the output section in Audiobus.

Also, one of triqtraq’s key features is the variable loop length and speed of each track and automation, as you can see in this video

I mentioned earlier about a lack of MIDI implementation. triqtraq does seem to respond to BPM sync and Start/Stop when it is loaded via IAA. I tried it out in Beat Maker 2 with great results. It synced to the BPM and responded great to Start/Stop transport controls.

The last thing that really stands out is the pattern section. You can choose to queue up the patterns in the Play Queue(song mode) section or you can play any pattern instantly by clicking the pattern number. This would be useful if you had your queue setup for your song but wanted to change it up on the fly.

Overall this app has a lot of features (check out all the tutorial videos here), too many to cover all at the same time, for the price. For $3.99, you get a fun and cleverly designed app that can also be productive (and could be a killer one with more connectivity options – I’d be glad to pay more for that!). It has quality samples and an easy way to record your own. I would recommend triqtraq because there is definitely more to this app than meets the eye. Warning: it’s addictive!

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