Riffer 3 Review – A Major Update For The MIDI Idea Generator
Audiomodern’s Riffer is an idea generator or, in technical terms, a smart MIDI tool (for both iOS and desktop platforms) that creates sequences and unique melodies (see our original Riffer feature to learn more about it).
Riffer was initially released in 2015. Over the past five years, the Audiomodern team (see also their recent new release, Opacity II), has been constantly improving the plugin. A couple of days ago, they announced Riffer 3, a major update that makes it better than ever.
On top of an already inspiring set of features, Riffer 3 comes with:
• Polyphonic Mode with Multi-Riff Engine
• Density feature
• Performance Mode
• MIDI Learn
• Preset sharing across devices
The Poly mode with the Multi-Riff Engine… well, that alone is worth the price of admission! I gave it a quick look using Mainstage, and I loved what I’ve seen. Just using one instance of Riffer 3 (driving Alchemy), I’ve created three different melodies setting up three of the four possible Riff engines – I felt three were enough in this case.
Then I started adding some randomization features. Riffer gives you a good degree of control over the randomization of its parameters (pitch, velocity, duration, and density (this is basically a note-repeat). In this case, I’ve set Riffer to randomize velocity and density, but only a few notes of one of the riffs, to keep a certain consistency.
Once I had something going on in Riffer, it was easy to try out other ideas and variations. I plugged in a MIDI keyboard, and I was quickly able to transpose one or even all the sequences at once. It’s worth noting that the plugin was immediately able to listen to my controller’s keys – no setup or configuration needed!
It’s so easy to get lost in Riffer, and that’s always a good sign. It’s one of those instant-gratification plugins, and yet it has enough features to keep you entertained for a long time. I also like the fact it has 57 available scales, plus you can design your own. MIDI learn is another nice bonus, especially if you’re using Riffer in a live performance.
There’s much more that could be said about Riffer 3, but this app/plugin is so much fun that I urge you to try it for yourself
To learn more, watch this video overview:
All in all, Riffer 3 is a fantastic update. The new features make it a kick-ass idea generator, it’s extremely well-designed, and the best thing is that… it’s free for existing users!
If you’re not a Riffer user yet, well… no more excuses. Did I already mention it’s a bargain ($39 for the desktop version and $7.99 for the iOS app)?
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