Electrify NXT – Review

Electrify NXT is made by Ingolf Koch
Available in the iTunes App Store

…A virtual groove box with drum loops, synths and FX”

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t get along very well with the first Electrify app. When I saw that Ingolf Koch released NXT I was a tad skeptical. After talking to some fellow iOS music artists who have experienced both the old Electrify and the brand new NXT, my eyes began to open. I got a little excited for this new and different follow-up.
When I finally had NXT in my hands exploring it for the first time, I understood why the folks I spoke to were so happy with it.
Electrify NXT is much different, and better.

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Electrify NXT is more than a sequel, it is a completely new app. Redesigned appearance, workflow, audio engine, and tools to provide a greatly improved product. A product that does its job very well.

Loaded up with hundreds of presets, samples, loops and effects, it has a nice FM synthesizer, 8 sampler drum kit, multi track sequencer, automation, sampler, and mixer. All utilizing the intuitive touch interface splendidly.

The polyphonic FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesizer has 11 algorithms and wave-morphing oscillators. Full envelope, and LFOs, all with easy multi-effects routing. Creating classic FM type sounds from scratch is a snap. Having this built-in synth is very good for quickly crafting sounds, melodies or sound effects. Use presets or create and save your own.
It’s a good, capable synth, but I wouldn’t say it has infinite sound possibilities. At any rate I’m glad it’s included.

“Nearly all parameters of instruments and effects can be modulated by envelope, LFOs or by real time parameter sequencing.”

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The drum kits can have 8 samples loaded to the 8 pads. Tap out your own beats using those pads, or just touch the sequencer steps you want them in.
The looper/slicer is indeed strong and is excellent for rearranging and redesigning your beats perfectly. Including a clip editor, creating custom loops is fun and simple. Just the way I like it. Beats and sampling made easy.
With over 1600 full loops and individual clips covering a wide variety of styles and sounds to choose from there will be no shortage of options for your sequences; or use your own samples of course.
Everything can be set to play in perfect sync and on the fly. Load the screen with blocks of samples and quickly activate or deactivate what’s playing and when however you like. No interruptions.

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As you can see from the above screen shot, customizing the background can be done. Piece of cake, but I’ve experienced some occasional crashes when using my own custom backgrounds. Going back to the default options resolved the crashes.

NXT offers a sweet list of several effects to use. Each effect is well done and can be modulated, tweaked and adjusted. With little x/y pads for each in the chain for some added convenience.
Usually offering FX in this quantity ends up with mediocre quality. Arguably the same could be said here with some, however they have a purpose and are functionally sound. I don’t think there’s much reason to complain. The variety of FX are very nice to have.

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Collectively all the tools offered in NXT are well done. Sequencing is easy. Sound design, sampling, arranging, mixing etc, it’s all incredible. I could go on and on in detail about the vast amount of pieces that make up NXT, but this would become unreadably long. That said, I encourage you to visit the developer website for all the details to fill in the blanks.

Clearly I like this app. It is however not perfect. It won’t be a hit with everybody. Much of whether or not one may like or dislike NXT has to do with individual workflow and preferences. Its a sequencer not a DAW. While it is intended for use in live performances, there are still a few minor issues that might make that scenario a bit unattractive at the moment. Little things that wouldn’t be too bothersome in the “studio” (where ever that may be) may be very problematic live. One example is when previewing a sample, I’ve had it fail to stop playing. That can really get in the way.
A “UNDO” option would be nice. Despite the recent update I’ve still heard some audio drop outs when leaving the clip editor. Not as much as before though.
The GUI has on rare occasions paused briefly during the switch from one thing to another. Such as from the main front screen to the mixer etc. On the other hand, there has been little to complain about in general.

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Updates have been steady and coming with bug fixes, various improvements, and new features. As is, this is still my favorite sequencer workstation and I think it’s the best new sequencer of 2013.
As time goes on it will only get better.

Where iOS workflow is concerned NXT is well rounded, but not yet complete without current support for Inter-App Audio. It does have integrated AudioCopy/Paste, Audiobus, and MIDI.

Electrify NXT is one ambitious groove box with a lot of power.

*Quotes taken from Ingolf Koch iTunes App Store description

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7 comments

  1. how come electrify nxt is so easy and intuitive for you but difficult for the rest of the community and reviewers?
    and how come its the best sequencer in your opinion when it doesn’t allow you to put an actual song together but is instead more of a live set player?

    1. I can’t possibly explain why others find it difficult you’d have to ask them. As for putting a whole song together that is not what I would use it for. It’s not a DAW. It doesn’t pretend to be. For the purpose of creating, arranging and playing sequences it works great as a component for putting a song together and I am having no difficulties with it. I don’t care what “other reviewers” think when it comes to forming my own opinion. I do however respect the opinions of others and have no interest in debating such things. To each his own. 🙂

      1. I’m trying to get a handle on it and finally close to pulling the trigger on it do to some vids on discchord by a user named Aphex but when I saw your review I had to pause a moment cause (not that you should care what other reviewers think) your take on it is so different than the other reviewers I respect and follow along with yourself for the clarity in their take on the apps they/you review. so I was wondering having such a different experience with the app did you find it kind of strange so many other peeps not finding it so intuitive?

      2. To tell you the truth I very rarely read other reviews. Not because I don’t like them or think poorly of anyone, but because I try to keep my opinion un-influenced by others. That said I’m sure there are many well done and varied reviews, and likely each with their own reasons. I don’t know why others dislike or don’t find it as well as I do? Your question was the first time anybody has asked about NXT. I’ve only spoken to a couple other people about their thoughts on the app, and they liked it. For whatever it’s worth. Probably not much I’m sorry to say.
        I’m just using it to make audio (no midi) loops and sequences being routed to Cubasis or Auria. I’m very happy with the results. Could it be better? Sure. Maybe I and the few I’ve chatted briefly with who feel the same are rare exceptions? Reviews are so subjective to personal taste and preferences. I wish I had a better or more helpful answer.

  2. Just ran across this review after someone recommended I look into NXT. I’m currently looking to move from Ableton to an IOS rig. I generally use Ableton to trigger samples and some loops live from external controllers. I’m a guitarist, so most is done using foot controller, and I won’t have the Ipad at the front of the stage, so I won’t be accessing the actual interface.

    Much of the time, I simply need one shot samples (many times containing short chord or note progressions), but I tap tempo into a live drummer before triggering. Would NXT be able to handle that?

    Also have a need to either have my whole show’s worth of samples (~50-60) accessible from a single project (or whatever NXT calls it) or be able to load projects via MIDI for each song in my setlist.

    NXT appears to have been made more for live use, whereas many of the other packages I’ve tried are meant to function as DAWs. Hoping this may be the app that has some of the functionality I’ve been looking for.

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