The IR-909, a simple but lovely-looking Roland TR-909 drum machine clone, is now available for the iPhone. Description:

IR-909 is a drum machine for the iPhone inspired by the Roland TR-909. IR-909 features a 16-step sequencer, 4 patterns and 8 different drum sounds. IR-909 includes individual pitch, attack and length controls for each sample. By default IR-909 comes with 6 different sample packs, these include the original TR-909 pack, TR-808, TR-707 and TR-606 packs, plus two additional ones called "Tech House" and "Kärv".

This isn’t without some caveats. Reader Todd notes that it lacks pattern saving, audio export, and audio import, and tempo adjustment is a bit crude. Then again, it’s available, it works (apparently), and maybe we’ll see some other adjustments in the future. US$4.99 via iTunes.

Interestingly, you can still download the beta for the 1.1.4 iPhone firmware for free – useful if you haven’t yet taken the leap to the new firmware, which is causing some bugs and crashes for many readers.

IR-909 @

The app we’re really waiting for from developer Einar Andersson is his iPhone synth, a beautifully minimalist synth plus step sequencer with modulation via iPhone tilt.

I will actually stick by my earlier claims. The iPhone is cool, and there are some interesting apps for it, but you may actually get a richer experience on a cheaper device via the hacked gaming systems out there and even Palm and Windows Mobile. On the other hand, what we’re hearing from many readers is that the iThings’ controller capability is the real star, and well worth jailbreaking your iPhone/iPod Touch for. (We expect some official controllers, sans jailbreaking, soon.) Then again, that’s why choice is always, always a good thing. A “state of the mobile plaforms” post is clearly in order – expect something later in August.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m back to playing with the DS-10 that just arrived. More soon.

  • I'm a Danger hiptop / T-Mobile Sidekick user, and I actually worked at the company for four years. There have been a bunch of neat music apps on the hiptop platform for quite a while. Most of them are coming out of a New York company called Larva Labs.

    The hiptop uses the Beatnik Audio Engine, just like Flash, Quicktime and Lemmings. Steve Hales who was one of the principal authors of the engine worked at Danger for five years so it's a pretty solid implementation.

    The hiptop apps aren't full-featured composition apps but they sure are fun to play with on the train on my way in to work.

  • Downloaded it last night, and it's definitely a fun little app. Only problem I have is that my fat fingers (they're actually quite dainty and charming) kept hitting the wrong step sequencer buttons. But I guess that's game for iPhone territory. And remember, Tap don't Push!

  • velocipede

    You may get a richer experience right now on another device, but I wonder how long it will take for iPhone development to catch up. Seems like it is doing very well as a new platform. (As for cost, an iPod Touch is not nearly as expensive as an iPhone contract.)

  • I'm not convinced "catching up" is the problem. For instance, some of the features above are implementation, so those could improve. But there are other cases in which my sense is that limitations of the iPhone/iPod Touch as a platform may restrict further development — just as, admittedly, there are trade-offs on any device.

    The problem is, shortcomings (or strengths, for that matter) of the Apple SDK are covered under NDA. So no one can talk about them, even to other developers. That means I know about some limitations which technically I can't pass along, and likewise there can't be any frank discussion about what the device can and can't do. That raises questions for me about what future development may look like. I guess it depends on how deep your trust in Apple goes. But generally, part of what has improved development — including on the Mac — is frank and open discussion about the platforms.

    That said, before I blow things out of proportion, at least Apple *has* an SDK that's reasonably available and quite good. By contrast, we've seen terrific homebrew apps for DS and PSP even without an official developer program. The difference there is that that scene isn't trying to make money …

  • tb

    he dares selling it!?

    hope he at least let go the accelerometer adjustement, such a pain to use

  • poopoo

    Looks pretty shit. Calling it a 909 clone is a bit of a stretch.

    Still haven't seen anything to compete with Griff on Pocket Pc.

  • samoan

    Lovely looking? Really think so?

    It may work well but I can't agree that it is lovely looking?

    Or was that sarcastic? 😉

  • samoan

    Ian, unfortunately you are wrong, Flash does not use the Beatnik Audio Engine.

    Almost happened but the idiot Beatnik CEO screwed up the deal.

    Really a shame because Flash's audio engine has always been crap.

  • Well, I gave in and purchased this while on the toilet this morning 😛

    I don't generally have problems pressing buttons on the iPhone, but these definitely are a bit hard to press. Things could be laid out significantly better to enable easier button pressing. That being said, it has more adjustments to the sounds than I thought it would and it does what it's supposed to do.

    I bought it as a toy, not a real production tool, and that seems to be what I'm going to get out of it. Just something quick to get ideas flowing.

  • This video demonstrates my biggest problem with the iPhone as a music device: the UI. Each vid I've seen so far shows users missing the buttons, and the last thing you want when doing stuff is to have to be thinking about the precision of your gestures…

  • And just to be clear, I meant the touch screen as only mean of interaction. My world for a Dpad, button and shoulders on that thing… humm. wait.

    PSP ? it's also a locked sandbox 🙂

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