(DSiWare)

Game Review

Rytmik: Rock Edition Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

Rock solid

The original Rytmik completely surpassed our expectations of what a portable music studio could do within the constraints of DSiWare. Now the follow-up Rytmik: Rock Edition is here with a very different sound and new features, but crucially more of the same surprising control and musical freedom.

If you haven’t dabbled with Rytmik yet, it’s a music studio that lets you create your own musical masterpieces from scratch. Although you can piece together songs from predetermined loops, the real creativity comes from using the samples included to make something completely new.

Though the initial interface looks daunting, everything soon becomes clear. Along the bottom is a timeline onto which you can drag clips you’ve created or preset samples included in the bank. At first it’s recommended to make music using the prepackaged samples and then jump into the clip editor once you’ve familiarised yourself with the song edit screen.

Here, you can really let your creativity run riot. As the Rock Edition name suggests, the sounds available here are far from the dance roots of the original Rytmik: it’s all heavy kick drums, electric guitars and slap bass. Overall the quality is surprisingly good, even when played through speakers or headphones, though some samples are naturally better than others. In the clip editor you can create any melody you can imagine using the sounds on offer, and with four channels to a clip and four clips playing at any one time, you won’t have to settle for a simple production: you can build really complex pieces if you have the time and skill.

This isn’t just a Rytmik rehash with a different sound palette, though, with Rock Edition introducing a few welcome new features. The most useful of these is the Vari tool that lets you set up multiple voices from the same instrument category in one channel, meaning that you can have a single channel containing different bass sounds, for example. The usefulness of this reveals itself overtime, lending a touch of individuality to your basslines and rhythms whilst making the process just a bit easier.

There are new features to alter the sound on a wider scale too, with varying degrees of polyphony making it easier to extend the length of your notes, a criticism of the first title from many users. Now you can allow notes to overlap until all the sound channels have been utilised, which helps to create a big rock sound, as does the introduction of variable chorus settings alongside the delay and panning from the previous game.

However, all these settings have to be made for each individual clip, with no way to set them globally. This is understandable though considering Rytmik sets out to give you total control over your music, and when copying clips your settings duplicate too, so you needn’t set every slider for each individual clip, happily.

Whilst the sounds do a commendable job of allowing you to create that stadium rock masterpiece you’ve always imagined, the subject matter doesn’t sit quite as neatly in this portable package as Rytmik’s dance offering did. Rock music doesn’t lend itself to such intricate clip-aligning as more electronic genres, and although the sound is big enough to give you that thrill of creating a big rock number it’s still hard to shake the feeling that rock music doesn’t suit this shrunken-down studio as well as the dance sounds did.

Sadly there’s still no option to export your music easily, so users hoping to put their tunes on an SD card or upload them elsewhere will be sorely disappointed. It’s still possible to connect your DSi to a computer and record that way – see our feature here for more information. A more streamlined solution would still have been preferable, though with Nintendo’s strict limitations on SD card use, we don’t expect to see this feature implemented in future.

Conclusion

Rytmik: Rock Edition is every bit as solid as its predecessor. The sound quality is higher than we’d expected, particularly with the new settings available, and just setting up clips is endlessly fascinating, playing about with melody and sound even if you don't really want to create a song. If you yearn to create a great rock track on the go, Rytmik: Rock Edition is guaranteed to bring you satisfaction.

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User Comments (28)

SilverBaretta

#2

SilverBaretta said:

Very cool. Good to see some more serious love for aspiring music creators on DSiWare! :) Nice review, James.

trex3d

#4

trex3d said:

Does this version have all of the sound samples from the first game? And if not is it compatible with the first?

SwerdMurd

#5

SwerdMurd said:

nice....if i get any point this holiday season, this is where (some of them) are going. Can't justify 8 bucks just yet (plus it's not out here yet :) ) since I have the first and that scratches the itch, but yeah--excited.

kurtasbestos

#7

kurtasbestos said:

The first Rytmik is impressive in the amount of freedom it allows you to tweak various sounds and settings when putting together songs, and it gives you a ton of storage for songs and patterns. The biggest problem, however, was that it has over 160 drum/percussion sounds and only about 40 synth sounds. No matter what sort of music you're trying to make, if this new version has a more varied selection of samples to work with, you'll have a powerful (and cheap!) tool to work with. Then again, software like this is really much more suited to electronic music... if you really want to rock out you should probably look into learning a real instrument.

kurtasbestos

#10

kurtasbestos said:

After watching the video that cinemaxgames just posted, I can see how incredibly useful the "vari" tool could be. Even though rock isn't really my thing, I love to see more music software being created for the DS, so I'm definitely going to be downloading this new version.

IanUniacke

#11

IanUniacke said:

@cinemax: exactly. Why settle for either a guitar OR rytmik rock when you can have both. :D

I'm still in the experimenting stage with the rock edition. I've got one track that's coming up pretty good though. Also I'm thinking it can be great for either creating tracks or just composing them and then I can play them on my sg at home...perhaps even mix the drum tracks with a real guitar.

As for the old rytmik I'm almost finished on the music for a whole album I'm making, so thanks for the software Cinemax.

If anyone's interested they can check out some of my classic rytmik music here:

http://soundcloud.com/awesometonia

I also have some youtube video clips:

http://www.youtube.com/ianuniacke

Hopefully some time soon I can record some tracks off the rock edition too.

pikku

#12

pikku said:

IF i had any talent whatsoever for music, I'd be all over this. but unfortunately that's not the case, so I'll pass.
that, and the fact that I don't have a DSi :3
but there are a lot of talented people here. keep it up guys! :)

cinemaxgames

#19

cinemaxgames said:

@SuperDude95 We havn't confirmed release date yet, but it will be much quicker then the original one and we are planing one really big surprise for America release. Stay Tuned.

cinemaxgames

#21

cinemaxgames said:

We are pleased to annouce that Cinemax will release game Rytmik: Rock Edition on 12/06/2010 with the special price at 200 DSi Points Only through the US DSi Shop.

Cats

#23

Cats said:

I bought this as well on the day it came out, I bought points just because I wanted this actually.

I love the instrument choices, and the new instrument variation ability allows much more freedom.

I'd like to see even more Rytmik things in the (near) future.
I have a couple ideas for you for future Rytmik games: Classic Orchestra, and another rock version with note bending capability, and a little oscillation feedback. YEAH!

When you told me that you were working on a rock edition, I anxiously awaited this version, and you've surpassed my expectations. Purely awesome.

paperskyx

#24

paperskyx said:

Why is this one 200 points and the other is 800 points? Does this one have less features?
And can you make rock songs at all on the original?
I shall be anxiously waiting for a reply to these questions. :D

Martin_Linda

#25

Martin_Linda said:

@paperskyx this price is special action for USA market as apologize for much later release date than EU version. Rock Edition has all the features of the original Rytmik plus some new powerfull features. And the instrument set is completely different. Of course, you can make songs in original Rytmik that may have some rock feeling (it is mainly about how you compose your music), but there are no guitar instruments and so-rock-sounding drums and bass in its instrument library. Hope you are satified with these answers;)

@cats We are glad you like this app! The good news is that we are working on other Rytmik edition(s). What kind of instrument set - well this will be a surprise, but I believe you will enjoy it at least the same as this release:) And some new features will be added as well!

Cats

#27

Cats said:

@Martin - Normally when a dev. tells me, I'll like something, I brush them off, but given your last two titles, I'm pumped. ~ New features? Now you've got me guessing... The best thing I can think of after making a few tunes would be a balance (left-right) slider on a per note basis. That would make it 100X easier to write music that has the stereo depth that I enjoy.

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