Enso looper is a big, big deal for iOS musicians. In principle, it works like any other looper app or hardware looper: You play music into it, and then that music is looped over and over, forming a backing track for more playing.
But Enso is hot, hot, hot for two reasons. One is the amount of control you have over the looping. The other is that it is an Audio Unit, which means that it can be used inside other apps, like GarageBand and AudioBus.
Enso, available now
Update March 13 2019. Enso finally got approved. Go grab it as soon as it is live on the App Store.
Enso comes from Audio Damage, and is currently only available on the Mac. That’s because Apple’s app review team has rejected the iOS version several times over during the past week, due to the app launching to nothing but a splash screen. Below are some Tweets from Chris Randall of Audio Damage.
If you're curious, here is my reply.
The next step will be another copypasta from their rulebook, at which point I will elevate it to the Appeal that is available to me. At some point in that process, I can request a real phone call. pic.twitter.com/fOWstDvmO5
— Chris Randall (@Chris_Randall) March 12, 2019
Which brings us to Audio Units. Audio Units were introduced by Apple as a way to have one music app run inside another. They’re like plugins on the Mac. You might have a plugin that provides EQ controls. Instead of opening the app itself, you load it as an Audio Unit inside another app — GarageBand, for instance. It’s a fantastic way of working, because these plugins are saved within your project, as if they were native settings inside GarageBand.
— Chris Randall (@Chris_Randall) March 13, 2019
Because Audio Units run inside other apps, they don’t need to have a standard app interface. When you launch one, you usually see an “about” page, and maybe some instructions on using it.
And yet, despite there being a bunch of Audio Damage’s AU apps already in the App Store, Enso has been rejected.
Enso, a radical new kind of looper
On to the app itself. Enso is a looper that works inside other apps as an AU. This means that you can insert it anywhere in your app, and use it to loop your music. Or you can use it as a kind of audio buffer, constantly recording a rolling five minutes of audio, say, so when you happen to play something great, you have already recorded it.
Enso also solves a problem for Audiobus users. Audiobus is an app that lets you route audio between other apps on your iPhone or iPad, and it’s essential. But it can’t record anything, nor play it back. Enso lends it these abilities.
But why is Enso so special? Here’s a short intro video of it in action:
Enso can loop, and it can play back the loop at a different speed or even backward. So, for instance, you can record at one speed in one direction, and play back in another. You can also add effects to the loops, save the entire buffer as a WAV audio file, and import existing files.
This last part makes Enso a great way to play back audio parts inside other apps. And because it’s an AU, you can open up as many instances of Enso as you like. Well, as many as your iPad or Mac can handle.
The Mac version is already available, with a free demo available.
Price: $79, with $59 introductory price
Download: Enso from Audio Damage