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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Ferrite 3: iPad audio editor adds variable-speed playback and more

One of my favorite iPad apps of all time is Wooji Juice’s Ferrite Recording Studio, a complete multi-track audio editor that I prefer to the likes of Logic and GarageBand for editing podcasts. I use Ferrite primarily with an Apple Pencil, though it also works with your fingers, a keyboard, a pointing device, or a combination of any of those.

Four years after the release of Ferrite 2, version 3 has just been released. It’s a major update that modernizes the app’s interface, organizes its file structure, and updates its audio engine to supercharge editing productivity.

The customizable toolbar now includes multiple options for variable-speed playback.

The banner feature in Ferrite 3 is variable-speed playback and timeline scrubbing. Just as many podcast listeners consume them at more than 1x speed, it can be a huge time saver for podcast editors to play back the program they’re editing at speeds up to 2x. (I tend to listen at 2x while editing until I hear something I need to drill down on, at which point I’ll slow down to 1x to do the detail work.)

Ferrite 3 now supports speeds other than 1x, and users can populate the app’s toolbar with icons to play back at normal/fast/faster/2x speeds, as well as an icon that toggles between the currently selected speed and 1x. And you can hear audio play back while scrubbing the playhead, in order to identify just where a certain sound is coming from. This is a huge step forward.

Ferrite 3 is also all about organization. Because of a lack of a real filesystem on the iPad back when Ferrite was first conceived, the app organizes its files its own way. While today files are common enough on iPad that Wooji Juice might not make that same decision, having control over its file space does offer some real advantages. Ferrite has a template system, which has been updated with improved previews, and has added per-file tags and improved search, as well as rules-based Smart Folders.

I keep a couple dozen audio files in Ferrite on my iPad, mostly podcast theme songs, common sound effects, and stock background music that’s used in a few podcasts I edit. With Ferrite 3, I can tag those audio files appropriately—say, “themes,” and then tap on a Themes Smart Folder to quickly find the file I want to insert in my project. Or I can just search for “themes TPK” in the Ferrite search box to quickly display all Total Party Kill theme files.

A more modern interface includes a sidebar and a Sharing Extras dropdown menu.

The entire app interface has been modernized, with new fonts and control icons. A new Library sidebar also helps with organization, providing quick access to folders, import tools, templates, and documentation. Slide-over effects controls are easier to control, with knob-style radial controls replaced with much more straightforward sliders.

A new Sharing Extras dropdown also organizes a bunch of features that were previously scattered throughout the app into one location, to quickly export, convert, or duplicate the output of a project.

Ferrite is free to try, but the full feature set is unlocked via a $30 in-app purchase. Given the cost of most multi-track audio editors, it’s perhaps the best deal ever. Users of Ferrite 2 Pro will need to pay $15 to unlock the new Ferrite 3 Pro features.

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