BeatMakerTV – messing with little midi machine iPad Novation Nova

Little MIDI Machine - Synthetic Bits, LLC Clip to Evernote


  1. I'm sorry, but I don't get this one either! You can build a simple sequencer using a 4017 and a 555 to clock it, and a handful of pots too (that's 'knobs' to you and me), for less than £10.

    If you want MIDI, you can even buy a kit or two, for less than £50, to do the same!

    So why spend £430+ on an iPad, just to run this sequencer? Does it do anything else? Perhaps I need to drill a hole in my head? Will that make me understand more??


  2. You could say the same thing about that Novation though too, right? Why buy a synthesizer when you can just plug some chips together and build it yourself…

    Some people like to spend their time making music, some people like to spend their time making music machines. Nothing wrong with either of those, I do both (I'm the one who wrote that Little MIDI Machine sequencer) but there's nothing wrong with wanting to spend your spare time focusing on the music itself and buying something like the iPad to help you get there.

    And I can assure you it's a big time sink to create something like that. I got that sequencer spitting out MIDI notes within a couple hours (note that I already had working iOS sequencer code from some other apps) but it took 100+ hours to add features (skip, reverse, clock, tempo, note length, save/load sequences, configure channels), polish the UI, and debug. I imagine building a similarly specced hardware sequencer would take even longer than that. So I think your math only really works out if a) you value your time at close to nothing and b) you don't use the iPad for anything else at all (madness!).

    There's only so much time in the day. I personally haven't finished recording a new song since I started writing apps a year and a half ago. Hmmm, will have to do something about that…

    Anyway, it's a fun free little music toy meant for people who already have an iPad and a Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer and want to play around with an analog style step sequencer. Don't get too upset about it, or the iPad, I was hoping it would have the opposite effect and give people a little inspiration and make them smile, and I think Apple tries to do that too. If it ain't your thing, that's cool, do something else! But hopefully maybe somebody else has some fun with it.

    Thanks to Beat Maker TV for the video.


  3. As synthetic bits said the point is: you don't buy an iPad to run this software, you probably buy it for a wast array of reasons… and this is one more app you can use on it. Nothing bad with that imho.
    I'm more the kind of guy who would build it with the afore mentioned ICs… but would not say this app is useless or bad because of this.

    Now, if we talk about the usefulness of the iPad generally, or if £430+ are not better invested elsewhere that's another thing, but I think that's been discussed enough isn't it?


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