Modstep arrives, a massive sequencer for iOS on your iPad …

Introducing Modstep, Modulation Monster and the first full-blown MIDI sequencer for the iPad. Modstep allows you to create music and jam with your iPad and your favorite IAA Apps, Mac and PC software and MIDI hardware as well as the internal drum sampler and synth. Use it as the centerpiece of your setup to create and perform music on the go, in the studio and on stage.

FEATURES:

  • Full-blown MIDI sequencer with Step Sequencer and Piano Roll
  • Unlimited MIDI tracks
  • Audio and MIDI streaming directly via charger cable to Mac and PC using studiomux technology
  • Up to 128 MIDI CCs per Track can be modulated
  • Built-in drum sampler with filter, delay and reverb, fully modulateable
  • Built-in synthesizer with filter, delay and reverb, fully modulateable
  • Templates to control external MIDI hardware
  • Template editor to create your own templates for IAA Apps, desktop Apps and external MIDI devices
  • Supports all MIDI interfaces for the iPad
  • Core functionality controllable via external MIDI controllers
  • Works on all iPads (iPad 1 restricted to MIDI only)
  • Trigger out
  • Integrated IAA mixer
  • Step Sequencer with active steps
  • Use third party IAAs as instruments and effects within one app

Requirements:
iOS 8 or later
for audio and MIDI streaming to a Mac or PC, the studiomux server software is required: get the latest for free at studiomux.net

Modstep costs $19.99 on the app store:

Well I’m glad you asked me that Marc, yes there are some very cool things you can still do with an old Palm device

So, Marc Weidenbaum from Disquiet (you might remember he wrote a very nice interview with me) emailed me a question about using some old Palm PDAs. In fact the three palm devices in question were,  a Palm IIIxe, the Clie SJ20, and the Tungsten T3. Marc suggested that I reply to him in the form of a post, so here we are with “there are some very cool things you can still do with an old Palm device”.

Let’s start off with the Palm IIIxe.

The IIIxe is actually a very interesting device. Even though it’s old, it actually has a lot of potential, especially for anyone who wants to use it for MIDI. There are a few MIDI apps available for the older Palm OS. But before we go there, just a little history about the Palm OS and devices.

Palm devices like the IIIxe used Palm OS 3 or 4 and these devices used serial outputs which are generally speaking very good for old five pin MIDI. After Palm OS 4 came Palm OS 5 (not a big surprise there), and OS5 was more USB focused and not quite so good at MIDI either. However, it did have its other benefits and we’ll see those in a while.

For now let’s have a little look at the different possible MIDI apps you could find for a Palm IIIxe:

For starters there’s MixPad:

MixPad is great if you want to play MIDI files and mix them. It came from miniMusic who were real pioneers in the mobile music world. MixPad works well, but doesn’t allow you to change the MIDI file unfortunately. There were plans to do this, but sadly it didn’t come about.

Next let’s look at BeatPad. This is a Palm OS app that will be a bit more familiar. It has a drum part and a bass or mono part too. However, there’s a lot you can do to control what BeatPad does.

BeatPad is pretty cool and lots of fun to and gives you some nice control if that’s what’s important to you, but we don’t end there.

Another notable Palm OS app in the same series is NotePad, which is, as you might expect, a notation app. NotePad also has MIDI capabilities too so is worth a look.

The last of the miniMusic apps to look at is SpinPad which is a more interesting interface altogether.

SpinPad also has the added benefit of being free too. It was a miniMusic app that I’d always hoped that they’d do more with, but sadly that is now very unlikely.

So those are the miniMusic apps. But before we leave the IIIxe, and I hope that I’ve proved so far that there’s life in the old dog, there’s another group of apps that I need to mention. These are the Capers applets or demos. These are a group of apps that were meant to demonstrate some of the functionality for a replacement OS for the Palm OS which would have been a musical operating system. Sadly, it never saw the light of day,

But the Capers applets / demos are still available. One of my favourites amongst the applets is the Hedgehog. Here’s what it looks like in action:

The last video here bridges the gap between Palm and iOS with the old IIIxe driving an iPad app, Magellan. That about does it for the IIIxe. If you do take a look at the applets from Capers you’ll also find a PDF on how to use Hedgehog. Hopefully it’ll be useful.

Next we move on to the Palm Tungsten T3, and now it gets really interesting …

So, what  can you do with a Tungsten T3 these days. Well, it’ll come as no surprise to many that I’m going to mention Bhajis Loops. Bhajis is still one of the most versatile and complete mobile music apps around, even though it has been out of development for years and years now.

I went looking for a few videos of Bhajis, but couldn’t find too much actually. However, this video from artist Transient.

Bhajis was, and still is for that matter, a unique a brilliant app for the Palm OS. I’d probably go so far as saying that it’s only relatively recently that apps on iOS have gone further, and there are still some things that Bhajis does way better than iOS. Add that Bhajis is now free, as is it’s little brother Microbe (which is also worthy of a look) and you’ve got a simple and cheap way to get a mobile music machine going. So if you want a cheap mobile music device, get yourself a Pam Tungsten T3 from eBay or a Palm Tungsten TX for that matter, then grab Bhajis for free, and Microbe of course, then, when you need some instruments and sample libraries, head over here for an Aladdin’s cave of Bhajis richness!

So Marc, does that give you enough to go on? I hope it does. In my view both your T3 and your IIIxe are very useful indeed. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the Clie SJ20. Well, of the three, in my opinion this is the least interesting. It was running Palm OS 4.1 which was ok, but not with serial so not much good for MIDI. It’s an ok device overall but for musical applications, not so good.

So, to recap, both Bhajis Loops and Microbe are still completely excellent mobile music making apps for Palm OS, and as you’ve already got a Pam Tungsten T3 which was arguably the best Palm for running Bhajis then you’re good to go!

I think that there are still some quite interesting things that can be done with Palm devices these days, and I hope that I’ve gone at least a little way to showing that.

Mixtikl 7 Generative Music & Loop Mixer with 12 Track Cell Sequencer arrives

It is great to see a new version of Mixtikl on the app store, I am really looking forward to trying this out. For now, here are all the details of Mixtikl 7 together with the videos released today as well.

Enjoy …

Love working with generative music or audio loops? Create something new by mixing them together! Users say of Mixtikl: “the premier generative music app”, “highly inspiring”, “musical antidote to every other synth and DAW I’ve ever used”, “works on so many levels.”,”Enjoyable, addictive, creative and helpful.”, “Love this app, one of my favorites!”

WHAT OTHERS SAY
Computer Music Magazine said Mixtikl’s end results are “in a class of their own when it comes to generative music”.

WHAT IS MIXTIKL?
It’s a dedicated multi-platform generative music editor, mixer, arranger and cell sequencer. It includes many modifiable generative music templates that you can easily mix together. Sound generation is via the Partikl Sound Engine, a powerful stereo sound source comprising a modular synth with Soundfont (SF2)/DLS support + live FX.

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH IT…
Generate high quality, user-customisable, royalty & loop free background music from ambient (relaxation / drone / sleep / meditation etc.) right through to more intense melodic and beat-based loop-tastic EDM mashups using your own or 3rd party loops.

TOP NEW FEATURES IN V7

  • Many gorgeous new templates that take advantage of the uprated Partikl Sound Engine 3 (PSE 3)
  • Major PSE 3 enhancements:
    • Now supports stereo and more advanced synth & fx networks, allowing richer & more interesting sonic capabilities and complete sound “presets”
    • Network Editor and all 17 PSE Sound & FX unit UIs have been significantly reworked for much easier use, control and accessibility
    • Greatly improved Wavetable Sound Unit now supports stereo SF2 (SoundFont) samples (up to 24bit), allows modulation of pitch, pan, amp & portamento parameters + has integrated envelope editor (linear/log) – all useful for sound shaping
    • Improved the PSE-included IM SF2 wavetables with extended “IM Synths” and all new “IM NT3-MT7”
    • Amp and Pan controls added to several PSE Sound Units allowing more compact synth networks
  • Major useability improvement through combining Mixtikl Sound and FX Attacher screens one Generator Network screen (accessed via Content Cell > Synth & FX button)
  • Support for AudioBus 2 and Audiobus Remote Trigger and transport control

OTHER KEY MIXTIKL FEATURES

  • Total of 48 independent content cells in 12 tracks for mixing/cell sequencing + many customisable generative music templates (“parts”) [For older Tiklpaks see: Menu > Settings > Show MT6 Tiklpaks]
  • Integral “Partikl Sound Engine” (PSE) featuring a SF2/DLS MIDI & modular synth, many high quality wavetables + wide range of Tone Generators, FX units & control units
  • Mix in your own / 3rd party WAV / Ogg audio loops (loops not included, but see Tiklpaks below)*
  • Transfer in/out recordings, loops, mix files + your own content Paks**
  • Play & record (live or mixdown) at up to CD quality (device dependent)
  • Edit / customise generative rules & sound networks; adjust mix tempo/root
  • Add in pieces you’ve created with Noatikl (not included)
  • MIDI out via CoreMIDI / Virtual MIDI (so you can drive external synths)
  • Support for Inter-App Audio, Audiobus, Retronyms AudioCopy & AudioPaste

WHY GENERATIVE MUSIC?
Generative music is “endless music created by a system”. Use it to create new ideas, relax, break creative blocks or just to try something different!

MORE INFO & LINKS

NOTES
• Mixtikl 7 Desktop software not included but available to purchase separately.
* FREE add-on Tiklpaks (some including audio loops) – intermorphic.com/tiklpak/download
** via Retronyms AudioCopy, iTunes App File Sharing

Mixtikl 7 for iOS is available on the app store for $7.99:

https://widgets.itunes.apple.com/widget.html?c=us&brc=FFFFFF&blc=FFFFFF&trc=FFFFFF&tlc=FFFFFF&d=Generative%20Music%20Making%20on%20your%20Mac&t=Intermorphic&m=software&e=macSoftware&w=250&h=300&ids=1033021879,1033021883&wt=playlist&partnerId=&affiliate_id=&at=&ct=

Fugue Machine | multi-playhead sequencer has arrived

There’s been a lot of furious comment about this and lots of people seem very impressed. I haven’t had a chance to take a look as yet, but when I do I’ll let you know what I think.

For now, here’s the app’s description from iTunes:

BACH IN A BOX.

FUGUE MACHINE is a tool inspired by composition techniques used in Baroque music and Serialism — e.g. Bach’s canons and fugues, and Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. The idea was to design a tool to manipulate a melody’s speed, direction, and pitch, as well as play multiple variations of the melody simultaneously.

As it turned out, the best implementation for this was to reimagine one of the most fundamental building blocks of all music sequencers: the piano roll.

THE PIANO ROLL, REIMAGINED.

FUGUE MACHINE is the world’s first multi-playhead piano roll. Create a musical sequence and play it back with up to four playheads at once — each at various speeds, directions, and pitches. You see the playheads dance over the music sequence, and hear the complex patterns that emerge.

It’s mesmerizing.

FUGUE MACHINE costs $9.99 (£7.99) on the app store (click below):

Sugar Bytes brings Egoist to your iPad and it looks totally amazing

I’m a huge fan of Sugar Bytes iPad apps, so it’s great to see them bring Egoist to iOS. Here’s all you need to know …

Egoist is a groove instrument. Load any audio file and squeeze the groove out of it!
Try your mp3 library and use it as a sound source! The additional onboard bass, beat and fx units make Egoist the perfect track sketch tool in the studio and on the road.

  • Quick + Easy track sketching, based on sample slicing
  • Minimal, yet effective bass line
  • Unique beat box with more than 1000 drums from vintage to electronic
  • Effect Sequencer
  • Randomizers in all areas
  • Inter-App Audio
  • Audiobus
  • Audiocopy / Audiopaste
  • Mixdown/Bounce
  • Full Midi Support (Virtual, Network, Extern)
  • Music Library Access
  • iTunes File Sharing

SLICER:
The Slicer arranges up to 16 slices of the loaded sample. Apply different parameters like Reverse, Attack, Decay, Level and pitch with the sequencer. Using the 16 available patterns, up to 16 different samples can be used at any time.

BASS & BEAT:
Egoist includes a great sounding bassline synthesizer/sequencer. The bassline synth offers a mean and strong sound, with different lowpass filter flavors and overdrive. The versatile sequencer is capable of notes and pitch bends of any length.
The internal beat box offers kick, snare and hihat, along with a simple sequencer. If you imagine, that you can change the drum sounds with each pattern, limitations start to get you inspired!

EFFECTRIX INSIDE:
The Effect unit brings funky hickups to your tracks. Engage tapestop, looper, reverb or filter at any time to give your beats that otherworldly feel and create stunning breaks!

SONG SEQUENCER:
Chain your patterns! Or create stunning breakbeats by changing patterns quickly! The internal Part/Song sequencer lets you sketch your pattern progressions and line out your next track.

ALWAYS SPECIAL:
The very special Slice Keys turn Egoist into a slice keyboard! Play the sequencer steps on the keyboard, with all their settings and effects, you will not believe how cool that is!

Egoist is on an introductory offer from Sugar Bytes until December 1, 2014, with 33% off, so right now it’s just $19.99.

Fifth Degree: MIDI Sequencer arrives

A new sequencer arrives which looks like it could be really quite impressive, and it’s free too.

From a few simple elements complexity can arise. Fifth Degree is a MIDI sequencer based on a simple concept: loop around the musical circle of fifths in key and tweak the performance parameters live. You can use it to create a mesmerising loop and change the way it plays or use it as a base while you improvise alongside it with another instrument. You can even use it as a convenient loop of notes while you try out different sound patches on your synthesizer.

Features:

  • Lean user interface that gathers the essential performance controls on the main screen.
  • Fixed sequence of notes (ascending circle of fifths).
  • Clearly displays the notes in the key and scale you select.
  • Outputs to CoreMIDI output ports (virtual, network and physical).
  • Keeps sending MIDI while in the background.
  • Can send MIDI notes and MIDI clock, so other apps can choose to synchronise.

Fifth Degree is a MIDI sequencer app supporting any CoreMIDI output: virtual MIDI, MIDI over Wi-Fi and CoreMIDI compatible hardware interfaces. Since it is a sequencer it does not generate sounds on its own, so use it with your favourite CoreMIDI-compatible sound generation app or hardware.

Fifth Degree was developed for the 2014 KVR Developer Challenge. It is powered by the MidiBus library from Audeonic.

B-Step Sequencer – MIDI Studio for iPad has arrived

I’ve been waiting for this one to arrive, it looks stunning!

Transform your iPad to a real music-sequencer workstation with B-Step!

The sequencer comes with native support for one or two Novation Launchpads. B-Step supports CoreMIDI, Virtual MIDI ports, Network MIDI and a lot of MIDI hardware devices!

It also supports MIDI Learn, so you can control B-Step’s user interface with any MIDI controller you like!

B-Step Sequencer can work as MIDI clock master or you can sync it to another clock master.

With B-Step you program your melodies in a few seconds and you can’t hit a wrong note. This sequencer is designed for improvisation and live use – your synthesizers will love B-Step.

Features:

  • Native Novation Launchpad support.
  • Advanced MIDI learn.
  • Drag’N’drop.
  • 3 color profiles.
  • Clean and simple user interface.
  • Run in background

Specification:

  • 16th step resolution.
  • 4 tracks (we call them strings).
  • 16 bars.
  • 5 x 6 chords per project.
  • Pattern auto chain.
  • MIDI Clock master (up to 400 BPM) or slave

MIDI:

  • CoreMIDI.
  • Virtual MIDI ports.
  • Network MIDI.
  • Support standard MIDI hardware devices.

B-Step Sequencer is priced at $16.99.

midiSequencerLite arrives (and as you’d expect, it’s free)

midiSequencerLite is the lite version of MidiSequencer

MidiSequencer is a new and exciting way to trigger your favourite IOS coreMidi synths (or midi hardware) to produce more experimental sounds than would normally be possible using existing sequencers and keyboard playing techniques.

With an ability to run at extremely low (1 BPM) and high tempos (255 BPM in this version), midiSequencer will produce sounds from your synths of a more ethereal and psycho-acoustic quality (feathery trills and bass rumbles) alongside the more traditional music sequenced patterns.

Aimed firmly at live & studio performance for both professional & amateur, every effort has been made to make changes whilst playing. For example, a Cycle button is available to delay changes until the sequence resets allowing you to be less accurate with your timing. This includes loading in completely new patterns or changes in key.

MidiSequencer allows you to conform notes to a scale to augment the chromatic harmony with C or G Major/Minor in this lite version. Enharmonic note names are used for all scales.

Each of the 16 steps can be individually configured for note, velocity, length, midi channel(restricted to 1 & 2 in this version), and an independant midi controller (4 available in full version).
These controls can be set using sliders which can either be dragged or drawn on screen by hand.

After playing a step, flexible routing options exist on each step to allow you to jump out of the normal loop patterns enabling you to build up small sequences out of the available 16 (jumps restricted to 1-8 & 16 in this version). This is also interactive during play.

Flexible routing allows virtual & network sessions and all midi is now based on the excellent midiBus library.

Inputs & outputs can be individually activated so that you can select which of your ios synths will be played – including those in audiobus.

Midi input is also possible with the ability to record incomming midi channel notes (velocity, channel & CC’s in the full version). During play your midi input will transpose the sequence currently playing.

A performance rollout panel exists for you to quickly load & save ideas into snapshot patterns. Up to 10 (20 in full version) are available in a bank which can be saved to disk with a name, date and a description. These files can be exported & imported using itunes file sharing.

A variety of ornamentations are available to add colour to normal notes. Triplet repeated notes give ratcheting effects whilst mordents,appoggiatura & acciaccatura add a more baroque feel.

All aspects of midiSequencer have been made to be modified during play – including synchronised file loading, tempo changing and step redirection. This together with fine control on midi messaging to your synths, gives you a new way to enhance your enjoyment of your favourite synths.

SPECIAL NOTES :

  1. This is a lite version of midiSequencer, so lacks some of the extended functionality of the full version. 10 minute session time only.
  2. iOS 6 or greater only, so iPad 1 not supported.
  3. This app makes no sound (although it can send/receive midi to coreMidi apps you have installed on your iPad).
  4. To communicate with external midi equipment you will need a suitable iPad midi interface unless you use the Midi Network sessions over wifi. 

As I mentioned, it’s free.

dot Melody for iPhone arrives

From the creator of the critically acclaimed* music app Chordion comes dot Melody, a fun new way to make music on your iPhone.

Move dots around to create intertwining melodies, bass lines, and drum beats. Switch chords and patterns on the fly. Select from a variety of instruments and process them through delay and reverb effects.

Best with headphones or over AirPlay.

Sequencer

  • Tap or drag anywhere to create new dots.
  • Move dots horizontally to change pitch within the current chord.
  • Move dots vertically to change duration/rhythm.
  • Tap a dot to make it a rest.
  • Double tap to delete it.

Chords

  • Switch chords/scales on the fly to change the notes in your pattern.
  • Unlimited number of chords
  • Choose from suggested chords or create your own.

Patterns

  • Unlimited number of patterns, each with 3 instrument layers.
  • Copy, reverse, clear, randomize, and generate functions.
  • Easily re-order patterns.

Instruments

  • 3 instrument layers
  • 23 carefully created built-in instruments
  • Mod Wheel enabled
  • Independent volume controls with the mixer.
  • Independent delay effect sends.

Effects

  • Tempo-synced delay with feedback and low pass filter.
  • Reverb with mix and decay controls.

Tempo & Time Signature

  • Tap Tempo function
  • Choose from a range of time signatures for pattern syncing.
  • Use x/x time signature to enter “free mode” and let your instruments create phase patterns.

MIDI Out – In App Purchase

  • MIDI out is available as an In-App Purchase.
  • Each instrument layer can use independent MIDI ports and channels.
  • Mod Wheel support included.
  • Advanced MIDI timing implementation

File Management

  • Create new files from templates in any key
  • Easily duplicate or re-name files

Record

  • Hit the record button to record your jams in real-time.
  • Recordings are saved to iTunes File Sharing.

Audiobus

  • Use dot Melody as an Audiobus source! See http://audiob.us for more information.

Requires iPhone 4s, iPod touch 5th Generation, or newer.

dot Melody is priced at $2.99.

SeekBeats: How to videos

If you don’t know SeekBeats then you really should. It’s one of the best drum machine / synths on the app store and it’s excellent.

This is a series of videos form the developer behind SeekBeats showing just how easy it is to use.

SeekBeats on the app store:

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