Sequencers

Sequencing and Specific Arpegiator Apps

Arpeggionome Pro – Review

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Arpeggionome Pro By: Alexandernaut

UPDATED: 6-23-2013

Arpeggionome Pro was already getting a fine work out on my iPad controlling other MIDI capable synths and the likes. Now Audiobus support has been added to further expand the apps functionality. Audiobus wasn’t really a necessity since the apps Arpeggionome Pro controls sends the recorded audio through Audiobus to whatever output is being used. It does however make things much easier to do. Triggering the record function while in AP definitely speeds up the process and eliminates extra home button clicks.
Personally I really appreciate the landscape view support being added. Choice is good.
Don’t underestimate this app. This is a strong piece of software and is worth the cost.

Original Review:

I’ve been looking around for a robust, dedicated Arpeggiator app to add to my iPad music studio. Since I don’t use any midi hardware and have found most virtual midi capable apps less than exciting, they often don’t escape my self induced blind spot. There are some very good ones, and then there are those like Arpeggionome Pro that blow me away. This is one cool program! I am kicking myself for having missed it until now.

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Arpeggionome Pro is first and foremost a midi controller. It is a very complex Arpeggiator with a full plate of programming capabilities. It has its own built in synthesizer, but very basic. Using this to control any (virtual) midi capable synth is where it at. Thanks to a thoughtful design that inspires easy use, making midi connections is a breeze.
Deigned to control pretty much anything midi, Arpeggionome Pro beckons users to put it to work with what ever you want it to control. Quantize first note, use any of the 16 channel sends, midi clock sync, so on and so on. If its midi, Arpeggionome Pro can do it.
Making virtual midi connections are effortless and more up my alley for my uses. In no time I was enjoying this marvelous app controlling my favorite synths and crafting some slick arps.

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The range of arpeggio pattern controls are splendid. Center screen is the performance matrix for primary pattern control by touch to manipulate first triggered note (left & right) and pattern speed (up & down). 6 groups of button matrices and 8 virtual knobs frame the performance matrix. Make pattern adjustments in any size, shape or speed on the fly. Theres no need to stop the flow just to change where it goes, the octaves, gate, speeds etc.
Having all the controls right there in your face makes this one very tidy experience. At the top of the screen is also a visual indication of the notes as they are played out on a virtual keyboard.

See screen shot below for details on the button matrices and knob controls.
For even more details please visit Alexandernaut here! There is a lot going on under the hood.

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As you can see (from the screen shots) the available controls are not just numerous, but also just a quick tap or slide away. No changing screens, or menus to dig through. One screen with everything. This is designed with consideration to those performing live and with the adjustable accelerometer assigned messages, (like, pitchbend, gate, etc) Arpeggionome Pro becomes a whole new instrument full of expressive possibilities.
With the combination of all the available options to make up your own unique arpeggios you’ll soon discover this is all you’ll want for your pattern programming needs. Nothing opens up a greater, more pleasant experience for creating any arps you can imagine. Plus a nice selection of preset patterns to use or build off are included as well.
Anything you create can be saved for future use and is quickly accessible via the pattern banks on the bottom of the same screen.

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Arpeggionome Pro has no record, audio copy, or Audiobus support. Audiobus support is planned. Even without it Arpeggionome Pro can control a synth assigned to an Audiobus input which can then be captured by whatever output you are using. It works fine as is, but starting a recording in an output slot app from the very handy Audiobus remote control would be a nice addition here.

If you want something to create specialized and unique arpeggios beyond the usual fare get Arpeggionome Pro and start making some serious arps. This is powerful, fun, and creative. All packed into an intuitive interface that works with you. This is a masterpiece in design and functionality.

Smashing! 5 stars Click here to buy Arpeggionome Pro in iTunes.

*There is also a lighter version called simply “Arpeggionome” with fewer features at a smaller price.

Bip- Review

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Bip- A Mini Review
Bip is made By: Stephen O’Hara, sohla

Once in a while a iOS music app comes along that strikes me as something I really wish was available when I was first trying out making music with iOS. Bip is one of those. It is currently not iPad native, but works just fine on mine.

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Bip is a rhythmic pattern music maker loaded up with hundreds of samples that can be tweaked and arranged manually. You can also import your own samples through AudioPaste or iTunes file share. The interface is colorful, simple and has a unique look that is all easy to navigate by touch & gestures. The smooth U.I. makes for swift control during a performance or recording.
There is a good amount of adjustable parameters to fine tune your music. Beginners should feel very comfortable and find making great music a delight. This is a perfect addition to iPhone or iPod musicians looking for something easy to use, sounds very good, and inspires creativity.

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Bip is an amusement park of sound and possibilities with piles of potential. A widely appealing, accessible, and fun pattern based music making app. It is sure to engage new and experienced users alike.

If you want something to make rhythmic patterns quickly and easily on your iPhone or iPod touch, Bip is certainly worth the purchase. Packed with a detailed instruction manual to help you along the path to frustration-free music crafting. A satisfying choice for anyone starting their iOS music adventure who wants great sound options in a small & friendly package.

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Buy Bip In iTunes

Synergy Studio-Review

*Release Date 11-30-2012 expected price $19.99 USD 13.99 GB

Developed by 4PocketsAudio

4PocketsAudio, makers of Aurora Sound Studio and Meteor bring us a unique new program called Synergy Studio. If you’ve seen their Aurora program you’ll notice some similarities. Not to say Synergy is the same, not at all. Synergy is a whole new ball game. 16 tracks, robust automation options, lovely instruments, quality FX with 3 bus sends, Waveform editing, and so much more packed into this fully loaded studio offering.

Personally speaking I’ve never properly bonded with the “Tenori-ish” style interface. Somehow Synergy delivers that style of experience but with a much greater integration of intuitive design and a massive amount of tools. Seriously, this thing is packed to the brim. It has a flow to it that feels more fluid than others of this style. For this interface style, Synergy provides the most comfortable music production environment.

Synergy can do it all. From being used like an instrument, creating simple short patterns, or highly complex layers chaining into a full-blown pro quality production. It can be done. Compose, mix, edit, and master all in one place.

The variety of included preset instruments are many and really have a high-end sound quality to them. No cheap sounding presets, though not exactly stuff we haven’t heard before. All of the presets can be modified in great detail to create a new sound, and then be saved for future use. If that’s not enough, (and really is it ever?) you can of course import your own samples via Dropbox.

Synergy is a fully loaded ride, so I recommend checking 4PocketsAudio for the full detailed list of specs and features HERE

16 tracks is a nice amount of room to work in for an all-in-one mobile studio. It’s a unique environment to produce music in, with the colorful sequencer, buttons full of tools, or sub menus with even further options. It can be a tad confusing at first. Thankfully for those familiar with 4Pockets previous entries into iOS music there will be a lighter learning curve, as much of the menu structure is very familiar. If this is your first shot at their products, don’t sweat it; the app comes packed with many helpful options including a manual. If you can read, you can figure it out.

I’ve been giving Synergy a good workout for a few weeks, and I’m happy to report that so far it’s not crashed once. Hooray for stability! A very important thing to consider when shopping for a complete mobile music studio. Compared to some of the more recent studio apps, Synergy does sound the best.
I can see Synergy being an attractive option for anyone looking for a fresh and complete studio view. Even if you’re not in the market for a whole new studio, Synergy would make a fine addition to your collection as a sequencer, editor, and looper. The sequencing and arpeggiator alone is worth the price of admission. Background audio enabled, MIDI, and direct audio recording add to the many useful options.

Simply put, Synergy is complete. I think it’s 4Pockets’best effort to date.

All things considered, this is potentially a great app. 4 stars, recommended.—See UPDATE below.

Buy Synergy Studio at iTunes, November 30 2012

UPDATED 1-28-13

Synergy Studio now supports Audiobus. A very welcome feature for sure!
As well as having added Audiobus support 4Pockets has addressed stability concerns effecting some users.
There still seems to be some slightly noticeable latency on the “Dots” and the keyboard input making live play a bit challenging for rhythmic players. Generally speaking I’m not having much difficulty with Synergy’s latency with making electronic music less dependent on beats. This may be different for others.
It has some quirks and could use a little more polish overall, but nothing that impedes its functionality.
As with any new music app of this complexity its understandable that there will be things to iron out. I would consider SynergyStudio to be a fine addition to any collection of music apps. With Audiobus support now, having Synergy and Meteor together offers keen advantages and convenience.

Stay tuned.

NoisePAD Review

Developed By MediaGROE

Its Noisy

NoisePAD is straight forward “drum computer”, sequencer and beat maker designed for live performance.
NoisePAD has a very nice look. It’s elegant in appearance and quick to navigate. The design is streamlined, making it very easy to use and understand fast. A quick, to the point INFO page will easily answer any “how to” questions within the app.

Delivered with 5 preloaded sound-banks, each containing 12 samples, NoisePAD comes ready to get started.

The built-in sequencer is programmable up to 12 patterns each with its own length of bars from 1 to 99. Patterns flow seamlessly; one right into the next.

With some nice effects controlled via sliders, there’s some great sample tweakability at your finger tips. The included effects are: Pitch, Delay, Cut-off, Phase, Reverb, and Bit-Crush. They sound alright, and suit a party atmosphere very well, but have no real controllable parameters to fine tune the FX. Recording and performing on the fly are just a tap away. Mute, Solo, adjust BPM, and Swing without interrupting the flow. Same goes for selecting samples, loading new ones won’t disrupt the performance. Paste in your samples from the paste board and custom organize sample banks however you like. If you want more samples there is an option to purchase them via IAP additional sample banks. I have noticed some slight latency from the pads here and there, but really not very much or often.

The preloaded samples in NoisePAD range from good to outright absurd. I honestly cannot imagine anyone buying another sample bank that really anyone could make. I mean, some of the samples are just terrible vocals of some kid swearing, dropping F bombs, or no brainer one liners we have all heard a bazillion times, and whatnot. “Damn Girl” “Drop It” “Hands up,” “Party people” are some of the overdone hype samples you’ll hear. I get that it’s intended to be for fun, but they just aren’t inspiring to me at all. The drum samples are pretty good; but with only 12-36 samples per IAP they leave a lot to be desired with some wasted on vapid vocals. Seriously, these are popular “artists”? Can’t you just sample yourself shouting “Put your hands up”? There, you’re a popular artist.

Most of the drum or instrument samples are not really worth the expense as they are all easy to make yourself with the right apps.

To be fair I supposed plenty of people think these kinds of tired samples are great fun. I get that, and NoisePAD is fun, especially after you load it up with your own creative samples. It does make things convenient. That said, it falls a little short of professional.  It’s not something I would suggest using for a pro live set if you want to impress anyone.

It seems to me that NoisePAD is really a party DJ performance app intended to make adding samples to live sets fun and easy. It does that very well. If the FX, sample packs, and general quality  matures and improves, NoisePAD could contend for the attention of a more serious, artistic crowd. The future of NoisePAD could develop into something very special. Keep an eye on it.

                    3 out of 5 Stars

                            Available in iTunes.

iSequence HD app review.

The Sun Also Sets
Review based on V2.4 use with iPad 1, 2, and 3

UPDATED Review: 7-11-2013

BeepStreet hasn’t updated iSequence in a while, and it has worried me a little bit. There’s still no Audiobus support for this. I saw a post recently from BeepStreet that more or less explained the situation. This isn’t an exact quote but he said that the reason for iSequence not being updated in some time was due to his interest in synthesis like Sunrizer, and Impaktor. Both excellent instruments no doubt. He went on to say that he is going to return to his roots and develop a new app based on iSequence. Don’t get too excited yet, but yeah it is exciting. He is waiting for iOS 7 to arrive so he can take advantage of the new app audio connectivity. Now that’s interesting.
That leaves me to suspect that if he is going to wait for iOS 7 to do something new, but similar to iSequence, that Audiobus is not coming to this app any time soon. Does that mean iSequence is dead? I really hope not. It sounds to me like he intends to use the new iOS 7 features to accomplish the same things Audiobus does now. Either way, you won’t be streaming iSequence audio to any other recording app any time soon. None of this changes the fact that this is a fantastic sequencer, but you’ll have to be OK with only having the AudioCopy/Paste option for a while longer.

ORIGINAL Review:

iSequence has been around a while, as far as iOS music apps are concerned anyway. I’ve had my eye on it for just as long. Now that I have it, I regret not getting it sooner. This really would have made my life much easier if I had not waited so long.
Well it’s never too late to add a great tool to the toolbox. Tablet in this case.

A short list of features follow.
8 tracks, 32 steps pattern sequencer, max 999 patterns, real time recording, 5 configurable FX slots (Live Looper is really fun) including Reverb, Delay, Distortion and more. Automation, FX curves editor, 165 built in instruments (more banks available via IAP), Sampler with wave editor, 6 octave piano keyboard, and drum pads.
Copy Paste between compatible apps, WiFi sharing: HSQ, MIDI .Wav and HSQ import. Support for core MIDI and MIDI instruments. Whew! There are many more.
That’s just the short list, the number of features, are quite numerous.

Visit BeepStreets website for a full spec list.: http://www.beepstreet.com/isequenceipad

With all these functions, and features in a sequencer this loaded, you might think its going to be a cumbersome work flow with lots of confusing sections or screens to move between? Or not, in any case iSequence does manage to make excellent use of the iPad screen providing a very nice work flow and just 3 main buttons to tap for maneuvering among primary screens. Sampler, Curves, and Mixer. It’s a nice, simple, detailed interface that frees users from overly complicated menus, or hidden functions, and lets the creative process flow naturally.
Among all the great capabilities in iSequence I noticed (or failed to notice) that there is no undo/redo function? However in working with the app I didn’t really have a situation that couldn’t be worked out. All in all I find iSequence HD to have a great intuitive design, and user interface that has been a real pleasure to use. I’m sure to put this to a lot of use.

I always listen carefully for audio quality, and all I heard was perfectly clear sound. No one should be surprised by that, BeepStreet has proven to really have its eye on the proverbial ball when it comes to quality all around. My first experience with a BeepStreet music app product for iOS was Sunrizer Synth, so my expectations were pretty high, even knowing this came first. I am very pleased with this sequencer all around.

Those new to iOS music might think this will be tough to learn to use, it’s not. Of course there is always a learning curve with something new, but if you have ever used a step sequencer before, that curve will be minimal.  No matter what, don’t sweat it. Like I stated before, the design is intuitive, and I might add logical as well. So don’t worry about skill level.
There is plenty of support starting with the “Help” button leading to a nicely detailed instruction manual inside the app. You can also often find support in the forum, and direct from the developer if all else fails. Take it easy on him though, he’s a new dad.
This is a fantastic app, and my new favorite among step type sequencers. I recommend it highly.
5 Stars

iSequence HD can be purchased in the iTunes app store.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/isequence-for-ipad/id369873168?mt=8