In this overview, we’ll take a look at some of the most prolific sequencers available on the iPhone OS.
We’ll start with Music Studio by Alexander Gross, a pretty comprehensive MIDI sequencer, especially considering that it runs on a mobile phone.
It features 128 MIDI tracks, 4 FX sends (reverb, delay, EQ, amp simulation) and 21 instruments – more than enough to get you started…
However, while the instruments will cover most of your needs as will the programs editing capabilities, don’t expect too much from their sound.
The quality is on the same level as an old wavetable Sound Blaster sound card, in other words cheap-sounding, but usable, Soundfonts.
On the other hand, the sequencing functions are pretty comprehensive including a dual, virtual MIDI keyboard for real time control of two instruments, a piano roll view, an arranger window, velocity management, and all necessary sequencing functions like cut, copy, paste, transpose, etc.
Xewton Music Studio
You can also set the volume and pan for each track and, more importantly, you can export your work as a WAV or MIDI file.
Did You Say MPC?
Intua’s BeatMaker was conceived for electronic music, hip-hop and trip-hop, but is a sequencer/sampler with MPC-like pads. It, too, provides WAV/AIFF and MIDI export functions.
It also includes 16 pads to trigger your samples and a comprehensive FX section (synchronizable delay, 3-band EQ, Bit-Crusher, and multi-mode filter assignable to two FX busses) whose FX send level can be set for each pad.
To record parts you can use the pads or a relatively comprehensive step sequencer. To arrange your songs you have a pattern-based system with volume, pan, groove, and pitch control for each step.
However, it’s also well suited for sampling because it provides several ready-to-use sample banks and it allows you to create your own, either by importing your samples (8 to 24 bits plus Noise.io support) or recording them with the iPhone mic to share them with the community.
Editing is possible through a compact audio editor that provides the ability to set, for each pad, the sample start and end points, volume, pan, pitch, fade in and/or fade out, and transpose (1/2 tone or octave).
For live applications you can play up to five pads simultaneously, mute and invert samples on the fly and control several sample or FX parameters using a nice X/Y pad.