Note-Sequencing Apps

Here are some apps that demonstrate interesting approaches to note-sequencing.  For each app we suggest three simple exercises to help students explore their particular method of sequencing.

Bloom (£2.99 on the App Store

“Bloom is an endless music machine, a music box for the 21st century. You can play it, and you can watch it play itself.” – Brian Eno

Tap the screen to activate notes that will eventually loop and create an ambient soundscape.  The app can be left idle to create infinite randomised melodies – an introduction to generative music.

 

  • Exercise 1:  In ‘Create’ mode tap on the screen to create a looping melody
  • Exercise 2: Change the ‘Mood’ and hear how your melody changes
  • Exercise 3: Enter ‘Freestyle’ Mode and experiment with Delay and Sound settings.

Similar to Bloom: SynthPond


TonePad  (free on the App Store)  

“Create songs by simply touching the screen and seeing notes light up. If you like Andre Michelle’s ToneMatrix or the Tenori-On, then you will absolutely love this app.”

Activate dots on a 16×16 grid to construct a looping melody.  Introduction to Minimalism.

 

  • Exercise 1: Recreate a popular tune in Tonepad
  • Exercise 2: ‘Edit’ the tune with Shift, Flip and Rotate options
  • Exercise 3: Create your own tune, then experiment with Shift, Flip, Rotate and Shuffle options

 

Similar to Tonepad:  Yamaha TNR-i  (additional control features, £14.99)


Musyc   (free on the App Store)

“No use of piano keyboard or partitions, draw shapes and listen to your piece of music while viewing sounds bouncing on the screen.”

Drag and drop shapes – introduces an alternative form of musical notation and experimental music making based on simulated gravity.

 

  • Exercise 1: Browse through the preset songs in Musyc and choose your favourites – which looks the best? Which sounds the best?  Try to work out what kinds of sounds each of the shapes make – red square, green triangle, yellow circle, blue rectangle.
  • Exercise 2:  Create your own song by building a structure with lines and then dropping red squares, green triangles, yellow circles and blue rectangles.
  • Exercise 3:  Change the soundkit from Soft Mallets to some of the other soundkits and see how this affects your song

 

Similar to Musyc:    Soundrop


Auxy   (free on the App Store)

“Create your own synth and drum loops. Tweak the sounds. Upload and share your beats.”

Rhythm and melody sequencer with adjustable sound characteristics and effects – add drums, bass lines and lead synths. A nice introduction to the traditional software sequencer format with the addition of fingertap controls.

  • Exercise 1:  Make a drum beat in Auxy
  • Exercise 2:  Add a bass line and a lead melody line on top of your drum beat
  • Exercise 3:  Make a one-minute song with your bass, melody and drums by muting and mixing them in an order of your choice.

Similar: Ninja Jamm