Regular iOS music makers will be familiar with AppBC as the developer behind the Studiomux app which was updated recently. AppBC do like to keep themselves busy though and, back in December we saw the launch of a new app – Modstep – that includes some of the Studiomux technology but also offers a fully-blown MIDI sequencer with both step sequencing and piano roll editing environments.
I did a full review of Modstep just after it was launched but the feature set is impressive. You can use unlimited MIDI tracks and there is support for multiple MIDI continuous controllers on each MIDI track so you can modulate your sound sources to keep your sounds changing, etc. The first significant update appeared only a couple of weeks ago and added Audio Units (AU) support which was great to see.
It’s great to see continued activity on a favourite app though and a further update appeared over the week-end taking Modstep to v.18.104.22.168. This is mostly a maintenance-style update with a number of bug-fixes. For example, refinements have been made to the handling of IAA apps, while the automation systems has also had a wrinkle or two removed. Users on iOS7 can now also work with Modstep again (although iOS( is recommended).
However, perhaps most interesting is that a number of new templates have been added. These provide built-in support for Model 15, Gadget and Shoom, for example, as well as some additional hardware synths. These sorts of templates are very useful for users and can really speed the workflow with any of the supported devices.
I have to say that Modstep is rapidly evolving into a very powerful MIDI music creation environment and each update simply adds to the already impressive functionality. It is perhaps not for the faint-hearted as that power comes with a depth that does involve an initial learning curve but, as a stand-alone MIDI sequencer, it’s clip-based approach is both very flexible and very creative.
The app requires iOS8 or later if you want to use the audio and MIDI streaming to PC/OSX provided by the Studiomux technology but, as a stand-alone (iOS only) app, will work with iOS5.1.1. It requires an iPad, is a 35 MB download and is currently priced at UK£14.99/US$19.99.