Regular iOS music makers will be familiar with AppBC as the developer behind Studiomux and Modstep apps. The latter includes some of the Studiomux technology but also offers a fully-blown MIDI sequencer with both step sequencing and piano roll editing environments. If your music making revolves around MIDI, rather than audio recording, then Modstep is a powerful option for sequencing on your iPad.
I did a full review of Modstep just after it was launched and 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 added Audio Units (AU) support which was great to see.
It’s good to see continued activity on a favourite app though and a further update appeared a couple of days ago taking Modstep to v.1.1.4. This brings both some minor (but useful) new features and a series of fixes. Top of the list of changes is tweaks to ensure smooth operation with iOS10, however two new startup options are perhaps going to be most appreciated.
First, when loading a project, you can now choose to autoload AU and IAA app within the session. In addition, there is now a ‘load last session on startup’ option. Both of these will obviously allow you to get working that bit faster…. In terms of fixes, amongst various minor tweaks, there have been some improvements to both the handling of AU plugins and apps working via IAA.
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.