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 on the App Store today taking Modstep to v.1.2. This brings both some useful new features and a series of fixes. For example, support is now provided for AUv3 plugin presets if the plugin itself is configured to support presets. This is very useful and, as some very capable AU-based instruments are steadily appearing, this is great to see.
Other additions include 35 new sample kits, a selection of new MIDI templates (including for the Roland TR-09 and TB-03), more flexibility over the Auto save feature, better level feedback in the Mixer and various workflow improvements. In terms of fixes, amongst other things, the AU support has had a few tweaks and some fine-tuning of how MIDI settings are handled when re-loading projects has been done.
I have to say that Modstep is gradually evolving into a very powerful MIDI music creation environment with 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, is iPad-only, a 103 MB download and is currently priced at UK£19.99/US$19.99.