QuantumSequencer launched – new MIDI sequencer from Tony Saunders

Download from iTunes App StoreThose of you who have been around the iOS music making block a few times will most likely be familiar with the app midiSequencer from developer Tony Saunders.

I did a review of that app back in early 2014. Styled on the analog sequencers of old, midiSequencer provides a step-based sequencing environment, with 16-steps where you can adjust pitch, velocity, gate, MIDI channel and a couple of MIDI parameters over the 16 steps, all using some very retro-looking virtual faders. You also get tempo control (the app can also work with MIDI Clock as master or slave), transpose functions, the ability to change the way a pattern steps through the sequence (there are some very flexible options here), add ornamentation and, of course, send your MIDI sequence out to a suitable synth app.

QuantumSequencer – a multi-track take on Tony’s excellent/quirky midiSequencer concept.

Over the intervening period, Tony added all sorts of interesting additional features and the app build a dedicated following for it’s old-school simplicity, quirky retro-styling and, under the hood, powerful creative features for sequence creation. However, updates have been a little thinner on the ground over the last 12 months….  and I suspect we now know why; Tony has been working on a new app – QuantumSequencer – and that is now available on the App Store.

If you are familiar with midiSequencer then you will soon see the heritage of QuantumSequencer…  and, I suspect, know very quickly whether the new app might be something that will appeal. QuantumSequencer is obviously build on the underlying principles of midiSequencer but, as well as some considerably work under the hood, it expands upon that concept and the most significant additional feature is that it allows you to run multiple sequencers at the same time.

With multiple sequence tracks you are going to need a mixer of some sort….. and, thankfully, Quantum provides one…. although note that this is MIDI mixing and applies to MIDI velocity for each sequence.

In creative terms, that’s quite a big deal because it obviously makes it much easier to work with multiple synth/virtual instrument sound sources and create much more complex compositions as a result. Individual sequences within a project can be any step length up to 64 steps and, by default, you can have as many as six tracks running within a project…  but this is apparently expandable up to 24. Tracks can also have up to four sub-sequences defined (called Parts) and this allows you to develop additional variations.

As before with midiSequencer, the level of detailed control and sequence programming options are pretty mind boggling. This includes per-step programming options for MIDI channel, note, velocity and various MIDI CCs. There are also options for transposing, setting key/scale combinations, adjusting how the sequences are looped (plenty of interesting options here) and various ways to adjust the feel of the sequences.

Quantum comes with all sorts of options… and with Ableton Link supported, it can easily sync with other elements of your music production process.

Anyway, I’ve only had the briefest of plays so far but, hooked up to a few of your favourite iOS synth apps, there is a huge amount of fun to be had here. If you are used to clip or timeline-based MIDI sequencing, the more old-school (hardware styled?) step sequencing offered here might feel like a bit of a strange concept at first – and it has to be said that the UI of QuantumSequencer (like that for midiSequencer) does take a little time to find your way around – but there is plenty to get your teeth into.

The app is launched at a pretty modest price point of just UK£7.99/US$7.99, it requires iOS10.3 or later, is universal and will run on pretty much any iOS hardware that supports the required iOS version (it’s the synths you are driving that are more likely to run up against any hardware limitations) and is just a 65MB download. The app includes some build-in help options and also has a link to a brief introductory PDF manual (that’s worth a read even if you do know midiSequencer). Tony has provided a couple of demo videos below so give those a view to see what’s possible and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.

QuantumSequencer

Download from iTunes App Store


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    Comments

    1. This looks like an astonishing app for those with the time, inclination and mindset to understand its mysterious workings. A bit like Different Drummer.

      • Hi Zen…. agreed; it’s pretty deep and also powerful…. although perhaps a little more accessible in terms of the learning curve than Different Drummer I think…. Both are, I suspect, pretty niche products so, while not for everyone, those that do ‘get it’ will find it has plenty to offer. best wishes, John

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