Xequence launched – new iOS MIDI sequencer from Seven Systems

Download from iTunes App StoreiOS has a number of excellent DAW/sequencer apps that offer both audio recording and MIDI sequencing. We also have a smaller number of music apps that are either dedicated MIDI sequencers or have a strong emphasis on MIDI sequencing but also act as instrument hosts. Two apps perhaps slot into the latter category; Korg’s Gadget (although that now does also offer audio recording options and you can only really use it with Gadget’s own ‘gadget’ sound sources) and AppBC’s Modstep. The last of these is perhaps the most obvious ‘dedicated MIDI sequencer’ we have and has also proved very popular. It also includes IAA and AU app hosting as part of its extensive feature list.

Xequencer – Seven Synstems new iOS music app provides a universal MIDI sequencing platform.

However,  Modstep brings a very particular approach to its midi sequencing as it is ‘clip based’. This works very well indeed and, for lots of music makers, this is a great approach for EDM style composing. However, some folks prefer the more open ended approach offered by the traditional timeline-based system found in a conventional DAW/sequencer. Equally, in its current form at least, Modstep is iPad only.

The piano-roll editor provides all the usual editing tools to get your sequences in shape.

Which, I suspect, is where Seven Systems perhaps see their new MIDI sequencer – Xequence –  slotting into the current iOS music app market. The app offers a more conventional timeline-based approach (although you can, of course, arrange your MIDI data in clips that are a bar or few in length if you wish) and, for those working on the iPhone, it is universal. Xequence is not a ‘host’ in the same way that Modstep is….  you simply run your synths, virtual instruments or drum machine apps either standalone or within apps such as AUM or Audiobus, and Xequence can then be used to route MIDI to them.

The app requires iOS10.3 or later and is priced at UK£4.99/US$4.99. This gives you access to all the editing features but is limited to just four tracks. However, if you need more, then there is an IAP to expand to an unlimited number of MIDI tracks.

The app features a large format virtual piano keyboard… but external MIDI keyboards are also supported.

Other features include piano-roll editing, a virtual keyboard with scale options (and the MIDI editor follows the currently configured scale settings), MIDI Clock Sync (Ableton Link support is apparently in development), plenty of configuration options for routing MIDI in, out or thru, undo options and options for automating up to three MIDI CC’s per MIDI track/instrument. You also get good zoom options within the timeline and piano roll editors.

Scale/key options apply to both the virtual keyboard but also within the piano-roll editor.

As well as Ableton Link apparently on the development timeline, MIDI file import/export, ‘Open in’ options and support for Audiobus 3 MIDI routing are all on the cards for future updates.

Yes, there is the usual iOS MIDI routing to be dealt with (not always straightforward) but Xequence seems happy enough working with a good selection of MIDI destinations.

I’ve only had the briefest of plays so far but the piano roll editor seems solid and I had no great problems getting Xequencer to fee MIDI data to a number of popular iOS synths running in the background. I’ve not yet seen a demo video for the app but, when I do, I’ll add a link here….  and, as and when time permits, I’ll dig a little deeper and do a full review. Until then, if the idea of a universal MIDI sequencer appeals, then hit the App Store download button to find out more.


Download from iTunes App Store


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    1. Dear John,
      I have been a subscriber of your music app blog for over five years now. Love the way you review ios music apps, I must say, its indeed really analytical and inspirational . It inspires me to make good music. I’m really more into the African genre of music making because I’m from that part of the world. The reggae, congo and mali music even Egypt too. I have a small studio setup in a small room, I make music with ableton or fl studio then I’ve got an iPad 2, a refurbished one, one keyboard and mic setup. I’m writing this to you asking for your help to support my music making. I’ll like to expand my studio to something a little bigger than the present one, buy a new desktop that can handle my music making task, the one I currently have is really really slow, buy better keyboards and more mics and also a music console. I on hope you’re moved by my plea and that you will agree to help me financially. I really desire to get music made for commercial purpose, Truthfully I’m not a spammer.

      Best wishes

    2. Please if you wish, contact me through my other email address gabrieljadallatalhi@gmail.com

    3. Typo alert: ” This gives toy access” I’m sure you weren’t referring to toys!

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