One iOS music app that I always have a lot of fun with is Yuri Turov’s rather interesting Xynthesizr universal iOS music app. In essence, Xynthesizr offers a streamlined 32-step-based pattern sequencer and synthesizer engine. However, it also has a ‘generative music’ element to if given how the sequences can be set to follow particular root note/scale combinations and the randomise functions that can help your sequence evolve. You can also output your sequences for playback on other iOS synths (or record the MIDI data into another sequencer/DAW).
While the interface is generally uncluttered, when you start to explore, there are actually quite a lot of features tucked away under the hood. This includes a rather excellent scale/key transpose feature that allows you to adjust your pattern on the fly. The other really interesting feature is the probability-based ‘morphing’ of patterns where the app generates variations on your pattern on each iteration through. The user can control the ‘rules’ applied here and limit the morphing to just a section of the pattern if preferred. This whole features is great to getting new musical possibilities going from a basic idea.
A further update for the app – taking it to v.1.4.3 – appeared on the App Store today. This is mostly a bit of general maintenance rather than any new features as such but, as with any app you might use on a regular basis, it is always good to see regular signs of development work. In this case, there are some bugs that have been suitably squashed related to audio issues when using the app with an iPhone 6 or 6S. More generally, the Audiobus SDK has been updated to the latest version and this should help ensure a smooth experience for those who have moved up to iOS9.
Xynthesizr really is a lot of fun and the sequencing/generative music creation environment is rather relaxing to use. For gentle – almost Mike Oldfield – repeating melodic patterns, the results, with their own subtle shifts in content because of the generative options, are almost hypnotic. However, hooked up to a synth like Thor or Z3TA+, there are plenty of creative options to be explored.
If you are a step-sequencer fan, Xynthesizr, at UK£4.99, is a brilliant cross between standard sequencing and generative music creation. If you like to work with electronic music styles, Xynthesizr is well worth a look.