Friday, April 09, 2010

iSequence

I've been meaning to write about iSequence for some time but I wanted to buy the extra sound banks before I said anything. iSequence is my favourite sequencer specifically because of the sounds. While I  like being able to tweak synths sometimes I just want a sound to get an idea down. I've lost hours tweaking when I should be sequencing. iSequence gets my ideas down fast. 
If you've never played with iSequence this is your workspace.



Along the top to the left are your patterns. Adding patterns is as easy as pressing the plus symbol and changing to another pattern is equally as simple with the up and down keys. The play and loop pattern keys are also at the top of the screen. Below this are five tracks for adding your sounds. Note that you can have more than one sound per track so you are not limited to five sounds. This feature is one of the most useful for me. The note blocks contain Note, Octave and Sound info so going back and making adjustments to a wrong note is simple as you already have a starting point. Imagine how useful that is if you started your track three weeks ago.Under the tracks are the Set key for selecting your sound.



iSequence comes with two banks which is more than enough to get going with. At the time of writing this there were another three in the shop. I've got the Acoustic, Electro House and FunnyFarm sound banks which are all good. A note on FunnyFarm here. Despite having some strange sound FX that you might not use in a music track the sounds are fun and somewhat useful for podcasting, more on that in a bit. Next are left and right sound selection keys, PRM for adjusting volume and pan, some volume buttons for making individual note volume changes and finally Edit. Edit has to be one of the most used buttons in iSequence. From here you can select all notes or a track and then copy and past those notes to a new pattern. There's also a transpose key to add all important key changes without re-entering all your notes again, a nice touch. The Mixer button brings up this screen.



As you can see each track gets its own fader, mute and fx key. The fx in question is just a delay but it's a decent delay and there are more fx planned as well as automation. This is also the screen for changing tempo and adding shuffle. One last slider is the soft limiter control and gets your overall volume just right for export. Talking of which.



Here is where you manage your tracks. All fairly standard stuff and everything you'd expect. Notable is the COPY selector. When highlighted and the Export button is pressed your track gets copied to the pasteboard and you can then move it to another app that supports the Intua Pasteboard. I've been using Monle recently and getting a theme tune and music bed out of  iSequence and into Monle is simplicity itself.

To round off, I like this app because I can get my musical ideas from my head, through iSequence and back into my ears in minutes. Some people might not like preset sounds but there will be something that's close to what you want and the quality is good. Also, not wasting time on tweaking means that you compose more and that can only be a good thing. As a music base for podcasts or reports it's fantastic. Tunes in minutes means you are truly mobile if you need to create a piece of music on the fly.
I use it a lot as a notepad and more now that I'm going to start creating podcasts on nothing but an iPhone.
Another thing. Beep Street is very responsive to any questions you may have as I found out recently. Also app updates and bug fixes are more frequent than some apps I could but won't mention.

To end this post I have a small something for you if I've whetted your appetite for iSequence. Beep Street has kindly given me some promo codes. It's first come first served and when they're gone they're gone. They're only valid in the U.S. app store, sorry but that's just Apple's way. If you get a copy of iSequence please let me know by leaving a comment. You can leave it anonymously so there's no excuse.
Here are the codes. Happy iSequence'ing.




THH9MJHAXRKJ
Y4HJ4MP4X4K6
MRMPXJTTPKMJ
N3RLFMM3FAAF
L7YRP7FNLH9W
X4MHN736NKRF
3WRFYXMFKFFY
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