B-Step Sequencer iPad App

B-Step Sequencer iPad App

Information and Specifications

Category: Sequencer Apps
Updated: 21 May 2014
Version: 1.2.3
Size: 8.8 MB
Seller: Thomas Arndt
© 2014 monoplugs
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
Price: $US16.99 ($AU21.99)
Get it here:

Description: B-Step Sequencer is a MIDI Sequencer for the iPad. Features CoreMIDI and support for up to 2 Novation Launchpads.


Review
Along comes another sequencer for the iPad and the first question off the tongue is why? Because. The iPad is the best platform besides a computer environment for such an app and they are able to complement each other seamlessly. The second question would be why not? This is the iOS standalone version of monoplug’s B-Step Sequencer which began life as a VST for OS X, Linux and Windows platforms. You get all the functionality built into the iPad version, including support for one or two Novation Launchpads. Other features include support for CoreMIDI, Virtual MIDI ports, Network MIDI, MIDI learn. You get 16th step resolution, 4 tracks, 16 bars 5 chords x 6 per project, Pattern auto chain and MIDI Clock (up to 400BPM!) and you can sync it to another MIDI clock.

The actual user interface is laid out quite decently, if not just a tad confusing to start with. The main page is set up with several areas. At the top of the screen is the play, pause and stop buttons, as well as 4 groups of 4 bars to indicate where you are at within the 16 bars. Underneath this is the pattern area for the 4 tracks (strings). You can manually select which note is played on each track, including what octave as well. Underneath the tracks you can change each note’s duration and velocity underneath each respective note or globally change the duration and velocity if you want.

The second section which is the second half of the screen holds various functions. Unlike the above individual adjustment of duration and velocity for each note, each individual function amounts to 16 steps. For example if you had highlighted 4 steps in the chain and mute section, these will play for 16 steps by 4 times and then repeat back to the start. Besides the chain and mute part, there is bar octave, bar chords, bar repeats, solo bar. Underneath everything and without a name you can copy and paste a previous bar by wiping across to the next unused bar.

The global values section has adjustments for octave, fine tune, and chord set. The outside field to the far right you get a whole lot of further functionality to adjust, save, load, etc. From the top you can load a project, save a project, load midi mapping, set up midi through a network session or virtual port, the help screen, turn off all sounds, panic button, chord progression screen and finally at the bottom change the way the app looks with a selection 3 different color profiles.

So is it any good? Funny enough it is. CoreMIDI opens up lots of possibilities for external gear. The 4 tracks is a little limiting if you are using the sequencer like a drum machine. For chord progression, it’s magic. There are tons of chord sets to load and you can even save your own. The price? $21.99. It’s not cheap but for a premium app, it’s money well spent. Get it here: B-Step Sequencer – MIDI Studio Lite – Thomas Arndt