If you've been involved in the iOS music app scene for even a short time, you're probably familiar with the developers VirSyn. Known for their excellent iOS synths (Tera, Cube Synth, and others) and effects apps (AudioReverb, Harmony Voice, iVoxel, etc.), VirSyn has a legion of fans. Those who have used their synth apps are also usually fans of the built-in arpeggiators. Now, VirSyn has taken that arpeggiator and packaged it as a stand-alone app, called Arpeggist.
If you've used this arp in their other apps, you'll immediately recognize the user interface. A 32-step sequencer, with the ability to control ties, accents, notes and octaves, this app will get you some great sequences in no time. It is great to be able to now use this arpeggiator to control other iOS synths via virtual MIDI.
What Arpeggist brings to the table is not only the ability to use MIDI out, but to create your own presets to be easily recalled from one of the eight available presets boxes. The app gets you started with 40 arp presets, which do a great job of showing of many of the tie/accents/octaves. But creating your own is a piece of cake, especially if you utilize the dice randomizer. Anyone who's read my reviews knows that I'm all about the randomizer. Instant writer's block remover. I'd like to be able to create a whole set of presets, and line them up in a row, which I don't think can be done currently. Another feature that could fit into the "community" part of the iOS community is the ability to email custom presets to other users. Neat.
Some other great features are the ability to use different scales, rather than just the chromatic keyboard. For live use, this is great, as you can adjust the root note of the arp sequence on the fly, and always be in key. You can also plug in an external MIDI keyboard to use as well.
I had a lot of fun running this through some of my other iOS synth apps, especially those that either don't have a built-in arp/sequencer, or those that do have them, but they suck. Using Arpeggist with Thor, ThumbJam, and Animoog was ridiculously fun. The MIDI setup is a breeze. I did have a few stuck notes using Sunrizer, but given my success with the other synths, that might have just been down to something with Sunrizer. I also couldn't get Arpeggist to drive my MicroBrute. I don't know if that was just user error, or the app is not capable of recognizing external synths. I'd love to be able to use this with my 'Brute. Let me say though that any bugs that may exist will be resolved by VirSyn, as they have an exceptional reputation for maintaining their apps. Bugs in my head being resolved is another matter entirely.
The iOS world is pretty full of arpeggiators and step sequencers. There's a good chance you already own a few (or more than a few) of these already. But I do think that Arpeggist does bring enough new features to be worth a buy. The interface is intuitive after a few short minutes (and likely already familiar to many of you). The randomizer feature is outstanding, and the flexibility over controlling the parameters should allow you to create any sequence easily.
If you're thinking about buying Arpeggist, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 993650909]