The much anticipated Patterning drum sequencer by Olympia Noise Co. has just been released today. If you've been reading this site, or are a regular on the Audiobus Forum or the iPad Musician Facebook page, you've likely seen some pre-release info about this app. I've been fortunate to have a copy of the app for some time now, and I can say that this app is totally worth the wait. Check out the demo below:
Let's begin with some basics. Patterning is a sample-based drum sequencer, with a very easy-to-use interface. Using a circular timeline, you can create sequences anywhere from four to sixty-four steps for each of the eight instrument slots. These instruments are represented by the "rings" of the circle. Tapping on either the ring or the instrument name on the left side will bring you to that sequence.
Enter your hits on each step of the circle. You can also (by default) control the velocity level from the main screen (there are other parameter controls available, which I'll highlight later). As the playhead sweeps around the circle clockwise, your beat will play. It's incredibly simple and intuitive. I played around with Patterning with my young daughters, and they had the basics figured out with no explanation needed.
The app ships with 63 different samples kits (and counting, according to the developer). These range from some great acoustic kits, standard electronic 808/909's, and some eclectic off-beat stuff. What's great is that you can create custom kits, so you can mix and match from all of these different kits. Simply tapping on the sample soundwave will bring you to the various samples to choose from.
As if all of those sets weren't enough, importing your own samples couldn't be easier. Patterning is integrated with Audioshare and Dropbox, so you can select any samples that you have saved there. The universe just got that much bigger.
Of course, being that you can import samples means you can import any sound samples. I was messing around with adding a few Kung Fu .wavs as accents to a drum beat, but you could also theoretically add some bass hits, explosions, whatever you like.
The song mode in Patterning is also user-friendly. You can create multiple patterns, and switch between these manually, or string them together in the timeline. Copy the current pattern, make a few adjustments, and save it as a new pattern, and you've got yourself a song.
Where Patterning really shines is in the automation. Patterning allows you to automate the tuning (fine or coarse), effects, pan, filters, the envelope settings, and even the probability. I'm a big fan of drum apps that have probability options, so I'm loving this. As you can see with all these options, you can get real crazy real quick if you go overboard. But, if that's your thing, then Patterning has got you covered.
There's just so much going on in this app. Along with in-app delay, distortion and reverb, you've got nice controls over each instrument in the mixer page. The MIDI implementation allows for both MIDI out for each channel/instrument, and MIDI clock sync as well. Play each pattern either forward, in reverse, or randomly.
I'm sure that there is a lot that I'm leaving out here, because this app is deeper than most drum apps. With the recent arrival of Diode-108 and now Patterning, we are very fortunate to have some amazing drum apps available. The developers, Olympia Noise Co., have created some great apps in the past, with Ondes being a big favorite of mine. Patterning is truly a gem, and one that all musicians really need to own.
If you're thinking about buying Patterning, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 976690555]