Seeking an Accessible MIDI Sequencer for iOS

iOS & iPadOS

hi all,

Does any one who makes music on iOS know of any accessible iOS midi sequencers? I know theres notikl but i'm looking for a midi sequencer that takes a more traditional approach, and i'm looking to use it with hardware synths and drum machines as well as iOS apps.

your help with this question would be most welcome kind regards trey.



Submitted by Raul on Friday, April 15, 2016

I know it's not the same, but have you tried GarageBand? If your iPhone is from september 2013 onwards you should be able to get it for free from the AppStore

Submitted by Luke on Friday, April 15, 2016

I don't mean to sound like a negative Nancy, but… Two things:
First, in my extensive exploration of accessible music apps for iOS, you could probably count them all on one hand. It's very frustrating, to say the least. Even Apple's own GarageBand has some serious accessibility challenges
Secondly, I find that this forum goes silent whenever I post anything about music apps. I swear sometimes it seems like I am the only one interested in using these kinds of apps. Obviously, that's not the case, as you are in the same boat as me. This is just a bad forum for trying to get any help with music programs. I actually find this rather baffling, since I know so many blind people who love to make music. After all, it's the obvious choice of creative expression when you don't have site.

Anyhow, I apologize for slipping into a bit of a rant, there. It's just frustrating sometimes. At the end of the day, I just don't have any suggestions for you but let's keep this conversation going. I will go do a little more digging. Best of luck

Submitted by trey on Friday, April 15, 2016

thanks again guys :) i'm going to get in touch with some devs and see what happened :)

Submitted by DPinWI on Saturday, April 16, 2016

In reply to by Luke

I can only agree with you Joe, and offer this as a possible source of the deafening silence here when trying to get information about music creation apps.

I am very interested in this topic, but rarely add to posts because I have nothing to add. I have yet to find a creation app that is easy, intuitive, and does not take me out of my creative flow far more than inspiring me. I read every post about it hoping for something that will work for me. I am to the point where i rarely even try new apps, such as the Music Notes one, simply because I assume I will be disappointed.

Thank you to those enduring explorers who are pushing into this frontier and reporting back to those of us in the silent masses.

Submitted by Lou Smith on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I also would like to see more conversation on this topic. I am primarily interested in performing with an iPad and external keyboard, as this creates a highly portable setup, excluding a stand, and sound system, of course. I have been able to successfully employ this setup as a supplement to my primary keyboard, an old Yamaha Motif. I tend to find a sound, set it, and forget it when playing. I have found the easiest apps to use in this way to be Garage Band, and Synthbook from Yamaha. I also like Mitosynth, as the developer has made a conscientious effort to build in accessibility. I haven't tried seriously tweaking/programming sounds yet. I haven't found a way to switch sounds "on the fly." I've only been working with this rig for about 3 months, and not put as much time into it as I would like. I've exchanged a few e-mails with the developer of NS1, an analog synthesizer. He is expressing interest in accessibility.

Hi Lou, I know the ns1 nanosynth that you mention I saw it in the shop recently I don't reckon it be the best choice for a blind person Because it feels quite fiddly to use However sound machines are bringing out a product called the Modular 114 This is an all in one modular synthesiser And I reckon it will be completely accessible Kind regards trey

Submitted by Lou Smith on Monday, April 18, 2016

So, is this a stand-alone synth, or is it designed to be loaded into the iPad? I'm really excited and interested in the concept of music creation/performance on an iPad. On another related topic, I went into Mitosynth last night, and was able to do some sound creation. Nothing spectacular, but I just wanted to see what I could accomplish without knowing what I was doing.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Monday, April 18, 2016

I find that the music creation software for iOs are either toys or so overcomplicated that there's simply no point using them. Sadly the toys are those one would expect the most from, in terms of sequensing and such. In my view, Garageband is way too limited in what you actually can do and what remains are things you can make funny noises with and not much more. I too hope for something you can do other things than play with for five minutes before it gets boring but i don't hold my breath anymore.

Submitted by Luke on Monday, April 18, 2016

In my little rant above, I said this forum was a bad place for help with music apps. Reading some of these replies, I realize my frustration was misdirected. The problem is truly that there's unfortunately very little to discuss, since there are hardly any accessible music apps on iOS. Makes me really wish I'd stuck with the computer science degree I abandoned when I was younger. I can envision the perfect, simple, accessible music recording app, and I wish I had the talent to build it myself.

GB is really all we've got, but I agree with others that it's too basic and limiting. I mostly use Hokusai for basic single-take recording now. It works poorly for overdubbing because it doesn't compensate for latency, meaning you could record your acoustic rhythm pattern, do an overdub of a guitar solo, playing in perfect time, but when you play back the two recordings they're totally out of time with one another.

My main recording rig is a PC running Windows 7 with Cakewalk Sonar X3 Producer. I use a combination of ZoomText screen magnifier and the NVDA screen reader since I have some partial sight. As my vision declines further, I fear even this setup will be unusable because there are lots of things in Sonar (and basically any DAW) that require using the mouse and looking at the screen. I've even researched standalone hardware multitrack recorders but they all have screens with menus, making them impossible to use.

It seems ironic that apps for making music are among some of the least blind accessible on the market.

Submitted by Lou Smith on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Joe, I agree about the lack of accessible music apps. Kinda like the hardest thing to do on the early iPhones with Voiceover was to make phone calls. To the previous individual, I don't totally agree. Much depends on what one wants to do with his/her iDevice. I have been using my iPad as a supplementaryy keyboard at my Church. Granted, I'm using it along with an older Motif, and I play along with a Church organist in a mostly traditional worship environment. All this to say that some of the digital artifacts of some of the patches such as being able to hear the loop points, get drowned out. It is up to the user to make the most judicious and careful use of the technology at his/her disposal depending on the purpose for which it is used, and the setting/environment as I said above.

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I do not use music creation software, but I thought that JAWS worked with Sonar. Learning JAWS--or maybe even MAGic--might be a worthwhile investment of your time should your vision deteriorate in the future.

Submitted by trey on Sunday, July 3, 2016

hi all, sorry for my long absence from this thread.

for thoughs of you looking for an accessible midi seequencer you should all check out the social entropy engine its a hardware midi step sequencer that can be used to sequence both hardware and software, I use it all the time and its an issentule part of my music production set-up the link is here:

i hope this helps let me know what you think of it :) kind regards trey.