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Fugue Machine for iPad: Bach Inspired Next Generation Music Sequencer With Multiple Playheads
Rounik Sethi on Fri, October 16th 0 comments
The Fugue app has been a massive success since its launch and the developers tell us it's because it "appeals to music-makers of all levels from novices to professionals".

FUGUE MACHINE — the new take on the piano roll (we’re talking multiple playheads) inspired by Bach — had an impressive launch last week. It reached #1 in the US Music App Store (for 4 days) and was #72 across all categories. That’s impressive for a music iPad app!

This short preview video of Fugue Machine should explain why:

There’s a longer Back example video at the end of this article, and if you’re still not convinced here’s the press release from the maker of Fugue Machine, Alexandernaut to further explain and convince you just how revolutionary this app is for music sequencers.

Fugue Machine screenshot

San Francisco, October, 2015 — Alexandernaut releases FUGUE MACHINE music app exclusively for iPad. Created by the same developer behind Arpeggionome (featured on the App Store homepage 7/2014) and Arpio (500K+ downloads on the Play Store), FUGUE MACHINE allows you to create beautiful musical patterns with an intuitive user interface. 

Fugue Machine is also the first product to come out of an experimental non- profit incubator at Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, located within the historic Grand Movie Theater in San Francisco's Mission District. Tours of the theater are available upon request. 


Bach in a Box

FUGUE MACHINE is a tool inspired by composition techniques in Baroque music and Serialism — e.g. Bach’s canons and fugues1, and Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. More specifically, the idea was to design a tool to quickly change a melody’s speed, direction, and pitch, as well as play multiple variations of the melody simultaneously. 

As it turned out, the best implementation for this was to reimagine one of the most fundamental building blocks of all music sequencers: the piano roll2. 

Fugue Machines screenshot 2

The Piano Roll, Reimagined

FUGUE MACHINE is the world's first piano roll with multiple playheads3, allowing you to: 

  • Create a music sequence with the piano roll (similar to other music sequencers). 
  • Then playback the sequence with up to 4 playheads at once — each at various speeds, directions, and pitches (this is the cool part). 

With this interface, you see the playheads dance over the music sequence, and hear the complex musical patterns that emerge. It’s mesmerizing. 

Here’s a Bach example: 

10-Track Album

Songs for Fugue Machine:        

Pricing and availability 

FUGUE MACHINE is available for $9.99 from the App Store on iPad, and supports iPad 2 and above, running iOS 7 and above. 


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