App Tip: Alexandernaut Fugue Machine

Create MIDI variations from playback heads, send to your DAW
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Create instant MIDI variations from four playheads; send them to a DAW

Chances are you don’t make Baroque music, but Alexandernaut Fugue Machine for iPad 2/iOS 7 or above ( takes cues from Baroque and Serialism to refine the piano roll and let you quickly sketch beautiful, evolving polyrhythmic melodies and themes for any music. Fugue Machine’s four playheads dance across the screen in both directions and at various tempos and pitches to take one or more lines of music in many directions.

1. In Settings, choose a preset pattern or an empty slot. Set the tempo, key, scale, and loop length (1-8 bars) for new patterns.

2. In the piano roll, simply tap and drag in notes at the lengths and pitches you want. Hold the option key and tap notes to delete them. The app has plenty of polyphony so you don’t have to limit yourself.

3. The four playheads have their own Play/Stop buttons and settings. For each playhead, you can choose four forward/backward motions, divide or multiply the tempo, set the playhead Start position, change the volume of the part, and alter pitch by either octaves or steps.

4. Use the left bar to navigate and resize the piano roll, the right bar to pitch the whole composition up or down, and the top bar to scroll and to resize the loop brace..

5. In Settings, set the MIDI Out to either send Fugue Machine’s notes to another iPad instrument or to send it over your wireless network, where you can connect it to your DAW to record and play the notes from any of your synths.

Fugue Machine costs $9.99 in the iTunes App Store.