People “reinvent” the drum machine all the time, but Patterning for iPad (iOS 8.1 or later, olympianoiseco.com) presents a beat-making system that is both fast and liberating. It comes with many great sounds to boot. Drum patterns have eight tracks, each represented by a segmented circle, like a wheel whose spokes divide the steps of the beat. With these circles, you can quickly tap and draw in beats, duplicate and add to patterns, and string as many patterns as you want into songs.
1. In a new file, go to the Drum Kit tab and select one of the five dozen kits that represent lots of genres, eras, and unique flavors of electronic drums. Or build your own kit from all the samples, including your samples you import from Dropbox, iCloud, or AudioShare.
2. Under the Pattern tab (pictured), for each kit track, enter beats with the segmented circle, using the height of the segment to control the volume of each hit. You can alter the timing of each pattern track by changing the step duration, changing the number of repeating steps (1-64 steps), changing playback mode (forward, reverse, “pendulum,” etc.), or by adding an autorotate function. In this way, you can create any standard beat, intricate polyrhythms that vary with each other endlessly, or anything in between.
3. You can edit each pattern’s individual sound with a synth parameters page and an effects engine offering delay, reverb, and three filter types. A Mixer pages gives you eight channel strips as well as master volume and effects.
4. On the Song page, you can string an unlimited number of patterns onto a song timeline that gets saved with your file. You can send Patterning’s eight drum tracks to eight MIDI track ouputs or record its audio using either Audiobus or Inter-App Audio.
Roll to the iTunes App Store and pick Patterning for $9.99.