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cykle user manual


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cykle is an inventive, semi-generative melodic step sequencer for iOS, iPadOS and Mac (Catalyst). cykle abstracts every musical parameter (such as pitch, velocity, length, transposition and more) into its own sequence using decoupled sequencer lanes, producing complex and musically engaging patterns from the interactions between simple elements.

cykle’s design was partly influenced by the article Manipulations of Musical Patterns (1981) by American composer Laurie Spiegel.

Standalone & AUv3

cykle can be used either as a standalone app or as an Audio Unit 3 (AUv3) MIDI plugin in a compatible host (such as AUM, Audiobus 3, ApeMatrix or Beatmaker 3). Note that currently cykle unfortunately does not work in GarageBand, since it does not support MIDI plugins.

The standalone app communicates with other MIDI-enabled apps via CoreMIDI virtual endpoints (configurable in the channel view).


This manual uses various terms specific to sequencers and cykle, which will be established below:

To summarize: a pattern contains snapshots, which contain channels, which contain sequences, which contain steps.

Main view

cykle's main view

The main view displayed when launching cykle. It shows the lanes of various sequencer types (pulse, pitch and length, by default) as expandable cells. Tap on a cell to reveal its sequence grid. New sequences can be added to a channel by tapping the + icon in the top right of the screen. Sequences can be removed by swiping to the left on a non-expanded cell and tapping delete.

A key feature of cykle is the ability for each sequence to have different lengths. Combining sequences with varying lengths is a powerful technique, as it quickly and easily generates musical phrases that are interesting and complex, yet regular and self-similar.

Sequence menu

Tapping the + icon in the top right of the screen opens the add sequence menu, allowing you to add new sequence lanes to the selected channel. Each sequencer types modulates the pattern in a specific way, as explained below:

cykle's sequence menu

Pattern transformations

Patterns can be instantly transformed by various actions, creating subtle or dramatic changes in the pattern. The available transformations are displayed in a horizontally scrollable area above the pattern grid of an expanded sequence cell. From left to right, they are:

cykle's pattern transformation options

Pattern menu

pattern menu

Tapping the BPM indicator in the navigation bar opens the pattern menu, where you can set tempo, swing, scale, and key for the selected pattern.

In the AUv3 version, these settings are located in the hamburger menu on the top left. You can also edit global settings there, clear the current pattern, and copy/paste patterns between different AUv3 instances.

Snapshot view

Tapping the letter displayed (e.g., A) on the top navigation bar reveals the snapshot menu. Snapshots store the current state of a pattern and allow to easily create and switch between different variations. Tap + to add a new snapshot to the pattern. Long press on a snapshot cell to delete or duplicate the current snapshot, or move its position.

Song mode

song mode

By tapping the icon to the right of the snapshot menu, you open the song mode screen. Here you can activate/deactivate song mode, create a sequence of snapshots to play back in a specific order. Tap the + icon to add the selected snapshot to the song, drag its edges in the timeline view to change its length, use the arrow (< >) icons to change its position, and tap the trash icon to remove it from the song.

Channel view

channel view

At the bottom of the main view is the channel view, where you can add and remove channels, with a maximum of 8. Note that the AUv3 version only has a single-channel, since you can open multiple instances of the plugin.

Swipe up on the channel view to reveal the channel configuration panel. Here, you can enable/disable the selected channel and choose its MIDI destination and output channel.

MIDI input mode

Here, you can select the MIDI input mode. cykle can react to MIDI input by adjusting the pitches in the pattern to MIDI pitches sent to its input. Here you can choose between two input modes: 1) Arp mode arpeggiates over the played notes, while Chord mode plays them simultaneously, as a chord.

Long press on a channel cell to reveal a tooltip where you can delete or duplicate channels.

Saving and loading patterns

Patterns can be loaded and saved via the main menu (accessible via the hamburger icon on the top left of the screen). Cykle ships with a number of factory patterns to use as presets or to serve as inspiration. Patterns in the AUv3 version are with the session of the host, and can be as presets in the host.


concept, design & development: Corné Driesprong

beta testers: Rolf Seese, Jusep Torres Campalans, Trevor Llewellyn, Gad Baruch Hinkis and others.