cykle

table of contents

overview

cykle is an innovative, semi-generative melodic step sequencer for iOS that works by abstracting away all musical parameters (such as pitch, velocity, length, transposition and more) into individual sequences, by way of decoupled sequencer lanes. thus, the interplay between simple elements easily yields complex and musically interesting results.

the design of cykle was partly inspired by the article Manipulations of Musical Patterns (1981) by 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, ApeMatrix or Beatmaker 3).

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

terminology

this manual uses various terms specific to sequencers and cykle, which will be clarified below:

a pattern contains snapshots, which contain channels, which contain sequences, which contain steps.

main view

the main view

the main view is the first view you encounter on launching cykle. it contains the lanes of various sequencer types (pulse, pitch and length, by default) which are shown as expandable cells. tap on a cell to expand and show its sequence grid. new sequences can be added to the 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.

one of cykle's defining features is that every sequence can have a different length. combining sequences of different lengths is a powerful technique, as you can quickly and easily generate complex but regular and self-similar musical phrases.











sequence menu

tapping the + icon in the top right of the screen opens at add sequence menu, where you can add new sequence lanes to the currently selected channel. note that each sequence type can only appear in the pattern once, with the exception of the control sequence, of which there can be any number. each of the various sequencer types modulates the pattern in a specific way. we will go over them now:

the sequence menu

pattern transformations

patterns can be instantly transformed by various actions, allowing to instantly create subtle to dramatic changes in patterns. the available transformations are displayed horizontally scrollable area above the pattern grid of an expanded sequence cell. they are the following:

the pattern transformation icons

the pattern transformation icons: clock division, add, remove, randomize, mutate, shift left/right/up/down, reverse, invert, duplicate, bisect

pattern menu

tapping the BPM (e.g., 120) indicator in the navigation bar opens the pattern menu, where you can set the tempo, swing, scale and key of the selected pattern. note that the swing global swing setting affects every second 16th note in the pattern, so there need to be events on those step values for the swing to have an effect at all.

in the AUv3 version these same settings are located in the hamburger menu on the top left. here you can also edit the global settings. finally, you can clear the current pattern here, and copy and 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 can be used to easily create and switch between different variations on a pattern. tap + to add a new snapshot to the pattern. long press on a snapshot cell to delete or duplicate the current snapshot.

channel view

the channel view

at the bottom of the main view, you see that channel view, here you can add and remove channels. the maximum number of channels is 8. note that the AUv3 version has single-channel instances, since you can open as many instances as you want.

swipe up on the channel view to reveal the channel configuration panel. here you can enable/disable the selected channel and select its MIDI destination and output channel.

MIDI input mode

here you can also select the MIDI input note. cykle reacts to MIDI notes sent to its MIDI input by adjusting the pitches in the pattern to those of the played MIDI notes. can can choose between two input modes: 1) arp mode arpeggiates over the played notes, whereas chord mode plays the notes 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.

credits

concept, design & development: Corné Driesprong

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

app version history

1.3.1

1.3

1.2

1.1

1.0.2

1.0.1

patch update with a couple of bugfixes:

1.0