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Fugue Machine | multi-playhead sequencer

By Alexandernaut

This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.


The world's first multi-playhead music sequencer.

"How Bach would have made a sequencer." (Create Digital Music)
"A musical feat." (Creator's Project)
"A new approach to sequencing." (XLR8R)
"Next generation music sequencer." (Ask Audio)
"A brilliant concept that has been beautifully realized." (Music App Blog)
"It’s good. So good." (iOS Mars)


FUGUE MACHINE is a tool inspired by composition techniques used in Baroque music and Serialism — e.g. Bach’s canons and fugues, and Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. The idea was to design a tool to manipulate 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 roll.


FUGUE MACHINE is the world’s first multi-playhead piano roll. Create a musical sequence and play it back with up to four playheads at once — each at various speeds, directions, and pitches. You see the playheads dance over the music sequence, and hear the complex patterns that emerge.

It’s mesmerizing.

/ Supports Ableton Link, MIDI, AudioBus, Audiobus 3 MIDI, and Inter-App Audio.

What's New in Version 1.4.0

// =================================

It's now much easier to backup and export your Pattern Libraries.

First, the Backups Menu is now located inside the Pattern Menu — much more convenient than before (buried in settings). To check it out, go to More Menu > Patterns > Backups. (The Backups button is in the lower right corner).

In the Backups Menu, each Backup File now has a share button on the right side — allowing you to send the Backup File to other devices with Airdrop, over email, and more.

// =================================

If enabled, MIDI Program Changes would not be sent to the 'All Playheads' MIDI Destination. Fixed now.

// =================================

I've been meaning to update the file system for a while now — to make it more robust and easier to backup/export — and after the recent update to 1.3.0, I thought I should just finally do it.

Anyway, I hope you find the update useful, and please reach out if anything comes up. Also, a huge thank you to all the beta testers who helped ensure this file system transition will be as smooth as possible :]

All the best,

iPad Screenshots

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Customer Reviews

Stunning Results with Hardware (updated)

Fugue Machine may very well be the finest, most inspiring music tool on my iPad when it comes to using the iPad to drive external hardware. I haven't used it much to sequence other apps on the iPad, but if you're looking to do something amazing with your outbound hardware synths, this is The One. The latest MIDI implementation is as flexible as you'd want it to be and rock solid (whether it's receiving clock or transmitting it). I'm sending out each track to a variety of MIDI channels, over USB out to a sync box, which passes on MIDI and/or CV/Gate to a 70s analog synth, a modular Eurorack setup, and to a popular keyboard controller. It would take a load of hardware to both handle the sequences and the interfacing, and I'm not really sure anything like this app could be assembled anyway. This is one of the few apps that make me want to buy another iPad, install nothing but Fugue Machine on it, and put it away in a bank vault, "just in case". It's made my collection of 40 years of hardware even more capable of incredible music. 5 stars! (April 3, 2017 Update - Keeps getting better! New system for Pattern Backup and Export works flawlessly... 6 stars!)

Easily a 6 stars out of 5

This is a brilliant instrument. Yes it’s a sequencer, but I see it more as a instrument and a composing tool.

The only wish I have is the ability to see the notes names somewhere. It’s easy to get lost playing it and hit a less than pleasant combo. That would go away in part if we could see the notes names or the chords/scales someplace in the interface.

Another wish would be the ability to play patterns manually, as opposed to having to clutter the screen with not just a menu, but a submenu.

Having 4 to 8 buttons to assign patterns to would rock. Literally. Even if it means squeezing the interface a bit. Maybe an overlay? I am already doing this using the submenu, but it occluded the screen for any other work.

By the way, I have the most fun with it driving my computer midi over WiFi. There is something magical in holding an iPad in your hands and hear sound out of your speakers. Recording the patterns is pretty easy too and the results rival or better dedicated midi arpeggiators. This is simpler and more versatile.

Great job.

As amazing as they say...

Perhaps even more so. This is one of the most brilliant pieces of software I have used on any platform.

With the recent updates, this app has further blown my mind and become even more fun to use. Improvements to the MIDI - routing of each of the four playheads have also made the app even more user friendly. If you even dabble in ios music making, you need Fugue Machine in your life. If you are a serious iOS music maker you already have this on you iPad and already know the genius of it.

Alex - thank you for all the amazing work you've been putting into this app.

Fugue Machine | multi-playhead sequencer
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Category: Music
  • Updated:
  • Version: 1.4.0
  • Size: 9.1 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.

Customer Ratings

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