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- 1 General
- 2 Pattern sequencers
- 3 Grid step sequencer
- 4 Cycle sequencer
- 5 Song sequencer
- 6 Graphical sequencer
- 7 Textual sequencer
- 8 Terminal sequencer
- 9 Web sequencer
- 10 Gestural sequencer
- 11 Esoteric sequencer
- 12 Undeveloped sequencers
- 13 Windows sequencers
- 14 macOS sequencers
- 15 Commercial
See also Drumming#Software
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_sequencer - or simply sequencer) is a device or application software that can record, edit, or play back music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically CV/Gate, MIDI, or Open Sound Control (OSC), and possibly audio and automation data for DAWs and plug-ins.
- Seq24 - a minimal loop based midi sequencer. Development dead, see seq64 below. Some of the links in this section still apply though.
To make seq24 use it's own ALSA MIDI ports, open the "~/.seq24rc" and edit [manual-alsa-ports] to 1
- YouTube: Linux music tutorial: seq24, part 1
- YouTube: Linux music tutorial: seq24, part 2
- YouTube: Linux audio demo: Live sequencing with seq24
- YouTube: Playing with Seq24 - MIDI - Linux - Part#1
forks that aren't as active as seq64/42/32:
- https://launchpad.net/seq24 - fork, last updated 2016
- https://github.com/oli-kester/kepler34 - last updated 2016
- https://github.com/sbrauer/seq42 - A midi sequencer for linux; a fork of launchpad.net/seq24, with greater focus on song editing (less on live looping) plus some enhancements. C++ with gtkmm. last updated 2016
- https://github.com/Stazed/seq42 - revived fork of Sam Brauer's seq42
- https://github.com/Stazed/seq32 - Stazed version of seq24 - name changed to avoid confusion. Many enhancements & bug fixes. development active.
- https://github.com/ahlstromcj/sequencer64 sequencer64 - a continuation of sequencer24 to refactor it to be tighter and easier to transition to GTKmm 3, and much more. By now, it is well beyond the sequencer24 project (and seq24), in functionality, and the code is already *significantly* refactored, although the heart of it remains intact.
- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ahlstromcj/sequencer64-doc/master/pdf/sequencer64-user-manual.pdf#subsection.8.1 - MIDI control
Remember the main window top line pattern sequence goes 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28
Using MIDI keyboard, Note on (144), notes C2 (36) to F#4 (67):
See Audio setup
- http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/seq24togglemiditutorial - control seq24 with midi
- https://github.com/Excds/seq24-launchpad-mapper - mididings
The first number is the pattern/sequence number in the main window, which ranges from 0 to 31. Each set of brackets corresponds to a MIDI filter. The MIDI filter in the left most brackets is the toggle filter. The MIDI filter in the middles brackets is the on filter. The MIDI filter in the right most brackets is the off filter.
If the incoming MIDI event matches the filter, it will either [toggle], [on], or [off] the pattern/sequence, respectively. The layout of each filter inside the brackets is as follows: [OPR INV STAT D1 D2min D2max] where:
- STAT=MIDI status byte(channel ignored)
- D2min=data2 min
- D2max=data2 max
If on/off is set to 1, it will match the incoming MIDI against the MIDI status byte pattern and perform the action (on/off/toggle) if the data falls in the range specified. All values are in decimal.
The inverse field will make the pattern perform the opposite action (off for on,on for off) if the data falls outside the specified range. This is cool because one can map several sequences to a knob or fader.
The MIDI status byte field is a MIDI status byte number in decimals. The channel nybble of this byte is ignored. One can look the possible status values up in the MIDI messages tables. As the channel on which the events are sent is ignored, one should always use the values for channel 1. That is, 0.
The last three fields describe the range of data that will match. The data1 field provides the actual MIDI event message number to detect, in decimal. This item could be a Note On/Off event or a Control/Mode change event, for example.
The data2 min field is the minimum value of the event for the filter to match. For Note On/Off events,this would be the velocity value, for example.
The data2 max field is the maximum value of the event for the filter to match.
- Non Sequencer - a powerful, lightweight, real-time, pattern-based MIDI sequencer for Linux--released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It utilizes the JACK Audio Connection Kit for MIDI I/O and the NTK GUI toolkit for its user interface.
You put non-sequencer into trigger mode and send it CC 20 messages, where the value part of the message is a pattern number to trigger.
Keyboard bindings are wonky.
Hardcoded for 4/4.
- harmonySEQ - a live loop-based MIDI software sequencer intended to aid music composers and performers. Main harmonySEQ features include: managing a set of separated (but synchronized) sequencers, repeating looped melodies of different length, duration and MIDI channel, reacting on user-defined triggers, which makes it exceptionally useful for live performances or recordings, supporting complex polyrythms, ability to bind a many patterns to each sequencer, and play only one at a time, help in manage chords, which allows to create melodies that consist only of notes that sound great together, ability playback sequences of MIDI control events, an intuitive and multilingual interface, with a great piano-roll pattern editor
- YouTube: harmonySEQ demostration
- YouTube: harmonySEQ demostration - Dream About a Peculiar World by Cielak
Advanced GTK+ Sequencer
- Advanced GTK+ Sequencer - gsequencer is intended to use for music composition. It features a piano roll, as well a synth, matrix editor, drum machine, soundfont2 player, mixer and an output panel. It's designed to be highly configurable, you may add effects to its effect chain, add or remove audio channels/pads. You may set up a fully functional network of engines, therefore exists a link editor for linking audio lines. Last update 2016.
- YouTube: GSequencer v2.0.18 screencast
Comments: Interesting interface, not entirely intuitive.
- https://github.com/diovudau/Patroneo - Simple Pattern Sequencer - Utilizing Jack Midi and the Non Session Manager
- YouTube: Patroneo First Demo
- YouTube: Patroneo Second Demo
- YouTube: Patroneo Third Demo - With Drumgizmo
- Epichord - a midi sequencer. It allows you to arrange midi patterns to be played on midi aware tools, record midi, and store/load arrangements to/from disk. It does not make sound or handle audio in any way. That is the job of other midi programs and hardware to which it can connect. Epichord is a clone of what seems like countless programs available on windows, as well as some attempts to bring this type of tool to linux. In particular, it emphasizes a plain and 'overused' user interface which I believe existing tools either ignored to pursue something better, or just ignored. Here is a partial list of programs which serve as inspiration for Epichord in various ways.
- https://github.com/ViktorNova/epichord - Latest commit: 19 May 2014
Grid step sequencer
- CYTHAR-Sequenzer - 96 crazy oscillating strings. A pattern-oriented, polyphonic MIDI step-sequencer, which makes its own path. 16 parallel patterns with six tracks and 16 bars – equating to 256 bars & 96 tracks. The six pattern tracks imitate the strings of a guitar and will be tuned e.g. to “EAdgbe”. With some clicks you can set a guitar chord to the pattern tune – then by enabling a few events or triggers the sequencer will start a solo or plays with the chords. More offset-, mute functions and a tricky song mode will pep-up your set. With CYTHAR you can program drum sets, melodies, arpeggios and complete songs.
- https://github.com/monotomy/CYTHAR-Sequenzer - A pattern-oriented, polyphonic MIDI step-sequencer, which makes its own path. Latest commit: 27 Jan 2015
- YouTube: Cythar sequencer - MIDI step sequencer | Standalone - playlist
New commercial version is B-Step Sequencer
- https://github.com/chronopoulos/ziggurat - stand-alone MIDI sequencer
- SoftWerk - a software analogue MIDI sequencer, modelled on hardware analogue sequencers like Doepfer's Schaltwerk. It can be used for pattern-based music composition, and offers almost all the features of its hardware cousins, plus quite a few more.
- https://github.com/x42/stepseq.lv2 - Midi Step Sequencer, 8x8 grid
- LinuxMusicians forum: Guitarix DrumSequencer
- LinuxMusicians forum: New Step Sequencer
- Freebirth - a free software bass synthesizer / step sequencer / sample player for the linux operating system.
Basic, no save, fun. 0.3.2, 2008.
- YouTube: FreeBirth
- Políssonos - a loop-based midi sequencer that elicits the relation between the rhythmical division of time and the shapes of polygons. Website currently under revision, more info and download coming soon... Meanwhile, you can download it here: for Macintosh, for Windows, for Linux or the source code. It is based on Processing and you might need to install a recent version of Java.
- Vimeo: Políssonos
- Aria Maestosa - an open-source (GPL) midi sequencer/editor. It lets you compose, edit and play midi files with a few clicks in a user-friendly interface offering score, keyboard, guitar, drum and controller views. Aria Maestosa runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux/Unix.
- Helio is a lightweight cross-platform music sketchup tool, available for Mac OS X, Linux, Windows desktops, iPads and Android tablets. Developed by musician with the dream of a perfect speed-painting playground, it features high performance C++ core, linear-based sequencer with clean UI, integrated version control and more. 
No MIDI in/out yet.
- MidiEditor - a free software providing an interface to edit, record, and play Midi data. The editor is able to open existing Midi files and modify their content. New files can be created and the user can enter his own composition by either recording Midi data from a connected Midi device (e.g., a digital piano or a keyboard) or by manually creating new notes and other Midi events. The recorded data can be easily quantified and edited afterwards using MidiEditor.
Old comments: Makefile needs to be editor for qt4 includes. After building, program had broken graphics.
- https://github.com/Noahdw/MidiInter - the beginning of what will hopefully one day be a Digital Audio Workstation that focuses on composer workflow through the integration of both notation software as well as traditional DAWS. Latest commit: 4 Dec 2017
- Musagi - original Windows a fairly large and sophisticated music editor and synthesizer
- Speedy MIDI - an editor designed for choirs and singers to quickly generate MIDI files for rehearsal.
- https://sourceforge.net/projects/speedymidi - Last Update: 2013-09-13
Piano roll tracks view.
- BigBand - Composing music for small ensembles. Last updated: sep 2011
- Amuc - Amuc is a Linux application for composing and playing music. The current version is 1.7 (june 2009). It works like this: Tune fragments are entered graphically. These are combined into a complete tune by means of a script file. Five-bar staff or piano roll display. 5 different built-in instruments, 6 mono synthesizers, synthesized drums, sampled instruments. For the composer there is help available with scales and chords. Tunes can be exported as WAVE or MIDI files, or as human-readable scores in postscript format. MIDI files can be imported. WAVE files can be read and transformed to notes. Support for USB keyboard. Interface with Jack (the Jack Audio Connection Kit). Amuc is written in C++. It is a lightweight application, not needing a GUI toolkit or an unusual library (required: X11, alsa, xft, cairo). Speedy operation: maybe this is the fastest tool to explore musical ideas and to create a complete piece of music. 1.7 (june 2009)
Jazz++ MIDI Sequencer
- Jazz++ Midi Sequencer - application for recording and mixing MIDI sequences, and for many years was the only stable application like it that ran under both Windows and Linux. Unfortunately, it has not been well maintained and was starting to look a little long in the tooth. It was also written with the venerable wxWindows version 1.68, which is not only now obsolete, but isn't even called wxWindows anymore. Last release 2008, last commit 2015-04-05
- MidiMountain - a MIDI sequencer aimed to edit standard midi files. The easy to use interface should help even beginners to edit and create midi songs (sequences) with this application. For professionals, MidiMountain is designed to edit every definition known to standard midi files and the midi transfer protocol. From easy piano roll editing to changing binary system exclusive messages, MidiMountain is complete and usable for every midi user.
- Brahms - Brahms is a sequencer and professional music notation program with several editing methods, including Score, Pianoroll, Drum, and Mastertrack Editors. For C++ programmers, it is easy to write new plugins (without recompiling Brahms). MIDI import and export are also implemented. It is compatible with KDE2.x and the aRts software synthesizer.
- STed - high-performance MIDI sequence editor / Music composer system. It had been working on X680x0 old Japanese personal workstation, ported the STed to UNIX & X environment. ncurses or X versions. Last modified: Mon Nov 4 16:56:25 2002
- KeyKit - an awk-like language developed by Tim Thompson and designed specifically for manipulating MIDI data. The full KeyKit system includes a multi-window and multi-tasking graphical user interface, and can be used for both algorithmic and realtime applications. The language itself has only a few built-in functions for graphics - the entire user interface is written in KeyKit itself, and is hence completely customizable and extensible by the user. The current version works best on Windows NT and Windows 95, but the software is designed to be portable. Previous versions have been ported to a wide variety of systems, including UNIX, DOS, Mac, Amiga, and even Plan 9.
- Keynote -A Language and Extensible Graphic Editor for Music - Tim Thompson AT&T Bell Laboratories, 1990
Keynote is a programming language for manipulating and generating music with MIDI-compatible equipment. It was designed for and int he style of the UNIX software system, as an application-specific "little language" and interactive shell. Most obviously used for algorithmic music composition, Keynote also serves as a more general utility for non-realtime and realtime MIDI data manipulation. By adding only a few functions to the language, a graphic interface was recently added. This built-in graphic interface did not, how-ever, build-in any particular user interface. All the nested pop-up menus and operations of a graphical music editor have been implemented in the Key-note language itself. The result is an extensible tool,similar in spirit to the Lisp-based extensibility of emacs, easily modified and enhanced by end users.
- GeoMaestro - An environment for experimental musical composition with MIDI and Csound, based on Tim Thompson's KeyKit
See also Synthesis#Graphics synthesis
- AlgoScore - a graphical environment for algorithmic composition, where music is constructed directly in an interactive graphical score. The result is output as audio (through CSound), arbitrary control data (through JACK ports) for control of other applications, MIDI through JACK or to file, or OpenSoundControl messages. The generated audio can be played back through JACK or exported to an audiofile.
- Duration - a timeline for creative coding. Create live performances, interactive installations, and music visualizations by synchronously composing servos, lighting, and projection. Intended to integrate with creative coding platforms like Processing, Cinder, openFrameworks, and vvvv Duration controls parameteric change over time with an easy to understand keyframe timeline editor. The application sends values over OSC and can be configured through OSC messages. Open source and completely free, Duration may be used in art, research, or commercial projects. It's built with openFrameworks, and inherits its commitment to openness and sharing.
- https://github.com/sukovec/jackmididrummer - Easy configurable drum machine/sequencer. Controlled by MIDI, emiting MIDI. The goal of this small piece of software is to make simple textually configurable drum machine where individual drum loops can be switched using midi. It is pretty basic piece of software... but it works. However, stdout is full of debug output, some features are not implemented yet
- quincer - a MIDI sequencer for composed music, reads text files for input, which may include other input files to re-use material. It is a pure JACK client.
- Mish - MIDI shorthand, a text-based music notation language. A song represented in Mish is similar to a computer program represented in C. It is human readable, but needs to be compiled into a binary form, namely a standard MIDI file, before the computer can play it. Mish can also be written out with pencil and paper, but it is not optimized for a musician to perform from, as he would with CMN.
- https://github.com/cepthomas/Nebulator - C# makes a reasonable scripting language, given that we have the compiler available to us at run time. Actually you can create compositions without any script functions at all, but they are there if you want them. The main music part is all declarative. While the primary intent is to generate music-by-code, runtime interaction is also supported. It's called Nebulator after a MarkS C++ noisemaker called Nebula which allowed manipulation of parameters using custom UI inputs, and display of whatever on the UI. A simple API for UI functions is provided - it's a subset of that provided by Processing. Also, the new functions that support music are modelled after that API style.
- https://github.com/pampa/tracker - Tracker, Sequencer and MIDI router. Native alsa-lib ruby bindings and a few examples how to use them.
- https://github.com/kfoltman/useq - Attempt at creating a very minimal MIDI sequence playback engine with live update capability
- https://github.com/Miserlou/chords2midi - Create MIDI files from numerical chord progressions!
- 'Cursed Sequencer' - CuSE, an ncurses MIDI-Sequencer which targets both terminal purists and visually impaired people. The purely character- based interface provides the kind of information needed by braille-displays and screen-readers. But CuSE can also enable normally sighted people to run the sequencer over a network or on a low-end embedded device.
- https://github.com/mreut/sequencer - MIDI Sequencer for Linux Terminal
- https://github.com/hbkk/sequencer - ncurses jack midi sequencer.
- https://github.com/haszari/kytaime - Electron MIDI pattern sequencer
- http://www.songtive.com - Web sequencer with progressions
- Online Sequencer - an online music sequencer. Make tunes in your browser and share them with friends!
MIDI in the browser
- https://code.google.com/archive/p/kioskvalt/ - A collaborative/multi-user web based midi sequencer. Seems dead.
- Bosca Ceoil - retro, Adobe AIR based
Isle of Tune
- GMS (Gestural Music Sequencer) - written in Processing.org by Unearthed Music recording artist and AudioCookbook.org founder John Keston, analyzes video input and converts it into a sequence of musical information in real-time. Each frame is processed to find the brightest pixel. The x coordinate is converted into pitch while the y coordinate is translated into dynamics. The application was also designed to use probability distributions on pitch and durations.
- BoxySeq - an experimental JACK MIDI application whose functionality lies somewhere between sequencer and arpeggiator but can't be said to be either. It operates using a customized bin-packing-like algorithm based upon the behaviour of the Fluxbox window manager.
- xwinmidiarptoy - an experimental BASH script which utilizes X and whichever window manager you happen to be using within X. xwinmidiarptoy is a MIDI sequencer which works by repeatedly opening xterm terminal windows within X and maps the position of the terminal window on the desktop to a MIDI note and velocity. Each xterm hangs around while the note plays, and then some specified time afterwards before disappearing again. Different arpegiating patterns can be generated by placing the windows of other software programs in varying positions within the desktop and thus (if you are using a window manager that works this way) blocking the script from producing certain notes.
- https://github.com/sensoryoverload/hybrid-sequencer - An advanced audio/midi sequencer for live performance
- https://github.com/evanrinehart/epichord - Haskell
- qTribe - a step-based MIDI sequencer, heavily influenced by the layout and operation of the Korg Electribe series of 'grooveboxes'. It connects using the JACK MIDI API, and aims to provide a powerful and intuitive environment for composition and live performance of music.
beta, dead? no MIDI recording
- Dino - a pattern-based sequencer, which means that you write small patterns of MIDI events that you can repeat and arrange to create a whole song. Each track has its own patterns, so you can for example play the same drum pattern over and over again while you play different lead synth patterns and basslines.
- https://github.com/ViktorNova/dino - abandoned fork
- TSE3 - a powerful open source sequencer engine written in C++. It is a 'sequencer engine' because it provides the actual driving force elements of a sequencer but provides no form of user interface. Sequencer applications or multimedia presentation packages will incorporate the TSE3 libraries to provide a user with MIDI sequencing facilities.
Dead - 2005
- Melyseq - Currently the following features are in place: A track view with drag and drop re-arrangement and copying of track parts, A piano roll view where notes can be freely moved and copied. A tempo view where the same can be done for tempo changes. Multiple files and multiple views of the same file can be open at once and elements moved or copied between them. All related views update when one is changed. Tracks can be recorded and overdubbed. Files can be read and saved as Midi or in a text MDML format.
Basic, dead since 2000.
- Anthem is an advanced open source MIDI sequencer. Anthem allows you to record, edit and playback music using a sophisticated and acclaimed object oriented song technology. It runs under the KDE desktop environment, on Unix-based platforms. It is based on the TSE3 sequencer engine and therefore provides a great deal of power, combining the innovative object oriented TSE3 song technology with a simple, intuitive interface.
Dead since 2002.
- MidiSwing - a midi sequencer displaying the content of midi files as a piano roll which you can edit. You can edit any existing midi file, or compose your own music from scratch. MidiSwing has been written in Java and is supposed to run on any Java 2 platform (Linux, Windows, Mac...). Freeware.
Java, piano roll, dead.
- https://github.com/tnovelli/tritium - [PROTOTYPE] an experimental pattern-oriented Sequencer/DAW. dead?
- http://studiopixel.sakura.ne.jp/pxtone/ - Windows
- Sekaiju - free, open source MIDI sequencer software for creating and editing MIDI data. You can record MIDI keyboard or synthesizer's playing to the computer, and you can compose music to play with your MIDI modules or synthesizers. Sekaiju also can be used as a powerful MIDI editor. Windows
- Temper - a MIDI+Audio sequencer with an emphasis on MIDI. Temper provides a straight-forward user interface that quickly guides you into advanced group operations and unique functionality such as decor and perform time, all tied together with an underlying shape concept for describing data transformation. Easily integrate Temper with your other software via basic drag-and-drop behaviour, more advanced sync functionality, or seamlessly as a VST.
- JJ-Sequencer - Windows XP/7/8.1/10
- Domino - "MIDI exclusive music editing software (MIDI sequencer) with piano roll as the main. Like me, the music is amateur & keyboard can not play very well & I can not read the score musically & & DAW is expensive & can not buy & it is too bad to leave the SC-8850 bought a long ago ... Such a target is."
- BloqSeq - switches between four 8-step sequences using an 8-step pattern.
- Series - a MIDI sequencer based on the concept of serialism. Two separate counters can be assigned to three gate sequences and three modulation sequences. With three LFOs, four random step generators and performance controls, Series is capable of generating and modulating intricate arpeggios and rhythms.
- MiniSeries - a smaller, different version of Series. Miniseries has one modulated counter that progresses through eight MIDI note assignments. Three LFOs and a variety of performance controls make MiniSeries capable of generating a wide array of sequences.
- Hex - a multi-track MIDI sequencer that facilitates music composition in microtonal tunings. It integrates seamlessly with our DT-enabled synthesizers, or with any standard MIDI synthesizer. It can also be used in conjunction with a digital audio workstation such as Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, or SONAR. Hex uses a lattice roll in place of the traditional piano roll. This enables unfamiliar microtonal scales to be intuitively visualized, and their tuning to be dynamically manipulated. The light buttons/lanes can be thought of as generalized "diatonic" notes, and the dark buttons/lanes as generalized "chromatic" notes. - Windows/macOS
- Composer's Sketchpad - A modern, mobile-centric take on music sequencing? An intuitive & interactive diary for comp-
osition? A melodic, painterly canvas for creative fiddling? A stage for microtonal & rhythmic experimentation? Amazingly: all of the above!
- Sequetron - a program with a twist; designed as a live instrument for hands-on use, all played & controlled from where your hands are - the music keyboard. It runs from switch-on with no interaction, and converts the simplest MIDI keyboard or device into a multi-track recording, playback & looping instrument. It has sequencer-like functions but is radically different to other programs as it is completely controlled using series of music notes called command sequences. There is no difference between commands and music - they are all sequences, hence the name... it can even control itself. Windows. Shareware/$.
- CycliC - an entirely new step sequencer, with six independent subsequences that cycle through a 32-note array. It represents a collaboration between Defective Records Software & Mutable Instruments. Free Demo Version is fully functional except it won't allow you to use the excellent presets feature, has support for only one VST plugin slot, and will time out after 30 minutes) - $
- http://www.koushion.com/ - iPad - $