iOS Sequencer, Concentric Rhythm, Lets You Explore The Geometry Of Rhythm

Developer Jeff Holtzkener has updated Concentric Rhythm – an interactive tool for creating sequences and exploring the geometry of rhythm – adding Audiobus, MIDI Out support and more.

Concentric Rhythm visualizes looping sequences as a circle, which allows you to treat musical patterns as concentric shapes. This makes performing geometric transformations such as rotations, reflections and folding natural and intuitive.

It also provides tools for melodic lines such as random-walk generation, scale-based inversion and transposition. You can generate rhythmic lines using cross-rhythms or the Euclidean algorithm, and allows for great visualizations of complex polyrhythms.

Concentric Rhythm now allows you to assign each pattern to a different MIDI channel and send your results to other MIDI compatible apps or devices.

Concentric Rhythm was originally developed as a new way to improvise electronic music, but it is also a great tool experimenting with and developing musical material, or just for casually playing with music in a unique, hands-on, way.

Many of the ideas here were inspired by the book The Geometry of Musical Rhythm and this app is a powerful tool for exploring these ideas.

Here’s what’s new in version 2.0:

  • Inter-App Audio and Audiobus Compatibility
  • MIDI Send (as IAP)
  • Landscape for iPad
  • Completely redesigned Note List now integrated into main display
  • Velocity based transformations
  • Global reverb control
  • User sample management
  • Improved system for project saving
  • Tempo calculations based on user selected meter

Pricing and Availability

Concentric Rhythm is available as a freemium app – free to download and use, but MIDI Send support is a $4.99 In-App purchase.

Note: Synthtopia is generally opposed to treating MIDI as an optional add-on – in apps and in hardware – because there are benefits to shared standards and because making MIDI support an option can make it impossible for some users to test an app to see if it will meet their needs. The In-App purchase price seems quite reasonable for this app’s capabilities – we’d just prefer to see developers identify other features than MIDI support to treat as premium features.

If you’ve tried Concentric Rhythm, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

13 thoughts on “iOS Sequencer, Concentric Rhythm, Lets You Explore The Geometry Of Rhythm

  1. Also worthy of note is that Jeff delivered the MIDI functionality and numerous (non-IAP) usability enhancements at the request of the larger community. Originally the app was just a personal plaything.

    I’m a fan of supporting responsive developers so I think the asking price is more than worth the utility and funding future developments.

    Agree that, in general, MIDI shouldn’t be hidden behind a pay wall.

    1. 1000% agree.

      Jeff seems super cool. I suggested things like having a midi drum channel, etc. and boom, it’s there.
      Guys like him really need to be supported. I’ve blown so much money on shitty apps by “big companies” that never get bugs fixed, or necessary features added, etc.

      Unique apps like this need support so we get more.

      The MIDI is a little cumbersome to get going, but once you do, the stuff you can produce is really really cool.

      Reich-like evolving rhythms, etc that I don’t know how you’d do anyway else on iPad… maaaaybe using Pattering, but your more track limited there, and it doesn’t have all the cool operations you can do on the patterns.

      Try running multiple rings to same synth like Troublemaker… crazy polyrhythmic acid jammmmmmmmmmmmmsssss. 🙂

  2. Ipad air 2 64gb ios 10.2.1

    App crashed instantly again and again until i closed down korg gadget.
    Was then able to play with app but then i did something and it crashed again.
    By “did something” i mean i pressed play and it crashed.
    App is very unstable but in any case i can’t stand music apps that only allow one pattern and don’t let you make a song.

    1. Contact the dev using the email address on the app store page, He’s very responsive and an update is already on the way to address a mono sample import issue.

      Many people have been using it without issue.

      Regarding song-writing, it was never been designed to do that, it’s about exploring rhythmic variations.

      1. Can’t be bothered really.

        It’s not like an iPad air 2 is modified or jail-pished so the fact that it’s unstable isn’t a good sign. “lots of people using without issue” sounds like a guess.

  3. This is cool little app. You can make something from nothing ridiculously fast by putting random walks onto Euclidean rhythms. Or seriously geek-out messing around with polyrhythms. There’s a lot of stuff to try out here, but even without going too deep, it’s fun to play with. I’ve been using the MIDI with Ableton Live without any hitches (although the internal sounds and not bad).

  4. MIDI costing extra + new OS support only. Kind of a big double whammy against this. I hate “free but pay for midi” as a concept. either charge, or don’t- a controlling app that doesn’t include midi out is pretty useless

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