Though it still lags way behind iOS as a creative mobile operating system, Android is finally starting to get some decent music-making options.
Earlier this year, Steinberg announced that Cubasis 3, a full-on DAW, was being brought to Android, but if you’re looking for something a little lighter to make beats with, allow us to point you in the direction of Sequence Software’s Sequence Groovebox.
Equipped with a 100% native Android UX, this is designed to be simple to pick up yet have enough depth to keep you interested. The premise is the same as with so many other hardware and software grooveboxes: create rhythmic and melodic phrases and play them together to create songs.
You can do this using a pad-based sampler (each of the 16 pads can be edited individually and you get plenty of drum kits to play with) and two-oscillator virtual analogue synth. This is fully editable and can be played from a pretty responsive onscreen keyboard. You also have the option of playing editable melodic sample-based instruments (piano, bass, strings etc) from the keyboard.
Patterns can be edited in a piano roll and then sequenced in a Session View-style launcher, where you can trigger clips individually or fire off entire scenes.
In use, it can occasionally feel like you’re being forced to make a tap too many and some features - automation, for example - feel like they’re rather hidden away, but having played with it for a while we can say that Sequence Groovebox is fast, clean and helps you to keep your ideas flowing.
What’s more, there are more features coming: the developer tells us that you’ll soon be able to sample directly to the pads and that MIDI keyboard support is on the way, too.