Cascadr XS experiments with the idea of playing a sequence of notes and a number of speeds – simultaneously. Rather than the sequences being played in time with each other (for example, 30bpm, 60bpm, 120bpm…) they are played at intervals of 1bpm – which generates an interesting cascading effect.
There are eight notes in this sequence, and each note’s pitch can be chosen over a range of 2 octaves (on a chromatic scale) starting from A4 (or 440Hz). It’s also possible to alter the volume of each note, so emphasis can be placed on specific notes. Simply touch the column that represents the value you wish to change and drag up or down. When you change a note or note volume, the change will be heard straight away.
Perhaps most importantly, you can choose the speed of the sequences. As the idea of this application is to play sequences with this cascading effect, you can only choose the speed of the first sequence. So, if you choose a speed of 10bpm, the next sequence will be played at 11bpm, the next at 12bpm and so on.
Along with functions for starting and stopping the sequence, there is a ‘re-sync’ function that allows you to restart the sequence from the beginning, meaning that all of the sequences will be put back in sync again.
There are also 8 ‘save slots’. Just select ‘Switch slot’ from the menu at the bottom of the screen, touch a slot number, close, and continue composing! All changes you make are automatically saved to the current slot.
FInally, there is a ‘MIDI On’ button that will switch the app from outputting audio to outputting MIDI. You can connect the MIDI output to virtual MIDI ports between apps running on the same device and also MIDI via Wifi.
While there may be some ‘shock-horror’ at the lack of syncopation, Cascadr can produce some really ambient melodies and rhythms – along with some interesting chords as the sequences slide in and out of time. Just set your sequence, speed, play and listen.