Hayden Bursk, aka CDMer ohtravioso, has built a brilliant free game-slash-step sequencer for Windows, downloadable free. The ghosts represent music tracks moving across a grid; drag and drop bubbles representing sprites in one of four different views for different samples and simultaneous tracks (4 ghosts each = 4 tracks x 4 screens = 16 tracks).

Beat Step Sequencer [YoYo Games]

You can make your own games at YoYo using simple tools

Where it gets interesting is the ability to change the direction of the moving ghosts. Hold down the W, A, S, and D keys and click on a square, and you can add an arrow that redirects the path of the ghost. That allows you to create irregular, syncopated patterns and manipulate a pattern as it unfolds rather than let it repeat endlessly.

Part of why I think a lot of electronic music ends up being needlessly repetitive is that the interfaces we use too often encourage that repetition — or make it too difficult to introduce change. You can work around that limitation to inject variety, or even musically harness the repetition itself. But changing just a key variable in this case makes a very different step sequencer.

The step sequencer also works with your own samples, so you could actually use it live. Now if it could just sync … get that tap tempo ready.

Next step, Hayden: add in Pac-Man himself (or Ms. Pac-Man, if you prefer) and let us play the game while playing the samples!

  • In both IE and Opera browsers the download links cycle endlessly between the same 2 pages and never offer a download link, even with the site's active X installed 🙁

    It looks really cool though. A great idea.

  • Huh, really? I downloaded it using Opera.

  • Okay, Opera 9.5 and Firefox are both working for me. I think your issue with IE is that it's not properly installing the ActiveX control.

  • There's also a download offline link towards the bottom right hand corner instead of playing it in the browser. I'm excited this got posted. Adding pac-man and creating more of a game element would be exciting.

  • C

    That's pretty cool! When is the midi interface going to be done?

  • LZA

    That things is amazing …

  • Some people have been experimenting with Game Maker and MIDI notes within the software, but no one has made anything that spits MIDI or OSC out to other applications. I've been told the game engine timing isn't good enough, but I'm going to continue figuring out how to do that anyway.

  • Pingback: Syntrax - a free mobile music studio, Take a chance on me charted, Free DIY Pac-Man Sampler-Step Sequencer Game, DIY tin can speakers, and some FL Studio tips()

  • This is really fun.

    The drum view is too loud compared to the 3 other note-oriented views.

    What a great program!

    I eventually got it to download by turning off *all* security in IE. Nothing else seemed to work, and I'm not terribly sure which thing was preventing it. I only mentioned it in the first place in case there was something wrong on the site and not my end.

  • Pingback: Free DIY Pac-Man Sampler-Step Sequencer Game (PC) | Digital Music Lifestyle()

  • Pingback: the dimeBag » Un secuenciador estilo Pac-man()