Modstep is … an app that does a lot of sequencing things on iOS. Step sequencing and sequence recording with … a lot of stuff. And then those things all connect together, and there are templates for…

Okay, it’s hard to explain. Those of us in the business have gotten used to the “it does a whole bunch of stuff” quality of DAWs. But now, new organisms are crawling out of the sea and walking on land, and they don’t have a genus and species yet. Fortunately, a new Modstep video does it absolutely perfectly, so let’s watch that.

Also, best of all, the video manages to do this without touching on any horrible “we think we are the next Jony Ive” Apple clich├ęs. There’s no cheery toy piano music and Silicon Valley drone narration. “Meet Modstep. Modstep is a way of expressing how you feel through music, even if you have absolutely no skill. Modstep gives you powerful music tools all in pretty colors and lights.” No. That doesn’t happen.)

Along the way, this video also makes an excellent case for owning an iPad. And fortunately if you’re on a budget, “owning an iPad” can be as simple as “finding someone with an iPad 1 that’s collecting dust in a closet.” (Alternatively: steal it from some young child. I didn’t have a hand-me-down touch device in the 80s, because they didn’t exist. So why should these spoiled rug rats have one? Here, they can watch Toy Story on this portable DVD player I found in the second-hand store. Builds character.)

Lost my train of thought. Oh, yeah – why the iPad, specifically, for this app? Well…

1. Touch means you can get the functionality of desktop software, but with direct fingertip control. And unlike hardware, there’s no menu diving.
2. Since it’s running on iOS, all the other music apps you need can come along for the ride (either the built-in sampler and synth or other connected apps).
3. Since it’s mobile, you can easily connect to hardware without balancing your laptop somewhere.

Simple, really.

But Modstep’s “let’s sequence everything” approach is looking really powerful.

So congrats to Jakob Haq for teaching us what an intro video ought to be.

Check out Modstep: