Sector Review – Slices, Sequences, Probabilities & MIDI

Senza titolo
Do you like randomness and total chaos in music? Are you a math student wanting to study probability and make great music at the same time? Even if you did not answer yes to either question you will “probably” enjoy this app. I know that was kind of cheesy but the app Sector is not. According to the manual Sector, by Kymatica, is a stochastic sample slice sequencer.

In a nutshell, I would say Sector is a sample-mangling app with a twist of random. When you load up a sample via Audioshare or Audiopaste, it divides the sample up into 2 to 32 equal sectors. Each of the sectors can be warped, sequenced or mapped with a Markov-chain matrix. Everything can be set to some sort of probability. When something is set to 100% it means it will always trigger and 0% means it will never. Anywhere in between with produce some randomness based on the percentage.

Map, Sequence, Warp Explained
Starting off with the map section, each sector can be mapped to jump to any other sector. Click on a sector to select it, then click, hold and drag out to adjust the percentage. Each sector can have multiple possible hops going to and from it. You can also hold the (all) button to make every connection possible.

Next we will look at the sequencing section. You can have up to 64 steps with each step being able to have a certain percentage of triggering. To add a sector to the sequence, click on a sector then click in one of the circles. If you want 100% probability, it will trigger then just click on the circle to add it to the sequence. If you would like to add some randomness, click and drag in a circle to adjust the size of the circle. If you want to see what the percentage is, look at the top of the screen and it will show you as you are adjusting.

Lastly is the warping. Each sector can have up to 4 different warps with a 5th possibility to follow the previous sectors warping. There are 30 warps that can be selected. To add a warp to a sector, click on the sector then click on one of the four circles below the sliders. Scroll through the warps on the left side and select one. You can adjust the probability of each warp. You can preview what it will sound like by click on each of the warps. If you bring all sliders to 0%, then the sector will trigger with whatever warp was active right before it.

Additional details
Sector features a MIDI click sync that works well. I have synced it to Loopy and Elastic Drums with no issues. The app has also a well-written user guide and it comes preloaded with a lot of quality samples.

After playing with the app, mangling some loops, and killing about 2 hours without breaking a sweet, I only had one question. How can I actually use it in my music production? I think everyone should be pondering that question at some point about all the apps they have on their iPad. The risk is ending up with lots of apps and no real completed works. We’ll focus on this topic soon, stay tuned.

The new update
Going back to Sector, the app was just updated to version 1.1. It adds MIDI learn and a heap of new MIDI controls to trigger sectors and switch between the different memory slots. You can now use a standard midi controller or any other MIDI source, including apps, to trigger individual sectors. So essentially you can play or sequence it like an instrument. I tested out the MIDI controls with a couple of apps. I was able to sequence the sectors with Genome MIDI and play the sectors with Yamaha’s Synth and Dr Pad app.

One new feature I really like is the silent warp. You can use it to silence a sector to add a rest or mute a sector. Being able to add silence just adds to dynamic sounds that this app can produce. The other updates include various bug fixes, tweaks, IAA app switcher, and the ability to turn off IAA clock sync in case the host app is broken. They also included toggling reverse with randomizing Warp.

If you were on the fence about this Kymatica app then your wait should be over. With the new features that were just added, it makes this app a no-brainer purchase. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who wants a little randomness in their life or just enjoys mangling a sample beyond recognition. For $8.99 this app is a steal for what it can do.

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