Here are the best free step sequencer VST plugins to use with your favorite DAW. I have included sequencer plugins that work with Windows and Mac.
In this article, I have included a round-up of the best step sequencers online, a list of their features, operating systems, and YouTube videos to see and hear how the plugins work.
What Is A Step Sequencer VST Plugin?
A step sequencer is a type of music sequencer that lets you create a sequence of musical notes, typically by pressing a series of buttons. Step sequencers were created for use in hardware such as synthesizers, drum machines, and keyboards.
Step sequencers are often used to create melodies and rhythms that sound like they have been performed by an analog synthesizer. It is also possible for you to input notes with a keyboard and then assign them to different steps on the sequencer.
I have downloaded and tested a number of these free step sequencer plugins, and they are great plugins to experiment with.
Best Step Sequencer VST Plugins
Here are the best free step sequencer plugins online for music creation.
- Harvest Mini
- TechSynth PRO
- B-Step Sequencer
- Midinaut Drum Station
- Deep Step-606
- HY-SEQ32 Free
- RhyGenerator One
- More Step Sequencers
Are you looking for free plugins to add to your collection? Check out more free VST plugins.
Instructions: Click the links to visit each step sequencer VST plugin. Look around each website for the download link or button. Do not install any suspicious software.
1. Harvest Mini
Harvest Mini is an intuitive step sequencer that is easy to use and perfect for crafting rhythms and melodies. It has a simple, streamlined interface that makes creating patterns a breeze.
This is one of my favorite plugins on this list, and it’s one of the most popular free options online.
With its powerful sound engine, Harvest Mini can produce a wide range of sounds, from delicate chiptune-esque tones to hard-hitting drum beats.
The built-in effects allow you to add even more texture and depth to your sounds.
This is a great free alternative to Audiomodern Riffer and Pitch Sequencer by Sugar Bytes.
- Intuitive step sequencer
- Powerful sound engine
- User-friendly interface
- Built-in effects
- MIDI Loop Generation: Capable of generating unlimited melodies, chord progressions, and drum loops.
- Customization Options: You can choose scales, rhythms, and various presets to generate multiple musical possibilities.
- Interactive Piano Roll: Provides visual aid for musical composition.
- Rhythm Control: Tap custom rhythms, use preset rhythms, randomize rhythms, and adjust the chance of rests.
- Save Capability: Export creations as MIDI files.
- User Reviews: Some users find it handy for generating ideas quickly, and it’s good for introducing randomness into the workflow.
- Separate Process for Scale and Rhythm: This separation allows for diverse combinations and experimentation.
- High CPU Usage: Multiple users reported high CPU usage, with some noting it reached up to 100%.
- Compatibility Issues: Some users faced crashes and other issues, specifically with Reaper, although this was addressed in updates.
- User Interface Concerns: A user mentioned that the user interface could be more intuitive.
- Limited Bars: The maximum number of bars is capped at 16.
- Issues with Features: Some users found that changing certain parameters caused crashes or that certain features seemed unfinished in earlier versions.
- Learning Curve: While one user found it easy to learn without reading the documentation, some users had difficulties.
Harvest Mini | PC / Mac
SequencAir allows you to control every step of your sequence with individual notes, velocities, octaves, and gates.
You can also mute steps or skip them entirely. This gives you precise creative control over your sound.
The synth built into SequencAir is monophonic but straightforward and easy to use. You can also MIDI learn any parameter in the plugin, making it easy to integrate into your workflow.
- Monophonic step sequencer synth
- MIDI learn
- 16 chainable banks
- Individual controls
- Precise creative control over the sound
SequencAir | Windows / Mac
3. TechSynth PRO
This is a step sequencer synthesizer plugin with great features such as 60 patches and 32-step sequencer.
A fascinating thing about this step sequencer VST is that you can use it to control not just one but two oscillators with five different waveforms.
You can also use the detune control and the amp envelope to create great sounds. The filter is also very advanced, with an ADSR and an LFO.
You can also use the delay filter to create some interesting effects. Overall, this is a great step sequencer VST plugin that is worth checking out.
- 60 patches
- 32 step sequencer
- Two oscillators
- Five different waveforms
- Detune control
- Amp envelope
- Advanced filter with ADSR and LFO
- Delay filter
TechSynth PRO | Windows
4. B-Step Step Sequencer VST
This is a step sequencer for creating melodic loops, chords, arpeggios, drum grooves, and basslines.
It comes with various features like chord programming, sequencer ratcheting, shuffle, drag-n-drop, copy, MIDI learn, and more.
If you’re looking for a step sequencer software with an intuitive design and plenty of features, then B-Step Sequencer is worth checking out.
It is sure to become a go-to tool in your music production arsenal.
- Intuitive design
- Drum step sequencer VST
- Chord programming
- Sequencer ratcheting
- MIDI Sequencer
- Multi-touch support
- Customizable themes
- Auto chaining
- Reverse playback
- Bar snapshots
- MIDI clock master
- MIDI thru Support
- Novation Launchpad support
Plugin | PC / Mac / Linux
RPS-1 is a step sequencer VST plugin that helps create percussion sequences with random variations. This can be very useful for creating new rhythms and beats.
The plugin also outputs MIDI data, which can be used to trigger another plugin or sampler.
So if you’re looking for a tool to help create new and exciting rhythms, RPS-1 is worth checking out.
- Create percussion sequences with random variations
- Output MIDI data
- Trigger another plugin or sampler
- MIDI step sequencer VST
RPS-1 | Windows
6. Midinaut Drum Station
If you want to add some groove and swing to your tracks, Midinaut Drum Station is a great plugin.
It is a 16-step sequencer sample player with four drumkits, peak meters for each instrument, and 16-step filter music sequencers.
You can also use the pan and pitch modulation to add more interest to your patterns.
The plugin comes with 40 presets to get you started. It is sure to add some spice to your tracks.
- 16 step sequencer
- Four drumkits
- Peak meters for each instrument
- 16-step filter sequencer
- 40 presets
- Drum Sequencer
- Master reverb
- Synced LFO
- Pitch modulation
- Master filter
- Synced stereo delay
- Track stereo delay
Midinaut Drum Station | Windows
This step sequencer is one of the most user-friendly and straightforward plugins available. It is an open-source step sequencer that is also probabilistic and polyrhythmic.
The plugin is perfect for beginners and pros alike, as it is simple to use yet also provides a lot of features and functions.
It will become a go-to step sequencer for anyone who wants to add some randomness and creativity to their music.
- Open-source step sequencer
- Probabilistic and polyrhythmic
- Packed with features
- Piano Roll Editor
Stochas | PC / Audio Unit
Hypercyclic is an LFO-driven MIDI arpeggiator, gate effect, and step sequencer that takes you to the sweet spot between chaos and regularity.
It is easy to use and produces interesting results quickly.
If you are looking for a step sequencer with more features, Hypercyclic is worth a try. It is sure to become a favorite for many producers.
- MIDI sync
- Gate effect
- Standalone Application
- Step sequencer
- MIDI chord inputs
Hypercyclic | Windows / Mac OS / Linux
Apollo is a step sequencer VST plugin that brings in loads of power with its 16-step and dual-channel step sequencing to enable you to create some tremendous sounding sequences.
With its arpeggiator function and random function, you can create some very interesting sequences.
You also get pitch and velocity controls to help you fine-tune your sounds.
The best part about the plugin is that it has a great analog feel to it while being very simple to use.
Apollo is worth checking out if you’re looking for a step sequencer VST plugin with lots of features and great sound.
- 16-step and dual-channel step sequencing
- Arpeggiator function
- Random function
- Pitch and velocity controls
- Works with Cubase, Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic
Apollo | Windows
TheDrumSource is an easy-to-use, sample-based drum machine that is perfect for beginners and pros alike.
It provides a straightforward way to create and edit drum loops, making it a great step sequencer plugin.
If you’re looking for a step sequencer plugin that is simple to use and provides a great way to create and edit drum loops, this is the plugin for you.
It is sure to become a staple in your step sequencing arsenal.
- Sample-based drum machine
- Great for beginners and pros alike
TheDrumSource | Windows
11. Deep Step-606
Deep Step-606 is a powerful step sequencer VST plugin that gives you the energy and creativity of a classic synth coupled with a vintage analog step sequencer.
It comes with 128 presets, 70 custom presets, and a Doppler chorus and stereo echo effect.
If you’re looking for a step sequencer VST plugin that’s packed with features and easy to use, Deep Step-606 is a great option.
It is sure to give your productions the boost they need.
- Vintage analog step sequencer
- 128 user presets
- 70 custom presets
- Doppler chorus and stereo echo effect
Deep Step-606 | Windows
This is a step sequencer with an old-school analog feel. It has 16 step sequencer units, a preset manager, an undo/redo function, and a value randomizer to help you create new and unique sequences.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use step sequencer with a classic analog feel, then HY-SEQ16 is a great option. It is sure to help you create some great sequences.
- 16-step sequencer units
- Preset manager
- Undo/redo function
- Value randomizer
HY-SEQ16 | Windows
This step sequencer VST plugin is inspired by the idea of creating a synthesizer for bass and high sequences.
It offers more variation than a simple VA synthesizer using a 3rd oscillator with digital waves of single-cycle type.
As a result, it can create analog-style sounds reminiscent of the old Moog. This is a great plugin for those who want to create their bass and high sequences.
- Analog-style sound
- 3 Oscillators
- Creates bass and high sequences
Alphatron | Windows
Nova3 is a step sequencer inspired by Otomata, allowing you to create melodies and rhythms easily. The plugin provides an intuitive and easy-to-use interface to create complex patterns.
If you are looking for a step sequencer with a straightforward interface, Nova3 is the perfect choice. It is sure to become a valuable addition to your music production toolkit.
- Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
- Generate melodies and rhythms
Nova3 | Windows
15. HY-SEQ32 Free
This is a 32-step sequencer inspired by analog sequencers. It offers 1 Pitch SEQ unit with two modulation source units.
You can drag & drop modulation assignments and use the pattern sequencer for chaining unit snapshots.
Other features include chord and scale FX and a MIDI recorder. The interface is resizable, making it easy to use on any size screen.
- 32 step sequencer
- 1 Pitch SEQ unit
- Two modulation source units
- Drag and drop modulation assignment
- Chord and scale FX
- MIDI recorder
- Resizable interface
HY-SEQ32 Free | Windows / Mac / Linux
If you’re looking for a step sequencer with great features, Kapling may be the plugin for you.
This synth has eight independent voices, meaning you can create some very complex sounds.
The 2-step sequencer is also great for creating interesting rhythms. The real-time timbral controls allow you to change the sound of your presets on the fly.
You can also store pitch, sequences, and timbre presets and export them to disk.
- Eight independent voices
- 2 step sequencer
- Realtime timbral controls
- Store presets for pitch, sequences, and timbre
Kapling | Windows / Mac
17. RhyGenerator One
This is a powerful step sequencer plugin with Euclidean rhythm generation. It’s easy to use with a resizable vector GUI.
You can create up to 32 steps and automate the process with MIDI.
If you’re looking for a step sequencer with Euclidean rhythm generation, this is the plugin for you. It is sure to help you create some amazing sequences.
- Up to 32 steps
- Parameter Automation
- Resizable vector GUI
- Euclidean rhythm generation
- MIDI automation
RhyGenerator One | Windows / Mac
This step sequencer plugin is a powerful tool that allows you to create and edit complex sequences in real time.
The matrix sequencer is extremely intuitive and easy to use, making it great for beginners and experts alike.
With 32 steps and eight simultaneous patterns, the step sequencer plugin is a great choice for creating complex sequences.
The real-time transpose feature via MIDI is also extremely useful, allowing you to change the pitch of your sequences on the fly.
- 32 steps matrix sequencer
- Eight simultaneous patterns
- Real-time transpose
- MIDI support
MSQ-32 | Windows
This step sequencer plugin is a little synthesizer that resembles a legendary TB-303 in sound and features. It has few features; however, its simple sound generation, lowpass filter, and envelope decay control make it a powerful step sequencer.
If you’re looking for a step sequencer that can create classic acid house sounds, this is the plugin. It is sure to become a staple in your step sequencing arsenal.
- TB-303 emulation
- Lowpass filter
- Envelope decay control
Screamer | Windows
Stepcomb is a stereo comb filter VST effect that allows you to control the pitch of the comb filter with a step sequencer. This can create some interesting rhythms and textures.
If you are looking for a step sequencer VST plugin that can create unique sounds, then Stepcomb is worth checking out. It is sure to become a favorite among producers and sound designers.
- Stereo comb filter
- Pitch control with step sequencer
Stepcomb | Windows
This powerful tool will take your performances to the next level, whether you control soft synths, audio effects, or external devices.
One instance can hold eight sequences with up to 64 steps each and can be triggered in various ways.
You can set the step rate from 1/128 notes and up to 32 bars and take advantage of randomization features for unpredictable sequences. Plus, CCStepper can be synced to your host or triggered by MIDI notes.
CCStepper | Windows
Cedr is a two-oscillator synth with a 16-step sequencer, capable of producing high-quality sounds. The sequencer can also be fed to other synthesizer controls.
Cedr is excellent for chiptune music, and it shows in the look and feel of the instrument as well as in the sound.
- 2 Oscillators
- 4 Waveforms
- Pitch Control
- Pulse Width
- Oscillator Mix
- Pan & Sync
- Step Sequencer Control
- Static Pitch
- Variable Filter
- ADSR Generator
- Sequencer Cut Off
- Bit Crusher & Delay
Cedr | Windows
The S16 is a powerful plugin that combines a step sequencer and sampler. You can create complex patterns and rhythms with sixteen steps and four divisions.
The four LFOs allow you to add dynamic movement to your sound.
The global release and volume controls make it easy to create smooth transitions between different parts of your sequence.
The filter controls give you precise control over the tone of your sound.
The distortion effects add grit and character. The delay and distortion effects add depth and space. The flange effects add an organic, organic quality to your sound.
This plugin is fully automatable, making it easy to create intricate sequences.
- Sixteen Step Sampler
- Control Each Step
- 4 Divisions
- 4 Step Choices
- Global Release & Volume
- 4 LFOs
- Filter Controls
- Distortion Effects
- Delay & Distortion Effects
- Flange Effects
- Fully Automatable
s16 | Windows
Stepper is a helpful step sequencer plugin for creating incredible MIDI drum patterns and melodies.
With 16 steps and the ability to output two additional CCs, Stepper gives you complete control over your sound.
You can synchronize playback to the host tempo, making it easy to create perfectly timed sequences.
You can take things up a notch and external transpose MIDI notes for even more creative possibilities. Stepper will become a go-to tool in your music production arsenal regardless of how you use it.
Stepper | Windows
Easy-Z-box is a free step sequencer synth plugin that makes it easy to create complex sounds and rhythms.
With three oscillators, a lowpass-bandpass filter, and an ADSR envelope, you’ll have everything you need to create beautiful melodies and rhythms.
Thanks to the 16-step sequencer, you can easily create complex patterns and loops. The global range feature ensures that your sounds will always be in key.
- 3 Oscillators
- Lowpass Band Filter
- ADSR Envelope
- Overdrive & Delay
- 16 Step Sequencer
- Global Range
easy-Z-box | Windows
26. easy-wave-player 12
With twelve different slots and twelve unique drum sounds, the easy-wave-player 12 is perfect for those who want to create their own music.
Each of the twelve pads has its own sound, making it easy to create a unique soundscape.
The plugin also includes tuning controls, overdrive effects, delay effects, filter cutoff resonance, attack-decay, 16 step gater, LFO, panorama, MIDI channel, 16 voices, and 16 patches. With so many features, the easy-wave-player 12 is perfect for any musician looking to create their own original music.
- Tuning Controls
- Overdrive Effects
- Delay Effects
- Filter Cutoff Resonance
- 16 Step Gater
- Panorama & Volume
- MIDI Channel
- 16 Voices
- 16 User Patches
easy-wave-player 12 | Windows
27. easy-drum X8
Easy-drum X8 offers 12 analog instruments. This module offers the basics of what you need to create that classic drum kit sound.
With distortion effects, SV filter, and modulation parameters, you can customize your sound in any way you want.
- Distortion Effects
- SV Filter
- Modulation Parameters
- 16 Step Sequencer
easy-drum X8 | Windows
What Does a Step Sequencer Do?
A step sequencer creates patterns by stepped automation, meaning that each event happens at a specific time and in a particular order. This can be contrasted with real-time or live sequencing, where events happen organically, and in any order the musician desires.
Step sequencers are commonly used for creating basslines, drum patterns, and melodies. They were popularized in the late 1970s and early 1980s by electronic music artists such as Kraftwerk and Detroit techno producers like Juan Atkins. They have recently seen a resurgence in popularity due to their easy programmability and unintimidating workflow.
What Is an 8-Step Sequencer?
An 8-step sequencer is a tool that enables you to create and edit sequences of notes or other musical events. This can be done by creating a sequence of attacks, release times, sustain levels, and decay rates.
Alternatively, you can input MIDI notes directly into the Step Sequencer. Once your sequence is complete, you can add it to your DAW’s project as an audio or MIDI track.
What Is a MIDI Step Sequencer?
A MIDI step sequencer is a type of music software that allows you to create and edit sequences of MIDI notes. It’s like having a miniature piano keyboard in front of you, with each key representing a different note. You can then drag and drop these notes to create your sequence.
A MIDI step sequencer is excellent for creating drum patterns, basslines, and melodies. You can also use it to create chord progressions and even entire songs. Some sequencers even come with built-in effects so that you can add reverb, delay, or distortion to your sequences.
In conclusion, step sequencer plugins are a great tool for music producers and enthusiasts who want to create complex and dynamic sounds.
Whether you’re looking for a block-based step sequencer, a grid sequencer, or a chord generator, many sequencers can fit your needs.
One of the best sequencers for those looking to generate chord progressions is a chord generator, which can help you come up with fresh ideas and get your creative juices flowing. Another effective workflow is to use a drum pattern generator to create different rhythms for your instrument or drum kit.
Many sequencers allow you to import MIDI, use your computer keyboard, or connect a MIDI controller or keyboard to help you input different notes and modulations.
You can also use a gate sequencer or modulation sequencer to add more complexity to your sequence and create interesting variations.
Ultimately, the sequencer engine output depends on the specific plugin you choose, and many options are available.
It’s always worth trying out different sequencers to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
In summary, using a step sequencer can be a game-changer for your music production and recording audio.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced music producer, step sequencers can help you create unique and interesting sounds, generate chord progressions, and experiment with different rhythms.
By incorporating a step sequencer into your workflow, you can open up new possibilities for your music-making and take your skills to the next level.
There are many different types of step sequencers available as VST plugins. Some have more features than others, and others are easier to use.
However, they can be used to create intricate MIDI drum loops, patterns, and melodies.
So if you’re looking for a way to add dynamic movement to your sound or want more control over your MIDI sequences, then a step sequencer VST plugin is the way to go.
I hope you found this list of free step sequencer VST plugins helpful. I have had fun testing many of these plugins out.
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