ZOA is a creative MIDI sequencer that is both immediate and immense.

ZOA uses a custom, musical implementation of John Conway’s Game of Life to generate melody, harmony, and rhythm. Up to four playheads move through an evolving landscape of living cells, playing notes as they go. Each playhead can move in a unique way, with its own pace and rhythmic pattern.


- Interact with the Game of Life by touching the grid to toggle cell states
- Define your musical palette by configuring the grid settings
- Create a complex dance between four independent playheads
- Free your hands to explore your synthesizers as ZOA plays them for you
- Explore a focused, yet deep set of parameters
- Grid Settings
- Root note
- Octave shift
- Scale (see below for available scales)
- Octave range
- Game of Life Settings
- Grid size (8x8 and 16x16)
- Auto or manual generation advance
- Rate of new generations (in beat time from 16 bars to 32nd T)
- Auto or manual grid respawn
- Playhead Settings
- Four playheads with independent settings
- Enable/disable
- Rate of play (in beat time from 16 bars to 32nd T)
- Length of note (10% to 100%)
- Variety of rules for moving through grid (see below for list)
- Pitch offset
- Unique pattern control for creating rhythms and polymeters
- MIDI velocity and channel
- Flexible Connectivity
- Use in a compatible audio unit host like AUM, or in standalone mode
- Control multiple instruments at once with five MIDI outputs
- One for all playheads together, and one for each playhead by itself
- Set the key and octave shift on the fly with MIDI input
- Sync tempo to other devices using Ableton Link or MIDI clock (standalone)
- Connect to Bluetooth MIDI devices
- Modulate ZOA's parameters in a compatible AUv3 host (audio unit)
- Includes iOS app!

ZOA can be used as a standalone app or as an AUv3 plugin. There are some important differences between the two. The standalone app features a simple, toggleable "Sidekick Synth" so you can quickly experiment with ZOA. Of course, you can also send MIDI from the standalone app. Meanwhile, the ZOA AUv3 plugin does NOT generate sound. Instead, you use it to send MIDI (note messages) to other apps, plugins, or hardware instruments that do the actual sound generation. AUv3 plugins must be used inside a compatible host.

At this time, I know of no macOS hosts that support AUv3 MIDI processors like ZOA.

Available Scales
- Major Pentatonic, Minor Pentatonic, Major, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Minor, Locrian, Blues, Whole Tone, Harmonic Minor, Melodic Minor, Chromatic

Available Playhead Rules
- Up, Down, UpDown, DownUp, First, Last, Random, Walk, Rise, Fall

View manual:
View tutorials:

What’s New

Version 1.0.1

New in ZOA 1.0.1:
- Increase the range of the offset parameter to +/- 24 semitones.
- Fix an issue where ZOA wouldn't properly restore state in sessions with multiple instances of ZOA.
- Fix an issue where the pattern control would not update its display on preset loading.
- Fix an issue where restored grid states would not advance generations properly.
- Increase the touchable area of transport button in standalone mode.

Ratings and Reviews

cmruko ,

Unique & Inspiring Midi Generator

This app is so much fun, but it’s also very useful for creating some serious midi sequences that evolve over time. I love it. Easily create unique polyrhythms or the groundwork for an entire track. (ie Bass, Lead, Pad). It has 4 individual midi play heads, each with individual settings for speed, velocity, length, transposition, and a 1-16 step pattern sequencer. It is very lightweight on the CPU/DSP. Add a LFO to cc some parameters and/or stick some additional AU midi FX in the chain, and the possibilities are endless. Great for both midi experimentation and serious songwriting. Definitely 5 Stars!

Developer Response ,

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! So glad you like ZOA.

Diana.McCall ,

Very cool generative app

The special feature of Zoa, compared to other generative sequencers, is that there are two layers. The upper layer is the Life, which selects a complex sequence of notes to use, and which evolves slowly. The lower layer is the playheads which dance different patterns through the selected notes. These create plenty of motion even if the Life pattern only updates every few bars. You can configure the playheads appropriate to different instrumental styles. I was able to create a credible-sounding jazz trio this way.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for the kind review! So glad you like ZOA.

StillAnAddict ,


User defined scales, PLEASE,

Developer Response ,

Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! So glad you are liking ZOA. I will keep this in mind for future updates.

App Privacy

The developer, Ryan Robinson, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

More By This Developer

You Might Also Like