Yamaha Recreates The TENORI ON For The iPad

The TENORI ON was created in 2005 by a Japanese artist trying to incorporate digital music with aesthetic imagery and now, Yamaha’s sequencer has been recreated almost flawlessly for the iPad. At a mere fraction of the cost of the original instrument, if you bought an iPad and only used it to play TNR- i- US, you would still be saving money.

TNR-i-US utilizes the same 16 x 16 grid and sound options as its namesake and nearly all of the same features are included with this app. In addition, you can record your creations in real time and export them through iTunes file sharing.


For those unfamiliar with the digital sequencer, it is a series of buttons on a grid, each one representing a different note. A vertical line loops continuously across the grid, creating the sound that you have assigned to any given button. By selecting a variety of well-placed buttons and altering instrument selections along the way, you can create songs that any club deejay would be impressed by. The concept of this instrument is to allow users to create music within visual space. You do not need to be a musician or an artist to make works of art with TNR-i-US. You just need a creative mind and patience to learn the hundreds of features that this app offers.

There are 256 different instrument sounds and the app is capable of playing 16 layers of sounds at the same time. There are 10 different scale options and six different performance modes. There are nine different reverb effects, two chorus types and two flanger options. You can also record your creations in real time while you are performing. Once completed you can export the songs into your computer through iTunes file sharing.

If you do not already know about iTunes file sharing, just plug in your iPad to your computer and once it is connected to your iTunes library, select “Apps” from the list of pages at the top of your iPad’s summary page. Then, scroll all the way down to the bottom of your apps page. There, you will see the “File Sharing” section of your iPad and all apps that allow the function. Select TNR-i-US and every song that you have recorded and saved will be listed to the right. You can select any song and either drag it to your desktop or copy it to a specific file.  I wanted to explain this because there were quite a few user reviews that complained about not being able to export files. Some people are not aware of iTunes file sharing.


This app also allows you to perform in real time with multiple TNR-i-US users through Game Center integration. Thisis not for the purpose of ranking or achievements, but an easy way to link with others who want to perform together.

Although I do not own a real TENORI ON, I have experimented with a few different grid sequencers and I found this app to be the best of the best. Even if you have never used one, or if you don’t even know how to play an instrument, this app is fun to play with and brings out your creativity. There are so many feature that I can’t possibly list them all, but with time, you will be able to discover them yourself and become a performance artist of the digital kind.



What I liked: The concept of the TENORI ON is to allow people of all musical levels to create compositions and this app accomplishes that same concept easily and beautifully.

What I didn’t like: Absolutely nothing. Some may question the high cost of this app, but it is worth so much more than $19.99. Yamaha could have easily charged upwards of $50 for it.

To buy or not to buy: Absolutely.

  • App Name: TNR-i- US
  • Version Reviewed: 1.2.1
  • Category: Music
  • Developer: Yamaha Corporation of America
  • Price: $19.99
  • Score:


About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik