Cycle might be the world’s most relaxing music app


Cycle is wheely, wheely, chilled.
Cycle is wheely, wheely, chilled.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Cycle is both a musical instrument and a meditation device. The app, for iPhone and iPad, is something called a “time lag accumulator.” You play notes on its simple keyboard, and these notes are repeated over and over, slowly fading after time. The result is hypnotic, relaxing and creative, all at the same time.

Cycle time lag accumulator

Cycle is pretty neat. The interface is an ever-turning circle. When you hit a key, a note is recorded on the circle, and will play every time its turn comes around. You can play multiple notes at once, and holding the key down records a longer note.

Cycle is a metaphor for the missed opportunities of your life.
Cycle is a metaphor for the missed opportunities of your life.
Photo: Cult of Mac

As time passes, these notes fade, so the new ones you lay down begin to take over, before they, too, fade into the darkness. It’s a metaphor for life, community and inevitability.

A great app for music composition — and relaxation

It’s also a great way to relax, as well as a composition tool for musicians. You can create soundscapes, and sketch the beginnings of ambient tracks.

With its latest update, Cycle adds 11 new sounds. It also brings support for Inter App Audio and Audiobus, so you can use Cycle with other music apps. You can also record your creations direct, and share them using WAV or MIDI. The MIDI option is especially tempting, because you can then use the fading patterns to control any musical instrument you like.

Get the Cycle music app for free

Cycle is completely free, so there’s no reason not to go and grab it right now. Unless you hate relaxation, I guess. Or circles.

Price: Free

Download: Cycle from the App Store (iOS)


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.