KAULDRON is developed by Yonac Inc.
Available in the iTunes App Store
Oh my-where to begin? I don’t have enough good things to say about Yonac’s latest entry into the ever-expanding and impressive world of iOS music. We all know (unless this is your first look at iOS music) about the incredible Magellan, Galileo, AirVox etc, and now on the heels of KASPAR they drop KAULDRON like a bomb (I mean bomb in the most loving way). If these synthesizers are any indication of what might be possible in the near future, then paint me in the dead center of the target with gleeful, outreached arms and keep dropping.
I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the overflowing nostalgia pool of available analog emulation synths. It’s not that I have anything against them, it’s just that there’s so many already and mostly all doing the very same things. I understand the giddy feeling for wanting to buy recreations of long-past physical synth icons, most of which you either can’t find, or cost way too much. I believe expectations are, or at least should be, much higher and KAULDRON (among a few others) stands out high above the crowd.
What we have here is a carefully developed engine that has vast range of tones. The three oscillators can combine for intensely driven power leads or fluffy and spacey pads. Oscillator two has an FM option, and the third has a keyboard track. A rather nice set of filters with envelope controls, and a VCA with two distinctly different attack curves to suit nearly any style. The Pink or White Noise both offer some flare and sound very clean. The Maximizer can be set with up to five voices to give loads of options when combined with the Drift and super wide spread. In all and just as Yonac says, you really only need minimal twists of the knobs to make powerful adjustments. Everything seems to have a massive range between 0 and 100.
The 2 LFOs have several waves to choose from, an envelope control, and 4 modulation banks to bring a little or a lot more life to the mix. Four target parameters might seem like a small amount of mods, but it shouldn’t be anything to stick ones nose up or scoff at. The amount of possible textures spring to life regardless of whether there were many more. It doesn’t feel or sound like there’s any shortages. Controlling selected parameter behaviors can be done on the Pads page.
These customizable X/Y pads aren’t just for the mod matrix benefit. Anything can be assigned to these responsive pads. Pads are pretty common sure, but not all pads are created equal. Some will drift as you release your finger or have some lag as said finger slides around the box. Not these pads. I love it, they are tight, and obedient. I can’t think of any setting they wouldn’t be perfect for.
The arpeggiator is combined on the same screen with the three FX units. A highly programmable arpeggiator with three modes and several program patterns are at your fingertips. Most synths have four or six programs to choose from so it’s very nice to have a much more robust set to choose from. Not the best arp unit ever, but also nothing I think can be called weak. Definitely better than average.
The three FX units (really four actually) are also above average for any synthesizer. The Chorus/Flanger can be set to one or the other. Both are clear and faithful.
The Delay does its job as it is told to and doesn’t talk back. BMP sync or have independent left/right times. It’s a Delay unit, I don’t think much needs explaining.
The Reverb unit is better than typical. Instead of a gradual size parameter going from smallest to biggest you get a selection of Reverb types. Each type from 1 to 7 having a specific Reverb size like Room, Hall, Cathedral, Plate etc. suitable for any need. You won’t hear wobble like echo at large and long settings like older lower quality reverbs. They don’t sound cheap or tinny which is very nice.
A quality set of effects for sure.
I saved my favorite feature for last. The “SPAWN2” or randomizer. SPAWN turned heads first in Magellan with its amazing ability to make usable new sounds more often than not. SPAWN2 is a massive improvement!
A combination of machine language, algorithms, and predictive artificial intelligence designed to make randomizing more like a living patch assistant. Never mind all the techy stuff, this thing is insane. Three foundation algorithms to choose from in expert mode. Cumulative-which create a reoccurring variation of the existing patch selected each time you hit the button. Persistent-will create a new variation of the current preset each time. More random than Cumulative. Lastly is Random, which does exactly that, totally random new patch will be born.
Using Persistent SPAWN with the Autonomy parameters all set to zero will keep the current patch you like but offer a whole new arpeggio pattern.
Want to get to it faster? Release the expert control setting for a fully autonomous randomizer that will still impress.
You can and should get lost playing around with all the settings in this crazy new SPAWN2. Everything it’s done for me has come out shiny and useful. Even when totally not what I expected at all. SPAWN2 is a new high water mark for future randomizers to aspire to.
All in all KAULDRON has amazing features, crunchy bold tones, spacious dimensions of sound and impressive stability. It’s redesigned sound engine is remarkably capable. This synth has a special quality to it and demonstrates willingness to bend to any need. It is another piece of critical evidence that iOS synthesizers can run neck and neck with the best. There’s many more bits and pieces I’ve left out so be sure to visit Yonac’s website for more specifics and a user guide to learn all about it. It is ready to fit into any workflow (IAA, Audiobus, AUv3, MIDI etc) fluidly.
If you never wanted another analog synth, or can only buy one ever again, then KAULDRON should be added to your collection or arsenal. No regrets, all love. Get it.