I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect with this new synthesizer. Would it be highly inspiring or cheesy? Anyone who buys soft synths or iPad synth apps knows it can be a gamble pushing that “Buy” button.
Right to the point, Sunrizer Synthesizer by Beep Street, a virtual analog synthesizer, arpeggiator, impressed me the first time I pressed a key.
The default preset available at start up is a fantastic ambient pad called “Lifeforms”. I noticed right away how clean the sound was. Its the first thing I look or listen for with any synth. If I hear clicks, pops, or crackling I tend to lose interest on the spot. Not the case here with Sunrizer at all! I ran through the more than 200 preset sounds and spent time with each to hear its quality and listen for anomalies, finding not one on any. They all sounded equally clean. What was just as impressive as the crystal clear audio quality was that the variety of sounds are very extensive. I honestly didn’t find any that I didn’t like. I cant guarantee that feeling for everyone, but I believe most users would be hard pressed to find much to complain about.
Of course you aren’t limited to the high quality preset synth sounds. There are plenty of tweaking possibilities to turn any preset or just general waveforms into a new instrument patch of your very own. Of course Sunrizer supports copy/paste making it a breeze to use with other music apps on the go.
In this screen shot to the left, what you see is what you get. A clean, simple user interface full of responsive virtual knobs to craft your sound to whatever you desire. Play around with the 2 oscillators, mix them up, add white noise or not. Add some more effect with the 2 Filters each with 8 settings, and 2 routing types. Continue on with the 2 LFOs selecting none at all or up to 10 different settings each. There are 2 ADSR control panels, one for the Filters, and the other for the Amp. Also you can morph the modulator with the virtual Mod wheel to the left of the synth screen.
The included FX are Distortion Chorus, Equalizer, a great Stereo Delay suite with sync and cross.
Even with the FX cranked up I still couldn’t detect any compromise in the clarity of the overall sound. Of course this was while adjusting the AMP setting to avoid overloading.
There are loads of features and specs to go over, but I am going to focus on what I think are most important, but if you wish to learn what every little thing Sunrizer offers check out this spec list via the following link: http://appshopper.com/music/horizon-synth
Names Jerry….I've been following your blogs. Not so sure about Garage Band, but everything else has been spot on. I read this and just bought Horizon, and I am very happy with it! Thank you Jerry..
Horizon is a great sounding app, I was a bit skeptical of all the hype but soon as you play a note you know it was all worthwhile. Great blog by the way, love your enthusiasm and looking forward to following you. I've also settled on the iPad to try and carve out my musical career, you are an inspiration!
Thank you for this review. This is quite a site. I didn't know anything about good/bad apps for serious musicians before reading these reviews. Do you know which apps take advantage of the increased speed of the iPad 2? Seriously, though. Awesome site.
Thanks everybody! I love to see comments. So please keep them coming. Email me if you want to see something specific, or just have any question. As for iPad 2. So far nothing has really been made yet that I know of, that really takes full advantage of it's increased CPU and ram. But it does operate a bit faster than my first gen iPad. Though I haven't had any issues with any of my apps that were any different from iPad 2. I'm sure though soon we will see music apps made specifically for taking advantage of it's increased power. I hope not until iPad 3 comes out later next year, as I hear is the rumored timeline.
Thanks for the kind words. But please let's just keep our comments on the positives. Rude or not if he hadn't said anything I might have missed that typo. It was important to correct.
I was in love with this app from the moment it opened. When I hit that first note I actually looked up at my monitors! No shitting this thing sounds great and I can't wait to see what the synth in isequence 3.0 will sound like after hearing this.
Horizon Synth is now called "Sunrizer Synth" Also I deleted an unnecessarily rude comment, but also took it for what it was worth and corrected my typo. Still. I won't tolerate any inappropriate or rude comments. It's just not my taste.
Oh, and yes I know that I have a screen shot with the "Horizon" name. I'll fix that when I get back to my PC soon.
I just came back to tell you the news about the name change but ya beat me to it. It looks like I got here just as you changed this. Fast! So I'll say instead that I love your site and philosophy. Well, great synth, I have a lot, and a few hardware synths and this one is in a class of it's own. It's so cool! I wish it had a way to play a performance and record something new at the same time though? Do you or anyone else know if that's coming in a future update maybe? Thanks…..Paul