PPG-WaveMapper: Review

20130206-161156.jpg

Developed By: Wolfgang Palm

Wolfgang Palm has done it again. The recently released WaveMapper brings an exciting new way to craft sounds on our beloved tablets. Those familiar with his PPG WaveGenerator will expect nothing short of greatness in WaveMapper, and they will get just that. This new synth will be a grand addition to your iOS synth library offering a very deep, complex, and fun way to create any kinds of sounds.

WaveMapper uses a whole new method of building synths from its Sound Map. The Sound Map is a wonderfully easy to use table for the user to literally map out sounds. Improving upon WaveTable synthesis WaveMappers new design allows you to map these sounds into new wavetables that can be manipulated and formed into whatever you might want to hear.

20130206-163524.jpg

As you move the various icons representing the sound modules (3 oscillators, Filters, LFOs, Noise and so on) across the map of programs, what you hear will evolve. Instant gratification! You can tell just by looking at the above screen shot that the possible combinations available will easily unlock a wide array of sounds depending on where each module is hanging out among the many programs. Furthermore each program ( up to 32 can be used of the 90 sound sources, instruments & wavetables ) can be changed or removed however you like by a double tap on either the module icon or the program square.
The exploration factor is really something to behold. It matters not what your experience level is. This synth is extremely easy to use, and has the complexities to satisfy even the most demanding of synthesizer fans. Play the presets to your hearts content, or dig in to the numerous programs carefully tweaking the synth parameters for just the right sound.
If you can’t think of anything, you’re going to really appreciate the “Random” feature. Personally speaking I’ve found this to be highly entertaining. You never know what sound might show up to the party. Don’t you just love surprises?

20130206-165517.jpg

You’re not restricted to building from just the factory samples. For some reason though the only way to bring in your own sample is through the ever so dreadful iTunes File Share via the app documents folder. Based on the (From PPG) comment below this review, it appears AudioPaste will be supported. So file share is only a temporary concern.
Its a big bonus that you have the option to take a sample of your own to be formed in to a new wave table or format. This is easily done from the “Analyze” screen, and is very handy for crafting some pretty cool stuff all your own.
That seriously opens up even more possibilities for making one of kind synth patches.

Patch saving is easy. Once you’re done fiddling with all the oscillators, X/Y velocity controls, modulation, routing, and whatnot just tap the button that looks like a pen pointing at a piece of paper (sort of?) and select “Save As”. You’ll find other options to save, or initialize patches in the same drop down menu.

20130206-171917.jpg

WaveMapper of course has all the expected adjustable synth parameters to fine tune your patches. For those familiar with WaveGenerator it will be nothing new. If this however is your first PPG, don’t sweat the absence of virtual knobs, and dials. The controls are all there in various other forms like sliders. You can’t get lost, but if you do there is integrated “Help” at nearly every corner inside WaveMapper. Not to mention a link to a full and detailed manual. If after all that you still can’t find the answer, try emailing support. They are very helpful. If after all that you still don’t get it, well…um…how the heck did you manage to even turn on your iPad?

As far as sound design goes this is a pretty monster. You can set it up to be controlled by MIDI and virtual MIDI. The keys are a little tiny (but can be expanded now) making this a bit challenging to play at times. No problem just plug in your portable keyboard/MIDI controller and play away. WaveMapper was the final straw ( or inspiration ) in my breaking down and deciding to finally get a portable MIDI keyboard. It also has a nice little customizable arpeggiator built in. The same arpeggiator found in WaveGenerator.

There are a lot of things to list out feature wise. Check out the screenshot below for some of the bullet points, and or visit Wolfgang Palms website for all the specs and glorious details.

20130206-173111.jpg

In case you missed it, WaveMapper is Audiobus compatible. Ive been testing that out a quite bit and so far it handles Audiobus very well. This may depend on your device though. My experiences have been exclusive to an iPad 3.
If you don’t have Audiobus yet ( Why?) WaveMapper can record up to 10 minutes, and you can AudioCopy/Paste to your favorite iDAW.

I honestly have no serious complaints. V 1.0’s are often a little buggy. WaveMapper launched polished up very nicely all things considered. Bugs happen, and what very minor issues there may be today, will soon be corrected. No worries.
WaveMapper is blissfully satisfying. In many ways an improvement over WaveGenerator, while also promoting a more user friendly experience for very complex patch making thanks to the sound map. This is truly a must have synth. One of the very best synths you can find in all of iOS. Just get it, and you’ll see.

20130206-174030.jpg

Click HERE to goto iTunes App Store to buy this beauty.

5 Stars. Must Have Instant Classic.

Here’s a couple more screenshot shots.

20130206-174453.jpg

20130206-174828.jpg

20130207-002057.jpg

20130207-002111.jpg

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. Wholly agree with this review – wavemapper is an excellent iOS synth – you can get some amazing sounds out of it – although personally I get a bit lost with choosing modulation or envelopes to modify the synth parameters. Perhaps I should just stick to the random button!

  2. Very nice review! I beta tested the app for Wolfgang on my iPad 1 and it was flawless. Works great on audiobus recording individual tracks one at a time into cubasis…one can then insert a different input and overdub.

    I’ve seen some negative comments about Wavemapper stability but if I can run nicely on my trusty ipad1 then I have reason to believe haters are trolling. So I reccomend this review of yours to serious users who will thus be convinced of the apps stability.

    It also comes down to people wanting to make an effort and explore synthesis and not depend on a preset itself and just press chords!

    Rewards from wolfgangs apps come from serious tinkering as you and I both know:)

    Great job sir

    1. Thanks Zac. WaveMapper is very stable. Its not crashed once on me since release. Any iOS app can crash on any of the devices. Some more than others, but with this its mostly due to operator error or over taxing their device by running several demanding apps all at once. Well, who knows? Its working smashingly for me. I love it.

  3. David, do you know how to set the LFOs to modulate anything? I’ve read the manual twice now and spent some time trying, but can’t figure this out. I’ve discovered there is no support channels other than Facebook, which I don’t use, which is why I’m asking you as a last resort. Thanks

    1. If I remember correctly each oscillator has a mod 1 & mod 2 with a button under each. I’m pretty sure that the mod 2 for each oscillator has a selection to assign modulation to the LFO.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s