iMini Synth – Review

iMini is developed by Arturia

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Based on the Mini V software developed in partnership with Dr. Bob Moog himself back in 2003, the iMini comes to iOS. Oh boy, what a treat!

I haven’t had the pleasure of touching the legendary MiniMoog, so having a lovingly recreated version for our iPads to enjoy is very welcome.

Some of the first electronic music I heard was from Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream. I marveled in the powerful structure of the music made in part with the amazing MiniMoog synth dreaming of one day having my own.
Thank you Arturia for making that dream come as close to reality as possible for many synth lovers, myself included.

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Arturia really captures the nostalgia in both appearance and sound. Visually iMini is presented like a virtual replica that evokes a feeling of something very special from the past. iMini just looks like it could pop off the screen, and after touching a key the sound confirms its undeniable quality.

As expected, the rich sonic capabilities are outstanding. I had no hints of disappointment with any of the presets, especially regarding patch making. Big, fat, lead sounds erupt, deep rich pads swirl, wild modulated tones and combinations of all in between make ears smile. Get the picture?

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iMini was initially released focused on its integration with Retronyms’ “Table Top” application. I’m sure that was much to the delight of Table Top fans who’ve been craving a serious synth to enjoy. Unfortunately those of us with workflows that don’t take advantage of Table Top were left with a bit of dilemma. The fretting ended when Arturia updated iMini with Audiobus support. YES! That was the day I really perked up and obtained a copy of iMini leading up to this review. As I said, I wasn’t disappointed one bit.

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With only 3 simple screens to navigate by a quick button tap, I found it to be very playable on my iPads. The “Main” screen ( 1 ) is where all the sound designing is done with the 3 oscillators, filters, noise, mixer, shapes and so forth.

On screen 2 (Perform) there’s two X/Y pads with assignable modifiers on the screen which includes the keyboard. This is also where the simple but capable arpeggiator is accessed and manipulated. Having the two pads right there above the keyboard makes it very comfortable to perform.

Screen 3 (FX) is where you’ll find, obviously, the FX. Two simple but good FX live here: Chorus and Analogue Delay. The Chorus has 3 types to choose from that each deliver varied chorus effects and unique sounds. The Analogue Delay does exactly what you’d expect and can be synced.

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iMini is of course designed to support MIDI. The controls for that and BPM etc are accessed by touching the “tools” arrow from the top right of the screen. Similarly keyboard, scales, and keys are accessed by a little cog looking icon just to the left of the iMini plate above the keyboard.

For a detailed spec list please visit: Arturia HERE

Overall iMini is a quality synth emulating the classic MiniMoog with great care. A unique sound quality from an era of music is offered now to anyone willing to pay the insanely low price. Low compared to the real thing, maybe a little higher than some App Store customers would prefer, but its worth it nonetheless.

It may not be the first pro modeled analogue iSynth, but iMini is oozing with nostalgic style and sound that I dare say few could argue against.
I suppose it could be a hard sell if you already have one of the other analogue iOS synths, but this is not worth passing up all the same.

If you decide to buy iMini here is the link to the App Store.

Enjoy.

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3 comments

  1. I agree with your review…I held off on buying iMini when it first came out, but when they updated it with Audiobus support, I jumped on it. I love it, simple to use, and great sounds.

  2. It says that it is for iPad 2 or higher in the app description and there are varying degrees of success in using on an iPad 1. Do you think it would be worth is in mono mode without chorus? Or do you think it is too intensive to even try on an iPad 1?

    1. Good question, but sounds a little risky. I’m not sure I would want to try to do that. You wouldn’t be getting your monies worth in my opinion. I recall using NLogSynthPro on my iPad 1 with very little trouble. It can reproduce a similar sound to iMini, and is more versatile. Thus making it a better recommendation for iPad 1. Tough call. Anyone else want to chime in?

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