iOS Synth

Audulus for iPad – Review

Modular Synthesizer for iPad

Audulus is made by W. Taylor Holliday. Visit the website for Audulus HERE

Imagine, Create, Play.

“Audulus is a modular music processing app.”

I have tried all the other modular synthesizers on iOS. None ever really impressed me very much until now. Even though its not the first modular synth to hit iOS, it does perform well, and I like its U.I. in favor of the others. Audulus arrives and changes my whole perception of this kind of music application. I’ve known about the enthusiastic following of the Mac version, so like many of you I was pretty psyched about it porting over to iPad. I had been looking forward to finally give it a try. I wasnt sure what to expect? I am happy to report Audulus is a very clean, and extremely capable modular synth. Everything you need (and more on its way) to create your own synth is before you.

The U.I. is brilliantly designed with really just two primary buttons viewable on the screen at all times. Located at the top left of the screen are the two buttons. One is an info of sorts, button that identifies things on-screen, and the other is the main menu. The modules, nodes, tools, and all are neatly tucked away out of sight. All those functions are easily accessed by touching the main menu, function button with a second touch elsewhere on the screen. Making connections is as easy as drawing a line that connects the parts. A main circular menu made up of 8 smaller circles contains all the mods and nodes, each with its own sub menu to drill down to further, finer functions. It’s really quite elegant in appearance. Simply select the function you want, and it appears on-screen. It wont take long before you clutter up the screen with virtual wires and modules. Everything responds very well to touch and gesture input, so moving individual parts around is a simple task. Just touch and drag.

Creating your own synth from the many available tools is a lot of fun, and very satisfying. You can make pretty much anything you can imagine. Simple sounds to highly complex ones that move, breathe, and evolve can be achieved with a little effort and understanding of how everything interacts, or responds to others. It may be advisable to check out some of the Audulus video tutorials to learn the basics or expand on your existing knowledge. Only a few patches are shipped with Audulus, so checking their forum and looking at the downloadable patches other users are sharing will help get you on your way.

Audulus just feels right. Its like painting with sound. With Audulus you are set forth on a huge world of sound options. Choose one or several oscillators each with its own waveform. Set the routes however you like to obtain the sound you’re going for. Add effects like, delay, reverb, distortion, low pass filter and more. It’s just amazing when you think about how much can be done. It all flows logically.

Click HERE to see a brief video of Audulus basics.

“Begin a patch on your iPad while on the go. Load it onto your Mac. Even use it inside your DAW.
Then bring it back to iPad.”

For details, click HERE to visit the Audulus website.

Built-In Modules:

  • Virtual Analog Oscillator (4 classic waveforms)
  • ADSR Envelope
  • Noise Generator
  • Sample Player (coming soon to iPad)
  • Mathematical Modules: Add, Subtract, Multiply, Sine, Modulo
  • Random Number Generator
  • MIDI controlled Keyboard
  • MIDI assignable trigger
  • Delay
  • Distortion
  • Low Pass Filter
  • High Pass Filter
  • Pitch Shifter
  • Constant Value
  • Gain
  • Mapper Curve
  • Piecewise-linear Spline Curve
  • Sample and Hold
  • Crossfade
  • 4-Channel Mixer
  • Level Meter
  • Value Meter
  • Scrolling Waveform Meter
  • Input/Output
  • Polyphonic to Monophonic signal mixer
  • Global Time
  • Sub-Patch (Coming soon to iPad)
  • Timer
  • Zero-crossing Counter
  • Audio Unit Plug-in (Mac Only)

I have been quite impressed with the audio quality. Audulus really sounds amazing! The onscreen keyboard is very responsive, and I havent detected any latency at all.

Currently Audulus does not record, and you cannot share or move sounds without an internet or computer connection. Record, and AudioCopy/Paste are noticeably missing. That is a bit off-putting. From what I have read (I emailed to confirm but did not get a response) these are features that are a priority to be added. I sincerely hope sooner rather than later. For now we must get along with emailing our patches to each other or ourselves. Not great for those scenarios away from an internet connection, or computer.

Just two buttons?MIDI users will be pleased to hear that Audulus is fully controllable, and will detect a MIDI connection right away.

“Control everything with MIDI

Control Audulus with your MIDI controller keyboard or control surface.”

I’ve had some moments where a touch did not produce the response I was intending, or when trying to draw a connection the module moved instead. It got a little frustrating, but after some time it seemed that a lot depended on how far in or out I was zoomed. I got used to it. Really a minor gripe. Audulus looks and sounds professional. I think most people familiar with modular synthesis will appreciate this most, but really anyone who wants to have A powerful tool to make their own synths from scratch will also find Audulus to be a blessing. This is a sparkling addition to any iOS music app library.

I recommend Audulus, but until Record, and AudioCopy/Paste are added, I offer 4 Stars!

Buy Audulus from iTunes HERE *IMPORTANT- Audulus will not work on iPad 1. I tested it on iPad 2&3

BitWiz Audio Synth Review

Created by Jonatan Lijedahl

Chomping At The Bit

Review Based On Use With iPads 1,2,3.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know the first thing about programming with C-like code
expressions. So my initial impressions of BitWiz were puzzling. Put some
oscillators, filters, envelopes etc in front of me and I’m comfy, but C codes?
Bitwise, Arithmetic, algorithms, operations….. say what now? Where’s theNo clutter

Well maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I really am not proficient in
programming codes. BitWiz, thankfully, makes it so I don’t have to be. After
reading the in app instructions, it’s really not so difficult. In fact, it is
simple to learn. After a little time exploring the included library of presets,
and messing with the codes, I was finding myself engrossed in a 8-bit synth,
world of generative musical wonders.

All the details

Click HERE to visit developer Jonatan Liljedahl’s website

With such an open world of code possibilities, a randomize feature, and creative
code tweaking I was making cool 8-bit stereo sounds. Feeling very retro, I was
playing it like an instrument with its spacious X/Y pad, and day dreaming of my
first NES console. Not so hard at all. Learning how to make evolving generative
sounds that seem to take on a life of their own is a real blast. It was like I
was in some 8-bit dimension where ghosts of Nintendos past took over
orchestrating a new epic cave adventure sound track.

Custom keyboard to make coding easy!

BitWiz is MIDI
supported, so if you’re thinking about piping in your programmed masterpieces to
your MIDI keyboard, you can.
You could also just record your sounds in app,
and audio copy to paste in other compatible apps. Or, open in other apps like
AudioShare to keep it safely cataloged for a project. Recordings and codes can
be uploaded to SoundCloud, emailed, or even Tweeted.

It seems to me that BitWiz was designed with ease of use in mind. Maybe
considering that a very streamlined interface would help ease some users
trepidation of all the C code involved? Well, it works and had that relaxing
effect on me. It has a consistent retro look all around and displays the
waveform responding and moving to touch input on the X/Y pad. All things
considered, my initial discomfort is but a memory leaving me to feel good about
recommending BitWiz. Check it out.

Click HERE to be directed to iTunes to purchase BitWiz Audio Synth

Scroll this screen to see the instructions and easy programmingMove them files

SpaceWiz App Review

Wiz Around The Aural Expanse Of Space

SpaceWiz is made By Wizdom Music
Review is based on experience with iPad 2,3 & 4


SpaceWiz will not be receiving Audiobus support. The reason being that SpaceWiz is built on the Unity graphics engine, which somehow prohibits it from functioning with Audiobus. That’s sad news for many. One can still hope for iOS 7 and its anticipated “inter-app audio” connectivity might resolve this? Who knows? JACK could still be on the table as well.
For now SpaceWiz users will have to get along with AudioCopy.
There are some new sounds to play with, and improved stability in the recent update.
It’s a bummer that we won’t be using this with Audiobus, but SpaceWiz is still a pretty cool generative music app.

Ever wondered what it would be like to manipulate celestial bodies to create interesting sound and melody? Yeah…me either, but thankfully Jordan Rudess did. With the combined imagination and talents of the Wizdom Music team, Jordan Rudess, Kevin Chartier, and Tobias Miller, comes SpaceWiz!
An audio visual marvel that allows you to control 8 planets, each with a variety of assignable timbres to play with or off each other. 250 instruments, 45presets, and access to control other MIDI instruments. There’s a lot of possibilities. All controlled by intuitive touch.
 Visit Wizdom Music for all the detailed specifications, click HERE
You can sit back and watch the galactic show, relax, chill out to the orchestra of a randomly generated scene admiring the musical and visual experience. The real fun is interacting with planets and particles, tossing around asteroids, manipulate the individual gravitation of each planet like a tripped out space god experimenting with an infinite universe of sonic realms. You have control. Alter the mass, volume, width, and more independently. Control pitch depending on the x/y axis delivering different results with the angle of particle impacts. Each planet can be set or randomized independently. You can also control mute or solo with each of the planets. Anyway, its all really quite a blast.
SpaceWiz also features a 2 oscillator SW 3000 SpaceWiz synth built from scratch. You can play along using the synths virtual spacey keyboard. Craft new patches. Volume, envelope filters, both with ADSR, filter cutoff and resonance are all controllable by virtual knobs. It’s a good synth, pretty basic but it does sound very nice and has dedicated FX. The synth is a big part of SpaceWiz of course and it will see further development. This is just the beginning.
The FX included are Chorus, Delay, and Reverb.
There is also a fully controllable modulation matrix allowing a planet to control most of the parameters. Additionally SpaceWiz has deep preset and customizable tonality control of modes, scales and chords.
 SpaceWiz today is only just the start. An impressive fun start! There will be updates expanding on the already impressive features. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jordan Rudess, so you can be assured nothing here is assumed. SpaceWiz is very near and dear to his heart. Hearing him speak about it really got me excited about things to come. A whole new universe (pardon the pun) of possibilities are being dreamed up, considered, and explored with this very unique instrument.

A first for music apps, SpaceWiz has great eye candy thanks to clever implementation of Unity, a well known graphics powerhouse.

!!!!!!UPDATE- Wizdom was real fast with an update adding audio copy, a recordings manager, and .WAV formatting. Making the following info in this paragraph old news already.
Don’t be discouraged that for now SpaceWiz only offers iTunes file share of recorded AIFF format audio files. This is temporary. It wont be long before we see a way to manage recordings, Audio Copy, and .WAV format support.
It does have a nice, and easy MIDI capability, which also supports virtual control of other compatible background apps. This is especially fun with SampleWiz being controlled by SpaceWiz.SpaceWiz suits various moods. From random, chaotic, galactic extremes, rocking the planets, or a tranquil ambient experience awaits. Whether you wish to veg out by rolling the virtual dice for a totally randomized experience that’s never the same thing twice, or you want to drill down to control every aspect and perform to your hearts content, go ahead, the choice is yours.
SpaceWiz certainly will send you on a trip either way in a performance friendly, uncluttered UI.
I am very impressed with the fantastic creativity of this app, and cant wait to see whats next!

Recommended highly to those who enjoy a nice, interactive, audio visual, musically inspiring, and creative experience. Those who are interested in a very unique, imaginative MIDI controller should also find SpaceWiz quite useful and highly entertaining all around, it is just down right fun!

Buy SpaceWiz at iTunes, click HERE !

Magellan Synth For iPad Review

Circumnavigate the world of sound with Magellan

Created by Yonac

Magellan synth for iPad blazes the spice trail of sonic exploration like no other iOS synth of this era.

Available at iTunes HERE

In short, Magellan is a 6 (3 per synth) oscillator, dual virtual analogue monster synth of exceptional quality with some of the most amazing sound possible.
This is a big synth-no wait, 2 big synths-with all the goodies you would want or expect from a far more expensive real world version.
With 2 powerful virtual synths that can be played both simultaneously or independently via virtual keyboards or x/y pads, an extensive library of great preset sounds including 34 presets from Sunsine totaling 276, a full rack of silky FX, 16/32 step programmable sequencer, each synth engine has a dedicated programmable arpeggiator, really nice filters, envelopes, etc….oh, you know the stuff that is expected in a high end pro synth like this.
It’s going to take a lot of screen space to list it all; visit iTunes or  Yonac for the full list of features and be stunned.

Magellan is like nothing we’ve really experienced on iOS. I’m still discovering possibilities as I play more and more with it.
I’m finding it very easy to navigate and a lot of fun to explore a wide variety of sonic realms. A fully tweakable (love that word) selection of  tools and included sounds, as well as an import option to bring in others, allows for some serious patching.

The keyboards felt kind of cramped to me, but no worries they are adjustable. I prefer the X/Y pads for playing
out my ideas.

The design of Magellan is retro in appearance; resembling hardware from the era it emulates. It looks good, but most important it works and doesn’t feel clunky or convoluted. Everything you need is contained smartly within the 6 tidy panels. Thank you Yonac.

There’s a pretty nice dedicated chord maker (1 module per synth) with preset scales, customizable progressions that is easy enough to use. A very handy feature making chord creation or progressions quick to apply.

Loaded with all the modern sharing options, like file share, audio copy paste, WiFi, email SoundCloud and extensive MIDI options. No Drop Box though. Magellan is designed to accommodate the needs and desires of its users. Create and record a complex song length sequence, sketch ideas, make loops, and play live, it’s all here.

The big thing is that its 2 full featured virtual analogue synths when combined make for some very impressive sounds. Add to those a robust, equally high quality FX rack and it’ll put you in synth heaven. Played out on some nice speakers Magellan doesn’t fail to impress and bring a big smile to your drooling face.

Selling very nicely at a modest launch price, it’s a small price to pay for anything half as powerful as Magellan, and it’s money well spent. Sometimes virtual analogue synths on iOS have been a little disappointing or lacking that full, rich, phat sound. They’ve come close, but nothing quite like Magellan.

For a fully armed beast like this, sounding as good as it does, it’s easy to recommend and consider Magellan a must have. What a joy. If you are looking for a big sound that sounds great, do yourself a big favor-click HERE to go buy it.

Animoog For iPad Review

Animoog by Moog Music Inc. Review based on use with iPad 1,2,and (3) The New iPad. Also available for iPhone and iPod Touch.

Moog Me!

Moog Music has a long history of providing the world with amazing synthesizers with legendary sounds.
It should be no surprise that they would join the iOS music world by crafting a synth app that comes packed with their signature style on a new platform.

Moog Music developed Animoog with the modern touch interface well in mind. They cut no corners and delivered this stunning professional quality synth with their new ASE (Anisotropic Synth Engine) technology. ASE in short allows the user to move through a sonic X/Y landscape full of unique timbres that respond, grow and morph with each touch on the X/Y panel.

Animoog was a hit right off the bat. Loaded with timbres from analog waveforms “captured from classic Moog oscillators, both vintage and modern…”it was easy to feel the Moogness with the first touch of the virtual keyboard. This synth delivers fat, gooey sounds that are both audibly and visually marvelous.

Complete with all the modules necessary to craft subtly evolving pads, to heavily modulated, bit crushed killer keys. Phat leads, pitch shifting blasts, ghostly FX, quiet and deep morphing bliss from all angles are well within or even outside the imagination depending on how one tweaks and manipulates each of the available tools.
It also has the classic four pole Moog ladder filter with High, Low and Band Pass modes.

Its tough to describe in words just how nice this synth is. It really must be heard (through decent speakers or headphones) to be fully enjoyed and appreciated.

Click HERE to visit Moog Music web page for all the facts, links to buy, details and nitty gritty specs. Its all there, you’ll see.

If you want to perform with it, go ahead its got MIDI capabilities and works great with any MIDI controller, or even a Moog Little Phatty.

Using Animoog in my process is a snap since it has background audio, general paste board support to easily move recordings around various compatible apps all on my tablet. Layering with overdubbing is endlessly fun and useful. If for some reason you run out of ideas or just want more presets, expansion packs can add more Moogy madness sounds via IAP download.

This is the real deal. Something of similar physical or home computer soft synth design with these same capabilities would be far more expensive than this iOS version that brings the very same quality.

I’m sure there is still some purist somewhere in his moms basement, hiding in his peanut butter fort, surrounded by racks of gear, miles of wires, and boards who will swear this is not possible. That would be a mistake. We have here another groundbreaking, indisputable example of how iOS music is for real.

Animoog is a stellar synth and easily a big time must have for any iOS synth enthusiast, performer, and producer. My 2011 Music App Of The Year.