iPad Virtual Instruments



Impaktor is an amazing new app for iOS.  The video shows the app being used on an iPhone, but it’s also available for the iPad and iPod Touch.  Impaktor allows you to turn any flat surface into a percussion instrument. What’s surprising is how well it actually works.


It comes with over 90 presets and latency is a non-issue.  It has a 6 track recorder and some nice modulation parameters.  The Auto-Quantize feature makes you sound a lot better than you probably are.  It also supports audio copy/paste and allows you to export WAV files.


At $5, this app is an absolute steal.  Be sure to check out Impaktor when you can!



Magellan for iPad

iPad Screenshot 1

Need a quality virtual synth for the iPad?  Look no further.  Yonac has you covered.  Introducing Magellan, which boasts six oscillators, dual filters, a step sequencer, arpeggiators, and more.


This comprehensive synth is capable of producing some great sounds.  Effects include: Reverb, Stereo Delay, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, Chorus, Bitcrusher, and an Expander.  Extensive MIDI and exporting capabilities make Magellan extremely accessible.


Playing complex chord progressions on the iPad is not always the easiest task.  In many cases it’s nearly impossible.  However, the on-board Chord Maker allows you to create chord progressions that can then be triggered with one finger.  You can your save progression presets so they can be accessed at a later date as well.


If you’re looking for a new synth to add to your arsenal, then Magellan is definitely worth looking into.



Chordion for iPad


Chordion is a virtual synthesizer for the iPad.  What makes it unique is its layout – you can easily play chords with one hand and lead with the other.  Being able to trigger chords with one finger makes playing a breeze.


The sounds are decent and there’s also some effects like Delay and Wah.   There are some Polyphony and Envelope parameters as well.


Chordion is a cool music-making app, but it’s missing some key features like audio copy/paste.  Furthermore, the layout of this app would make it a great MIDI controller – we’d love to see the developers add MIDI-Out capabilities.


For $1.99, it’s hard to say anything bad about this app, but hopefully future updates will bring some welcomed additions.


Arctic Keys for iPad

Arctic Keys is a virtual analog synthesizer for iPad.  With a dual-oscillating subtractive synthesis engine, most users will be fairly familiar with its parameters for sculpting sounds.


The user interface is inviting and friendly, laying almost everything out in the open.  You don’t have to sift through endless pages in search of hidden menus, which is a considerable problem for many iOS music apps.


It also has a sequencer and although it’s rather clunky, it does have some nice features to it.


Overall, the synth sounds pretty good.  The presets are decent and can easily be tweaked to suit your needs.  The only problem with the presets is that the volume levels are sometimes inconsistent, which can be rather annoying.


For $5, this is a cool app with some nice features.  It’s a few steps away from running with the ‘big boys’, but it’s still a nice app worth checking out.


Bass Drop for iPad


Bass Drop is a music creation app aimed at producing dirty basslines on the iPad.  It has a “Dubstep made easy” type of feel.  People with little musical experience (if any at all) can still produce some really cool results.

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Glitch Machine for iPad


Glitch Machine is a unique sound generator for your iPad.  It makes use of a waveform display and  programmable code (RPN), which can be altered via the calculator layout.  RPN code-lovers will probably feel like their eating chocolate sundaes in Heaven while playing with this app.  The rest of us, however, will be stuck pressing random buttons until we create a sound we like.


It’s worth noting that there’s a certain amount of ambiguity that stems from more obscure forms of sound creation. Often times you’re left scratching your head trying to create something decent, but other times, that lack of know-how makes you rely on your creative prowess more, which can take you some unexpected places.


In regards to Glitch Machine, this is as much of a strength as it is a weakness.  Many people will find the idea of entering in code to create sound uninspiring.  Others will love it.


Either way, the app is capable of creating some cool quirky sounds even if you don’t know what you’re doing.


For a few dollars, Glitch Machine, is an app worth looking at.


TC-11 Synthesizer for iPad


The TC-11 is a multi-touch synthesizer for the iPad.  It takes an unconventional approach to sound creation and delivers some interesting results.  Sound is expressed by touch relationships (distance, angle, timing). Simply touch, slide, and drag your fingers across the screen.  It also makes use of the gyroscope and accelerometer built into your iPad.  Things like tilting or shaking your iPad can have a unique effect on your sound as well. Continue reading

SampleWiz for iPad


SampleWiz is a unique sampling app for the iPad.  It offers three different sampling modes:


Classic – sample playback will speed up or slow down according to change in pitch.

Granular – adjust the grain size and speed while the range of notes maintain the same speed.

Modern – adjust formant and time to preserve the speed of a sample despite changes in pitch


Recording samples is extremely easy. The setup and workflow of SampleWiz makes multisampling a breeze too.  You can record samples through the built in mic or even import your own via iTunes file sharing.


The app also comes with a collection of synth sounds from Jordan Rudess’ personal collection.

Having trouble learning the app?  The onboard help screen breaks it all down for you.


If you’re looking for innovative methods of sampling and sound creation, then SampleWiz has what you’re looking for.  Be sure to check it out.


Arpeggionome for iPad


Arpeggionome is an app specifically designed for music production on the iPad (no iPhone or iPod Touch versions).  As its name implies, it focuses purely on the nature of arpeggios and creating complex note progressions.

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SynthTronica for iPad


SynthTronica is a unique, spectral synthesizer for the iPad.  It comes with 90+ presets (including vocal/vocoder effects) and the ability to create your own.  It’s formant synthesis allows the filters to use time-varying  formants that can be edited and viewed in spectral form.

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