This week I was delighted to learn about Audiokit Pro and the completely free iOS instruments they’re working on, all with volunteer contributors and an open-source mindset. The collective’s most complete synth app yet, FM Player, came out this week, and they have a virtual analog synth with more developments coming soon.
For those of you not playing iOS instruments, scroll for some more fun stuff from UVI and a Max for Live delay effect with x/y pad control.
AudioKit Pro FM Player: Classic DX Synths
While the multitouch display of the iPad has allowed FM synth developers to open up the originally inscrutable FM editing environment of bestsellers like the Yamaha DX7 and DX21, those original classics from the 80s found their way onto many hits across many genres simply as preset sounds.
Rather than create an FM synthesizer for the iPad, AudioKit Pro multi-sampled many of the well-loved and well-used sounds from the DX7, DX7II, and even the Yamaha TX81Z module and loaded them into FM Player: Classic DX Synths, along with some bonus features like reverb, delay, bit crushing, stereo widening, and more.
The 377 MB download gives you more than 50 presets, including iconic FM pianos, organ, strings and brass; synth leads & pads; icy bell tones and melodic percussive sounds; and SFX sounds. These lovely presets sound authentically like the original hardware, and using the editing options of a resonant filter, LFO, and the effects, you can easily save your own presets.
FM Player connects easily with iOS-ready MIDI keyboards, including Bluetooth controllers. It supports MIDI Learn, Inter-app Audio, and AudioBus 3 for recording it into iOS workstations. No in-app purchases; no ads; just free goodness.
AudioKit Pro also offers the source code behind FM Player for free, so anyone can download it and edit or add to the instrument or use the code to create their own ROM playing iOS instrument apps using their own samples. What more do you want out of a group of people during the season of giving? More synths? Okay…
Go to this AudioKit Synth One page and sign up for an alert when this polyphonic analog style iOS app and AU plug-in is released soon. It will include 100+ presets, full MIDI support, and much more.
Aurelius Prochazka Analog Synth X
Also made with the AudioKit framework by core iOS AudioKit team member Matthew Fecher, Analog Synth X is a 5-voice polyphonic virtual analog synth for iOS with two 4-waveform oscillators, sub-oscillator, 4-waveform LFO, ADSR envelop, filter and effect
While it feels like a pre-cursor to AudioKit Synth One, Analog Synth X is still being developed; it was recently updated to work with iOS 11. It doesn’t yet have important features like presets, but it’s a pretty cool placeholder to get you started before Synth One comes out soon.
Art Frequencies - MicroChaosDelay
Regular gifters Isotonik Studios distribute Art Frequencies, makers of the very cool Max for Live DekobokoFX filter sequencing devices ($9.50 Lite or $25 for Pro). Art Frequencies latest, the free MicroChaosDelay Max for Live device lets you set the pitch and timing for the delay taps for both the Left and Right channels, and then to control all of the above with an x/y pad. The delay can go from delicate to destructive!
UVI Memori Game for UVI Workstation
You’re never too old for a new toy here and there, and UVI has given everyone an early Christmas gift with Memori, an audio game for all ages. This matching game requires you to match pairs of tones within a set number of turns. The name, aesthetic, and sounds all seem to reference the beloved Yamaha Tenori-On grid sequencing synthesizer from 2005.
UVI was offering prizes of store credit to the first 10 people to complete all of Memori’s levels, but that’s more easily said than done. The limited number of turns per level make it a real challenge.
Boilerplate disclaimer: Most “free stuff” that we cover here will require you to provide an email address and/or register an account.