Genuinely groundbreaking, Bram Bos's Rozeta is one of the first tools to make use of iOS 11’s new AUv3 MIDI features, which resemble Ableton’s standard MIDI devices but with the ability to access deeper MIDI aspects such as Continuous Controller (CC) data.
This bundle of ten MIDI plug-ins is strictly iOS 11-compatible, requiring synths that support either AUv3 or IAA, with MIDI input. You’ll also need an AUv3 production environment that offers MIDI routing; Kymatica AUM, Cubasis, and ApeMatrix all perform well. I used AUM for this review.
Rozeta's devices can be loosely categorized into several groups. For beats, Rozeta includes XOX and Rhythm. Both are drum-oriented and preloaded with a huge collection of templates, pre-configured for iOS software as well as hardware instruments like the Korg Volcas and Arturia DrumBrute. The X0X replicates the iconic Roland programming interface via eight drum channels/sequences. Each drum has knobs for Velocity and Mutation, which imbues subtle or complex variations based on its setting. The Rhythm plug-in is a Euclidean beat generator that offers per-drum sequence lengths and Mutations. Its randomization function is surprisingly intelligent, generating useful patterns more often than not.
The two sequencing tools are Bassline and Cells. Bassline is derived from Ruismaker’s 303 emulation, Troublemaker, delivering its trademark slides and accents for building sequences up to 64 steps long. The randomize features let you select key/mode and also specify degrees of mutation for notes, accents, and slides within a sequence. Cells is a polyphonic step-sequencer with four 16-beat rows for quickly assembling up to 4-bar patterns. To enter data here, you’ll need to configure the device to accept MIDI input or use an onscreen keyboard. Because the sequence can end at any step, making polyrhythms is a breeze. And every sequencer and drum machine has eight memory slots, which can be switched via MIDI.
On the generative side, the Particles and Collider sequencers evoke Yamaha’s futuristic Tenori-On. Collider is based on a variable grid of bouncing events that ricochet off each other, creating semi-random sequences that align to a programmable timing grid. Particles emulates a stream of moving grains, adding controls for Density, Speed, Spread and other relevant parameters. Both tools include scale and key configurations, so everything stays in tune regardless of its level of chaos.
Scaler and Arpeggio are MIDI input processors. Arpeggio offers standard patterns, along with mutate and variation options. Scaler lets you use the same key/mode options as the sequencers, but applied to real-time MIDI input.
The last two devices are performance oriented and can be assigned to MIDI CC destinations. XY offers a pair of Kaoss-style pads for patch morphing applications. But LFO is the real standout here, providing three independent LFOs that can be applied to any CC destination for effects that veer into modular territory. In addition to Hz and tempo-synced rates, you can apply adjustable amplitude modulation to the waveforms. I tested LFO using a wide variety of AUv3 synths but hit a few walls as a result of some synths not allowing direct assignment of MIDI CCs. That said, Moog and Icegear were stellar performers with this device.
If you rely on a compatible AUv3-based platform that provides comprehensive routing options, Rozeta is a must-have, if only for the LFO alone. All 10 devices have immediate practical applications, as well as potential for entirely new creative tangents, so for $10, your existing synths will suddenly have a plethora of new features: Highly recommended.
Strengths: Comprehensive set of AUv3 plug-ins for manipulating MIDI data. LFO can modulate three CC destinations. Wide range of hardware templates for beat-making applications.
Limitations: Requires iOS 11 and compatible AUv3 environment or DAW.
For more information, visit ruismaker.com.