Review: Wooji Juice Mitosynth

A quirky, yet powerful synth for iOS
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It’s not easy to create a paradigm-shifting synth interface, especially in an era when knobs and faders are making a huge comeback in the hardware world. Even so, Wooji Juice has taken up the task with the Mitosynth iOS app, which combines multiple synthesis modes in an exotic interface that deviates from convention.

The core of Mitosynth is the wave chamber that offers 32 slots, each of which can be based on a different synthesis approach. From there, the results can be further enhanced using functions such as Blender (crossfade morphing, much like vector synthesis) and Gridcore (similar to Blender, but with shaping functionality). If you’re used to traditional synthesizer interfaces, this can be a tad confusing.

Although it has an unorthodox programming interface, Mitosynth gives you the tools to create unique sounds using several kinds of synthesis methods.

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The primary components of the wave chamber are Painter, Additive and a sample-based option. Painter mode lets you draw a custom single-cycle waveform, auditioning the audio in real-time. The Additive tool offers a four-point curve that allows you to shape the relative volumes of the harmonic series, as well as adjust the table size, bandwidth, detuning and a few other parameters. Both of these modes have morphing tools called Blend and Fold for up to six unique tones that can be crossfaded.

On the sampling side, you can use Mitosynth’s built-in library or import your own audio from a range of sources (including Dropbox and Audioshare), then apply pre-filtering options that include both lowpass and highpass, along with an array of distortion tools. The results of the Painter and Additive modes also can be imported for additional pre-filtering.

The wave chamber’s Blender and Gridcore modes let you combine the others into larger groups for more complex crossfading, creating unusual timbre shifts that blur the line between vector and wavetable synthesis. That said, the design process is unlike most other synths I’ve used. It’s not particularly complicated, but if you’re used to programming classic synths, plan to spend some time figuring out Mitosynth’s features.

On the main interface, there's one ADSR amplifier envelope and a pitch page that lets you select a single dedicated source—LFO, ADSR, step-sequencer, or various MIDI control options including aftertouch and velocity—and apply that to the synth’s global pitch. The wave chamber elements include these same dedicated modulation resources. You can’t apply a single LFO to multiple destinations, but having so many dedicated options for volume, timbre, and pitch offers a lot of flexibility.

Mitosynth also includes an array of effects, including chorus, flanger, phaser, filters, echo, and a reverb at the end of the chain. All of the processors have the same dedicated modulation options found elsewhere, enhancing their usefulness and allowing tight integration in a patch. Mitosynth also provides four x-y pads and extensive MIDI implementation for dynamic real-time control over your patches, which will be a big plus for iOS-based live rigs.

As a synthesis resource, Mitosynth is a powerhouse that offers unusual tone generation and processing tools. Its interface may be a tad too innovative for some users, as it deviates from synth design conventions, but if you spend some time with the manual and learn the Wooji Juice approach, you’ll be rewarded with an extremely capable iOS synth.

Synthesis tools blend additive, vector, wave sequencing, and sampling into a hybrid system. Extensive modulation options.

Nonstandard interface may be confusing for some.