The original version of Yonac Galileo was a hit several years ago, thanks to its impressive organ emulations and lightweight footprint that delivered a strong performance, even on slower iPads. This year, the Galileo 2 update builds on those strengths and — thanks to hardware and iOS improvements — delivers so much credibility that even finicky organ aficionados may take notice.
The 17 organ models (up from 11 in version 1) offer an extensive array of B3/C3 variations representing various vintages and conditions, or “stages of decay” if you will. These are based on different pickup distances, crosstalk, and other artifacts associated with antique instruments. The added types are categorized with labels such as Clean, Traditional, Used, Loved, and Cherished. Purists will want to focus on Used, as it is the closest to standard expectations.
In addition to the tonewheel instruments, Galileo 2 comes with a set of transistor organs that include both Vox and Farfisa models, which are prefixed with V and F, accordingly. Beyond these standards, Galileo 2 adds a pair of ‘60s-era Yamaha organs, two reed-style tones, and a pair of string types, that — when processed by a few chorus effects, in series — work beautifully as Solina emulators.
As for the B3/C3 replicas, the drawbars behave faithfully within the context of each implementation, adding a whisper of leakage that ably demonstrates Yonac’s attention to detail and far surpasses Galileo version 1 (which was terrific for its time).
Both the key-click and percussion elements have been updated. Whereas the original’s key-click was based on a sample, Galileo 2 now models this component. For many, this may seem subtle, but traditionalists will notice. As for percussion, there is added customization when you dive into Expert mode and overall, it sounds a bit punchier. Either way, fans of Smith and McGriff will definitely welcome these aspects.
Speaking of Expert mode, there are two pages of deeper editing tools for further modifying many behaviors, with Page 2 including AR-envelope and tone adjustments for each manual, as well as the pedals. These envelopes are also quite handy in conjunction with the string and reed options.
The standard app incorporates an arpeggiator and a simple audio recorder/player, as well as six effects that encompass an excellent Leslie re-creation called RotaryBox. The updated version is a tad more authentic than the one in the original Galileo, while retaining tonal compatibility with legacy presets. Preamp, ring mod, wah, delay and a nice little room reverb are bundled in the basic version, too.
That said, I think it’s worth ponying up the additional $9.99 for the IAP FX Bundle, which encompasses a stellar emulation of the Leslie 122 that features impressive tube-like qualities, a solid Marshall amp/cab combo, two reverbs, compressor, graphic EQ, and the usual array of modulation and delay tools. (Individual effects are $2.99 each.) Like Yonac’s popular ToneStack guitar pedal emulators, it would be lovely to have these available as standalone processors in a future product.
If you’re not already a Galileo fan, Galileo 2 may push you over the edge. But for tonewheel enthusiasts, it is clearly the leader of the pack on iOS — and maybe even desktops, too.
Francis Preve has been designing synthesizer presets professionally since 2000. Check out francispreve.com for more info.
Outstanding tonewheel and transistor organ emulations. Excellent Leslie and tube amp simulations. Integrated arpeggiator and effects.
Some presets don’t work properly unless the IAP effects bundle is also purchased.