There are, of course, no shortages of iOS music apps that offer virtual synthesis and we are blessed with some fabulous synth apps that run on the iPad (and a number that also work in the more compact iPhone format)…. Thor, Nave, Animoog, iSEM, Tera Synth, Synthmaster Player, MitoSynth, iProphet, Model 15, ARP ODYSSEi, iWaveStation… well, add your own favourites to the list.
However, there are a number of very creditable alternatives to some of the more profile and well established competition and developer iceWorks have a number of these in their catalogue including Laplace, Mersenne and Lorentz synth, all of which got Ableton Link support soon after the technology was launched. The company also have the rather wonderful iPhone-friendly Redshrike now in their iOS portfolio.
One further synth app in the iceWorks catalogue has been around longer than any of these; Cassini, which exists as both iPad and iPhone versions. And, as the Music App Blog was stuttering into life at about the same time as Cassini appeared, to my bad, it’s an app I missed at the time and have never actually got around to doing a full review of.
Don’t let that stop you taking a look though…. Cassini is a fine instrument and, with a synth engine that strikes a good balance between flexibility/options and a fairly straightforward signal flow, it is something that might appeal to a wide range of iOS music makers. The engine features 3 oscillators, 2 filters, some very cool modulation options provided by a selection of LFOs and envelope generators, a cool delay and a neat arpeggiator. In short, plenty to get your teeth into but presented in a pretty accessible way.
The app also ships with a good selection of presets, Audiobus and IAA support, AudioCopy support and Core MIDI support. OK, so there is, as yet, no support for Ableton Link or AU, but then that’s also true of a lot of iOS synths at present.
Anyway, this update – which takes the app to v.1.3.5 – updates the Audiobus SDK, tweaks the behaviour of the ring modulation feature and fixes the occasional sticky note issue when used via IAA…. all good to see and regular long-term users will be happy to see the app get a refresh.
Like Laplace, Mersenne and Lorentz, Cassini for iPad is priced at UK£5.99/US$5.99 (the iPhone version is UK£3.99/US3.99). Even if you are a casual collector of iOS synths, this is hardly likely to break the bank. Excellent value for money and well worth a place in anyone’s iOS synth collection.