I reviewed VirSyn’s interesting Cube Synth way back in October 2013 soon after it was first released. The additive synth engine undoubtedly gives it a distinct ‘voice’ when compared to many of the subtractive-based synths that dominate the virtual synth world (including iOS). On these grounds alone, many long-standing iOS synth heads probably added Cube Synth to their app collection.
However, while Cube Synth saw a number of updates during the first 12 months or so after release, the most recent update was actually back in November 2014 – a long time ago in iOS music technology terms – and VirSyn themselves have released a number of other synth apps since then, including the excellent Addictive Pro which was, itself, updated with AU support just a week or so ago. We could, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that VirSyn had quietly set Cube Synth aside for their newer projects.
It turns out that that’s not the case though…. a Cube Synth updated arrived on the App Store late yesterday and moves the app to v.1.5.0. Unsurprisingly, there are some underlying changes, the most notable being that the app is now 64-bit capable, However, this is more than just a technical update to keep things running; we also see support for Bluetooth audio added and options for exporting audio recorded within Cube Synth expanded to include email and ‘open in….’.
However, perhaps the highlight addition is support for Ableton Link, allowing you to sync the various time-dependent elements of Cube Synth to whatever else is going on in your music projects. I haven’t had a chance to give this a through work-out yet but my initial experiments actually gave somewhat variable results (for example, I could get Cube Synth and Patterning to tempo sync)…. If you give the Link support a try, feel free to share your experience via the comments section below. If there is still a gremlin or two to be sorted then I’m sure the VirSyn team will be on to it sooner rather than later….
Given that Addictive Pro got AU support so recently, perhaps some will be surprised that Cube Synth hasn’t received the same treatment. Given the UI design work required to implement AU support in a synth as sophisticated as Cubase Synth, perhaps this is understandable and maybe VirSyn are simply not sure that, at this stage, the additional AU-based sales would return the investment? Yes, it would be great to see AU support added…. but, for now, I’ll happily take the update as it stands and hope there is more to come at some stage soon….
It’s great to see VirSyn give some love to one of their longer-standing iOS music apps. Existing users will be happy to see an old favourite refreshed and, for potential new users, an update is a good sign of activity in a project so it is more likely to be a decent long-term investment. Anyway, at UK£9.99/US$9.99, Cube Synth is in the mid-range price for iOS synth apps and, because of that additive synth engine, it still offers distinctive and interesting sounds. Operationally, things are very much the same so you can read the full original review of Cube Synth here to find out more. If you want a synth engine that give you a very different palette of tools to most of the virtual analog/subtractive synths out there, Cube Synth is well worth a look.