Harmony Eight launched – VirSyn add 8 voice pitch-shifter effect to their iOS music app line-up

Download from iTunes App StoreVirSyn are one of the software developers that have fully embraced the iOS platform. They have gradually developed a very impressive catalogue of iOS music apps many or which – Tera SynthmicroTERAHarmony VoiceAddictive Synth, Tap Delay, Emo Chorus, Posiedon Synth, VoxsynArpeggist, AudioEffx and, of course, the brilliant ReSlice, for example – I’ve reviewed here previously on the Music App Blog.

And they show no signs of slowing things down as we now have yet another new arrival; Harmony Eight. As the name might suggest, the app is designed to create harmony parts from incoming audio and, while vocals are probably the prime intention, there is no reason why you could use the app with other audio sources.

Harmony Eight – VirSyn offer up eight-part vocal harmonies for iOS.

It ships with Audiobus and IAA support but – also as with more recent VirSyn releases – also arrives with AU support for those with a suitable AU host…  As shown in the screenshots here, I’ve given the app a brief run out both stand-alone (where it can, if you wish, process an existing audio file via its Media Player panel) and via AU (in Cubasis here) and it worked very smoothly. The app is universal, a 16MB download and requires iOS8.0 or later.

Up to eight harmony parts can be created from any monophonic audio source. The Harmony (edit) screen allows you to position each of those harmony parts in the stereo field, set a delay time (so you can create some very interesting pitched delay effects), apply separate delay feedback for each voice, adjust its formants (to tweak the ‘gender’) and apply a ‘front/back’ adjustment (I suspect this is a reverb-related setting).

The app also includes a range of effects options.

Of course, VirSyn also offer Harmony Voice mentioned above and there are one or two other apps out there that can automatic vocal harmonies. That said, I’m not sure I’ve heard anything better in terms of the audio quality that harmony Eight. Even if just used for a bit of vocal doubling, the results are very good….  and the app offers much more than that. The gender adjustment perhaps needs to be used with some caution (that’s true even on some of the better desktop products that can do this) but it is plenty good enough if you just want to tweak the character of a single voice and make it sound like more than one person singing.

The app worked smoothly for me as an AU plugin within Cubasis.

The app also includes a number of effects so there is three-band EQ, compressor, reverb and modulation available. Ableton Link is also included so that effects can be tempo-sync’ed. Oh, and a decent collection of presets are included. You don’t get real-time ‘live’ control over the harmonies generated (for example, by playing in notes from a MIDI keyboard) but, even so, if you want to create some lush vocal harmonies, this is a great option….   and, if you are feeling ambitious, you can even do some Bohemian Rhapsody vocal tricks…..

The app includes a range of useful presets to get you started but the control set is easy to use… and low latency means it could be used ‘live’ if you are feeling brave enough :-)

The launch price is UK£6.99/US$6.99 which is discounted from what will be the eventual price. I suspect this is an app that is most likely to appeal to those who do material with vocals but, if you are also a VirSyn fan, then Harmony Eight looks very tempting….   Anyway, a full review will follow shortly but if you are want to find out more, watch the demo video below then simply hit the App Store download button :-)

Harmony Eight

Download from iTunes App Store

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    1. Bought this with great enthusiasm, only to find that, for me, it didn’t do what it said on the tin.. I gather there has since been an update, which may or may not have fixed things. But when an app fails to work as described in two major apps, AUM and Garage Band, standards are slipping. So I deleted and asked for a refund.

      • Hi Zen, I haven’t tried the app in Garageband but it works absolutely fine for me in AUM…. What was the specifics of your problem? Best wishes, John

        • Specifically, in AUM the edit triangle at bottom right as AU did nothing, and the app did not show up as IAA. In Garage Band I couldn’t see it at all. In Auria Pro, everything worked but sounded pretty bad. All of these things may now be fixed, I don’t know, and I accept that some people had no problems. But this was on a iPad Air 2 with the latest IOS. So if an app from a well established developer says it works, I expect that to be true. I’m not having any problems with any other app using GB, AUM or AP,

          • Hi Zen…. I didn’t experience either of those issues on my iPad Pro in AUM via AU…. all worked as advertised and it sounds good….. so presumably something specific to your setup or system combination (and which might apply to others with the same configuration)? Here’s hoping VirSyn have (or do) resolved whatever gremlins might have caused it if it’s something in the code…. Best wishes, John

          • I have iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 both latest OS and it doesn’t show up GarageBand, AUM, or Modstep as either AU or IAP. It does show up in audiobus 2 but I don’t use audiobus.

    2. Hi John!

      There were a few grumbles about “audio quality” over on the AudioBus forum (that was on version 1.0 ).

      Did you encounter any problems in that area?

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