Developer apeSoft will be familiar to many iOS musicians through their various iOS music apps and their obvious close collaboration with Amazing Noises and their various iOS music apps. Between these two developer names, I’ve reviewed apps such as apeFilter, Sparkle, Dedalus, apeDelay and DubFilter and, if you have encountered any of these apps then you will know that apeSoft don’t really do ‘conventional’.
However, apeSoft also don’t just do audio effects apps…. they also have a line of iOS ‘instruments’ and/or synths; iDensity, Stria and iPulsaret. These apps are a little more orientated towards ‘playable’ instruments and, while I reviewed iPulsaret some time ago abut have never quite got around to full reviews of either iDensity and Stria. However, both are exactly what you might expect given apeSoft’s track record; unconventional sounding in a very functional user interface. If experimenting with sound is your thing, then these are apps for you.
Originally, iDensity (UK£7.99/US$7.99) shipped with just a single ‘granulation stream’ but now you get a total of six granulation streams to play with at the same time. These six audio streams can be combined and then you get the usual (well, usual for apeSoft) effects and audio scrubbing features. The end result is all sorts of weird and wonderful noise.
Anyway, v.3.0 of the app arrived on the App Store earlier this week. This brings the usual fixes under the hood and the Audiobus SDK has been updated to the latest version. However, amongst a few other changes, the highlight new feature is that iDensity now includes AUv3 support; if you want to embed the app as either an instrument or as an effect (you can process external audio sources through the app’s various options) into a suitable AU host, that’s now possible.
I’ve given this a bit of a workout within Cubasis this morning. All seems to work well and the AU interface is pretty neat considering just how deep the app is. And, yes, you can run multiple instances of the app under AU…. providing, of course, you can hold on to your hat and cope with just how bonkers the sound might get.
I have to say that iDensity is perhaps a bit abstract to get daily use in my own music workflow but more experimental/ambient/sound design folks will find it fascinating I’m sure. That said, if your into sound design or more experimental forms of electronic music making, any of the apps within the apeSoft catalogue are worth a look. However, with iPulsaret, iDensity and Stria, you could have a lot of sonic fun. Perhaps not apps to leave with a small child in a dark room (they could sound too scary!) but, used by responsible adults, capable of some amazing noises….