I did a full review of iSymphonic Orchestra about a week after it was released and, while I was impressed by the sound quality, I wasn’t quite so convinced about the overall package. However, the app has had a number of updates since then and these have added new features, new sounds (included in the base price of the app) and further sound options via IAP. It is now a much better proposition and, for orchestral sounds, probably as good as it currently gets under iOS.
A further update to the app – taking it to v. 1.3.3 – has appeared on the App Store over the week-end. This includes some fixes with the interface and (hooray) with the CoreMIDI port names and how those appear). You can also now adjust the metronome volume. However, perhaps the biggest addition (and it is big; about 1GB worth) is a new IAP sound set called the Arpa Sound Set.
This is currently priced at UK£8.99 and adds 15 new sounds that include harps, harpsichords and a couple of additional string+horn patches. As usual, you can view the list of patches within the app and, if you try to select one from the new IAP, you get taken to the in-app store screen and given the option to purchase. If the quality of the new sounds matches those in the rest of the app then they will be very good indeed.
Priced originally at UK£37.99 and with a fairly hefty 800+MB download for the base app, iSymphonic Orchestra perhaps wasn’t going to ever be a casual purchase for your iOS music app collection. However, with considerably more content and features in the current version compared to the original release, there also seems to have been a bit of a shift in the pricing structure. At present, therefore, the base app is UK£22.99 and the Pro Sound Set IAP is UK£8.99.
[PS Christian Schoenebeck has been in touch today to confirm the new pricing]
Given the sound quality and multi-timbral operation, this now strikes me as a very good deal and, if you are serious about your orchestral sounds, well worth exploring. I’m not sure if this is a permanent move in the pricing of the app but, if not, now is a good time to pick it up at a heavily discounted price. You might also check out Crudebyte’s companion app Oriental Strings if you want to add some further options to your sound palette.