iVCS3 updated – apeSoft’s emulation of classic synth gets to iOS8

Download from iTunes App StoreiVCS3 logoI have to admit that, as a guitar player, there are some synths – virtual or otherwise – that I find just a bit scary. Presets I’m fine with and, providing my ageing grey matter can cope with the logic of the synth engine, then I’m generally happy to dig into some patch programming if the need arises. However, there are some synths where I’m suitably challenged and, for one reason or another, I just find I’m a bit baffled by.

One of those is apeSoft’s remarkable emulation of EMS’s original VSC3 hardware synth from 1969; the iVSC3. This was launched back in the spring and it does sound fabulous. I know this because I’ve used it, explored the presets and had a jolly good time doing so….  but as for then rolling my own…? Well, let’s just say I’m a better guitar player than esoteric synth programmer shall we?

That said, there are lots of synth-heads out there who have really taken to the iVCS3 and, if you are a fan of classic synths, but don’t have the budget to buy the hardware, software emulations like this are as close as you are likely to get. And, by all accounts, this is a pretty nifty emulation.

iVCS3; a virtual recreation of a classic hardware synth and now ready for iOS8.

iVCS3; a virtual recreation of a classic hardware synth and now ready for iOS8.

Thankfully, it is now also an emulation that you can happily use under iOS8 as, as of today, v.1.2  hit the App Store. However, while this includes support for the latest Audiobus SDK, there are also a number of other tweaks to the app as well. So, for example, the app now has Midibus support and, as a consequence, should also get pretty good MIDI Clock sync support. Incidentally, it also works via IAA and will quite happily sit in either an audio track or a MIDI track within an IAA host such as Cubasis. All these things ought to make using iVCS3 in a wider musical workflow a much better proposition.

At UK$10.49, iVCS3 is nearer the top end of the iOS synth market place….  but it is also up at the top end in terms of the sound as well; rich and warm, this can make some very big noise. And, when you consider that an example of the original hardware – as used by the likes of Jean Michel Jarre, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and The Who  – might cost you both an arm and a leg, the app’s price is quite a bargain. Frankly, I find it a bit baffling to program but, if you are a somewhat more harden synth-head than me, I suspect you will love what it can do….   just please remember to send me a link to your ‘iVCS3 programming 101’ YouTube video when you make it :-)


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    1. Chris Catalano says:

      Love most of the Apesoft stuff. This is beautiful to look at, I have heard some incredibly interesting noises, but I struggle to get stuff out of it that sounds right in what I do. I won’t give up, because it is beautiful to have a gander at, and pound uselessly away at all the Neato retro buttons, lol…I am a Synth Luddite, apparently…

    2. The only thing that separates this synth from the ones that are ‘easier’ to program is the matrix. Putting a pin in is the same as connecting a cable from the output of one part of the synth to the input of another part of the synth.

      In this regard it’s no different to say Audulus or even changing the routing options in Thor for example.

      All you need to do is get your head around the inputs and outputs on the matrix and you’re good to go :)

      Hint: You don’t need many pins to create a simple synth architecture.

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