Layr launched – Living Memory Software release multi-timbral synth app for iOS

Download from iTunes App StoreLong-standing Music App Blog visitors might well recall that I reviewed Ostinator – a sort of app-based emulation of a hardware looper pedal (and, in concept, not unlike an app such as Quantiloop) – and released by Living Memory Software. Ostinator is a cool little app and, because of its key function, perhaps attracted most attention from iOS-using guitar players.

However, Living Memory are now back with a new app and, this time around, it is most definitely aimed at those with an interest in synths; Layr. Indeed, while I’ve not had a chance to full dig into the new app yet, I’d go so far as to say that almost every iOS musician with an interest in synths will at least want to take a look at Layr, watch the promo videos, catch some of the online chatter (of which there is already plenty) and then see just how long they can resist hitting the download button….  In short, the potential looks obvious and the demos suggest that the app can deliver some hugely impressive sounds….

Layr; a deep synth experience for iOS.

Living Memory describe Layr as a multi-timbral synth and the ‘Layr’ title comes from the fact that you can layer multiple instances of the synth engine to construct your sounds. This layer process is pretty flexible and, providing your iOS hardware can keep up, you can get pretty serious with the number of layer. What’s more, the MIDI routing within the app, and the way patches are constructed, allows you to either create a ‘mega-synth’ (multiple layers all triggered together from the same MIDI channel source) or a number of separate synths, each triggered by a different MIDI channel; the choice is yours. Multiple audio outputs are also available if you want to send separate sounds to different destinations (DAW tracks, for example).

Layr’s feature set looks impressive… and there is plenty of potential for building rich and detailed sounds….

Graphically, the UI design is both modern looking and slick, and there is support for both iPhone and iPad formats in the same app with some flexibility over how the UI presents itself to suit the users preferences and screen size. Audiobus and IAA support are included from the off (although no AU as yet; it will be interesting to see if that’s a plan in the development roadmap), import/export of patches is possible, a multi-channel arpeggiator is included and the MIDI control options seem to be good.

The app adapts will between an iPad layout and the smaller iPhone screen (as shown here)….

Anyway, I think if you have an iOS synth habit, Layr is going to be very tempting indeed. The app requires iOS9.0 or later, is universal and seems to support all iO hardware from the iPhone 5S/iPad Air/iPad mini 3 and upwards. It’s a 26MB download and launched at UK£19.99/US$19.99. A full review will follow as soon as I’m sure I’ve got my head around it all but initial impressions are positive and, as mentioned earlier, the potential is very clear. Until then, check out the demo videos below and then hit the download button to find out more from the App Store….


Download from iTunes App Store

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    1. iPad Mini 2 is also supported according to tha appstore description. Anyway looks ans sounds exciting …

    2. ConfusedKitten says:

      Thanks John, and I can’t wait to hear your full review (much needed) as I have to admit I’ve been intrigued by the appearance of ‘LayR’ (but it’s somewhat of a mystery) so I’ve been trying to understand it more as it appears to be a sophisticated specimen! Also I couldn’t imagine a synth that might grab my interest in future (as I’m content with my existing iOS synth cave); but then developer Andy (apparently) from ‘LivingMemorySoftware’ went and released ‘LayR’ and well… it appears resistance is futile! :)

      Having said that; I’ve so far only read the App Store description and visited the developers website (and he’s from Glastonbury apparently) which is naturally a hive of musical activity seemingly! Anyway I’d recommend that for anyone interested as there’s some useful further information there; but I’m certainly intrigued and looking forward to finding out more in due course (before fully committing)!

      However (on the surface) it appears to be a super powered ‘Mono’ synth with up to 100 simultaneous synthesis layers and 8 individual Stereo IAA outputs plus a Stereo master/FX etc (which alone is impressive)! Further, the synthesis appears to be virtual analogue (subtractive) but with some unique modulation options (FM, PM, AM) that clearly provide some interesting (original) sonic capabilities!

      Suffice to say, wow! :) Certainly, seems like a very different animal (e.g. workflow possibilities and creative potential for interaction via bespoke processing options such as aux stems/bussing etc) and just goes to show how far iOS music making has developed as a mobile hardware/software platform! I’m looking forward to your review anyway (and experiencing creative demos) – but awesome news John! :)

    3. ConfusedKitten says:

      I couldn’t resist any longer (as U predicted) and grabbed a copy of LayR (and OMG this synth is insane) it’s a auditory monster! The thing that blows my mind is how lush, warm and analogue it sounds in that I expected it to be more clinical and digital (which it can likely achieve as well) but it certainly has a rich, expansive quality of its own. I think this synth is going to be a very popular with synthesis fanatics (and hope it is for the developer) who has clearly put a lot of thought and care into its engine & design etc. Theses are only my first initial thoughts; but yeah I’m impressed and glad I hit the download button! ;)

      Actually it’s exciting too as there’s a competition for early adopters currently (see website) whereby you can submit presets for consideration; and if chosen will feature in future release(s) which seems like an excellent way to both familiarise yourself with LayR (whilst working towards a fun creative brief)! It should also (importantly) begin to establish a community of users (via sharing made easy by iCloud integration which is appreciated) and encourage users to get experimenting early! Way to go Andy/Jan! :)

      • …. just working on the review now…. but I agree with you…. this is an excellent bit of software and will, I think, appeal to lots of iOS synth fans even if they have way too many synth apps already :-) best wishes, John

    4. John Hickson says:

      It works perfectly on my Mini 2. I was able to create some unique, interesting and usable sounds in a short period of time. This app looks to be very deep in editing capabilities. I’m glad I purchased it!

      • Hi John… thanks for that… good to hear that it works well via the smaller iPad mini display…. It looks great on my iPad Pro bTW :-) best wishes, John

    5. You always give me new temptations to buy “one more synth”, but from my very first impression this doesn’t seem to be one more synth but a new kind of synth in iOS world, the sound is coming up is really warm and noticeable in this synth jungle. Thanks John

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