Long-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….
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).
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.
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….