NFM update – new iOS FM synth app with AU support gets some tweaks

Download from iTunes App StoreI posted a full review of NFM – a well=featured FM-based synth with AU support by developer Nikolozi Meladze – recently on the Music App Blog. Regular iOS music makers will also recall the review of Niko’s NS1 synth back in February of 2016. NS1 was (still is; it’s been regularly updated since launch) a very solid virtual analog synth instrument with some very cool sounds and, while programmable by the user, the control set was not so complex that synth newbies would find it too intimidating.

While NS1 gave us ‘virtual analog’, NFM offers ‘virtual FM’. The synth engine is built around a six operator FM design, in overall concept, NFM slots in right beside NS1. It offers a compact, two screen, control set, it’s programmable (but not mind bending), there are some great sounds to be had and, yes, it is designed to be used as an AU plugin….  although a stand-alone version is also provided and that works just fine.

NFM – an FM synth that includes AU plugin support.

The app requires iOS10.0 or later, is iPad-only, a tiny 17MB download and is currently priced at UK£14.99/US14.99. However, if you don’t own Niko’s other iOS music apps – NS1 and MIDI Sketch (a cool MIDI sequencer for creating new musical ideas) – then you can by all three at a ‘bundle’ price and save a little on the overall deal.

Anyway, one element that was not present in the initial release of NFM was access to the preset system when used via AU (presets management has clearly been an ongoing issue for developers with AU although, thankfully, things do seem to be improving). Niko has clearly been working on this though….  and an update to the NFM appeared on the App Store a few days ago (v.1.0.1) that adds preset selection to the AU plugin. This is obviously most welcome….  and the app’s AU performance really does seem pretty solid all round.

NFM now offers preset browsing within the AU plugin.

NFM is a solid, easy-to-use virtual FM synth. Like NS1, it perhaps won’t win any prizes for ‘most powerful synth engine’ anytime soon, but it is a capable instrument with a neat visual design and a control set that is easy to explore and experiment with. AU support is still, I think, a key selling point under iOS and this may be enough to draw some potential users in simply to support this technology and help push it forwards.

Niko has provided some SoundCloud audio demos you can listen to to hear the app in action and I’ve also embedded Doug’s (from TheSoundTestRoom) video demo of the app. Beyond that, you can get more details by clicking the App Store download button…  and, while you are there, also check out Niko’s excellent NS1 analog synth.


Download from iTunes App Store


Download from iTunes App Store

MIDI Sketch

Download from iTunes App Store

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