Phonem launched – Wolfgang Palm brings his vocal synthesis software to iOS – and it sounds great

Download from iTunes App Store

Phonem logo 1There are already a few interesting iOS music apps that are provide some element of voice synthesis with apps such as Voice Synth and VoxSyn perhaps being the most obvious candidates if this is technology that appeals to your musical needs. However, synth pioneer and all-round creative mind Wolfgang Palm has now introduced a further very interesting option; Phonem has hit the App Store today.

In fact, Phonem might already be familiar to some iOS musicians as it already exists in a desktop format and has proved very popular. Designed original as just a voice synthesis engine – albeit a very flexible and powerful one – in fact the software can also turn its hand in a more general synthesiser role. However, the original design was also quite CPU intensive and Wolfgang wasn’t sure that it would be easily ported over to iOS….  With some optimisation of the underlying algorithms, that has now been achieved….  and, if you are happy meet the UK£14.99/US$19.99 asking price, you can now run it on your iPad.

Phenom - Wolfgang Palm's voice synth in an iPad format.

Phenom – Wolfgang Palm’s voice synth in an iPad format.

Phonem requires iOS7.0 or later, is a 30MB download and comes with Audiobus, IAA and AU (the later requires both iOS9.0 and a suitable AU host obviously) support as well as MIDI. And while the engine has been refined compared to the VST/AU desktop plugin, the options and sounds are, I believe, the same.

The app comes with Audiobus, IAA and, as shown here, AU support.

The app comes with Audiobus, IAA and, as shown here, AU support. It also ran fine for me via AU within Cubasis.

I’ve not used the desktop version and, so far, only had a short time with the iOS version. I am, however, suitably impressed already, both with the feature set (and the level of control it gives you over the sounds produced and the sounds themselves. The app includes a large set of phoneme and, while these are dominated by sounds from the English language, there are also a small number of German and French ones includes also….  if you want your voice synth to be multi-lingual, then Phonem is happy to tick that box :-)

The synth engine offers lots of interesting options for sound design.

The synth engine offers lots of interesting options for sound design.

Anyway, a review will follow but if synth-based voices are something that you like to use in your music production, then Phonem is most certainly something to add to your ‘most wanted’ list as you build your iOS music app collection. Looks great, offers lots of control options and the sounds can go from the subtle to the bonkers with all stops in between.

You can type in your own text and get Phonem to 'sing' it for you....

One option is to type in your own text and get Phonem to ‘sing’ it for you….

Voice synths might not be for everyone but Phonem is one of those rare things in music software…  it’s both fun to use and (in the right musical context) very creative. If you can’t wait for the full review then checkout the videos below and then hit the download button to find out more via the App Store.


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    1. Love this kind of stuff, when it’s done well, and this looks superb. Slowly, slowly, we are edging a little bit closer toward the likes of Exhale and Realivox Blue, in terms of what can be done with vocal synthesis on the iPad.

      • Hi Nathan…. I’ve not had a lot of time with Phonem yet but I’m impressed so far…. and the UI design in the ‘full’ interface (AB or IAA) is very slick…. A bit more faffing about under AU to access the various options in the smaller AU window, but still very useable. Best wishes, John

    2. Is wavemapper available as AU now?

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