Phosphor 2 released – Audio Damage add a synth to their iOS AU app catalogue

Download from iTunes App StoreAudio Damage appear to be on a mission when it comes to iOS music apps at present. I’ve reviewed Rough Rider 2, Grind Distortion, Eos 2, Dubstation 2 and Replicant 2 all within the last few weeks. However, things don’t seem to be slowing down just yet as now we have the release of Phosphor 2.

Where as the apps listed above have all been audio processors/effects of one type or another, Phosphor 2 is Audio Damage’s first iOS synth offering.  Again, it is a port of a desktop version that has, in one form or another, been around for a number of years. The iOS version apparently brings exactly the same features as the desktop version both in terms of controls and sound.

Audio Damage do iOS synths…. Phosphor 2 has arrived on the App Store.

Anyway, the synth is modelled upon aplhaSyntauri, which is a vintage (early 80s!) digital synth originally designed to compete against the Synclavier and Fairlight but at a fraction of the price (US$1500 as opposed to US$40,000!). The system involved a physical keyboard combined with a software-based engine that ran on a AppleII computer….   and it apparently sounded pretty aggressive in an early digital sort of a way. Anyway, despite being innovative and finding favour in terms of its sonics, it was not a lasting commercial success. And, as those hankering after the sound can now get very close indeed for just US$59 for Phosphor on the desktop, you would have to be particularly geeky (and loaded) to seek out on of the few remaining working hardware examples….

The app ships with a good collection of presets, some based upon the original alphaSynturi sounds.

… and, of course, you can now get the essence of that sound in an iOS app for even less money…. The app runs as a stand-alone processor and offers IAA support but I suspect most folks will probably be most impressed that it is also supplied as an AUv3 so you can run it within a suitable host such as Cubasis, AUM, Audiobus, etc. as required…  and, yes, you could run multiple instances if you wished…  Having given the AU support a quick sin this morning, it seems to work very smoothly….

Used via AU – as shown here within AUM – the control set is split across two pages.

The synth engine is built around a twin additive oscillator/envelope model with options to go ‘lo-fi’ (like the original) to remain a little more modern. Delay, low-pass and high-pass filtering, LFOs for modulation and a good collection of presets are also included. I’ve only had time to step through a few of these but they include some obvious references to the original ‘alpha’ and that sound suitably sci-fi. Some of the pads, in particular, are good fun.

The interface looks very slick and, when used stand-alone, aside from a few under the hood setting (for example, the MIDI options), the bulk of the controls are housed within a single screen. Programmers will, I think, find they very quickly get the hang of things but even a synth novice ought to find their way around without too much trouble. As an AU plugin, the controls are split across two pages….  but this is nicely done and easy to navigate.

Anyway, Phosphor 2 is an iPad-only app (an iPhone version is apparently on the way) and requires iOS9.3 or later. Like all Audio Damage’s iOS offerings to date, it is modestly priced….  this time around just UK£5.99/US$5.99. I’ve only had a short time to explore so far but it really does sound very good indeed……   Check out the iOS preview trailer and the desktop demo videos below….  and then hit the App Store download button to find out more. A full review will follow shortly….

Phosphor 2

Download from iTunes App Store

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