Poison-202 update – excellent compact iOS synth from JimAudio gets another great update

Download from iTunes App Storepoison-202-logo-1As I tried (and probably failed) to summarise a while ago in my synth app roundup, there are a large number of very good iOS synth app available to us users. The list keeps growing as well and one recent addition that’s well worth paying attention to is Poison-202 which I reviewed on the blog just after it was released in September.

Poison-202 is a vintage-style iOS synth, inspired by some of the classic synths from the 80s and 90s, paying homage to the synth sounds found on tracks from The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk and Daft Punk amongst others. The app arrived with universal support, IAA and MIDI included (although the latter was perhaps not as fully-featured as on some iOS synth apps) and AU support was added in v.1.1 which appeared in mid-October. This was quite a big deal and certainly broadens the appeal of the app for those iOS musicians who really want to transition to an AU-based approach for between-app connectivity.

Poison-202 - a compact synth that packs a punch well above its price tag.

Poison-202 – a compact synth that packs a punch well above its price tag.

Anyway, another 6 weeks down the line, Dmitrij Pavlov is back with a further pretty substantial update to Poison-202. The update – v.1.2 – brings the usual round of tidying up. So, for example, some tweaks have been made to the AU support for program change messages and the preset system while some clicking issues when adjusting the master volume control have now been addressed.

However, there is much more than routine maintenance. Top of the new additions is a MIDI Learn feature that can be accessed by simply tapping on any control rapidly three times. The control flashes blue and the virtual LED shows you what’s going on; twiddle a hardware control on your external keyboard/controller and it becomes linked to the selected Poison-202 parameter. I had no problems making this work with my Alesis QX25 and, usefully, it does seem that the mapping is retained  at a global level within the app, both when you switch patches and when closing and then re-launching later (providing, of course, that you are using the same external controller).

Poison-202 now includes both default MIDI CC mapping and a MIDI Learn system... as shown here for the Pitch parameter that is flashing blue :-)

Poison-202 now includes both default MIDI CC mapping and a MIDI Learn system… as shown here for the Pitch parameter that is flashing blue :-)

Other new features include the ability to import/export user preset banks (great if you use the app on multiple devices), options for merging banks and an increase in the number of user patches to 300. There are also some new presets added including a new Bank C with some rather nice drum sounds. Poison-202 now also advertises a Virtual MIDI port to other apps if you need to send MIDI data to it from a sequencer (for example).

The latest update also adds some new presets including a collection of drum sounds.

The latest update also adds some new presets including a collection of drum sounds.

If your synth app collection already includes rather too many of the usual suspects, then perhaps Poison-202 will not offer you something you don’t already have covered. However, if you are still building a collection of iOS music apps – synths included – this is most certainly one to audition. It’s a great design that offers some great sounds and is pretty easy to find your way around. As an introduction to synth programming, it would have enough options to keep you happy for a while yet not be too difficult to get started with.

And, of course, let’s not ignore the price. At just UK£7.99/US$9.99, for many folk (i.e. people who can afford an iPad or iPhone in the first place), this might well represent a casual purchase; pass on the coffee/pastry combo for a couple of days and treat yourself to a very good iOS synth instead.

Jim (Dmitrij) has already indicated that he has further development plans for Poison-202. However, the app is already very good – and very good value – and could easily become a very firm workhorse favourite for many. Check out the original full review of Poison-202, the demo video below and then hit the download button to find out more.

Poison-202

Download from iTunes App Store

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    Comments

    1. This thing just gets better and better. And it sounds quite amazing too!

    2. This guy works real hard on his apps, updates are more than just minor tweaks. I will keep an eye for anything new he produces in the future for these very reasons.

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