I reviewed Poison-202 from JimAudio soon after it was released. 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. A few weeks later, v.1.2 bought a MIDI Learn feature and the ability to import/export sound banks.
Anyway, the updates have kept coming, incrementally added further features, and the latest of these arrived on the App Store yesterday. The update – v.1.4 – brings the usual round of tidying up with a few minor bugs squashed and a few of the original presets improved upon. However, it also brings a new Arabic micro-tuning options and a crop of 30+ presets. The presets have also been restructured with some of the existing presets moved in terms of their bank locations.
The last of these changes is perhaps the most intriguing because, rather wonderfully, it has been done to ensure compatibility with an upcoming desktop VST/ASU version of Poison-202. If you are a fan of the iOS version – and I most certainly am – the possibility of having the same software synth on the desktop might well be an appealing one, especially when moving iOS-based ideas onto the desktop for fleshing out…. Anyway, here’s hoping the desktop version of Poison arrives soon…. and that I can get hold of a copy for review purposes as it is always interesting to see an iOS music app ‘go the wrong way’ and become a desktop product as well :-)
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£9.99/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. Check out the original full review of Poison-202, the demo video below and then hit the download button to find out more.