As I tried (and probably failed) to summarise recently 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 a few weeks or so ago.
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 is perhaps not as fully-featured as on some iOS synth apps) and, apparently, Audiobus and AU support in development although not included in the initial release.
Anyway, less than 2 months down the line, Dmitrij Pavlov is back with a pretty substantial first update to Poison-202. The update – v.1.1 – brings the usual round of tidying up. So, for example, some basic UI bugs have been addressed and some occasional issue with things like hanging MIDI notes have been resolved. These sorts of things are, of course, great to see.
However, there are also new features. For example, Virtual MIDI sources are now supported, a background audio button is available, MIDI CC64 (the hold pedal) is now supported, there is a new mode in the arpeggiator and some new factory presets have been added amongst a bunch of other tweaks, fine-tuning and additions…. but, of course, the highlight new feature is the addition of AU support; yay! we have another AU virtual instrument to add to the (slowly) growing list.
I gave the update a whirl within Cubasis via the AU route and it does seem to work very well. The initial design is retained in the AU sub-window within Cubasis by simply dropping the virtual keyboard from the stand-alone/IAA screen layout. As with the full-screen stand-alone app, you simply use the four tab buttons located on the far-right to move between the four pages of the control set. This actually works brilliantly as Cubasis does, of course, have its own virtual keyboard or you can use an external MIDI keyboard. Note also from the screenshot that I had no problems loading multiple instances of the app into Cubasis as an AU plugin :-)
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 has already indicated that he has a clear development plan for Poison-202. I sincerely hope that he gets enough support for this initial release to help drive that development plan forward. Poison-202 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.