Poison-202 update – excellent compact iOS synth from JimAudio gets AU support

Download from iTunes App Storepoison-202-logo-1As 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.

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, 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 :-)

Poison-202 in action via AU within Cubasis and with multiple instances running.

Poison-202 in action via AU within Cubasis and with multiple instances running.

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.


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    1. Robert Goldberg says:

      This is a lovely synth. I have a bunch of ’em, but expect to be spending a fair amount of time here. The AU addition closed the sale (CC64 didn’t hurt). Great job.

      • Hi Robert…. agreed…. and, in arriving after AU had already made its appearance, a design that worked in a smaller screen footprint was possible from the start. I think this might be an important issue for some of our more long-standing virtual instruments as there might be considerable work to be done in re-designing the complex interfaces without losing the established workflow/familiarity that existing users have with any particular app…. Best wishes, John

    2. Luis Silva says:

      Amazing and AUDIO UNITS WOW ✌️

      • Luis – it is a very solid synth and capable of some great sounds… and the AU format works very well. Best wishes, John

    3. Hello, while im a dissapointed (trying to be) IOS guitar user, because of the inmature/weak cpu status of this IOS tech to make music live (compared to the desktop and laptop computers), I keep asking me if finally this AU thing would bring to IOS the so much needed TOTAL RECALL -without glitches- function, because without that its impossible to play live with an Ipad (if you dont want to be constantly tweaking parameters while your audience wait).
      So my question is if AU provides total recall of all the parameters of all the AU plugins when a preset/project is loaded in the host?
      Also would ask if there is a list of AU plugins available somewhere.
      Thanks for this interesting site.

      • Hi Jasey…. in terms of a list of plugins, here is a comment posted by another reader on a different thread recently and that might help….

        From Loran Pittman…. (thanks Loran!)

        If your on FaceBook I have a iOS AU Page I’ve been updating regularly since spring. You’re welcome to join: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1704410769839550?ref=bookmarks
        Here’s the latest list:
        2016.10.13 iOS Audio Unit Extension (AUv3)

        AU HOST
        Auria Pro (WaveMachine Labs, Inc.) *instruments & effects
        AUM (Kymatica) *instruments & effects
        Cubasis (Steinberg) *instruments & effects
        Cubasis 2 (Steinberg) *instruments & effects
        Ferrite Recording Studio (Wooji Juice Ltd) *effects only
        GarageBand (Apple) *instruments only
        midiSTEPS (Arthur Kerns) *instruments only
        modstep (AppBC) *instruments & effects
        MultiTrackStudio (Giel Bremmers) *instruments & effects
        n-Track Studio MultiTrack Recorder (n-Track) *instruments & effects
        Twisted Wave Audio Editor (Twisted Wave) *effects only
        Twisted Wave Recorder (Twisted Wave) *effects only
        zMors Modular (mobile only) *instruments & effects

        BASSalicious (MIDIculous LLC)
        Enkl monophonic synth (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        FM Essentials (Yamaha)
        iSEM (Arturia)
        iSymphonic Orchestra (Crudebyte)
        Jussi – Vocal Synthesizer (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        KQ MiniSynth (Ryouta Kira)
        NS1 (Nikolozi Pty Ltd)
        Phonem (Wolfgang Palm PPG)
        Ruismaker (Bram Bros)
        Ruismaker FM (Bram Bros)
        SwarPlug (Swar Systems)
        Viking Synth (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        WaveGenerator (Wolfgang Palm PPG)
        WaveMapper (Wolfgang Palm PPG)

        6644 equalizer by DDMF (Christian Siedschlag)
        apeDelay (apeSoft)
        apeFilter (apeSoft)
        Buttercup Bitcrush (Timothy Barraclough)
        DC-9 Overdrive (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        Envelope AU Reverb by DDMF (Christian Siedschlag)
        Esspresso de-esser (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        F-16 Filter (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        frekvens (Erik Sigth)
        Korvpressor (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        Lofionic Duplicat (Chris Rivers)
        MicSwap (Future Moments)
        MicSwap Pro (Future Moments)
        Phlox Phaser (Timothy Barraclough)
        PressIt multiband compressor (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        Remaster (Audioforge Labs Inc.)
        Resampler (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        RF-1 (Kai Aras)
        RP-1 (Kai Aras)
        SquashIt (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        Svep phaser, flanger, chorus (Klevgränd Produktion AB)
        Voice Rack: FX (TC-Helicon)
        Zero Chorus (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        Zero Reverb (Blamsoft, Inc.)
        zMors EQ (mobile only)

        Audio Unit extension requires iPad Mini 2, iPad 4, iPad Pro 1, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 6 or newer model and iOS 9 or 10.

        Did I miss anything?

    4. No one could iluminate me about my questions?

      • In terms of parameter recall, while I stand to be corrected (and there will undoubtedly be exceptions as developers make their first efforts to get to grips with AU under iOS), my experience so far has been a bit mixed. I’m mostly using Cubasis and AUM as my AU hosts but, when I reload a project based on just AU plugins (instruments/effects), things on the whole do seem to come back up ‘intact’…. It’s far from perfect though…. For example, when reloading an AUM project that included Phasemaker (for example), while the synth was recalled with the correct sound selected from its presets, the UI itself indicated (incorrectly) that preset 000 80s Piano was selected….. If I understand the situation correctly, there are still some issues in terms of how presets are handled under AU for some hosts….. not sure if the problem lies with the host, the AU apps or the AU spec itself…. but I don’t think we are quite ‘there’ yet in terms of the nirvana you might like (and we find on the desktop)….. It’s coming though so, fingers crossed, we will progress towards that soon enough…. Very best wishes, John

    5. Thank you very much for your detailed answer.
      No IK, Korg, Yonac, Positive Grid, Line6… well pretty much virtually none of the important ones (to me at least) supports AU today, so the picture is rather bleak.
      Well my suspicions are confirmed, the IOS platform is still too immature to compete with a mid-range laptop at to allow a setup of some complexity (guitar effects, midiguitar, synths…) to play live.
      We will have to continue to use it for a single task until the Ipad platform matures and are much more powerful.

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