Stria update – apeSoft give their left-field take on FM synthesis an update

Download from iTunes App Storestria-logo-2To my bad, I’ve never got around to doing a full review of apeSoft’s Stria synth app here on the Music App Blog. Developer apeSoft will be familiar to many iOS musicians through their various iOS music apps and their obvious close collaboration with Amazing Noises and their various iOS music apps. Between these two developer names, I’ve reviewed apps such as apeFilterSparkle, Dedalus, apeDelay and DubFilter and, if you have encountered any of these apps then you will know that apeSoft don’t really do ‘conventional’.

However, apeSoft also don’t just do audio effects apps…. they also have a line of iOS ‘instruments’ and/or synths; iDensity, Stria and iPulsaret. And, as apeSoft have gradually been working through their app catalogue over the last few months fine-tuning performance and bring some new features, it’s perhaps not too surprising that Stria has just had that treatment. In fact, the app has had two updates within the last 10 days, with the most recent one – v.2.2 – arriving on the App Store over the week-end.

Stria - apeSoft's less than conventional take on FM synthesis.

Stria – apeSoft’s less than conventional take on FM synthesis.

Before outlining the key changes in the update, perhaps it’s worth saying a few words about what Stria is…..  Well, in line with apeSoft’s design philosophy, this is not a ‘me too!’ sort of synth. It is apeSoft’s take on Frequency Modulation synthesis (with a bit of wavetable additive synthesis included for good measure). It does follow apeSoft’s usual UI formats so, if you are familiar with any of the other apps mentioned above, Stria will soon feel familiar, but in doing that, it is not going to be like using a software synth from almost any other developer :-)

The app includes some interesting options when it comes to note generation, provides the usual apeSoft preset ‘morphing’ feature, offers Audiobus and IAA support, solid MIDI support, a range of left-field effects options and the ability to modulate sounds in a range of ways including using the motion sensors built into your iOS hardware.

The app is currently priced at UK£5.99/US$7.99, is a tiny 18MB download, requires iOS8.0 or later and is universal so will fun on iPhone or iPad.

The app now includes support for Ableton Link.

The app now includes support for Ableton Link.

Anyway, between them, the recent v.2.1 and 2.2 updates have added support for Ableton Link, sync capabilities for the LFO and sequencer features have been refined, the UI has been optimised in a various ways to accommodate newer iOS devices, the app now includes a dynamics (compressor/expander) processing option, the MIDI Clock support has been re-worked, Audiobus and MidiBus support has been updated to the latest SDKs. Bluetooth Audio and MIDI are supported (with appropriate hardware), the presets system has been improved, AudioShare support has been added and the audio engine has been optimised for better performance….  very much the same underlying changes that apeSoft made with iPulsaret recently also….

And like iPulsaret, if you like your synths to makes less than conventional sounds, this is most certainly an app that you should explore; Stria is very apeSoft and, therefore, very left-field. OK, that may well make it something of a niche product but, if electronic music, ambient soundscapes and just plain weird and glitchy are your thing, then this is most certainly worth a look. And, at just UK£5.99/US$7.99, Stria is well worth a suitablly left-field look.


Download from iTunes App Store

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