I’ve reviewed lots of iOS synth apps on the site over the last five years but, given this is a category of iOS music apps that is so well served, there are also plenty I’ve yet to cover. Some of these have, over time, achieved a sort of ‘classic’ status and one app that (for me at least) fits into that category is BeepStreet’s Sunrizer.
Sunrizer is a virtual analog synth and, in part at least, attempts to model what’s known as the ‘SuperSaw’ sound engine that first appeared in one of Roland’s classic hardware synths from the mid/late 1990s – the JP-8000 – although that synth itself had its ancestry in the Roland Jupiter-8 from 1981. The SuperSaw process essentially allows you to stack multiple saw waves, each detuned, to create a rich tone and, with 2 SuperSaw oscillators available, 7 saw waves per oscillator and multi-note polyphony, that can amount to a lot of sound.
You also get multiple filters with various options for audio routing and a range of filter types, a ‘morph’ function that allows you to control multiple synth parameters from just the Mod Wheel, both Frequency Modulation and Phase Modulation modes for the oscillators, Ring Modulation and white noise oscillator. This is powerful stuff and the app built up a dedicated following in its early days.
However, I think long-standing fans had begun to wonder whether one of their favourite apps was going to face extinction as the most recent update was back in July 2014…. a point in time when adding Audiobus 2 and IAA support was the latest evolution in iOS music technology. We have, of course, come a long way since then and, with Apple wanting to shift us away from 32-bit software and on to 64-bit software, the fate of apps like Sunrizer when iOS11 hits might have been a bit doubtful.
Which is why those same dedicated users will be both a bit surprised – but undoubtedly delighted (as was ConfusedKitten who emailed me about the update this morning) – to see v.3.4 of Sunrizer pop up on the App Store today. The list of changes is ‘compact’ – it simply says ‘support for 64-bit devices’ – but, if that means Sunrizer stays will us for at least the next iteration of iOS itself, then that’s a good thing. There is no other obvious signs of change and no hint that support for something like AU is being considered…. but, even so, its great to se an old favourite given new life.
I have more synth apps on my iPad that I care to list and, if you share my iOS music app addict status, then you may well be in the same position. Even so, if you don’t currently own Sunrizer, and still have a tiny corner of your iPad (or iPhone for the SunrizerXS version) that is just saying ‘fill me!’, it is most certainly worth a look if you want to ensure you have paid full attention to ‘classic iOS music app history. At UK£9.99/UK£9.99, it is a lot of synth for not a lot of money…. providing you are prepared to take a bit of punt on its longevity…..