SynthScaper updated – Igor Vasiliev tweaks his excellent iOS synth-based sound design instrument

Download from iTunes App StoreI’ve reviewed a number of Igor Vasiliev’s iOS music apps here on the blog including Audio MasteringAltiSpaceMaster FXMaster Record and SoundScaper  All these apps are excellent and deliver excellent performance combined with equally excellent value for money in a straightforward, no fuss, fashion.

As I reported a few weeks ago, Igor’s latest release is SynthScaper. As the title suggests, this is perhaps another app aimed as much at sound designers as conventional music making. However, unlike SoundScaper and FieldScaper, the core of the underlying sound engine used here is built on synthesis. Yes, it is a synth designed with ambient soundscapes in mind but, in use, it is perfectly possible to use it as a melodic or harmonic instrument.

SynthScaper – perhaps not a synth for the novice programmer but, if you like to go deep into sound design, then this app has plenty to offer.

The spec of the synth engine is impressive with three independent oscillators and three layers within each oscillator that can be filled with unique samples. Each layer is capable of multiple voices and the app also features six envelope generators and six LFOs. Three separate arpeggiators are included (one for each oscillator) and there are plenty of filter and effect options and ways to adjust the spatial positioning of the sounds within the stereo field.

The initial release included support for Audiobus, IAA and MIDI. However, the first update arrived on the App Store yesterday and v.1.1 brings both the usual routine fixes and some significant new additions. Top of the list is support for Audiobus 3 (including Audiobus MIDI) and Ableton Link….  so you can now sync all the internal operations of the synth engine with BPM.

Yay! Ableton Link is now included in the app’s spec.

In addition, Igor has added new presets and scenes plus some new library samples. There are a few minor tweaks to the UI also (for example, mute buttons for each of the oscillators on the Filters panel) to make for a smoother workflow. Under the hood, there have also been optimisations of the sound engine.

With Ableton Link support, features such as the arp can now be more easily tempo sync’ed with other apps.

At UK£14.99/US$14.99, and given just how deep this app appears to be, Synthscaper looks to be very tempting for the more experimental of iOS music makers. It is deep though….  so I don’t think it will suit absolutely everyone. Fans of Igor’s Fieldscaper and SoundScaper, and of pad and soundscapes sounds will, however, lap it up.

On a technical front, the app is universal, iPhone 6/iPad Air 2 or better are recommended, iOS9.0 or later required and the app is a 27MB download. Well worth a look if you like to take the occasional adventures into experimental sound…. so check out the demo videos below and then hit the App Store download button to find out more.

SynthScaper – soundscapes synthesizer

Download from iTunes App Store

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