I’ve no idea where the whole ‘flora’ theme comes from for developers Timothy Barraclough and Paul Mathews but there series of stripped-down, stompbox ethic, iOS audio effects apps are all very good indeed. I’ve reviewed all the apps in the series – Cactus Chorus, Phlox Phaser, Buttercup Bitcrush and Dahlia Delay – previous here on the blog and, at UK£0.79 each, they are about as an obvious casual purchase as you are likely to find.
The series was expanded yesterday with the arrival of a new app – Tiger-lily Tremolo – and, as the name suggests, the app provides you with a classic tremolo-style effect in a very similar format to the other ‘flora series’ apps; that is, no frills, no fuss, and just a stripped-down series of controls so you can get to your sound as quickly as possible.
As with all the apps within the series, Tiger-lily Tremolo is universal, requires iOS7.0 or later and is supplied with Audiobus and IAA support (indeed, you need to be using either or both of Audiobus or IAA to make use of these effects apps)… and, for the budget conscious, is currently priced at UK£0.79…. that’s the change from your morning caffeine purchase :-)
There is one change with this app compared to the others in the series; you get two screens of controls rather than one. As shown in the screenshots here, the control set is spread across two pages and you can swipe between them via the ‘dot button’ that appears on both screen. Don’t let that get you thinking that this app is complex to use though; it’s not, and while you don’t get a manual to read, really this is simply enough that you can just play around for a few minutes to work it all out.
As you might expect, the key controls are the Rate, Amplitube Depth, Modulation Shape and Mix faders and all these are contained within the first page of controls. These are not so far removed from the sorts of controls you might find on a guitar stompbox tremolo effect. On the second screen you get various other controls that can influence the harmonic (tonal) content of the effect. These are perhaps a bit more subtle and you do need to experiment a little to see how these interact with each other but, even so,this is both fun and intuitive; no PhDs required.
Having put Tiger-lily Tremolo though some brief testing this morning with both Audiobus and IAA (using Cubasis as my IAA host) and on my iOS9.0.1-equipped iPad Air 1, the performance seems very solid indeed. I had no problems via either route and the app is very easy to work with. Indeed, all the ‘flora project’ apps seem to be working very happily under iOS and the latest version of Audiobus (and perhaps that’s got something to do with the deliberately simple designs and feature sets?); these apps are all simply a pleasure to use.
I tried the app on a number of different audio sources…. It’s great on guitars (an obvious application) but it is also very cool on any sustained synth sound where the changes in amplitude can create some very nice rhythmic effects. Overall, the effect is smooth and sounds great. Whether you are attracted to the idea behind the flora apps by the prospect of building your own sequences of effects via separate apps or are attracted by the simplicity of the user interface, don’t let the price fool you into thinking that they might not cut it sonically; they all sound very good indeed.
I do like the ‘keep it simple’ attitude these apps bring and, in one sense, it would be a shame to see the apps become more cluttered with additional features. However, it might be nice if there could be a preset system added in some way and, equally, an option for portrait operation would be useful.
These minor comments aside, let’s not forget the price of all of these apps. At UK£0.79, like Cactus Chorus, Phlox Phaser, Buttercup Bitcrush, Saffron Saturator or Dahlia Delay, Tiger-lily Tremolo is not going to stretch your budget too far so don’t overthink it :-). If you fancy the occasional bit of audio wobbling, Tiger-lily Tremolo is just the thing. It is also low cost and low fuss. As with all the ‘flora’ iOS audio effects apps, Tiger-lily Tremolo comes highly recommended and most certainly qualifies as a ‘no-brainer’ purchase decision.