Regular readers might recall that I reviewed Sven Braun’s zMors Modular (currently UK£9.99/US$9.99) some time ago here on the blog. Sven is also the developer behind the rather cool zMors Synth (also UK£9.99) that I’ve reviewed in the past here on the Music App Blog; a somewhat quirky and retro synth but with a well-thought out interface is easy to use even for newbie synth programmers.
I’m not sure the same can be said of zMors Modular (or, indeed, any modular synth) as it is really a DIY ‘build your own synth’ app (like BIAS is a ‘design your own guitar amp’ app), but, as modular synths go, the interface is pretty slick and the app launched with an impressive array of modules. It is perhaps aimed more at those who like to dig in and design their own sounds rather than those simply looking to tweak a few presets to taste but it is capable of some great sounds and certainly returns the effort expended to find your way around.
When v.1.4 arrived on the App Store, it added support for Ableton LINK and v.1.6 added an intriguing Audio Units module amongst a bunch of other additions, while v.1.7 delivered a new audio engine and iPad Pro native support (on which, it has to be said, the app looks great).
But, as Sven obviously likes to keep himself busy, v.1.8 arrived on the App Store yesterday and delivered a further round of new additions. I’ve not had a chance to explore all of these in any details but the list of new features is extensive. Perhaps the headline change is that zMors Modular is now universal. Yes, if your eyesight is up to it (!) you can now run the app on your iPhone (actually, on a + size iPhone it looks pretty good). This is perhaps something I’d be happier doing in the ‘playing stage rather than the ‘designing’ stage, but it is great to have the option.
The update does, however, also bring a number of other changes. For example, as well as more new presets, there are new modules including an 8-channel performance sequencer, a loop recorder, swing clock modulation (!?) and analog pitch correction (that sounds interesting). There have also been some tweaks to the AU support and additional options for fine-tuning the audio engine.
I make absolutely no claim to fully understand anything beyond the basics of zMors Modular (I am, after all, just a humble guitar player!) but, as a means of really learning about synthesis, like most modular synths, zMors Modular is quite an educational tool if you are prepared to spend some time with it. Oh, and don’t forget… it sounds pretty darn good also and the huge collection of presets really does demonstrate just what’s possible. This is a very sophisticated piece of synth software.
I’m sure dedicated synth-heads will find plenty to keep themselves occupied. At UK£9.99/US$9.99 however, zMors Modular is unlikely to be responsible for the next major financial crisis… so even those just curious can afford to take a look. Feel free to check out the full review here and the trailer video below to find out more.