The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today

14th Feb 2013 | 16:41

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Moog Animoog, £20.99/$29.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.0 or later)

Despite causing minor controversy upon its release - with some analogue purists arguing that an iOS app was an affront to the legacy of such an iconic synth brand - Moog’s first foray into the world of iPad synthesis has proved to be a resounding success.

Animoog is a wavetable synthesiser, albeit one stuffed with samples from Moog’s classic and contemporary synths. There are up to eight timbres splayed across an 8x16 X/Y grid, and sounds can be moved dynamically through those timbres each time a note is played.

Read Moog Animoog review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Propellerhead Figure, 69p/$0.99
Compatibility: iPhone (3GS or later), iPod touch (3rd gen or later), iPad (requires iOS 5.0 or later)

When it was unveiled at Musikmesse 2012, we instantly fell in love with Figure’s excellent Reason-powered sound and exceptionally well-designed interface.

At the time, there were a few crucial missing features that let the app down though, such as the ability to save or export work. Fortunately, subsequent updates have rectified most of these niggles and - while it’s still not as advanced as a lot of the other synths in our list - Figure now feels like a much more serious music making tool.

Between its Reason-powered synth engine, intuitive design and bargain price, there are very few excuses not to give Figure a try.

Read Propellerhead Figure review (previous version)

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Korg iMS-20, £20.99/$29.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.1 or later)

With the iMS-20, Korg hit on to the winning formula of bringing a classic analogue synth to the iOS platform - complete with a faithfully retro interface - and combining it with a recreation of the SQ-10 16-step sequencer, a six-part drum machine, mixer and built-in effects.

Of course, as with any software emulation, design and features mean nothing unless the sound hits the spot Fortunately the iMS-20 scores top marks with its faithful rich analogue-style tones.

Read Korg iMS-20 review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Yonac Magellan, £10.49/$14.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.1 or later)

With dual independent, three-oscillator synth engines, a host of filter and modulation options and a feature list as long as your arm, Magellan is easily one of the most feature packed synths you’ll find on the iOS platform.

It’s the app’s striking retro interface - which makes excellent use of the tactile playability of your iPad’s touchscreen - that really sets Magellan apart from the crowd though.

Read Yonac Magellan review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
iceGear Cassini, £2.99/$4.99
iPad (requires iOS 4.3 or later) - iPhone version also available

Cassini sounds just as fantastic as iceGear’s first iOS instrument, Argon, but beats its predecessor by adding polyphony and a brilliantly designed interface.

It’s packed with features, making it a massively flexible instrument. Best of all it’s hugely intuitive and fun to use, so there’s little not to like.

Read iceGear Cassini review

Buy Cassini for iPad now from the App Store

Buy Cassini for iPhone now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Korg iPolysix, £20.99/$29.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.1 or later)

With the iPolysix Korg repeated the trick that made us fall for the iMS-20. Again, the developer gave us a faithful recreation of one of the company’s legacy synths and bundled it with a step sequencer, drum machine, mixer and effects.

Just as with its predecessor, the sound of the iPolysix is spot on, giving iPad users the sound of the classic polyphonic analogue synth.

Read Korg iPolysix first look review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Wolfgang Palm PPG WaveGenerator, £13.99/$19.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.1 or later)

With the PPG WaveGenerator, acclaimed synth designer Wolfgang Palm created one of the deepest and most pro-level instruments to be released for iOS so far.

Inspired by the original ‘80s PPG Wave synths, WaveGenerator is a Wavetable synth that allows users to create and control total unique sounds. And essential for any iPad owner who likes to get a bit experimental.

Read Wolfgang Palm PPG WaveGenerator review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
BeepStreet Sunrizer, £4.99/$6.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 4.3 or later)

Virtual analogue synths are now all over the App Store, but this is one of the best.

Sunrizer (iPad) and SunrizerXS (iPhone/iPod touch) sport two oscillators, with one of the available waveforms being an emulation of the SuperSaw that made its debut on the Roland JP-8000 synth. You’ve also got filters, various modulation options, effects and an arpeggiator.

Specs aside, the most important thing is the sound… and it’s great.

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
VirSyn Addictive Synth, £6.99/$9.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 3.2 or later)

Addictive synth has proved popular with iPad users for its intuitive layout and simple-to-use interface.

Fortunately, that simple front end masks a deceptively deep feature set and a fantastic sounding six-oscillator synth engine. It excels at digital tones, spectral pads and other atmospheric noises, but is equally useful for hard-hitting basses or in-your-face leads. A bargain considering the price!

Read VirSyn Addictive Synth review

Buy now from the App Store

The best iPad/iPhone iOS synths in the world today
Wolfgang Palm PPG WaveMapper, £13.99/$19.99
Compatibility: iPad (requires iOS 5.1 or later)

Wolfgang Palm’s second iOS synth is just as impressive as his first. Again, PPG WaveMapper is one of the most complex and impressive sounding instruments on the App Store.

In essence, WaveMapper is a wavetable synthesiser based around an intuitive Sound Map design. Its best trick, however, is the impressive job it does of making a complex concept and seemingly endless feature set seem simple and fun to use. Another essential purchase for iOS synth fans.

Buy from the App Store

Apps you might like:

Most Popular

TopView classic version