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5 best iPad synths

There are many great iPad synths – classic virtual analog emulations, granular, fm, additive, ported from VSTs or designed specially for iOS.
I use synths on my iPad since iMS-20 by KORG was introduced (3 years ago or even more…). And since then iOS synths became apps category on its own. There so many great synth apps but for this review I picked 5 best ones.
And here is my top-5 synths list:

5. Mito synth

The Mito synth app is great sounding additive synth that combines flexible additive and granular synth engines with wide range of effects: several types of distortions, filters, delay/chorus/flanger/phaser. But despite large number of features and effects it is suprisingly easy to use and program.

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4. Alchemy mobile

Alchemy is port of desktop VST/AU synth that combines different types of synthesis.
And this app made a long way from pretty simple presets player into one of the most powerful sound engines for iPad. Though it still have limitation comparing to the desktop version – new presets should be based on existing templates that don’t provide you full control on synth params. But ability to use your own samples and variety of great soundpacks in the in-app store makes it one of the best sound sources in iOS.

UPDATE: No longer available

3. Animoog

I know some musicians that bought iPad just because of this app. And there are some good reasons for that. Developed few years ago it sounds great, uses all the benefits of the touch screen, has great onboard effects and THAT moog sound. Ah, and by the way all those IAP-presets worth every cent.

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2. Z3TA+

This synth comes from the top desktop synths. First of all it is very flexible and able to do what most of the wavetable synths do. But it also gives you great control on the wave shaping allowing to easily create new and unique sounds. This is synth is great for modern sounds and it is pretty universal – you can create almost anything screaming leads, roaring basses and relaxing pads. Though it comes second in our ranking it is probably the most capable synth in terms of variety of sounds you can get and the sound quality.

Z3TA+

by Cakewalk

Z3TA+

The legendary Z3TA+ synthesizer has been used on countless records, and it’s distinctive sound has been a staple of electronic artists the world over. And now Z3TA+ iOS puts the full power of Z3TA+2 on your iPad. Packed with hundreds of presets, modulatable waveshaping, dual mode filters, and flexible effects, Z3TA+ iOS is the perfect creative synth for making music anywhere, anytime.

Feature Highlights:
• Includes over 500 presets
• User-friendly on-screen Keyboard and external MIDI control
• Waveshaping synthesis with 6 Oscillators, 6 LFOs, and more
• Modulation Matrix including 16 Sources, Curves, Controls, and Destinations
• Advanced modular effects including Distortion, Mod, Compression and more
• Performance section with Tap Tempo, assignable XY Pad, Mod Wheels, and Adaptive Pitch Bend
• Inter-App Audio, Background Audio, and Audiobus support
• Import Z3TA+ presets from iOS, or Z3TA+ 2 Plug-in, available on Windows & OS X.
• Import User Waves, MIDI Arps, Scala Tuning files, and presets via iTunes Sharing.
• Export Z3TA+ iOS presets via AirDrop, or email.
• Scala Tuning support

Z3TA+iOS will be there to quench your thirst for sound design when you’re working behind your studio rig, or on the road. It embodies every characteristic of the original synthesizer with a brand new performance section full of parameters to twist and turn your programs on the fly. Z3TA+iOS is perfect for both experienced and new users especially when connecting to other audio applications using Audiobus and Inter-App Audio. Plugin in any iPad compatible MIDI controller and take your performance to the stage.

1. Nave

Nave is truly innovative wavetable synth that not just gives you waveform but also allows to generate it from your samples, graphically change it or use text-to-speech option.
But it’s not just limited to the wavetables. It has great sounding analog oscillator that provides solid body to the sound and great sounding up to 8 voices Unison.
Wavetable display is another great feature that gives you 3d view and the visual control of the wave movement.

Unknown App

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