iOS Synths

What makes Thor different?

Several days ago Propellerheads announced iPad version of Thor – their Reson’s most powerful synth for iPad.

If you are not familiar with Reason, it is modular studio that includes synths, samplers, drum machines, effects, mixers and other devices. Power of Reason is that you can combine this devices (you connect it with virtual wires) so you can easily modulate one device parameter with other parameters. Propellerheads have demo version of Reason on their site and if you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth trying.

What I expected from Propellerheads is that someday they introduce Reason for iPad. I think their virtual rack would be so nice on the touch screen of iPad. Anyway, they choose different way. One device=one app. As the first step they launch Thor for iPad. And I think as the next step they will introduce one of their other Reason devices: Kong (drum synth) which has MPC-style pads, that are great on iPad screen so you can play with this pads or they could make Mallstrom (another great synth) version for iOS.

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

by Propellerhead Software AB

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

Thor for iPad puts the mighty Thor synthesizer at your fingertips.

“A truly must-have synth for iPad users of all skill levels” – Keyboard Magazine
"A Synth-Geek’s Dream Synth” - Synthtopia
“A game changing synthesizer for the iPad” - Dubspot
"Thor sounds just as good as its bigger sibling, and its ability to share patches makes it a fantastic tool for portable sound design.” - MusicRadar

Reason's legendary flagship synth delivers a thunderous sound, god-like sound sculpting capabilities and an innovative, lighting-fast keyboard designed for iPad. Thor is a synthesis playground, a flexible sonic workhorse, but above all, an expressive musical instrument for the iPad.

Thor highlights
• Play Reason's Thor Polysonic Synthesizer on the iPad.
• Load any of the 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own from scratch.
• Create your sounds using a palette of multiple oscillator and filter types.
• Play Thor using an expressive touch interface keyboard with aftertouch and strumming.
• Collapse the keyboard to a key and scale of your choice, just like in Figure.
• Move your favourite patches from the iPad to your computer and use them with Thor in Reason

Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

On the iPad, Thor comes with a specially designed interface that's optimized for touch control and the iPad screen. Cleverly designed panels expand and fold at the touch of a button to hide or reveal oscillators, filters, envelopes and more.

The app is divided into three main screens: Keyboard, Knobs and Routing.

Keyboard mode features:
• Piano keyboard with transpose and range control
• Modulation and pitch bend controls
• Assist function lets you select key and scale to highlight chord notes or to collapse the keyboard to only show the chord notes of the selected scale.
• Strum function lets you play arpeggios by holding a chord while strumming across the strum control.
• Two assignable knobs and buttons acts like performance controls
• Settings for polyphony and portamento

Knobs mode features:
• Access to all of Thor's synthesis features
• Three oscillator slots for Thor's six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise
• Three filter slots for for Thor's four filter types: Low Pass Ladder, State Variable, Comb and Formant
• Three envelopes
• Dual LFOs
• Delay and Chorus
• The Knobs screen is divided into panels that expand and collapse at the touch of a button
• Miniature keyboard to audition your sounds as you are working on them

Routing features
• Comprehensive but easy to use routing matrix lets you create complex modulation and signal flow setups
• Step sequencer with 16-steps and six channels: Note, Velocity, Gate length, Step duration, Curve 1, Curve 2

General App features:
• Patch compatible with Thor in Reason on your computer
• Move patches to and from your iPad using iTunes
• Sound bank with more than 1000 Thor patches from leading artists & sound designers (Kill the Noise, Richard Devine, Chris Petti and many more)
• Gorgeous retina display interface
• MIDI in - play Thor from an external MIDI source or from another app on the same iPad
• Audiobus compatible - stream audio from Thor to another audio app on the same iPad
• Audio in background option lets Thor keep playing in the background when working with other apps.

Note: We recommend using Thor for iPad with iPad 4 or later.

But let’s go back to Thor.

Thor is modular synthesizer with fantastic modulation capabilities. It comes with 3 oscilators, 3 filters, 3 envelopes, 2 LFOs, large modulation matrix and powerful sequencer.

Thor synth for iPad basic view

Six types of oscillators

Thor comes with 6 types of Oscilators: Analog, Phase Modulation, Wavetables, FM (1 Carrier and 1 Modulator), Multi Analog Oscillator and Noise.

Thor Analog Oscillator

Thor Phase Modulation Oscillator

Thor Wavetable Oscillator

Thor frequency modulation oscillator

Thor Multi Oscillator

Thor Noise Osc

The Thor advantage is that you can combine these different ocsilators/different types of synthesis to get really interesting sound that you can’t get from other synths.

3 slots for 4 different filters

There’s flexible routing system with 3 slots where you can put a filter. Thor comes with 4 different filters: Low Pass Ladder (Moog-like filter), State Variable (multi-mode filter), Comb Filter and Formant Filter. Combine this filters and you can get really different sound from the other synths.

Advanced modulation matrix

Thor’s modulation capabilities are well-known in the Reason’s world. You can modulate almost anything. But the true creativity starts when you use audio in modulation. With modulation matrix you can send audio from one oscillator to another oscillator. You can operate with LFO as the audio source and send it’s waveform directly to Filter Audio Input or to modlate frequency of another oscilator. With such flexible modulation system you can create strange complex audio routings and create feedback loops (send Filter Audio Out to same Filter Audio In). Or how about FM synthesis but not with analog waves but with Wavetables? There are not so much so flexible desktop synths and it is really nice to have this on the iPad.

Thor Modulation Matrix

Thor has thousands of presets, hundreds of tutorials

Thor is sound designers tool of choice already for years and you can find a lot of presets, tutorials in the Internet. Start with Thor’s webpage, watch youtube videos (there are literally hundreds of video tutorials on how to make different sounds in this synth), read articles (on web, on magazines like Computer Music, Future Music, MusicTech). Also Thor comes with huge amount of carefully picked presets from best sound designers. And here’s nice micro-tutorial from Propellerheads:

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

by Propellerhead Software AB

Thor Polysonic Synthesizer

Thor for iPad puts the mighty Thor synthesizer at your fingertips.

“A truly must-have synth for iPad users of all skill levels” – Keyboard Magazine
"A Synth-Geek’s Dream Synth” - Synthtopia
“A game changing synthesizer for the iPad” - Dubspot
"Thor sounds just as good as its bigger sibling, and its ability to share patches makes it a fantastic tool for portable sound design.” - MusicRadar

Reason's legendary flagship synth delivers a thunderous sound, god-like sound sculpting capabilities and an innovative, lighting-fast keyboard designed for iPad. Thor is a synthesis playground, a flexible sonic workhorse, but above all, an expressive musical instrument for the iPad.

Thor highlights
• Play Reason's Thor Polysonic Synthesizer on the iPad.
• Load any of the 1000+ expertly crafted synth patches, or create your own from scratch.
• Create your sounds using a palette of multiple oscillator and filter types.
• Play Thor using an expressive touch interface keyboard with aftertouch and strumming.
• Collapse the keyboard to a key and scale of your choice, just like in Figure.
• Move your favourite patches from the iPad to your computer and use them with Thor in Reason

Thor sounds like no synthesizer you've ever heard before - and every single one of them. Where other synths use one specific form of synthesis and one single filter, the Thor polysonic synthesizer features six different oscillator types and four unique filters. What does this give you? Simply the most powerful synth ever created; an unstoppable monster of a sound generator that utilizes synthesizer technology from the last 40 years.

On the iPad, Thor comes with a specially designed interface that's optimized for touch control and the iPad screen. Cleverly designed panels expand and fold at the touch of a button to hide or reveal oscillators, filters, envelopes and more.

The app is divided into three main screens: Keyboard, Knobs and Routing.

Keyboard mode features:
• Piano keyboard with transpose and range control
• Modulation and pitch bend controls
• Assist function lets you select key and scale to highlight chord notes or to collapse the keyboard to only show the chord notes of the selected scale.
• Strum function lets you play arpeggios by holding a chord while strumming across the strum control.
• Two assignable knobs and buttons acts like performance controls
• Settings for polyphony and portamento

Knobs mode features:
• Access to all of Thor's synthesis features
• Three oscillator slots for Thor's six oscillator types: Analog, Wavetable, FM Pair, PhaseMod, Multi Osc and Noise
• Three filter slots for for Thor's four filter types: Low Pass Ladder, State Variable, Comb and Formant
• Three envelopes
• Dual LFOs
• Delay and Chorus
• The Knobs screen is divided into panels that expand and collapse at the touch of a button
• Miniature keyboard to audition your sounds as you are working on them

Routing features
• Comprehensive but easy to use routing matrix lets you create complex modulation and signal flow setups
• Step sequencer with 16-steps and six channels: Note, Velocity, Gate length, Step duration, Curve 1, Curve 2

General App features:
• Patch compatible with Thor in Reason on your computer
• Move patches to and from your iPad using iTunes
• Sound bank with more than 1000 Thor patches from leading artists & sound designers (Kill the Noise, Richard Devine, Chris Petti and many more)
• Gorgeous retina display interface
• MIDI in - play Thor from an external MIDI source or from another app on the same iPad
• Audiobus compatible - stream audio from Thor to another audio app on the same iPad
• Audio in background option lets Thor keep playing in the background when working with other apps.

Note: We recommend using Thor for iPad with iPad 4 or later.

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