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Virtual ANS Now Available on iOS!

Virtual ANS, from SunVox developer Alexander Zolotov, is now available as a Universal iOS app!

This is a vividly distinct synth, combining early 20th century synthesis experiments with early 21st century interface design.

Virtual ANS iTunes Description:

Virtual ANS is a software simulator of the unique Russian synthesizer ANS - photoelectronic microtonal/spectral musical instrument created by Russian engineer Evgeny Murzin from 1938 to 1958. The instrument was used by Stanislav Kreichi, Alfred Schnittke, Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina, Edward Artemiev and other Soviet composers. You can hear the sound of the ANS in Andrei Tarkovsky's movies Solaris, The Mirror, Stalker.

While the other similar programs are just fun toys, the Virtual ANS is a full-featured professional tool which allows you to create unusual, deep, atmospheric sounds. With this app you can draw a complete piece of music, or convert sound to image (sonogram) and then make some complex sonogram modifications.

Actually the potential of the program has not been explored yet, so it (as well as PixiVisor) is more appropriate for people who are searching for something new, not afraid to experiment with sound.

Key features:

  • unique Virtual Analog sound engine;
  • unlimited number of pure tone generators;
  • powerful sonogram editor - you can draw the spectrum and play it at the same time;
  • any sound (from a WAV file or a Microphone/Line-in) can be converted to image (sonogram) and vice versa;
  • MIDI Input;
  • supported file formats: WAV, PNG, JPEG, GIF, VNS (Virtual ANS 1.x);
  • Jack and Audiobus support;
  • iTunes File Sharing;
  • Wi-Fi Export/Import;
  • Virtual ANS is also available for Android, Windows, Linux and OSX

Buy Virtual ANS on iTunes: $5.99


That last paragraph is something of a cautionary note. This is some crazy synthesis crossed with a sonogram, and will not be for everyone. However, if you like weird and want to explore synthesis in a new and visual way this is a lot of fun! So far all I've gotten out of it is spacey-sounding-stuff, but it is great spacey-sounding-stuff. If you're not sure if this is for you, you should check out the free Windows/Mac/Linux versions on the official site.

Nothing here is immediately obvious, but after a short while of playing with it I quickly got the idea. To understand how the sonogram affects the sounds you hear, I recommend starting off with just a couple squiggles and listen to what they sound like. Then use the selection tool to highlight them, bring up the effects panel and start experimenting from there. You'll notice how the effects change the picture in the sonogram, and that those changes are reflected in what you're hearing. The whole process of making a track is part PhotoShop and part mad sonic science. Using the recorder to grab ambient noise around you can also yield some surprising results.

Once you've got the basic concept you'll want to dive into the settings menus. You can drastically change your track by altering the tempo and pixel per beat settings. One final tip: Before you do anything you might want to pump up the sample rate and switch it to stereo. This makes all of your results sound much better, at the cost of more CPU usage. You'll find those settings under the Sound Quality menu. To switch between JACK and Audiobus you need to go into the Audio Driver menu under System > Audio > Driver.

Here is a quasi-tutorial for recording MIDI and modifying the sonogram. You can record the MIDI with the on-screen (left) keyboard, but it is much easier to be accurate with an external controller. A more flashy demo is available here.

Tabletop 2.2 Update 

Retronyms's has updated Tabletop with a couple of new devices that finally break out into other apps, offering MIDI and IAA!

What's new in Tabletop v2.2:

Tabletop 2.2 adds two new devices with support for inter-app audio. One is a free controller for midi-controllable apps, and the other is an inter-app audio recorder that can capture the audio produced by other apps.

This update also adds support for AudioCopy 2.0.

Finally, it adds several bugfixes and iOS 7 enhancements.

Buy Tabletop on iTunes: Freemium

TC-11 Sale!

Today only, and for the first time ever, TC-11 Multi-touch Synthesizer is on sale! Only $8, down from $30.

Buy TC-11 Synthesizer on iTunes: $7.99 (On Sale, from $29.99)


Thanks to readers Hoyas79, Matt Newby, Adrian, Ian, and Hansendesigns for this news!

Also thanks to Rafael for pointing out this fun jam from Remove Silence, using TC-11 with DM1!

PUC Indiegogo Update

JamStik inventors Zivix implore you to save your iPad, by saving their Indiegogo campaign in this latest video. With only a week left and just $13,000 of their $50,000 goal, this has not be the huge success that they enjoyed with JamStik. Fun video though!

Arctic ProSynth Demo

thesoundtestroom seems impressed by the new Arctic ProSynth in this demo/review! The video is a bit quiet, but otherwise good!

Buy Arctic ProSynth on iTunes: $9.99