DXi Updated with Retina for iPad

Takashi Mizuhiki continues to develop his DXi app! This update brings a Retina display for iPad.

DXi started off life as a faithful recreation of the Yamaha DX7, and was infinitely easier to program than the original hardware. The DX7 is the most famous Frequency Modulation (FM) based hardware synth, and the core chip within it was the same one used for all of the sounds in Sega's Genesis gaming console.

These days, DXi far exceeds slavish emulation, as Takashi has modernized the entire instrument. First with the inclusion of a delay and a low-pass filter (uncommon in FM Synths). Now it even sports multiple waveforms instead of the typical sine-only FM synths or yore. 

If you've ever thought about getting a DX7, spend all of that money on a solid MIDI controller instead and then spend $2 on this. If you have no idea what FM synthesis is and want to blow $2 this is a good opportunity for that. ECPM will probably be past Lesson #50 before we approach FM though, so you're on your own!

Buy DXi FM Synthesizer on iTunes: $1.99

Roland Wireless Connect Announced

Roland has put together a fairly cool rig, with bit of new tech to spice up a bit of the old. Roland Wireless Connect, a USB-WiFi adapter that can be connected with many of Roland's instruments, will allow for all kinds of interesting interaction on your iPhone.

They've got a video that does a good job of demonstrates the iPhone sending a song to a synth, and then a synth sending its audio back to the iPhone. I'm a little impressed that Roland can pull this off with their older hardware!

An additional image on their site labeled "Product-Hero" seems to hint at further developments, as Roland expands their keytar range to include Pulse Rifles, from the movie Aliens. I'm glad to see Roland continues to try to make the keytar sexy!

Alesis iO Mix - Read The Fine Print Before You Lust

Alesis has announced their newest iPad docking peripheral, the iO Mix 4-channel Mixer/Recorder. Clearly a very sexy bit of engineering, and lots of people got very excited about it... but then we read the text right next to it.

The marketing copy is just bizarre; actually promoting the fact that it is standards complaint and probably won't break WiFi.

 iO Mix is Core Audio-compliant, allowing you to use it with virtually any app in the App Store. Plus, your iPad's WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and 3G connectivity, allow you to tailor your sound at a moment's notice or playback audio through compatible wireless speakers.

So-fucking-what? Of course you're using Apple's Core Audio and I'd sincerely hope that your design wouldn't interefere with the WiFi, Bluetooth, AirPlay or 3G!

Things take a turn for the Orwellian when they go on to promote the downside to their design; your video-out options will be severely crippled to just AirPlay, Composite and S-Video. iPad 2 and 3s naturally support HDMI out, so why would the dock have these antiquated options?

Rounding out this disappointment, is the lack of MIDI I/O in the Alesis iO Mix. This might not be important to many musicians, but for those of us who live or die on MIDI this feels like a big step back from their iO Dock. Don't bring your drummer to the session either as there is no way to extend the recording capabilities to include more channels with optical inputs.

Addictive Synth 2.0 is now out!

Just a quick update, I know a lot of you are fans of Addictive too. The new version is out now and on the App Store!

New in version 2
  • Spectral noise generator with dynamic filter structure.
  • Hi end reverberation unit.
  • revised GUI with retina support for new iPads
  • 32 new sound presets.
  • Many MIDI controllers added.
  • revised PDF Manual (Google Docs viewer) PDF Download here.
For those of you don't already own Addictive, it was the second app I reviewed:

Buy Addictive Synth on iTunes: $5.99 (Or use the banner up top, to support the site!)

For more information on Additive Synthesis, this guy gives a great tutorial:

Propellerhead announces Figure for iOS

Propellerhead Software, makers of Reason (PC/Mac) and ReBirth (PC/Mac/iOS), have announced a new app that should be arriving shortly! Figure looks to be taking on the Korg iKaossilator, as a minimialist X/Y controller instrument. You play around on the screen with your finger, and the movement is translated into notes that trigger a couple of synths or 4-part drum kit. 

They insist that some amount of the Reason engine is under the hood, but from what I've seen in the coverage coming from Music Messe; I think this is a tremendous exageration. The presets are limited to a "fixed" set, with only a couple of sound design options (e.g. Filter). Their usage of the word "fixed" there seems to imply that Reason owners will not be able to import their own patches. 

One bit of innovation that might give them an edge over Korg's iKaossilator is their recording function, which looks to be based on your finger movements, rather than any specific note or audio data. This allows you to record a little finger-wiggling groove, and then dramatically change it with different scales or patches.

Perhaps the best feature is the price, at only $1! The app has been submitted to Apple for review, so we should hopefully be seeing it this week or next. If you want to see it in action, the best video for it is over at Sonic State.

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