Yamaha have released the Synth Arp & Drum Pad. Or at least they did 3 days ago, but now it is also available in North America!
The details on this app are numerous, here are the highlights:
The Synth Arp & Drum Pad iPad app features a powerful built-in fully functional software synthesizer equipped with a rich choice of professional sounds, tones and editing features.
The application features an arpeggiator with recorded patterns from 342 different types of instruments, which allows the user to play a variety of phrases with ease; drum pads that let the user play multiple chords and percussion sounds with just one finger; and 61 different software synthesizer timbres. These features serve to make playing these phrases, chords, sounds, and timbres easy and enjoyable. The application's MIDI loop sequencer/recorder enables the user to record and store sounds, and then conduct timbre processing on the recorded sounds for further playback. This allows the user to engage in serious music production. The application also supports Core MIDI, enabling it to play instruments and sound sources that are connected to the iPad via MIDI.
Unfortunately you won't be doing much actual synthesizing here...
Synth Arp & Drum Pad includes a built-in software synthesizer, you can make use of 61 different high-sound-quality timbres, including seven drum kits, without having to connect the iPad to any other device via cable. You can control the timbres using the Cut-off, Resonance, Attack, Release, and Portamento knobs, and make use of other effects as well, such as reverb and chorus. Use the on-screen ribbon controller to change the timbre.
The fuck you say, bitch? Playing with the filter and just Attack/Release for envelopes? Sounds like you get a mere 61 samples, including a bunch that are just used in the drum kits. Perhaps this should have been called ROMpler Arp & Drum Pad. We already have Garageband, Yamaha. I was expecting more.
This has been out in Asia for 3 days, and Europe for 2, so a lot of people have had a chance to play with it already. I talked to readers KKTP, iDesignSound, and Paawo for clarification. You really are just limited to factory samples. While it comes with 342 Arp patterns, you cannot edit them or create your own. They are said to be good patterns though, and you can edit the drum patterns. In fact people are assigning the pitched sampler parts to the drums and making their own melodies. This seems like a cludgy work around to me, but I'm assured that the pads are good.
Reader Nuno commented on Facebook that if they add a pattern sequencer in the future, the app would gain some usefulness. He also lamented the lack of Audio Copy/Paste.