Your iPad the Synthesizer

By Joshua Mikutis

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miniSynth Pro is a game changer for musicians who for years have been held back by the prohibitively expensive cost of synthesizers but can now access it on their very own iPad. Despite admiring their versatility, a casually or even passionately invested musician is not always willing to drop a thousand dollars for machine that lets you feel like you’re in The Doors or make weird bird noise sound collages.

Clocking in at only $9.99, miniSynth Pro allows you all the features of a full synthesizer for not even a modicum of the price. Your already multi-feature iPad can take on an even more impressive dimension when it transforms Optimus Prime style into a sophisticated synthesizer.

miniSynth Pro takes advantage of the wide screen of the iPad and opens up horizontally. There are 8 sounds banks, and each sound bank has a multitude of options. Say you’re looking for one of the Retro options. You can choose “Pipey” which sounds like a UFO announcing that it has come to meet your leader, “Orgs” which hums and oscillates quietly as if it were created to compose nursery rhymes, and a variety of others. While some of the sounds are somewhat tin-y, most of them have a rich, warm sound that becomes even more expressive when you plug your iPad into a larger speaker of PA. Part of what makes the miniSynth Pro so impressive is how easy it could be used by a touring band.

There is certainly no shortage of sounds—there is something for everyone: that kid from high school who is stuck in his parents’ basement and the 60s, your friend from college who only listens to things played in club basements in Berlin, or your best friend from high school looking for some extra sound to flesh out his fledgling indie rock band. miniSynth Pro offers incredible variety for even the most novice of musicians to manipulate to his or her heart’s content.

In addition to the sounds offered, you can create your own sounds by using the panoply of knobs and levers. miniSynth Pro works perfectly for amateurs who just want to fiddle around and experts who are interested in manipulating sounds to find that perfect kind of strangeness. In the upper left corner is a model of an 88-key keyboard where you can select which section of the keyboard you want to play. It’s easy to go back and forth between the rumbling low notes and the piercing high ones. There’s an optional metronome to use to help you in recording memorable riffs and the option to loop them.

miniSynth Pro provides the perfect balance of complexity and ease. You can play around for days to create all kinds of sounds—or you can just sit down after the download and use the basic options provided. miniSynth Pro is part of the musical revolution of the iPad. Leader of the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn famously recorded an entire album using his iPad. This App is just one of many possibilities to turn the iPad into a comprehensive musical device.

It’s a win-win situation—and miniSynth Pro should find itself in the hands and hearts of every person with even the slightest interest in music.

miniSynth Pro is available for $9.99 in the App store.

About Joshua Mikutis
Josh is an avid reader and a mediocre musician. He appreciates the iPad's ability to make him look both productive and interesting.

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