Arctic Keys is a virtual analog synthesizer. With a classic dual-oscillator subtractive synthesis design that gives you the sound creation flexibility we all know and love. With an easy to use user interface that just wants to be tweaked. The result is a truly professional instrument with an audio quality that rivals that of hardware synthesizers.
With all the synthesizer parameters immediately available on one page, you get instant feedback as you tweak. The two LFOs each have three modulation destinations. Each LFO may also be free running or sync'ed to tempo and the timing rate adjusted. The modulation matrix allows for deep routing between the Mod Wheel, aftertouch and 16 x 4 analog-style gated step-sequencer. Quickly change pages to edit effects and sequences.
The classic arpeggiator is complimented by the 16 x 4 gated step-sequencer. Play a note to trigger the sequencer. Step through a sequence to play short melodic lines or let it modulate the synthesizer. The different key gating options may be used to change how the sequence is triggered. Each of the 4 tracks has an assignable modulation destination and loop point. Along with traditional Pitch and Mod Wheels, adjust the velocity by tapping along the length of the key from top to bottom. Change the key mode to mono for retro lead lines. Adjust the size of the keyboard to suite your style or use a gesture to scroll through the octaves. Place the keyboard into Pitch mode and use multi-touch gestures to bend individual notes, while sliding up and down the keys to add aftertouch.
The live phrase recorder lets you save your performances as 44.1KHz 16-bit WAV files and as a Standard MIDI File. The MIDI File includes all the knob's control change information along with the notes you play. Use Sonoma AudioCopy or Intua Audio Sharing to paste recorded audio directly into other apps. From within Arctic Keys, e-mail the patches you make, then open them directly and save into your patch library. Or share them with Wi-Fi and iTunes File Sharing.
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• Synthesis: analog modelling
• Polyphony: up to 4 voices
• Oscillators: 2 per voice, alias free, saw, triangle and square with pulse width, hard sync, ring mod, noise generator
• Filter: 1 multi-mode resonating filter with 4 filter types
• Envelopes: filter and amp ADSR envelopes
• Modulation: 2 LFOs with multiple wave shapes, sample and hold, 3 routable destinations per LFO, independently sync-able
• Effects: master effect processors: 3-band EQ, Distortion, Chorus, Stereo Delay
• Arpeggiator: classic arpeggiator with octave shift, MIDI-sync-able
• Sequencer: 16 x 4 gated step sequencer with multiple modulation destinations, MIDI-sync-able
• Keyboard: glissando, scroll, multi-touch poly pitch bend and aftertouch
• Works with Wizdom Music's Geo Synthesizer continuous pitch bend
• Audiobus version 2
• Kymatica AudioShare
• Retronyms AudioCopy
• MIDI Learn
• Live phrase recorder with audio and MIDI export
• File and patch sharing via iTunes File Sharing, e-mail and Wi-Fi
• Compatible with IK Multimedia iRIG MIDI
• Supports external MIDI in and out via CoreMIDI Networking and USB with the Camera Connection Kit
• Audio background operation
• Virtual MIDI Ports
** Requirements: works on iPad 2 and iPhone 4 or higher, lower performance hardware will have much less polyphony
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- Updates for iOS 10
Ratings and Reviews
Okay my initial review was a bit harsh so I am rewriting it as I do believe in this developer, and I have spent more time with the app. So that said this is a pretty darn nice synth, the main OSC can easily be overdriven so if you are not liking the sound you are getting dial back a bit and work from there. Honestly when you open a synth app the same rule applies as if you were walking into a music store. First impressions of the sound quality and presets are huge. They should instantly spark the imagination and with the initial release I felt they were a bit lack luster, but after tweaking them a bit and dialing in the oscillator a bit I a really getting some nice sounds. I am really quite impressed and I am looking forward to further development and new apps!
Another Next-Gen Gem!
Could not disagree more with the "looks good, sounds bad" assessment of an earlier reviewer; it not only sounds good, it has incredible features like it's programmable mod wheel ( multiple, scalable assignments please? So the cutoff & resonance could be contrasted in one go? Just a thought), & an OUTSTANDING arpeggiator/sequencer as well as Audio Copy/Paste implementation. Made an awesome bass line sequence in my first exploratory session with Arctic Synth with no tutorial despite a fairly advanced feature set. Definitely a worthy addition to any iPad synth Toolbox Arsenal.
One critical note; please work on the Ring Mod, it's unworthy of the high quality of the rest of Arctic Synth, and is pitiable. Kept this from being a 5-Star review.
Passable Universal Synth App
It should be noted first that if you are an iPad user, check out One Red Dog's newer product, which is Arctic ProSynth. I own ProSynth, and found it decent, but not quite up to the standards of Sunrizer and Magellan. Arctic Keys looks kind of like an "alpha" version of ProSynth, but the basic functionality is there. The sounds and presets are decent, and I appreciate that there's a fair number of "lead" sounds on board. I'm downgrading one star, however, because the MIDI connectivity is glitchy and the app isn't the best synth at its price on iPhone, let alone on iPad. Still, if you want an affordable synth with a low file size, Arctic Keys will do.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.