iPad Screenshots


Experience playing the full, lush tones of a Dusty Strings D550 chromatic hammered dulcimer right on your iPad.

Written by an experienced Hammered Dulcimer player, this virtual dulcimer sounds and plays like the real thing!

The D550 is one of the popular Chromatic Series models made by Dusty Strings, builders of hammered dulcimers in Seattle, WA since 1979.

This model features standard fifth-interval hammered dulcimer tuning, plus an extended bass range (down to G2) and some additional chromatic notes to enable playing in any key.

The overall range is 3.75 octaves, with a fully chromatic range of 3.5 octaves.

The app supports both Audiobus and Inter-App Audio for use with GarageBand and other multi-track recording apps as an audio soure. It cannot be controlled with MIDI data. You may play this app manually and have the audio recorded by other AudioBus or IAA apps.

To play, just touch the strings next to the black and white bridge markers. The Treble bridge (in the middle) has playable notes on either side, which are a fifth interval apart.

The Bass bridge (on the right) can be played to the left of the markers, and the Superbass bridge (on the left) has the lowest notes, playable to the right of the markers.

Toggle between a bright, clear ringing tone using hard hammers and a gentler, more piano tone using soft hammers by touching the image of the hammer in the upper left corner.

To get repeated note "drag roll" effects, drag quickly horizontally across the strings. The drag roll sensitivity can be set on the settings screen. The higher the sensitivity, the shorter distance you need to move your finger to get the effect.

Touch the ABC button on the upper left area to toggle the note names on/off.

Touch the iPad icon on the playing area controls to toggle between "Full" and "Treble/Bass Bridge Only" style instruments.

"Full" provides the full D550 instrument including the Superbass bridge.

"Treble/Bass Bridge Only" focuses on the treble and bass bridges and provides the maximum string spacing for easier play on smaller screens like the iPad Mini.

Touch the mixer icon on the upper left area to show the controls screen where you can adjust the balance and pan for the bass and treble bridges, enable or disable the drag rolls, as well as set the sensitivity for how far you need to drag to get the roll effect.

The "Hammer Touches" setting chooses between no visible touches, visible touches, and visible touches + note label highlighting.

On the controls screen you may use the "Soft Hammer Filter" control to choose between equalization of the soft hammer sounds for best sound through the iPad speaker or through headphones. The "iPad" setting optimizes the soft hammer equalization for playback through the iPad speaker. The "Headphones" setting optimizes the soft hammer sound equalization for headphones or for use when connected to an amplifier through the headphone jack. The "Headphones" setting allows the full fidelity of the lowest sound to pass through for best quality.

On the iPad Pro, with its amazing stero speakers, set the "Soft Hammer Filter" to "Headphones" for best quality sound when playing with the soft hammers.

From the controls screen you can also visit the Dusty Strings website to learn more about their amazing hand-crafted instruments.

Touch the "Shhh" icon on the upper right corner to quiet all the strings.

To truly experience the full stereo spread of the instrument, plug in a set of headphones or amplified speakers. If plugged in, switch the "Soft Hammer Filter" setting to "Headphones" for the fullest possibly sound when playing with the soft hammers.

What's New

Version 3.0

The app now supports both Audiobus and Inter-App Audio for use with GarageBand and other multi-track recording apps.

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5

7 Ratings

7 Ratings



I'm very impressed with this app. Not only does it sound beautiful, but the developer had enough insight to include IAA and Audiobus compatibility, which is an essential element in my purchasing decision. Because of this I can use the D550 with the rest of my studio. In the short time I've it I've already incorporated it into two songs and it sounds amazing! I bought this app while it was on sale for .99 cents but would gladly pay full price.

This was such a good buy that I decided to try my luck with another one of the developers app (bagpipes pro) and was not disappointed. Now for me, bagpipes are a novelty, but its a lot of fun to play, comes with IAA & audiobus so it shows up in a prog rock tune I did and adds a terrific element. Kudos to the developer for these fine products and insight into the needs of electronic musicians!

Love it! but Please fix bundle app

CB Native American

This is exactly what I've been looking for in a dulcimer app and great starter for when you're going to buy a real one!

However, I have tried to purchase the bundle app numerous times and it has not worked for me and thought it was my card and it wasn't. I'd like to get the Bundle App so please fix it soon! I look forward to getting all the other apps but would like to buy the bundle app!!!

Thank you!

Not fully compatible with Cubasis

What's that! Sound

Like the Roland Sound Canvas, this app is NOT fully compatible with Cubasis. I bought it after deciding the sounds were a close substitute for my Dusty Strings dulcimer. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in Cubasis as an available MIDI instrument. I'm guessing I can send background MIDI to it, but that's not why I bought it. Bummer.

Developer Response

There is nothing in the description that says anything about this app being a MIDI sound generator. If you are looking for a MIDI controllable hammered dulcimer, there are other apps like ThumbJam that have hammered dulcimer patches.


Michael Eskin
151.2 MB
Requires iOS 8.1 or later. Compatible with iPad.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2016 Michael Eskin


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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