LayR is a massively polyphonic, multi-timbral synthesizer for iOS devices, optimized for modern 64 bit CPUs and capable of delivering up to 256 voices of rich, multi-layered and textured sounds.
LayR's primary sound components are called Performances where a Performance is a set of Instruments and each Instrument is a set of Layers and each Layer is a complete synthesizer. A performance can consist of any number of instruments each with its own MIDI channel and crossfading keyboard span. Each Instrument can consist of any number of Layers to a maximum of 128.
Each Layer has a dual oscillator that can morph with modulation between two shapes and phase states, two rich and warm state variable filters, a wave folder and a mixing section to blend oscillators and filters in any serial/parallel combination.
For modulation (frequency, amplitude and phase) there are two Low Frequency Oscillators ranging from DC to audio frequency switchable to optionally follow keyboard pitch and restart phase when a note is started. Two loopable ADSR envelopes ranging from fractions of a second to over 100 seconds, an amplitude ADSR and a random number generator with a smoothing filter. With stereo delay, reverb and EQ on the output section LayR excels at not only emulating normal analog synth sounds but also at creating massive pads and huge spacy ambient textures with extremely long evolution cycles.
Focused at keyboard players looking for a mobile synth that can be reliably used live on stage LayR is equally at home in the studio. An extensive selection of usable instrument and performance presets are included which can be loaded using MIDI bank select and program change messages in the same manner as hardware synths.
LayR sports almost unparalled and extremely flexible MIDI control. Every parameter in the synth engine can be assigned to any MIDI Control Change number and parameters spread across multiple Layers can be grouped and controlled by a single MIDI cc with assignable range and direction.
There is also an 8 track, 16 step Arpeggio Sequencer which can be used to create all sorts of exciting polyrhythmic looped patterns or even ambient generative music. Each track can have it's own speed, playback mode and length.
On top of all that LayR has a MIDI Controller Mixer that can be used during performance to control the synth engine in real time and can also transmit MIDI cc's from LayR's output port to other destinations.
Full IAA, Audiobus, Audio Unit and Link compatibility means LayR can be used with all hosts and other music apps on iOS and desktop DAWs.
- Macro Control Panel: A new panel that lets you change assigned synth parameters globally across an entire performance.
- Link Assign Panel now has an extra section for assigning Layer parameters to Macro controls.
- You can now assign any MIDI controller to Instrument Volume Sliders. ( defaults to cc 7 ).
- Load Preset panel now updates it’s selection if a MIDI bank or program change is received while it’s visible.
- New option in settings: Don’t Start Voices When Volume is Zero: Prevents voices being started if Instrument or Layer volumes are zero.
- New option in settings: “Multi Out: FX Only in Stereo Output”, converts the IAA Stereo Mix output to an effects return if any of the 8 aux audio outputs are in use.
- Dials will now always show at least 1 degree of coloured arc unless their value is equal to zero.
- Increased fall time for peak hold metering in master strip.
- Updated PDF manual.
- Fixed a common crash during audio unit initialisation.
- Fixed crash when long pressing on A to B range buttons.
- Fixed: Potential crash when saving performances if poly aftertouch is assigned.
- Fixed: Audio Unit now respects all persistent preferences set in the IAA app.
- Fixed an audio spike when an AU is loaded in a certain state from a host. Could cause a loud reverb explosion.
- Fixes a rare problem where an AU host could start to load a preset before the Audio Unit had completed initialisation.
- Fixed: Current bank is now properly set when selecting a bank in the load preset panel.
- Fixed a state where MIDI controller values for the CC Mixer would fail to be loaded from a saved preset.
- Fixed: UI crash when tapping on AB-Range modifier tempo button after previously setting time to maximum ( 100s ).
Ratings and Reviews
Impressive, deep synth
On the iPad I’ve mostly seen emulations or experimental type synthesizers that while good are of limited function. LayR is one of the most functional synthesizers I’ve encountered not only as an iPad user but as a working musician.
The sound itself is quite good. While not a perfect analog emulation it has a sound that can go retro while maintaining a modern aesthetic. There are enough editing capabilities and modulations to make a considerably huge production on the iPad courtesy of the onboard 16 step sequencer. Beyond that it works fine in several of the sequencers available separately. I would welcome a step sequencer with more steps, perhaps 32 or 64 would be nice. It would certainly makeLayR even more formidable.
Refreshingly LayR will work both for modern and older school and endeavors. It’s flexibility is something not seen before on this platform.
The onboard sequencer, modulation flexibility, and synth engine capable of using up to 16 midi channels makes for a very useful tablet based system to consider for any audience; professional, home-based, even possibly studio.
One of my concerns is how hot it runs my iPad Air 2. The iPad gets very hot when LayR is being used. So far my polyphony expectations haven’t been daunted. The website says do not expect more than 120 notes for this device. That is not a big limitation. Most hardware multitimbral synthesizers, yes I understand that they are mostly workstations and mostly sample based, do not offer much better overall polyphony then LayR which means that at this price, on this platform, it is without question a fantastic bargain.
I will be trying this on some studio productions soon. Haven’t listened to it through good equipment expect it will do extremely well.
Great stand alone, horrible AUV3
As a stand alone, love it, great sounds and features, as an Audio Unit, it’s the worst. It crashes 99% of the time, especially in GarageBand and never remembers the preset that was used.
Outstanding! Full of rich presets that are fun to tweak. Very easy to create new patch’s by layering preset sounds from the large library that is provided. My hat is off to you.
- Living Memory Software
- 52.8 MB
- Requires iOS 9.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (5th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, iPad (6th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (6th generation), iPad Pro (11-inch), iPad Pro (11-inch), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation), and iPod touch (6th generation).
- Age Rating
- Rated 4+
- © 2016 Living Memory Software
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.