Synthecaster fuses elements from guitars and keyboards into a full range polyphonic instrument that is intuitive, accommodates a wide variety of playing styles, and generates an even wider variety of sounds. The instrument allows for technical playing styles such as shredding and complex chord formation and can be used as a MIDI controller. Now with Motion Modulation, Synthecaster is more expressive than ever.

- Keys are arranged in string-like rows (tuned in perfect fourths by default)
- Sliding across keys in a row results in legato sliding or portamento gliding from note to note
- Sliding a key up or down will bend its pitch in the same direction
- Several notes can be played on the same row simultaneously
- Simultaneously play up to 10 notes on iPad Pro, 7 notes on iPad, or 5 notes on iPhone
- The entire keyboard spans over 6 octaves (not including the range added by oscillator tuning)
- Tune each row individually
- Highlight or show only the notes from any scale

How Motion Modulation works:
- Any slider-based synth parameter with blue or green text can be tapped to view its motion settings
- The parameter can be modulated by the device's roll (tilting vertically clockwise or counterclockwise) or pitch (tilting upward or downward)
- The position of the parameter's slider is the base setting for the parameter
- Tilting the device modulates the value either from its base setting to its minimum or maximum setting depending on the tilt, the modulation amount, and the modulation direction.

Synthecaster's audio is generated by a powerful and highly configurable polyphonic synth engine:
- Dual oscillators with individual tuning
- Filter with envelope sweeping
- Amplifier ADSR envelope
- Soft clip, hard clip, bitcrush, and downsampling distortion
- LFO assignable to amplitude, filter cutoff, or oscillator tuning
- Stereo flanger, chorus, and delay effects
- Over 55 preloaded synth presets including 7 motion presets
- Create custom presets and share them using AirDrop or Mail
- High quality stereo audio output
- Inter-App Audio support
- Audiobus compatibility with state saving

Synthecaster is Core MIDI compatible as a MIDI controller. In Multi Channel mode, MIDI messages are output in OMNI mode, where each MIDI channel represents a synth voice (channels 1-7 on the iPad, 1-5 on the iPhone). To best replicate Synthecaster’s polyphonic expressiveness, try setting a separate instrument voice for each channel.
The following MIDI messages are supported:
- Note on/off events, by touching and releasing keys
- Pitch wheel change, by sliding a key up or down
- Polyphonic legato ties by sliding across keys. Compatible with a variety of apps including Animoog and ThumbJam.
- Legato pedal on/off for legato ties, by sliding across keys

For best results, play through speakers or headphones.

Note: Not recommended for iPhone 4 due to performance issues.

What's New

Version 3.4

- iPhone X support
- Updated Audiobus SDK to 3.0.3

Ratings and Reviews

Powerful, Fun, and Highly Customizable

My initials are BS

So far so good! I've been playing around with this App for a few days on my iPad Air 2 and I'm really impressed. It's really a great way to jam when all I have is my iPad, offering a wide array of customizations for the interface and the instrument. I've also successfully used it to connect over network to my MacBook Pro and control Ableton Live 9, so I'll likely be using this to write and record as well. Highly recommended.

An elegantly assembled and extremely fun instrument


The best apps are those that embrace the nature interacting with a touch interface, and create something simple and elegantly functional, rather than trying to mix metaphors for the sake of delivering on what is perceived as warm cozy familiarity. Synthecaster gets this so right. The guitar influenced key layout mixed with a simply executed colorful grid, that takes cues from iOS 7's flat graphic quality, make for a fantastic way to navigate, play and manipulate notes. This app represents the first time I have found genuine enjoyment playing an instrument on a touch screen device, because it focuses solely on how somebody can quickly interact with a screen rather than confining the user's movements to a set of imitation piano keys or guitar strings. The app is further bolstered by it's range of options for creating and crafting synth textures, and I was blown away by app's built-in presets at launch.

The latest version provides some marked legibility improvements, that make the keys even nicer to navigate. The integration with recording apps is a very helpful addition.

Cool app, I mean Instrument

Ase o/m/g

The design of this app is different but I get it. Non keyboard musicians or not very good with keyboards (like me) can have fun with this. I know I was when I was spending a lot of time just exploring the sounds or more like 'manipulating' the sounds I was hearing. This is a very expressive instrument (acoustic instrument like) and not just a touch this 'button/key' instrument or app. Very cool and I'm glad to try to learn how to play it.


Daniel Resnick
5.3 MB
Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2013, Daniel Resnick


  • Family Sharing

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

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