SynthMaster 2 dual-layer Synthesizer plugin has arrived on the iPad

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KV331 Audio’s flagship Synthesizer plugin SynthMaster 2 has arrived on the iPad in a touch-optimized version with the same dual-layer engine.

I’m always excited to see how the iOS music-making platform will develop. In recent years, there has been a clear increase in high-quality apps. With the introduction of the AUv3 plugin standard, many developers have ported their macOS / Windows plugins to iOS. See Eventide, FabFilter, and others.

Today I’m happy to announce that the full version of the popular SynthMaster 2 plugin from KV331 Audio has now made it to iOS. Do not confuse it with SynthMaster One, which is a pure wavetable synth. SM 2 is a true synthesis workstation.

SynthMaster 2 iPad

SynthMaster 2 iPad

The SynthMaster 2 version for the iPad is not a simple port. The developers have designed a new GUI which is tailored to the advantages of the iPad. To be honest, many developers fail here because they use the same mouse-based GUI as on the PC/Mac without optimizing it for touch. I had the chance to check out the app in beta and the GUI works super smoothly.

SynthMaster supports native resolutions of various iPad devices and ships with 4 different skins (blue, white, dark, proto). Separate interfaces are available for the AUv3 version.

SynthMaster 2 iPad

Sound Engine

The sound engine is identical to the SynthMaster 2.9 macOS/Windows plugin version and also uses two layers. Each layer has two powerful oscillator blocks that offer four different synthesis modes including virtual analog aka basic, additive, wavetable, and vector.

The basic mode, for example, plays single cycle waveforms or samples, and with the oscillator unison you get can up to 8 voices per oscillator. SynthMaster 2 gives you also the option to import your own waveforms, wavetables, or multi-samples. On top, you get 4 versatile modulators perfect for modulating other oscillators’ or modulators’ phases to achieve advanced FM timbres.

From there it goes into the dual filter section that features 6 different filter flavors: digital, VAnalog, ladder, diode ladder, state variable, and bite. You can also apply a custom distortion before, inside, or after the filter. Both the oscillator and filter section offers a lot of sound design options, probably one of the most extensive available on iOS so far.

Big Modulations, Effects…

The modulation section is very extensive and offers the user a lot to discover. Per layer, you have four ADSR envelopes, four multi-segmented envelopes, 4 LFOs, 4 sequences, 4 keyscalers, macros, and MIDI controls. That should be enough to build very complexly, evolving sounds.

This section also benefits from the touch display. New modulations can be created easily by dragging and dropping a modulation source onto a knob or slider. Thanks to visual feedback and some neat interface addons, you can easily keep track of the active modulators.

Further, you can refine your sounds with 5 insert effects on each layer. There are 13 different types of effects including a vocoder, delay, chorus, distortion, lo-fi, reverb, and more. Two additional global effects send busses gives you even more effect routing flexibility. Lastly, it features a comprehensive arpeggiator/sequencer section with up to 32 steps.

The developers have done a great job. The sound is as great as on a PC / Mac, but programming sounds is much more fun with touch. And do not forget. Now you can craft presets on the iPad and then transfer them to the SM2 Mac / Win version. Big like for this functionality. Anyone who loves synthesizers on the iPad cannot avoid SM2.

KV331 Audio SynthMaster 2 is available now for an introductory price of $14.99 USD. It runs as a standalone app on iPads with iOS 11+ and as an AUv3 plugin.  Also on sale are two IAPs. The desktop presets upgrade at the intro price of $4.99 USD gives you all factory presets (2000 in total) from SynthMaster 2.9 plugin.

The “all expansion bundle” costs you now $39.99 USD and adds all current 32 SynthMaster presets expansion banks.

More information here: KV331 Audio (AppStore) 

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