VHS Synth, Audiokit’s new iOS Synthesizer rewinds the tape back to the ’80s

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AudioKit VHS Synth is a new iOS AUv3 Synthesizer app that takes you back to the ’80s and its warm, lo-fi sonic charm.

AudioKit, the makers of the free Synth One Synthesizer and of the open-source development environment are back with a new synth app. In the new release, they travel back to the 80s and pay tribute to the iconic sounds of that time.

Welcome to a world of sound that is hissing, crackling, and full of warmth.

AudioKit VHS Synth

AudioKit VHS Synth

VHS Synth is a sample-based Synthesizer for iOS that focuses on sounds from the 80s. It takes you back to the good old days of fat, rich-sounding analog synths and the beginning of digital ones. Interestingly, the included sounds were not exclusively designed with synths from the 80 but many modern ones. Including Dave Smith Prophet 6, The Moog Realistic Concertmate, Novation Bass Station, Korg volca FM, and various digital synths.

In the 80s, recordings had a lo-fi, warm analog appeal. It crackled lovely and everything wasn’t as clean digital as it is today. This was mainly due to the recording technologies. The developers and sound designers took this into account and recorded the synths onto VHS tapes with an old VCR by producer Brian Funk. From here they were resampled resulting in sounds where you can hear the warmth, noise, and inconsistencies of the VHS tape in each instrument.

AudioKit VHS Synth

VHS Synth

These sounds can be used in a newly developed Synthesizer called VHS Synth. You can use it either as a polyphonic or monophonic synth.

There are two layers each of which hosts a multi-sample sound source. You can choose from a wide range of different source sources. There is also a mixer with which you can perfectly mix the layers together.  And on the main page, you have a vintage-inspired screen that gives you instant visual feedback. A little easter egg is installed here. If you switch the page, the time indicator flashes like in an old VCR machine. Very charming.

Then, you find on the more page dedicated parameters for each instrument. They range from volume, detune, up to custom filter with resonance and ADSR envelope per channel. There is also a link option for the filters.

Then, VHS Synth is packed with effects processors that let you add more layers of that 80s goodness onto them. It features a VHS tape effect on the main tape with depth, speed, and noise controls. It adds that lovely wobbly character to the sounds. This is joined by an auto-pan, tremolo, a reverb, and a bit-crusher that adds lo-fi bits to your sounds.

More Effects

On the effects page, you can find even more processors including a phaser, stereo delay, and heat aka saturation. Perfect to put your sounds on fire. Plus, you get an additional harmonic filter with resonance and a dedicated ADSR envelope.

AudioKit ships VHS Synth with over 250+ free presets made by the top league of iOS sound designers. You can find sounds from Jakob haQ, Red Sky Lullaby, The GarageBand Guide, DJ Puzzle, and more. There are sounds for synthwave, hip hop, indie, rock, ambient, soundtrack, and more.  If you buy it during the introduction, you get for free the VCR Wave Expansion with free OP-1 sounds for free.

Another stunning AUv3 Synthesizer creation from the AudioKit team. If you want to take a sound journey into the 80s or simply want to have the sound of that time in your songs, you’ve come to the right place.

AudioKit VHS Synth is available now for an introductory price of $3.99 USD (reg. $9.99 USD) on the Apple AppStore and runs on iPhones and iPads. As an standalone app and AUv3 plugin. And for the introduction, you get a free bonus pack with OP-1 sounds recorded to VHS tape and re-sampled.

More information here: AppStore

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