Hilda Synthesizer, new update 1.2 adds new Buchla-style color theme

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Hilda, Bram Bos (Ruismaker) brings the best of both Coasts together in a new playable and fun AUv3 Synthesizer for iOS. 

Happy Birthday. Fifty years ago, Don Buchla published the first Music Easel. A Synthesizer that contributed a lot to making West Coast synthesis known today. 

In May, Bram Bos released Hila, a fascinating Synthesizer that merges both coasts in one app. One of my highlights this year. 

Bram Bos Hilda Buchla

In the latest update 1.2, he added a new color theme that pays homage to the mighty 1970s Music Easel Synthesizer. A beautiful theme and thanks Bram for this addition. 


Article From May 7, 2023

Even in 2023, the iPad is still an underestimated music instrument and effects processor. In the Apple AppStore, you will find various fabulous, developed apps that can compete with plugins in terms of quality and versatility. And mostly for just a few euros.

One of the most popular developers is Bram Bos, who, among other things, developed the beautiful Fluss granular app with Hainbach. Or the Monoke drone synth that goes in a similar direction as the Soma Labs Lyra-8. Both are exceptional apps for little money.

Hilda Synthesizer Bram Bos

Now Bram returns with another fascinating Synthesizer. One that brings both Coasts together. Say hello to Hilda.

Hilda Synthesizer

I don’t know what Bram Bos is doing with his apps or what magic he’s giving them, but they also sound awesome, also Hilda. And it’s one of his most complex synthesizers yet, but playable and accessible to everyone.

Hilda is a Synthesizer for iOS that brings the best of both synthesis Coasts playfully together. It’s obvious where Bram Bos got his inspiration. Yes, at the Make Noise 0-Coast, Buchla synths, and others.

The core consists of a classic multi-wave oscillator with a shape (timbre) control that goes through a wavefolder for archiving harmonic-richer sounds. A sub-oscillator and noise generator supports the main core. You can also take it further with built-in FM with ratio control, and x-ring audio-rate modulation. West meets East in the oscillator for wild sonic adventures. This goes on.

From here, it goes into an impressive Oberheim Xpander-modeled 12-mode filter and a traditional VCA circuit with an ADSR envelope. Alternatively, switching the VCA to lowpass gate mode lets you go all-in West Coast. There is also a built-in LFO you can use for modulation.

For the experimental among you, there is also a heavy drone mode allowing you to partially bypass the VCA/LPG and just go with the flow. It hosts a DIY-style lo-fi digital delay circuit emulation to add character to your sounds. That’s not all on the sonic side.

Touch It

Bram Bos left golden fingerprints on the interface, coupled with other instant crazy effects. You can trigger the effects with a short or long press and experiment with them. For example, you get a bit-crusher-style FX on the top, and on the bottom, a tape stop-like effect.

Further, you get a built-in analog-style 16-step sequencer with MIDI support and custom scales. And, of course, Hilda is also available as an AUv3 plugin. Hopefully, one day also for macOS. In this example below, in combination with the new reverb effect Cascade from Phonolyth.

Hilda Synthesizer

Bram says that all parts of the synth are carefully circuit-modeled to sound as analog (or digital, where applicable) as possible. It’s like a best-of-all-worlds semi-modular synth but without the patch cables.

Here are some good demos from YouTube friends.

First Impression

Bram Bos has again managed to inspire me with an app. Hilda is a Synthesizer that offers a lot but remains playable and fun. The UI, yes, very Make Noise-ish, invites you to experiment. On a very intimate level, no menus like you know from an analog synth.

A beautiful iOS Synthesizer that brings both worlds very impressively to your mobile devices. For me one of the best and most fun synthesizers of 2023 so far. Congrats.

Hilda by Bram Bos is available now for $12,99 on the Apple AppStore and runs as a standalone app and AUv3 plugin on iPhones and iPads.

More information here: AppStore

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