Epic Synth For iPad Needs Epic Audio Demos (Rant)

Epic Synth for iPad

iPad Music Software: Developer Jean-Pierre Martineau has released Epic Synth – a new $5 software synthesizer for the iPad.

It looks like Martineau has been listening to electronic musicians and understands that you want iOS apps with MIDI support. Here’s what he’s got to say about Epic Synth:

EpicSynth is a polyphonic synthesizer supporting CoreMIDI and Line 6’s Midi Mobilizer MIDI interface.

EpicSynth was inspired by legendary analog synthesizers of the 1980s. It’s designed from the ground up to be EASY TO USE, POWERFUL, and FUN!

EpicSynth distills the essence of subtractive synthesis into a simple yet powerful app. Epic Synth’s sound architecture is simple enough for beginners to learn about synthesis yet powerful enough to satisfy experienced sound modelers. Its straightforward interface is never an obstacle and lets you focus on the essential: the pleasure of creating new sounds!

That’s’ a pretty epic description.

But does Epic Synth actually sound epic?

<rant>

We’ve got no clue if this new software synth sounds epic – or if half the other new iOS music apps sound epic – because the developers don’t offer audio demos or video previews of their apps.

We read the descriptions in iTunes, we check the developers’ sites and we search in YouTube. No audio or video demos to be found.

WTF?

Developers – your software synths represent a lot of work on your part – and we’d like to see that work pay off.

And $5 – or $3 or $10 – isn’t a lot of money. More than a fancy coffee but less than a good lunch. Seems like a fair price.

So why don’t we just drop the $5 and get the app?

Because we just want to know what your music app sounds like. Like a guitarist wants to play a guitar before he buys it. It’s that simple.

If your idea of epic matches our idea of epic, $5 for a MIDI synth becomes a complete no-brainer purchase.ย For a lot of people.

So, connect a cheap audio cable from your iPhone to your computer, open your app and record a minute of audio demoing the presets in your app. Then post it on SoundCloud or YouTube and put a link to your demo in your description in iTunes.

And we promise – if your app’s sound is as awesome as your app description – we’ll buy it.

</rant>

Epic Synth is $4.99 in the App Store.

But we’re cheap and we want to hear that demo.

30 thoughts on “Epic Synth For iPad Needs Epic Audio Demos (Rant)

  1. "So, connect a cheap audio cable from your iPhone to your computer, open your app and record a minute of audio demoing the presets in your app."

    Or wait until someone on You Tube does it for you…..poorly….and we decide it sounds like crap.

  2. It's a valid rant. I'll try to post something this week on YouTube.

    <explanation>1 month old baby girl is interfering with marketing strategy…</explanation>

    In the meantime, email me and I'll send you a promo code if you want to have money for your coffee tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Fair enough criticism.

    But the point is that developers don't need to do a fancy video walkthrough, they don't need to have a great radio voice, they don't need to spend a lot of time editing and they don't even need to have great audio gear in order to make a quick demo that gives us a clue about what their app can do.

    If the point of the app happens to be quiet ambient soundscapes and a standard computer audio input makes it sound like total crap – it's time to reconsider my hastily made advice.

  4. Or I may have completely missed your real point – that, if developers don't make a good demo, some dude on YouTube will make a crappy one.

  5. Or I may have completely missed your real point – that, if developers don't make a good demo, some dude on YouTube will make a crappy one!

  6. Nice reply! Best of luck with family and demo; we (synthtopia readers) look forward to hearing your demo, buying the app, and then complaining that it doesn't support MIDI clock sync (or some other essential feature like background/multitasking audio or audio cut and paste which other apps have) or isn't a CS-80 and is a useless "toy" product because it runs on the iPad. ;-/

  7. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  8. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  9. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  10. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  11. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  12. JPMartineau

    Thanks for the update.

    Having a new baby is about the best explanation that you could possibly have for not having enough time to do something.

    The rest of the developers, though? Not off the hook.

    One other suggestion for you and other time-strapped developers – you might try asking Synthtopia readers for help with demos. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few readers that would be willing to help out, in exchange for a promo code.

    When you do get that demo done, send us a note via the feedback page and we'll try to help get the word out:
    http://www.synthtopia.com/content/submit-a-story/

  13. I *had* some good videos of how to play the 1.0 version of instrument, but that never stops anybody from making truly horrible stuff come up at the top of Google searches. ๐Ÿ˜€

    (Changing the defaults so that users had to figure out (without help) how to turn on the easy-to-mess-up stuff like fretlessness did wonders though! Bebot got subjected to this hideous treatment as well, as a lot of people just ran their fingers up and down it; leaving people to wonder if it really had to sound like an Otamatone!)

  14. GIVE one to Jordan Rudess (keyboardist from Dream Theater) He posts video reviews of stuff all the time. Pay him to do it. I've bought at least 3 iOS apps after seeing his demos.

  15. I like your rant and I like this JP guy! Congrats JP on a new child… soon they will grow into teenagers and then you'll be broke. See plenty to look forward to! And yes, Jordan is a master of the YouTube-age. So get him to do your demo. He does wonders for sales!

  16. I tend to avoid anything that Pro-Shill Jordan gets his hands on. He's like Vai or Satriani is for guitar players: technically great but a total inspiration black hole (IMHO).

  17. Well, I have just took a blind (deaf) plunge into Epicsynth and bought it…
    1. It doesn't offer any preprogrammed sounds, but a lot of empty bank slots for your creations.
    2. It is very simple single osc design – it is not Sunrizer…
    3. Yep, LFO pitch slider does nothing.
    4. It should definitely have delay FX unit instead of 2 choruses.
    5. Chorus is not adjustable at all.
    Bottom line is, for the same money you can get truly epic synth – Sunrizer and Epicsynth is definitely Not that ๐Ÿ™
    Little bit disappointed…

  18. Dude.
    Give us something new
    Something inspiring.
    Even a synth with osc's based on hungry crying baby sounds would b good enough with a serius mod matrix and some fx and a fun ui.

    Let us modulate.
    Let us midi-ate

    Inspire us !

  19. This is a pretty solid little synth. It's inspiring from a little different angle; very easy to use, so very easy to program. It sounds decent, is stable, and should only get better from here. Call it semi-epic with epic potential.

  20. I am listening.

    I prefer to release earlier + often and make the product evolve in the direction that users ask for. Right now, the main request seems to be MIDI sync for the Arp and LFO. I assure you that this is on the roadmap.

    Speaking of roadmap, here's what's coming up:

    – iPhone/iPod support
    – more complete MIDI implementation (CC, clock sync)
    – delay unit
    – bug fixes as they arise

    The philosophy behind this synth is having the most control over the sound with the simplest interface possible. I want to get people interested in synthesis. That's why I didn't add complex effects. I find that many people buy synths and just surf through the presets. I don't believe that's what synthesizers are about.

    As for the name, it was initially planned to be JPSynth, but I'm quite sure that would have gotten me a lot of hate mail and legal problems.

    This said, an update was submitted last night to fix the LFO pitch mod. For those interested in news and other announcements, follow me on Twitter (@epicsynth)

    Thanks,
    JP

  21. Never mind the product, give us a cute YouTube video of the baby! (Preferably behind a piece of card proclaiming, "Please buy my Daddy's app!")

  22. I think it's lovely that you're posting on here and, since I buy every synth that comes out of the iPad, I'll deffo be buying yours. Still wish you'd gone for an even more JX-3P look, though. ๐Ÿ˜›

  23. You don’t even have to use an audio cable (or a camera!). You can run a simulation with xcode and record the screen.Demos like this are fine. Just clean up your desktop & zoom in.

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