14 thoughts on “iSem Price Cut To $4.99

  1. Its a shame to see such a superior synth tied to a platform that will probably be obsolete within two product-cycle generations. If you buy a hardware Obie, it’ll be going strong when this thing and its associated iPad are long since faded. I accept the limited life of software grudgingly for the huge benefits and I love the ones I use, so I’m a fan, just a pressured one. For me, composition is singular and private activity. I could just whistle new tunes into a pocket recorder if I really needed portability for my ideas. I’d never haul my hardware around casually and likewise an iPad. The risk of loss or damage still seems greater than the gains. OTOH, if you keep the pad in-studio and treat it AS a synth module, then the complexion changes. My Macs have all run until I upgraded and the last one is still in use as a typewriter and loose catch-all. Will an ‘outdated’ iPad still offer a similar usability?

    I know we holler over this issue a lot, but having embraced most synth technologies at some point, I’m straining to see the sweet spot appear between functionality and longevity. How do you lot INTEGRATE the thing into your actual music making process? I know where the jacks are; I’m wrestling with the Why. Give me a few different perspectives on which I can build a better attitood.

    Also, buy this synth. Oberheim has a uniquely ROUND tone that’s lush and classy in its own right. Its a secret weapon for effects or expanding the sound field to Way Big status. Its the one darned synth I can’t define in more clear terms, even though its “only” a modest analog.

    1. Explain why my ipad 2 and the current version of this app will become unusable or obsolete in the future. (Well, eventually the battery will poop out I guess). It works well and sounds great today, that ain’t gonna change no matter what the future holds.

      Also, this app is a must have. Period.

      1. I don’t ask for eternal backwards compatibility, but it will eventually become frozen with whatever you installed while it was the leading model. I should also look at it another way. What if someone is loading it up with what works best NOW and planning to use it as module long after its OS has been outdistanced? At that point, we have parity. After all, my first Mac was a refurb and was still running when I recycled it 12 years later. Damn, that’s a good enough lifespan, like an old Boss pedal. I’m just suspicious because “corporate” has become a curse word and I want to keep it the hell out of my fun all I can. 🙂

        1. A hardware Oberheim is “frozen” the day it leaves the factory. Unless they have an updatable OS, which they don’t. Or you mod it yourself.

      2. Same reason why some apps do not run on a ipad 1. An OS update, a change in processor, and yes your battery. The product is a treadmill. I don’t see how anyone cannot understand that once you buy in you have to continue to update and pay for upgrades in the soft world vs hardware. It may be cheaper to initially buy that $5 app but when something else updates and your app didn’t update with it, now it’s buggy or unusable I think he makes a valid point and I don’t understand all of the downvotes, but this site is full of IOS fanboys, and Brett Dominos

    2. So tell me where I can get a hardware SEM for $4.99 and then you might have a point. Buy a second hand iPad and load nothing but a few of the top IOS synths on it then do nothing but charge the battery. It will last long enough that you’ll either be successful enough to afford the real thing or get bored of it and move on.

  2. Personally, the innovation that comes from iPads’ touchscreen is what makes it viable. Although many developers are not taking full advantage of this, there are some who do: Samplr, Echopad, and all the synths that let you drag your fingers crazy ways that you just couldn’t possibly do on a keyboard. There are apps that I plug my midi keyboard into, but to get the full effect (remapping keys, scaling them, the changing of sound based on finger position on the actual key vertically, etc.), I need to touch it. I’m not discounting hardware synths. I like some of them over their digital counter parts (I’m looking at you iSEM, which is better sounding as hardware). But then you’ve got guys like Magellan, Turnado (I know the UI is kind of a pain, but it’s better on an iPad with multi-touch than on the computer).

    I understand that composing is a private thing for you, and often it is for me too, but iPads are just another way to touch the music. Oneday, I’ll be able to reachout and grab a sound and move it with my hands in a 3D enviornment (tech like LEAP, Retractable are stepping stones, chordion). I can’t wait to actually mix in 3D in a room where we can hear the sounds coming from all around. For now, I’m limited to my ten fingers on a 2D screen which I can touch, whereas I used to be limited much to a mouse pointer, before a keyboard with only 88 notes, before just 1 sound with 88 different tones.

    The answer to your “why” is the millions of failures that will yield a few gems that will be the building blocks for the possibilities of sound in the future.

    1. Got iSEM last night. I think the interface is one of the best that I’ve see on iOS yet. The multitimbral thing is so well implemented, and it sounds great. Can’t wait to try it with a midi keyboard with aftertouch.
      As far as integrating apps in my hardware setup, I use an Alesis i/o dock and I send the iPad sound to a Korg microSAMPLER and /or a hard disk recorder. No more DAW for me. The iPad holds the only software part of my setup, and like Richard said it’s mostly because of the tactile thing. Just wish for a larger screen…

    2. >>>> For now, I’m limited to my ten fingers on a 2D screen which I can touch, whereas I used to be limited much to a mouse pointer, before a keyboard with only 88 notes, before just 1 sound with 88 different tones.

      There’s part of the issue, if any. Its not a limitation for an instrument to be as immediately responsive as a piano. That’s the sort of ‘touch sensitivity’ many controllers are trying to emulate, with varying degrees of success. We simply have to work at it a bit harder because synths are anything but clearly defined. You not only have to come up with the music, you also have to define the context. Even a modest synth has immense tonal range over anything else, but a cello or a singer has it hugely beat for expressiveness. You generally have to build that into what you do. I’m not at all dismissive of, say, Nave, which is an ear-poppin’ wonder and invites your fingers in a great way.

      >>>> The answer to your “why” is the millions of failures that will yield a few gems that will be the building blocks for the possibilities of sound in the future.


  3. It’s my secret weapon, you see I own a hardware SEM and like to multitrack the mono instrument into polyphonic tracks. This App allows me to pre-hear what a patch will sound like when I play chords, without having to go back and re-record everything because the sound isn’t right.

    1. Well,testing iSEM with a MIDI keyboard: no velocity, no aftertouch response = huge disappointment. The irony is that the incoming
      Velocity and aftertouch values are seen changing in the little window in the”connect” panel, but they have no effect in the modulation matrix when selected as sources. A quick trek to the Arturia forum showed me that I am not the only one who spotted the problem…
      Too bad because the app sounds great. In the next version, I hope!

      1. The new update fixes the velocity/aftertouch issue!
        Finally, one can play those wonderful souds with full midi control, includind the mod matrix.

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