iModular Integrates iOS Devices Into Modular Synthesizers

imodular-iphone-modular-synthesizer

iModularSynth has introduced iModular – a hardware/software combination designed to let you use an iPhone or iPad in a Eurorack modular synthesizer. The iOS device can be used as a sound generator, effects processor or anything else that software allows.

The system is made up of two components: the iModular application and the iModular interface Eurorack module.

imodularThe iModular application turns your iPhone/iPod/iPad into a two-channel multifunction module for your modular synthesizer. It can be used as a 6-point Envelope Generator, an Envelope Follower, or Low Frequency Oscillator. The two channels are independent and can be used in different modes at the same time (e.g: channel 1 being an LFO, channel 2 being an Envelope Generator)

When used with the dedicated iModular hardware Eurorack module, each input channel can be used either as an audio or as a gate, depending on the selected mode in the application.

Each function can be controlled by gate signal, by MIDI or by RTP-MIDI. It is fully programmable (64 user programs are stored within the application).

The iModular application can also be used with Expert Sleepers hardware (The developer notes that some limitations apply when used with ES hardware. Check the iModular user’s manual for details).

iModular is available now for US $3.99.

imodular-interfaceThe iModular interface, right, is a Eurorack module designed to integrate iOS devices (iPad, iPod and iPhone) into a modular synthesizer environment.

The iModular interface’s DC coupled outputs are able to provide both control voltages and audio signals. The inputs can be used to feed stereo line level signals in the iOS device and can also be used as gates.

The iModular interface is compatible with all CoreAudio applications running on iOS devices.

An optional holder clip for iPhone/iPod can be installed on the iModular interface, as shown in the photo above. It allows you to have your iPhone/iPod near the interface, while maintaining an easy access to connectors.

The iModular interface is expected to be available in mid-January, priced at 230 euros/276 USD (standard version), 290 euros/348 USD (optional holder version).

17 thoughts on “iModular Integrates iOS Devices Into Modular Synthesizers

  1. Will the app work in a Microbrute? I’ve got the Brute LFO app, which is pretty cool and works on a MB but I guess this will have the same limitations regarding the depth of the LFO. Brute LFO is definitely worth the money though as a bonus LFO on your phone – the iModular app is probably worth it for the envelope feature if it works on a MB.

  2. Phones and analog modular synths are (imho) like water and oil 🙂
    I might be wrong but I use my phone to (guess what) make and receive phone calls.

    1. Just because it’s called “phone” hardly makes it a telephone. That’s about 5% of what it is and does. I think this is a great move, CV’s hardly need to be analog generated to be useful. To be fair though, cost/benefit seems highly unbalanced. For $275 you could easily find an iphone for that price or less.

    2. This looks like a good way to repurpose old phones.

      Just about everybody’s got an old phone lying around these days – and a lot of them have useful life left in them.

      Old smartphones are basically cheap touchscreen computers, and the idea of having a touchscreen audio computer in modular is pretty cool.

      The module seems like it’s priced fairly high for an interface, though. Are their competitive alternatives?

      1. The price is not so high for a module made by definition in low volume. If you consider it as an audio interface, high volume competitors made in China cost already 100 euros and more, they are not rackable, and they do not have DC coupled outputs. As far as I know, there are no interface with DC coupling compatible with iOS (the MOTU are not).
        And compare this approach with Doepfer costs : their simplest LFO cost 160 euros, single channel, without MIDI, no programmability, etc… Two LFO+two ADSR from Doepfer would cost more than 500 euros, so 250 euros for a dual channel module sounds correct to me, especially if you can recycle your older iphone or ipad

    1. I do not agree. This is more than “something that adds CV to iphone”. It’s a audio interface with line in/line out compatible with all audio apps, not just something for CV. And a serious audio interface for iPad costs 100 euros minimum. And these interfaces are not made in Europe, they are not eurorack, they do not have trigger inputs, and they are made in high volume to cut the price down. The imodular is made in Europe in low volume, so price is related.
      I think that Gary is right in his post below when he says there is probably no competitor fot this particular product.
      By the way, a lower price is announced for the NAMM

  3. I have been using synths pretty much for 30 years. I have seen things come and go and I have stuck to a straight forward set up, decent mixer, (mackie ) s950, s2000, now MPC2500. Lots of synths , currently DSI, Tetra , and Mopho Keyboard, Korg Z1 , Jp8080. bass Bott. xoxbox,Novation KS Rack, strymon Big sky midi verb 2 etc . I have owned most budget synths, Rolands yamahas , Kors cs 15’s etc Even a voyager (which menus and envelopes I hated ) basically, I don’t think a hardware set up can be beaten.
    One thing that puzzles me and I know a lot of musicians (we still make music vinyl) where are all the demos on youtube etc of these Ipad tracks and phone tracks? I still like using a mouse and I use a midi only sequencer. I have seen people spend more on computers etc , and constantly upgrading etc but no finished tracks? It is good to see people moving from laptops to hardware , it is a natural progression.
    I have had my hands on a moog modular system and I thought , wow ………..for that price I could buy a load of gear !!
    We all make music for our own pleasure and hopefully the pleasure of others but I think software is crap and seeing that duff looking phone rigged up to a modular seems the icing on the cake.
    Modulars covered in patch chords in my opinion look stupid, messy and problematic. It is hilarious click onto this site to check out synths, and see some rendered pics , and some app.
    Apart from Reason? (which I can respect as entry level music making software)
    Is anyone using the same softsynths that they where using 5 years ago?
    Computers are the weakest link in a musical chain?

    1. I clicked post too fast – check out the video above to see what’s possible with a newer iPad, audiobus, and a MIDI controller. He’s running Arturia iSEM, Korg iElectribe, a mixer, and a reverb effect all at the same time, controlled by the Beatstep. If that’s not at least as powerful as most small modular setups, I don’t know what is… and it fits in your backpack.

      You haven’t seen Youtube demo videos of iOS music because you aren’t looking for them.

  4. If I read this right, it implies that the module adds a DC-coupled audio interface to the party. You can’t get that anywhere else that I know of, and it means their software as well as ‘ware such as Modular and MicroBrute can work at much lower frequencies (down to DC) with a full CV range.

    btw, I use iPod Touches for my music work. I hate having to use my iOS device to make phone calls! 😀

  5. Hi, I run a label where we focus on using hardware gear (more often than not old analog gear) to make music. We don’t use a lot of software in our music making process. It’s purely a conceptual preference for us. That being said, I have never really understood why people care what other people use to make music. If you never knew what was used, but you like the sound, isn’t that all that matters? In short, who cares what tools people choose to use, instead consider only caring about the cool things they create with them. I’d rather all these tools get created, regardless of what they are. If they help people be creative, then I am all for it.

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