Free, Open Source Instrument For iPad Features FM Sounds Of The 80’s

Developer Matthew Fecher has introduced FM Player: Classic DX Synths, a free and open source iPad virtual instrument.

“It’s 100% free. No in-app purchases, ads, or anything to buy,” notes Fecher. “It’s multi-sampled from a DX7, a DX7II, and some bonus TX81z presets.”

In addition to the software being free, the developer is making the AudioKit ROM Player code available, so that you can create your own sample-based ROMpler type instruments for iOS. 


  • Faithful recordings of classic presets from original retro 80s FM synthesizers
  • Over 50+ presets included
  • Effects: Reverb, Auto Pan, Bit Crush, Stereo Fatten, and more
  • MIDI in (Play with a MIDI Keyboard)
  • Low-pass Filter: Cutoff, Rez, and Filter LFO
  • Analog Tape Style Ping-Pong Delay
  • Play live with a keyboard: MIDI Mod Wheel, Pitch Wheel, Program Change, Velocity sensitive sounds, and Sustain Pedal support already added
  • Basic Inter-App Audio (IAA) integration.
  • AudioBus 3 support.
  • MIDI Learn

Video Demo:

Here’s an unofficial video demo, via redskylullaby:

Pricing and Availability

FM Player: Classic DX Synths is available now as a free download. The AudioKit ROM Player code is being released Dec 11, 2017. See the AudioKit site for details.

10 thoughts on “Free, Open Source Instrument For iPad Features FM Sounds Of The 80’s

  1. The DX7 is a pure synth. I’m 99% sure you can sample one. It is true that you can not sample a sample-based instrument, like the D50, or an SY99. And, you can not make a sample based instrument out of a synth that samples the DX7.

    That all may be a mute point, From their website, it does not look like they are “selling” anything. This is all free.

  2. It’s a better option than Yamaha’s “FM Essential” softsynth for iOS that only functions if your iPAD is plugged into an expensive Yamaha external keyboard.

    1. The FM Essential app is a one time unlock by plugging your phone into the Yamaha MX49. I did it for free at Guitar Center using their display synth, now I can use the app anytime at home. Also the Yamaha hardware synth was on sale for $349 this week on Amazon. Not that expensive, but compared to a free app on your iPad, then yes that is pricey 🙂

  3. If you want those (possibly rather awful yet nostalgic) presets again (DX7 piano anyone?) this is the app for you! 😀

    Though I must confess in addition to many beautiful sounding FM software synths for iOS I do rather like my TX-81z, probably for nostalgic reasons mainly through it is a vaguely fun pastime to try to program patches into its clunky front-panel interface, and it is a very capable 4-operator FM synth that does sound nice.

  4. CME Xkey 37, my favorite compact polyphonic aftertouch iPad keyboard! (Though I note the short ~2mm key travel isn’t for everyone, the poly pressure is something special…)

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